Choose Your Hike

We offer different tour grading levels depending on the balance of physical challenge and comfort level that you require

Gentle Hikes

Our Gentle Hiking Tours are designed with the part-time hiker in mind.

People for whom taking photos, meeting the locals and enjoying a long lunch are as important as the hike itself.

Average Hiking Distance: 14km (9 miles) per day Average Hiking Time: 4-6 hours per day

5-Day Gentle Hike Lewes - Eastbourne from £569 per person View Itinerary
6-Day Gentle Hike Pyecombe - Eastbourne from £679 per person View Itinerary
7-Day Gentle Hike Bramber - Eastbourne from £799 per person View Itinerary
8-Day Gentle Hike Amberley - Eastbourne from £899 per person View Itinerary

Moderate Hikes

Our Moderate Hiking Tours will suit people who are used to regular exercise.

Hikers will appreciate the chance to cover plenty of ground each day without going beyond their limits.

Look out for the 👣 symbol: these itineraries cover the entire South Downs Way trail from Winchester to Eastbourne

Average Hiking Distance: 19km (12 miles) per day Average Hiking Time: 5-7 hours per day

4-Day Moderate Hike Kingston-near-Lewes - Eastbourne from £449 per person View Itinerary
5-Day Moderate Hike Pyecombe - Eastbourne from £569 per person View Itinerary
6-Day Moderate Hike Steyning - Eastbourne from £679 per person View Itinerary
7-Day Moderate Hike Amberley - Eastbourne from £799 per person View Itinerary
8-Day Moderate Hike Cocking - Eastbourne from £899 per person View Itinerary
11-Day Moderate Hike 👣 Winchester - Eastbourne from £1209 per person View Itinerary

Challenging Hikes

Are you the type of hiker who sets off in the morning and doesn’t stop until they reach their destination?

If yes, then our Challenging Hiking Tours will be just right for you.

Look out for the 👣 symbol: these itineraries cover the entire South Downs Way trail from Winchester to Eastbourne.

Average Hiking Distance: 24km (15 miles) per day Average Hiking Time: 6-8 hours per day

9-Day Challenging Hike 👣 Winchester - Eastbourne from £999 per person View Itinerary

Trail Info

The Route

Our full length South Downs Way tours begin in the historic city of Winchester, make their way into the low foothills of the Downs and pass Cheesefoot Head. Here Eisenhower addressed Allied troops before the D-Day landings in 1944. The route then leads on to Beacon Hill, a nature reserve high above the village of Exton, with far-reaching views towards the Solent and Isle of Wight. 

From Exton the trail visits Old Winchester Hill, with its Iron Age earthworks and a surprise vineyard. Stop for a short break at the fly fishing base at Meon Springs or the nice cafe at the Sustainability Centre before the route climbs up to Butser Hill. At just 270m, this is the highest point on the entire South Downs Way. Forest paths and tracks then guide walkers through the forests of Queen Elizabeth Country Park to the little village of Buriton.

After some more gently rolling farmland the trail climbs up and enters the low chalk hills of the South Downs proper. The route now follows the Downs’ gentle curves along the northern edge with often wonderful views towards the landscapes and villages to the north. The South Downs Way passes Cocking and then leads through an area of woodland followed by a more open landscape. The route briefly follows the ancient Roman road of Stane Street near Bignor Roman Villa before descending towards the River Arun and the pretty village of Amberley.

The trail continues mostly along the top of the downs to the famous Chanctonbury Ring and then moves south around the towns of Steyning and Bramber, crosses the River Adur and regains the height of the Downs. Viewpoints often offer spectacular 360 degree views and the impressive dry valley of Devil’s Dyke, near Pyecombe, is another highlight of the route. The trail passes Jack and Jill, the twin windmills at Clayton, and the highest point of the South Downs in Sussex at Ditchling Beacon (248m) before it turns south to follow the line of the Downs past the historic town of Lewes.

