Walking Holidays in Southern England

Walking in Southern England is a delightful way to experience the rolling hills and expanses of farmland pasture that are typical of the English countryside. You can wind your way through historical landscapes and ancient woodlands to discover old churches, abbeys and inns. You can escape to the coast and experience the heights of the spectacular white chalk clifftops with rewarding views across to the Isle of Wight, the English Channel and beyond.

The Cotswold Way is a National Trail starting in the traditional market town of Chipping Campden and winds its way to the famous city of Bath with extensive Roman archaeology, Roman baths and hot springs. The walking is peaceful, taking you on countryside lanes and paths, along escarpments and through commons and woodlands. Along the way there is a myriad of historical sites to explore as you pass through Medieval wool towns, Neolithic Burial Barrows and ancient abbeys and churches. There are warm and welcoming villages and towns that are home to charming inns and buildings crafted from rich Cotswold stone. If you are looking for something shorter whilst maintaining the charm and attraction of the Cotswold Way, then consider the Cotswold Round. Set in the northern section of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the round is a gentle circuit of many of the most picturesque towns and villages in the region.

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path is a 70 mile circuit of one of the sunniest places in the UK. Bustling sailing towns, picturesque villages and quaint hamlets are all visited along the route. Out on the trail a varying landscape of heather clad clifftop, grassy chalk ridges and sandy bays combine to make this a diverse and interesting walk. The walking itself is never too strenuous and can be enjoyed by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. History and heritage, from 19th century maritime right back to the bronze age, all feature throughout this holiday. This is coastal walking at its best.

The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast path is a straightforward, flat walk suitable for most abilities; there are just a few longer days on the Peddars Way. It would make a great first long distance walk as the route is very well signposted and easy to follow. There is plenty of interest along the way, from beautiful beaches, historic buildings and nature reserves to Victorian seaside towns, restaurants and cafes. A relaxed, peaceful walk through some of the nicest parts of Norfolk.

A walking holiday on the South Downs Way takes you on a journey across the South of England, from the historical city of Winchester to finish on the dramatic cliffs of Beachy Head before descending into Eastbourne. Follow in the footsteps of ancient travellers on trade routes that date back to the Stone Age as you pass over expansive fields and the landscape of the downs. Take the opportunity along the way to visit ancient hill forts, take in the magnificent views of the Seven Sisters and simply enjoy the diverse array of wild flowers and butterflies.

The Thames Path follows England’s most famous river from its trickling source at a spring in the rural Cotswolds to its vast presence at the Thames Barrier, just a few miles before it meets the sea. Over the course of 185 miles this National Trail delivers tranquil water meadows, fabulous wildlife and wildflowers, quaint villages, historic market towns, gothic towers and a taste of Britain’s buzzing capital, London.

Dating back to the New Stone Age, The Ridgeway is the oldest road in Britain. Once a way for prehistoric man to travel across the land on higher and naturally drier ground it is now a national trail enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The trail runs from Overton Hill near Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon just north of Aldbury and falls within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills. As you traverse the chalk downs you are rewarded with fine views stretching into the distance while around you are a host of archeological remains including, long barrows from the Neolithic Era, Iron Age hill forts and magnificent chalk carvings dating back 3,000 years to the Bronze Age.

A gentle circuit of some of the most picturesque towns and villages in the Cotswolds.

Picture a place of gentle hills and gorgeous stone villages. A place of honey coloured houses and luscious green meadows. A place of hedge lined country lanes. Picture this, and you have the Cotswolds. Our Cotswold Round is a circuit of some of the most picturesque towns and villages the Cotswolds has to offer. Their very names themselves an invitation to the inquisitive – Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water. Almost all of the round falls within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Covering over 2000 square kilometers, it’s the largest such protected area in England and Wales. Only Cheltenham lies outwith the boundary. On your journey you will walk through many nature reserves as well as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Cowslips carpet the grassland in spring and in summer look closely for the pyramidal orchid and bee orchid. Bluebell woods bring vibrant colour and sweet smelling lily of the valley fills air. The red kite and the skylark occupy the Cotswold sky. Rare butterflies flit from flower to flower and fortunate walkers may get to see a duke of burgundy or adonis blue. The ever present golden stone you’ll see is Oolitic limestone, formed sometime around 150-200 million years ago, when the Cotswolds were covered by a warm sea. Hundreds of Cotswold villages are built entirely of this stone. Consequently the Cotswolds have more protected or listed buildings than any other region. You may spot some Cotswold Lions, these shaggy sheep are bred in small numbers today, but were once the foundation of England’s wool trade with Europe. An industry amounting to almost 50% of the country’s economy. The magnificent churches you’ll see, many disproportionate in size to the villages they serve, were known as wool churches, constructed or enlarged by huge contributions from the wealthy wool merchants.

