10 group travel ideas: walking holidays in the UK and Europe

Date Posted: 23/07/2014

Pictured: West Highland Way Walkers (Photo credit: Macs Adventure).

From rolling Yorkshire Moorland to the Dalmatian Coast to Mont Blanc; here’s how you can explore some of the UK and Europe’s most picturesque landscapes on foot.

1.    Leisurely hike along the West Highland Way

Showcasing some of the best scenery that Scotland has to offer, the West Highland Way runs 96 miles (154 kilometres) from Milngavie, just outside Glasgow, to Fort William. There is some challenging terrain, however with Macs Adventure groups have the option of completing it over ten days, turning it into more of a leisurely hike.

Macs Adventure can tailor the trip according to the needs of your party, grading it either moderate or strenuous depending on which itinerary you choose. Bed and breakfast is included along with baggage transfers, maps and a guidebook.

2.    Guided walks in the Lake District

You can circle Buttermere Lake, climb Wainwright’s favourite mountain, Haystacks, or take on the Red Pike Ridge during a weeks’ guided walking in the heart of the Lake District with Ramblers Countrywide Holidays.

Private groups can hire out Hassness Houses, reportedly Ramblers’ most popular UK property. Situated in its own grounds on the shores of Buttermere, there are walks from the doorstep to suit all abilities. The price for a weeks’ full board includes a picnic lunch and homemade cakes when you return from your walk.

3.    Mountains and coast on a Mediterranean island

Travelsphere’s Walking in Northern Cyprus holiday promises warm hospitality, welcome bursts of sunshine and the chance to explore the history of the Mediterranean island. The eight-day trip includes walking tours across three different days.

You can explore the pine woods of the Kyrenia Mountains, and take in majestic Buffavento Castle which stands above a mountain pass offering great views.

A third coastal walk will lead you through the Alagadi area, which boasts one of the country’s longest stretches of beach, backed by the towering Five Finger Mountains and olive groves.

Pictured: Icelandic volcano highlands (Photo credit: Exodus).

4.    Rugged coast and volcano highlands

This moderately-paced trekking holiday from Exodus explores some of Iceland’s most impressive landscapes, from rugged coast to volcano highlands.

New for 2014, the eight-day itinerary passes through the Thorsmork area - featuring the craters of Eyafjallajokull volcano. The route then follows the Eldgja volcano fissure, traversing lava flows, crossing streams and skirting lakes, climbing occasional peaks on the way.

5.    Walking and fine food in Italy

If your group loves Italy, this new holiday from Explore combines walking with fine food. Graded easy to moderate, On Foot in Puglia and Basilicata spends four nights in the seaside town of Vieste with walks amongst the ancient forests of the Gargano Peninsula, before heading inland to the medieval town of Matera. The tour also spends a day exploring the famous Trulli of Alberobelleo and Locorotondo.

Throughout the journey there will be ample opportunity to sample local specialities including cheese, wine and olive oil.

6.    Cultural heritage of the Dalmatian Coast

Headwater Holidays’ eight day ‘Delights of the Dalmatian Coast’ explores the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Croatia. Travelling with a local guide, you’ll cover coastal paths and easy valley trails leading to lakes and waterfalls. Additional highlights include Dubrovnik’s medieval ramparts, Renaissance churches and the Doge’s palace.

Headwater assigns each of its walking holidays with a grade indicating its suitability according to fitness levels.

7.    Scaling Snowdon at Snowdonia National Park

The new ‘Trek Snowdon Long Weekend’ from Exodus will take in beautiful Snowdonia National Park with an ascent of the highest peak in England and Wales - Mount Snowdon, standing at 1,085-metres.

Groups will be led by a qualified mountain leader, and there is time to enjoy panoramic views from the top of the mountain. The three-day trip includes accommodation and most meals. Graded a moderate/challenging walk there are some short, steep sections close to the summit.

Pictured: Yorkshire Dales (Photo credit: Welcome to Yorkshire).

8.    Windswept moors and green hills of Yorkshire

Walking in Yorkshire is a Just You itinerary which takes in the green hills and moorlands of England’s largest county. A circular walk in the Yorkshire Dales will guide you through the remains of a Cistercian Abbey, the grounds of Danby Grange and along a picturesque stretch of the river Ure.

The five-day break will also explore the Yorkshire Moors, following the Rail Trail which runs along the route of George Stephenson’s original railway line.

If you’re organising a walking holiday for a group of single travellers, Just You itineraries enable your party to stay in their own room with no single supplement. This holiday can be booked through the Travelsphere groups team.

9.    Chalk downs and charming villages on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight boasts spectacular coastal paths, chalk downs and charming villages, as well as attractions including the Botanical Gardens and the coloured sands of Alum Bay. For the more adventurous walker, you can also follow the Tennyson Trail along the central spine of the island.

HF Holidays offers guided walking holidays on the Isle of Wight, staying at its country house property Freshwater Bay House. Groups have a choice of up to three walks per day, escorted by expert leaders.

10.   Tour du Mont Blanc alpine trek

Since de Saussure first walked around the Mont Blanc Massif in 1767, the Tour du Mont Blanc has built its reputation as one of the world’s classic treks. Macs Adventure’s Tour du Mont Blanc (Comfort) itinerary is great for groups wishing to stay in comfortable accommodation at the end of each day’s trekking.

Groups will complete the Tour du Mont Blanc over 11 nights during a walking holiday which has been graded moderate to strenuous.

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