The route now passes Rodmell, where Virginia Woolf used to live and crosses the River Ouse. The line of the Downs then guides walkers to the charming, old village of Alfriston. A riverside walk and a stroll through an ancient forest lead to the ancient meanders of the Cuckmere River before the route climbs up to meet the English Channel at the white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters. The trail follows the cliffs to spectacular Beachy Head and onwards to the Victorian seaside town of Eastbourne.

Why walk the route from west to east?

All our South Downs Way hiking holidays follow the trail from west to east and all our tours end in Eastbourne on the Channel coast. There are three reasons for this: One is that the wind will mostly be behind you, rather than in your face. Secondly, we always love finishing a hike by the sea. But most importantly, while the Hampshire countryside is very attractive, the white chalk cliffs at Beachy Head are spectacular! We want to make sure that every walker who books a South Downs Way tour with us gets to see them.

Walkers, cyclists and horses

It is worth remembering that the South Downs Way is a public bridleway, open to walkers, cyclists and horse riders. With the exception of two shorter sections and the hike from Alfriston to Eastbourne, walkers share the route with mountain bikers and horse riders. On some days you might meet more bikes than walkers (since they are more likely to overtake you), but there is always plenty of space to accommodate everybody and walkers and cyclists share the trail amiably and with mutual respect.

Terrain Overview

The South Downs Way is considered to be one of the easiest National Trails to walk and it is said that anyone who is reasonably fit can complete the trail. However, there is a bit of ‘up and down’ on every section of the route as the trail follows the undulations of the rolling hills and climbs in and out of the river valleys. Walkers also have to make their way to and from their accommodations at the foot of the Downs. 

But the hills are rarely higher than 200m (650ft) and much of the daily ascent is spread throughout the day. There are no significant steep climbs and only a handful of slightly steeper descends that might see you jogging for a bit, if you’re not careful. The aggregate ascent over the entire route is approximately 4,200m. 

For almost the entire walk the trail follows good tracks, paths and open grassland, suitable for hiking as well as mountain bikes. Hiking along a chalk ridge means that, as a rule, much of the trail drains well and dries out quickly, i.e. the surface is good all year round with few wet or muddy sections after rain. But in a few places the chalk tracks have been eroded so that the flintstones, which are embedded in the chalk, break through the surface you walk on. This can be hard on your feet and we recommend shoes or boots with good soles to help with walking on those surfaces. Hiking poles can also help here, as well as with the ups and downs, as they take some of the weight of your feet.

The South Downs Way passes through a varied landscape of protected habitats including internationally important chalk rivers, internationally rare species, rich chalk grasslands and beautiful ancient woodland. The route passes through or close by five National Nature Reserves and dozens of Sites of Special Scientific Interest where you can enjoy stunning wildlife at close hand. 

The elevated position for most of the trail ensures you are regularly rewarded by breathtaking views across the English Channel and Isle of Wight to the south and over the wooded Weald between the North and South Downs to the north. Please note that this exposed position also means that, in particular eastwards of Amberley, the trail often offers very little shelter from the sun, wind or rain.

Elevation Profile

South Downs Way Elevation Profile

Terrain by Stages

Winchester to Exton: Good path and tracks through agricultural land, pastures and small sections of woodland. Some walking on road and tarmac paths.

Exton to Buriton: Path and tracks through agricultural land, pastures and longer sections of woodland. Some possibly muddy sections, after rain, until Meon Springs, better underfoot after that. Some steeper but short climbs. Some walking on roads and tarmac paths.

Buriton to Cocking: Tracks and a section of country road to start; then tracks, a footpath over Harting Down and mostly more good tracks through woodland and fields. Some shorter and not difficult climbs and a few possibly muddy sections, after rain. 

Cocking to Amberley: Tracks and footpaths throughout, some possibly muddy sections, after rain. Two easy climbs at the start and at Upwaltham.

