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Could a self-guided walking holiday be just the ticket?

Normally, the summer holidays are a chance for us to step away from the boring day-to-day and go on a true adventure. A few blissful weeks of less screen time, more green time, where you excitedly set your out of office and head off to explore the great outdoors. But with Covid-19 throwing somewhat of a proverbial spanner in the works, many of us are at a bit of a loss when it comes to holiday plans this year.

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But fear not! With 630 miles of the South West Coast Path to explore, your romp through the wilderness may not actually be as far away as you think. We have a wealth of free information on our website to help you plan a trip, including suggestions of where to stay, what to do, places to visit and must-try food and drink that will really make your trip unforgettable. We also have a dedicated coronavirus advice page with tips and advice on how to safely access the Coast Path this summer.

If you like the idea of a self-guided trip but are still a little daunted by the idea of planning it yourself during such uncertain times, you may want to consider booking with a trusted tour operator. We spoke with one of our business members Active England who help us to look after the South West Coast Path through their membership. Having recently completed comprehensive Covid-19 risk assessments they are now classes as a ‘Good to Go’ Travel Operator and can guarantee that the safety of guests, suppliers and guides are all upheld on their tours.

Photos of small group tours on the SWCP with Active England

Tour guide Frances Mills from Active England said, “A self-guided holiday is a great way to discover tucked away trails and get a little off the beaten track. But it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the planning, especially if you don’t know the area you’re visiting well. That’s why we’ve created a number of new self-guided tours on the South West Coast Path that will give you the best of both worlds. A chance to go on an adventure and enjoy the freedom to roam, whilst also being safe in the knowledge that your trip has been carefully curated to keep you safe and happy while away from home. It’s a great option for someone wanting to travel alone or for those who want to share the experience with their family or a small group of friends.”

Four reasons why a self-guided walking holiday might suit you:

  1. You can walk at your own pace, in your own time. There is no need to ‘keep up’ with a group, or slow down so the group can catch up. Leave when you like in the morning and arrive when you choose in the afternoon. Walking on your own, or bringing your own small household group with you, also helps reduce risks associated with travelling at the moment
  2. Immerse yourself in local culture and the lesser known parts. Travelling on your own can be a great way to dive right into local life and landscape wherever you travel; exploring the beauty, countryside and coast around you while avoiding the overcrowded places along the way. If using a tour operator, it is also possible to alter self-guided itineraries to better suit your interests
  3. Enjoy the freedom to linger longer. The whole point of exploring is to find new places you love so it’s important to have the time to actually enjoy them. Self-guided trips give you much more flexibility to spend a little extra time, taking in a nearby attraction or simply taking a more leisurely lunch.
  4. You can make it completely hassle-free Holiday planning isn’t everyone’s bag, particularly at the moment when figuring out which hotels are open can be time-consuming. So using a trusted tour operator is a great way of simplifying the planning process. Most providers can cover all the bases for you such as accommodation, luggage transfers, maps, GPS instructions, and recommendations for iconic sites along the way.

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