Accompanied by the sight of wildflowers and the sound of birdsong, this is a country walker’s dream. A mix of open meadow, track, woodland, river bank and country lane combine to make our 59 mile Cotswold Round a relaxing walk through what you’ll no doubt come to remember as quintessentially English countryside.

Length

5 - 8 nights

Full Route Length

59 miles / 95 km

Shortest Break Length

45 miles / 73 km

Average Grade

Easy to Moderate

Why do this walk?

Walk in England’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Visit Belas Knap, one of Britain’s finest Neolithic long barrows.

Stroll through flower-rich limestone grassland.

Relax in picturesque towns and villages.

A chance to see rare butterflies and orchids.

Enjoy panoramic views from Cleeve Common and Broadway Hill.

Admire the incredible architecture of the wool churches.

Enjoy nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Discover three centuries of history at the ruins of Hailes Abbey

See stunning works from the arts and crafts movement.

This is a delightful route that explores the picturesque English villages of the Cotswolds, roaming though a beautiful green landscape of rolling hills and ancient woodland. The trail ends in the World Heritage City of Bath.

The Cotswold Way is a long distance walk that runs for 102 miles (163km) from the medieval market town of Chipping Campden in the North Cotswolds, to the historic City of Bath. Following the western edge of the Cotswold Hills, the Cotswold Way route journeys through gently rolling, sheep-grazed pastures, stunning beech woodland, and dreamy, honey-coloured villages built from the delightfully warm Cotswold stone.

You will cross ancient commons in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, pass Neolithic burial barrows, beautiful stately homes, and historic battle sites. The path along the escarpment twists and turns, affording ever-changing views to the west towards the River Severn and the Malvern Hills.

The Cotswolds countryside is a haven for wild flowers, birds and insects. In springtime expect to see cowslips and hope to see orchids. Carpets of bluebells colour the woodlands, sweet with the scent of lily of the valley. When walking through meadows, watch out for rare butterflies such as the adonis blue or the duke of burgundy and high above you’ll spot the skylark and the red kite.

If it all sounds like a scene from a picture postcard, then it’s because it is. Quite simply, it’s incredibly idyllic, it’s quintessentially English and it’s an absolute delight to walk.

Length

6 - 12 nights

Full Route Length

100 miles / 161 km

Shortest Break Length

47 miles / 76 km

Average Grade

Easy to Moderate

Why do this walk?

A gentle introduction to long-distance walking along one of the best way-marked National Trails in the country

Sublime scenery, from gently rolling countryside to quintessentially English villages, with beautiful churches and cosy Cotswold Inns

Steeped in history, you will encounter Medieval Wool Towns, Neolithic Burial Barrows, ancient abbeys and stately homes

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath with its Roman remains and Georgian Architecture.

A delightful circuit of the diamond shaped Isle of Wight, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

For those who love to stride out amid the fragrance of salty sea air and with the warmth of the sun on their face, the Isle of Wight Coastal Path is a dream come true.

Shaped like a diamond, the Isle of Wight really is a jewel in the English Channel, and our Coastal Path holidays are the perfect way to explore the island the Romans first named Vectis.

Our 72 mile circuit of the island begins in the seaport town of Cowes on the west bank of the River Medina. Cowes is home to the oldest and biggest sailing regatta in the world. From here we head south west to the historic town of Yarmouth, skirting Newtown National Nature Reserve as we go. Then it’s onwards to the village of Totland with its picturesque sandy beach, ahead of a breathtaking crossing of Headon Warren where you’ll catch your first glimpse of the iconic chalk stacks, The Needles, guarded by its lighthouse at the outer western end of the formation.

The grassy, whale backed ridge of Tennyson Down leads us east along the southern edge of the island, first past the chalk pebbled Freshwater Bay, then on to a collection of chines and home to one of the richest areas for dinosaur discovery in Europe. St Catherine’s Lighthouse marks the most southern point of the island and is one of the oldest lighthouse locations in Great Britain.