Amberley to Steyning/Bramber: Good tracks and footpaths throughout, some rugged sections. Two easy climbs: at the start and near Washington. Little shelter (i.e. trees, buildings, etc.) along the route.

Steyning/Bramber to Pyecombe: Good tracks and footpaths throughout, some rugged sections. Two steep but short climbs: at the start and at Saddlescombe. 

Pyecombe to Kingston-near-Lewes: Good, well marked tracks and paths along the crest of the Downs. Two longer, but easy climbs: at the start and before Kingston. A descent on a rugged track into Kingston. 

Kingston-near-Lewes to Alfriston: Good, well marked tracks and path along the crest of the Downs. Two steeper climbs: at the start and after Southease. 

Alfriston to Eastbourne: Riverside and Forest paths and tracks followed by a footpath along the top of Seven Sisters and Beachy Head into Eastbourne. Several shorter climbs along the Seven Sisters and one longer climb to beachy Head add up a considerable overall ascent. Some sections can be a little muddy at times of rain. 

Prices / What's Included

Length of Tour Price Per Person ( £ ) Single Supplement ( £ ) :¹
4 days 449 220 BOOK NOW
5 days 569 330 BOOK NOW
6 days 679 400 BOOK NOW
7 days 799 500 BOOK NOW
8 days 899 550 BOOK NOW
9 days 999 640 BOOK NOW
11 days 1209 790 BOOK NOW
¹A single supplement is an additional charge for walkers booking single accommodation (a room for one person). The total tour price per person requesting a single room is the price per person plus the single supplement.

What’s Included in the Price?

  • Stay in friendly guesthouses, cosy inns and comfortable hotels
  • Relax in luxurious en-suite bedrooms*
  • Big breakfasts will keep you going all day long
  • Luggage? Don’t worry, we’ll move it for you!
  • Detailed maps/notes mean you’ll never get lost
  • If you need to contact us, we’re here, 24/7
  • Our waterproof map-case keeps your maps dry
  • Insider tips on the best places to eat and drink**
  • Explore the local history in our fascinating guide
  • Discover the most exciting attractions on the trail
  • Need info on transport? We’re happy to help

* Unless already booked out in which case we’ll try to secure a private bathroom

** You will have the opportunity to purchase picnic lunches and evening meals each day. If you are staying in a remote location, your hosts will usually look after this for you upon request.

Please Note:

Transfer: Due to the popularity of the South Downs and the relative remoteness of some parts of the trail, transfers to and from the trail are required, as are possible multiple night stays in some accommodation locations. Standard transfers are mentioned on our itinerary pages, but more may be required in order to book your tour. The cost of all transfers is built into the price but for groups of 4 walkers or more, additional transfers may be required which can incur a small surcharge.

Accommodation: Triple Rooms (three single beds) and Family Rooms (one double bed and one single bed) are not available in many accommodations on the South Downs Way. Alternatively, we can try to book two separate rooms which possibly will incur a single supplement charge.

Extra Days/Activities

Give those weary legs some respite and explore some of the attractions along the South Downs!

Winchester:  Explore more than 2000 years of history in the ancient capital of England. Be amazed by Europe’s longest medieval Cathedral and visit Wolvesey Castle and the Great Hall of Winchester Castle, where you can see “King Arthur’s Round Table”. 

Amberley / Arundel: Charming little Amberley with its flint walled, thatched cottages and medieval castle (now a hotel) is perfectly located for a halfway break. Nearby are the internationally known Wild Brooks nature reserve and Bignor Roman Villa, while the historic town of Arundel, just a 5min train ride from Amberley, boasts the impressive and perfectly preserved Arundel Castle, home to the Duke of Norfolk.

Lewes: There is lots to explore in this attractive, historic town – from one of the oldest Norman castles in England to the many wonderful bookshops and the Anne of Cleves House, given by Henry the VIII’s to his fourth wife.