Shanklin, Sandown and Seaview continue the theme of sun, sea and sand. Ryde, home to the world’s oldest hovercraft operator, is now all that stands between you and the completion of your circuit.

The island has been home to Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria. Also, thanks to Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi, the birthplace of the radio.

The Isle of Wight is England’s largest island. Yet at high tide, becomes England’s smallest county!

Put simply, if you love the thought of walking round a beautiful and fascinating island, that enjoys more sunshine than some parts of Spain, then the Isle of Wight Coastal Path is most certainly the holiday for you.

Length

4 - 8 nights

Full Route Length

72 miles / 116 km

Shortest Break Length

33 miles / 53 km

Average Grade

Easy to Moderate

Why do this walk?

Enjoy walking in one of the sunniest places in the UK.

The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Marvel at the iconic chalk edge ‘The Needles’ with its 33-metre-high lighthouse.

Stride out over the whale-backed ridge of Tennyson Down.

More than half the Island is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Visit Osborne House, built in 1846 for Queen Victoria.

The island is home to some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

 

The Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path combine the very the best of the Norfolk countryside and coastline to deliver an incredibly pleasant walk experience.

Sheringham Beach on the North Northfolk Coast Path

The Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path combine to make a very accessible 93 mile walk, taking in the very best of the Norfolk countryside and coastline.

The Peddars Way is an ancient road dating back to the Bronze Age, which was then developed into a military route in Roman times and was later used by pilgrims during the 15th century. The 45 mile route is for the most part straight and relatively flat, following mostly green lanes and tracks with some interesting archaeological sites along the way.

The Norfolk Coast Path follows the coastline for 45 miles from Hunstanton to Cromer. With interesting Victorian seaside towns, fishing villages, beautiful beaches and nature reserves with a wealth of bird life, there is plenty to see along this stunning stretch of coast.

The Norfolk coast is perhaps a little less renowned than many parts of the northern coast. As a consequence it is quieter and emptier, which in many ways adds to its attraction.

These are by their very nature, one countryside and one coastline, two very differing landscapes, but what they share in common is they are places of peace and tranquillity. Enjoy them as separate short breaks or combine them into one amazing adventure, either way you are guaranteed a truly memorable experience.

Length

4 -10 nights

Full Route Length

93 miles/ 149 km

Shortest Break Length

45 miles/ 72 km

Average Grade

Easy to Moderate

Why do this walk?

An easy-to-follow gentle walk through the Norfolk countryside.

Lovely coastal villages and interesting historical buildings.

Lots of birdlife and internationally recognised wildlife reserves.

Beautiful beaches.

No hills!

From the historic market town of Winchester the route follows the rolling countryside of the South Downs to the dramatic chalk cliffs of Beachy Head on the English Channel.

South Downs Way Walking Holidays

The South Downs Way starts at the ancient and historic city of Winchester and follows the northern crest of the chalk escarpment of the South Downs, all the way to the sea. Stretching for 100 miles through England’s newest National Park, to the seaside town of Eastbourne, this walking holiday offers a fabulous taste of this lovely rural area, with spectacular views, expansive fields, beautiful woodlands, picturesque villages and huge amounts of history.

The South Downs Way is well marked and easy to follow. It is used by horses and cyclists, so is very accessible, with almost no stiles. It links many ancient and historic tracks, used by travellers and traders since the Stone Age. It is one of the easiest National Trails, with few steep sections, apart from when the route drops down into river valleys, and for the descent to overnight stays in the pretty towns, villages and farms along the way.

Although seldom exceeding 250m (820ft), this walking holiday gives a great feeling of space, and a sense of being ‘on top of the world’. Passing iron age hill forts, the spectacular chalk formations of The Devil’s Dyke and the Seven Sisters and rolling countryside with fields of grazing sheep, corn and wild flowers, the South Downs Way offers a magnificent sense of solitude, centuries of history and a cross section of one of the most beautiful parts of southern England.

Length

3 - 10 nights

Full Route Length

104 miles / 167 km

Shortest Break Length

19 miles / 31 km

Average Grade

Moderate

An enjoyable series of walks totaling 185 miles alongside England’s greatest river, from the rural Cotswolds to where it meets the sea at the Thames Barrier.

The Thames Path National Trail follows the greatest river in England for 185 miles from its trickling source just outside Kemble in the rural Cotswolds to its vast presence at the Thames Barrier, just a few miles before it meets the sea.