Eastbourne: This Victorian seaside resort holds the record as Britain’s sunniest town. On warm days the beaches invite you to relax and dip your feet into the water after your hike, while the elegant seafront and famous pier are calling out for a relaxing stroll.

Booking Extra Days

  1. Choose WHERE you wish to stay.
  2. Decide HOW MANY NIGHTS you need.
  3. Go to the BOOKING FORM and fill in the ‘Extra Nights Required/Other Requests?’ section

The cost of an extra night on all our South Downs Way hiking tours is from £70 per person per night or from £90 for single hikers who will have their own private room.

Please note that if you book any extra nights in a location not included in your tour itinerary, you will have to make your own arrangements to transfer your bags to this location.

Accommodation

Staying in the very best accommodation during your time in England can transform a “good” hiking tour into a “great” hiking tour.

That’s why we have personally checked each accommodation you will stay at.

As keen hikers ourselves we know you’ll want somewhere relaxing to put your feet up in the evening.

A place where a warm smile from your hosts makes you feel welcome as soon as you step through the door.

If your hiking gear gets wet, it’s nice to know that you can dry it or, if you ask, it may even be taken from you and returned nice and dry the next morning. 

Comfy beds, en-suite bathrooms, an interesting breakfast menu – these are all things that we like so you can rest assured that we’ll do our best to find them for you as well.

If you’d like to stay an extra night at any location during your hiking tour, just let us know.

Please Note:

Due to limited accommodation options along the South Downs Way, we may need to book you into a location for more than one night, with transfers to/from the trail. These transfers are usually carried out by the B&B owner or a local taxi company, and the cost is covered in your tour price. This will not affect your trail itinerary.

In general, we try to book accommodation which is as close to the local amenities as possible. If you are staying in a remote location (where access to local pubs/restaurants is not feasible), the owner of the B&B that you are staying at will ensure that you are well fed.

Travel Info

Getting to and from your South Downs Way hiking tour is easy… when you know how!

In your walking pack, you will receive all the necessary public transport information you need to make your journey as convenient as possible.

In the meantime, if you’d like to do some advance planning yourself, here are our tips:

Most Convenient Airports

Sustainable Travel (from Europe)

Public Transport

How you can travel to the Start-point of your South Downs Way Hiking Tour:
  • You can reach all starting locations from within the UK by Train or Bus

Departing from Eastbourne after your Hiking Tour:

Use train or bus services to London, Gatwick or Southampton

Travelling by car?

It is usually possible to park at your first B&B and simply pick your car up again after your hiking tour.

Please contact us in advance so that we can make these arrangements on your behalf.

FAQ

About our England Hiking Tours

What is a self-guided hiking tour?

A self-guided hiking tour gives you the freedom to enjoy the wonderful English countryside at your own pace. Hiking without a guide, we will provide you with all the resources you need to successfully complete the trail alone or in the company of good friends.

We’ll plan your route, transfer your bags and show you all the best places to visit but you decide whether you want that extra hour in bed in the morning!

Do you offer guided hiking tours?

Guided hiking tours are not available from Hillwalk Tours.

When can we start our Hillwalk Tours hiking holiday?

Generally, our tours can take place between March and October but there are some exceptions. Please see the individual tour pages for information on possible start and end dates of tours.

Does a 7-Day tour include 7 days of hiking?

Our 7-Day tours include 5 days of hiking. The first and last days of all our hiking tours are travel days used to transfer to/from the town where your hike will begin/end. If you would like to hike for 7 days, simply select one of our 9-Day tours.

Does a 7-Day tour include 7 nights of accommodation?

Our 7-Day tours include 6 nights of accommodation – specifically the first 6 nights on your hiking tour. Your tour finishes on the seventh day when you check out of your last B&B.

What is a single supplement?

A single supplement is an additional charge for walkers booking single accommodation (a room for one person). The total tour price per person requesting a single room is the price per person plus the single supplement. The supplement covers the extra costs associated with accommodating a single person in their own room.

Can we bring our dog?

It is not possible to bring your dog on Hillwalk Tours hiking holidays. Unfortunately, the majority of our accommodation providers do not accept pets of any kind.

Can we buy bus/train tickets in advance of our trip?

Yes, most bus and train tickets can be purchased online in advance of your trip. Specific transport information is available on the tour pages of each hiking region. See the Travel Info section for each tour for more information.

If we arrive by car, where can we park while we are on our hiking tour?

We can generally arrange for you to park at your first B&B. If you are bringing your car, please contact us in advance.

About Luggage Transfers and Accommodation

Will we have to carry our own bags during our hiking tour?

No, on all our England hiking tours, your luggage will be transported to your next accommodation each day as you walk and will arrive before 4pm. A maximum weight limit of 15 kg per person applies to this luggage transfer service.

What type of accommodation will we be staying in?

You will be staying in traditional English Bed & Breakfasts (B&B’s) and Country Inns during your hiking trip. To ensure your comfort, each B&B and Inn you will stay in has been personally checked by a member of the Hillwalk Tours team. You can expect a warm welcome, en-suite facilities (where available) and a hearty breakfast each morning. For more details on the accommodation you will be staying in, see the Accommodation section for each tour.

Can we get a list of our accommodation before we leave?

Yes, we normally post out your hiking pack (which includes details of where you will be staying) to your home address one month in advance of the start date of your tour. This can be sent sooner upon request.

Will our B&B be close to the local town/village?

In general, we try to book accommodation which is as close to the local amenities as possible. If you are staying in a remote location (where access to local pubs/restaurants is not feasible), the owner of the B&B that you are staying at will ensure that you are well fed.

What is the difference between a ‘twin’ and a ‘double’ room?

A ‘twin’ room is a room for two people with two separate beds. A ‘double’ room has just one large bed (for two people).

About Your Hiking Pack

What’s included in my hiking pack?

– Route notes (prepared by a member of the Hillwalk Tours team who has walked every step of your tour)
– Detailed hiking map(s)
– Waterproof map-case
– A sneak-peak at where you will be staying
– Our tips on the most interesting attractions to visit along the trail
– A look at fascinating local history
– A guide to the best places to eat and drink
– Mountain safety information, emergency contact details & the country code
– An additional trail passport depending on the region you are walking in and itinerary chosen. See the Prices/What’s Included section for each tour for more information

Do you provide GPS data?

You will find GPS coordinates for the all overnight accommodation on your tour in your personalised itinerary, which you will receive upon booking. GPS tracks for your walking route can be provided on request. Please note that while we are reasonably confident that the tracks are correct and up-to-date, we recommend that they are not used as the only tool for navigation. The most important means for navigation should be the way markers along the trail, our route notes and the maps we provide in the walking pack.

How many hiking packs are provided?

One hiking pack will be provided per four people. Therefore, for a group of 1 – 4 people, one hiking pack will be sent. For 5 – 8 people, two hiking packs will be sent, etc.

What language will my hiking pack be in?

The contents of your hiking pack (route notes, accommodation information, history, etc.) will all be in English.

About Fitness Levels

How fit do we need to be to take a hiking tour?

We believe that the beauty of the English countryside should be enjoyed by everyone. With this in mind, we designed our hiking tours to cater for practically all levels of fitness. Our range of ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Challenging’ hikes in most regions allows you to decide how far you wish to walk each day. So, whether you are a novice walker or an experienced hiker, we have the tour to suit you.

What is the difference between Gentle, Moderate and Challenging Hiking Tours?

The difference between these tours is the distance that you will hike each day:

  • Gentle tours cover an average of 12-16 km (7.5 – 9 miles) per day
  • Moderate tours cover an average of 18-22 km (11 – 14 miles) per day
  • Challenging Tours cover an average of 26-30 km (16-19 miles) per day

For a more detailed breakdown of how we grade our hiking tours, see the green ‘Tour Grading’ tab at the top of the FAQs section.