This river, once vital to trade, helped grow England’s capital to the size it is. As railways and roads took over, this great trading route started to fall into decline. Discussions started back in the 1930s about how they could put the old Thames tow path to use but it was not until after further discussions, and with the help of many groups of people, including the Ramblers Association and the River Thames Society, that 16 miles of new tow path was built and the Thames Path became a fully opened National Trail in 1996.

The route boasts tranquil water meadows, fabulous wildlife and wildflowers, quaint villages, historic market towns, gothic towers, cities and many locks.

You will see the river grow and change as the walk progresses. Watch the herons, ducks and swans as the river flows by, and see the many rowers and pleasure boats at Windsor, Eton and Henley. You can add rest days to allow you to explore Oxford and Windsor Castle, or add a day to visit Kew Botanical Gardens.

Length

3 - 21 nights

Full Route Length

185 miles / 298 km

Shortest Break Length

27 miles / 44 km

Average Grade

Easy to Moderate

Why do this walk?

A delightful holiday featuring the perfect blend of town and country.

Visit an array of quaint villages and picturesque towns.

Enjoy easy-to-follow gentle walking through Idylic rural landscapes with beautiful river views.

Marvel at the stunning architecture of the arched bridges and historic buildings.

View countless iconic landmarks.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of London from the banks of the Thames.

No hills!

Idyllic walking from Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon through five of the greenest counties in England – Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire

The Ridgeway National Trail runs for 87 miles from Overton Hill near Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon just north of Aldbury. The entire length of the trail lies within two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills, and passes through no fewer than five of the greenest counties in England – Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. The trail also visits a number of National Nature Reserves, home to a vast array of birdlife, butterflies and wildflowers.

With a history dating back some 5,000 years, The Ridgeway is the oldest road in Britain, perhaps even in Europe. A way for prehistoric man to travel across the land on higher and naturally drier ground. For thousands of years it was a drove road, used for the transportation of livestock and goods. From their elevated position travellers would benefit from the relative safety of being able to see any dangers around them. Today, it’s a place of leisure, where walkers, cyclists and horse riders can exercise and enjoy the stunning scenery on offer.

The North Wessex Downs and the Chiltern Hills offer two quite differing landscapes and walking experiences, yet remain really quite complementary. From the World Heritage Site at Avebury, the trail travels north east along the chalk downs with the reward of fine views stretching into the distance and the pleasure of walking on broad, springy grassland. The Ridgeway drops down to cross the River Thames at Goring before climbing into the Chiltern Hills. This a more diverse landscape of open downland, chalk escarpment, farmland and woodland, utilising a variety of footpaths, bridleways and tracks.

The Ridgeway isn’t simply a long distance walking trail, it’s a historic monument too, dating back to the Neolithic Age. Some of the earliest archaeological remains to be found on the trail include Avebury Castle and the long barrows at Wayland’s Smithy and West Kennett. The Iron Age brought impressive Hill Forts with Barbury, Segsbury and Pulpit Hill among those visited on the trail. Grim’s Ditch likely dates from this period too. There are many chalk carvings on the downs, the most famous of these, the Uffington White Horse, dating back 3,000 years to the Bronze Age.

Step back in time and follow those who for five millennia have worshiped upon and walked The Ridgeway.

Length

4 - 10 nights

Full Route Length

91 miles / 147 km

Shortest Break Length

42 miles / 68 km

Average Grade

Easy to Moderate

Why do this walk?

Soak up 5,000 years of history on Britain’s oldest road.

Walk within two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Enjoy easy walking over the North Wessex chalk downs with far reaching views.

Pass through five of the greenest counties in England.

Enjoy a delightful patchwork of woodlands around the Chiltern Hills.

Spend time exploring in and around Avebury - part of the UNESCO Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.

Visit an array of Iron Age hill forts, long barrows, stone circles, and remnants of medieval villages.

Marvel at the Uffington White Horse and the many other magnificent chalk carvings.

Follow the line of the ancient defensive earthworks, Grim’s Ditch.

Client Feedback

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Fife Coastal Path, September 2023
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The whole trip was just fantastic, I have recommended it and you to so many people. All we had to think about was the walk each day and what we were going to see. The organisation of it all was faultless and left us to just enjoy it all.

West Highland Way, September 2023
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Tour of the Lake District, September 2023
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