Can we take a rest day?

Yes, we are more than happy to organise an additional night for you anywhere you please. Suggestions on interesting places to take a rest day are available on the tour pages of each hiking region. See the Extra Days/Activities section for each tour for more information.

About Money, Flights and Insurance

Will there be ATM/Credit Card facilities along the hiking route?

ATM facilities are available in many of the towns along the route. Credit cards are also accepted by many bar and restaurants. However, we suggest that you also bring a reasonable sum of cash as a back-up.

Do they use the Euro in England?

Euros are not accepted anywhere in England – the currency used is the Pound Sterling (£).

Are flights and transport to the start of our hiking tour included?

Flights and transport to the start of your hiking tour are not included in our prices. However, we do provide detailed timetables on how to make it to the start of your hike by public transport on our tour pages. See the Travel Info section for each tour for more information.

Do I need to buy insurance?

Hillwalk Tours strongly encourages you to take out adequate insurance cover prior to travel.

Tour Grading

Which England Hiking Tour Should You Choose?

Choosing the right hiking tour can be tricky. It’s important to consider the balance of physical challenge and comfort level that you require. To make your decision easier, we have drawn up a menu of Gentle, Moderate and Challenging hiking tours.

Before we explain the difference between the various grades, it is important to note that each hiking tour within a specific region follows the same official hiking trail. So, if you choose to go hiking on the Hadrian’s Wall Path, it doesn’t matter whether you pick a ‘Gentle’ tour or a ‘Challenging’ tour – you will still be walking along the official ‘Hadrian’s Wall Path’ trail. But to make these walking trails more accessible to all walkers, we have shortened the average daily hike between accommodations for the gentle and moderate tours.

  • Same Trail, Shorter Distances: For example, on the Hadrian’s Wall Path you can walk the entire trail on a 8-Day Challenging Tour, a 10-Day Moderate Tour or a 11-Day Gentle Tour. However, while the Challenging tour requires you to keep up a brisk pace of 23km (14.5 miles) per day on average, the Moderate tour has a more leisurely average of 18km (11.25 miles) per day and the Gentle tour only requires an average walking distance of 15km per day.

Below is a general overview of each tour grading level. Note that the figures for ‘Average Daily Hike’ and ‘Hiking Time’ may vary between regions. Poor weather conditions can affect the average hiking time which is based on a person of normal fitness walking at a moderate speed of around 4km/h (2.5 mph). The hiking time takes into account the terrain covered but not the time required for lunch stops, photos, etc. For more details on daily distances, the level of ascent and the terrain the trail crosses; refer to the itinerary page of each individual tour.

Gentle

12-18km (8-11 miles) 3-6 hours
Our Gentle Hiking Tours are designed with the part-time hiker in mind. While you can still expect some climbs, these tours offer the shortest average daily hikes, which in turn means less ups and downs. This will give you plenty time to enjoy the sights and scenery, take photos, have a long lunch and, if necessary, negotiate the more tricky sections of a walk.

Moderate

16-23km (10-14 miles) 4-7 hours
Our Moderate Hiking Tours will suit people who are used to some regular exercise or who have done some previous hiking. They offer longer but still manageable daily hikes and should give you a little more of a challenge without going beyond your limits. There will be more climbs in a day but harder days are generally followed by easier ones. Of course, you will also still have time for a relaxed lunch and to take photos.

Challenging

22-30km (14-19 miles) 5-9 hours
Our Challenging Hiking Tours are designed for the experienced hiker or those walkers who love a good challenge. They offer the longest daily hikes with more elevation gain and will often test your endurance by having you walk all day. Of course, as with all of our tours there will be a hot shower and the finest local hospitality waiting at the end of your walk to re-charge your batteries each evening.

How To Book

How do I book my hiking holiday?

1. Simply select your preferred hiking region in England

2. Choose the type of hiking tour you want to take: ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Challenging’

3. Next, identify the number of days you want to spend on your hiking tour

4. Click the ‘Make a Booking’ button on the top right of our webpage

5. Finally, fill out our booking form and make a £100 deposit per person

What happens after I make a booking?

1. If you paid by credit card, you will receive an e-mail within 24 hours verifying receipt of your booking form and deposit payment. In this email, you will be asked to confirm your tour details. If you paid by bank transfer, payment will take a few days to reach us. Therefore you will receive your email confirmation and request to confirm your tour details shortly after we have assigned the bank payment to your booking form. In this case, you may receive an automatic email outlining that a booking form has been received, but no deposit has been received – you can disregard this email.

2. Once your confirmation is received that all details on your booking form are correct, we will begin making the arrangements for your tour. Therefore, the sooner you send us this confirmation, the sooner we can start to book your tour.

3. After all the arrangements for your tour have been confirmed (this process normally takes seven to ten working days) you will be sent a breakdown of the balance outstanding for your tour and a due date for payment.

4. Once your final payment has been received, we will send you an e-mail confirming receipt.

5. Your walking pack will be posted to your home address at least one month in advance of the start date of your tour (arrangements can be made to post this sooner if necessary). If the tour start date is less than one month away, your walking pack will be posted to your first B&B for you to collect upon arrival. If this is the case, you will also be sent soft copies of your walking pack documents by email.

What are the payment options?

Deposits and Final Payments can be made using:

1. Credit Card – through Stripe, a quick and secure way to accept credit card and debit card payments online. Stripe handles millions of transactions every year for businesses around the world and is now the preferred payment partner for many major companies.

2. Bank Transfer – please contact us for the required account details.

Don't Forget..

ESSENTIALS:

Please note: A detailed ‘Recommended Equipment List’ will be included in your walking pack

◻ WATERPROOF JACKET AND OVER-TROUSERS – You never know when you will need protection from wind and rain – so prepare for unpredictable weather by packing a waterproof, breathable jacket and over-trousers.

◻ BASE LAYER – This is what you wear against your skin and the best options are breathable and wicking fabrics instead of cotton. They will move moisture away from the skin so that you feel more comfortable when you are walking.

◻ FLEECE – It keeps you warm in the cooler months and on top of the hills, and will allow you to shed layers when you are working hard in the summer.

◻ LIGHT AND COMFORTABLE TROUSERS – Make sure you choose trousers that are stretchy or allow enough space to move your legs freely. Denims are not suitable for hill walking and dry very slowly once they get wet.

◻ WICKING SOCKS – Choose non-cotton socks that fit well and will move moisture away from your feet to stop them feeling sweaty. This will help to reduce the likelihood of blisters and ‘hot spots’.

◻ FOOTWEAR – We recommend that you bring comfortable, waterproof, lightweight shoes or boots, that provide good ankle support and offer good grip on rock, grass and mud. Remember that the trails in many of our regions can become quite wet and muddy, after periods of rain. Our tip: If you buy new boots for you holiday make sure to try them out on one or two longer walks before your tour!

◻ BACKPACK / RUCKSACK (with Waterproof Cover or liner) – To store all your essentials and keep them dry – including extra layers of clothing, your waterproofs, first aid kit, camera and your lunch, snacks and drinks. Don’t forget how important it is to stay hydrated and bring at least 1 – 2 litres  of water per person each day, depending on the weather!

◻ WARM HAT & GLOVES – They can be essential in many regions, even in the summer, at higher altitudes and on exposed places.

◻ CASH – Bring enough for the duration of your tour/hike as ATM/cash machine & credit card services may be limited.

◻ FIRST AID KIT & FOIL BLANKET– It’s a good idea to have a small, basic first aid kit to deal with little injuries such as sprains, scrapes, cuts and blisters. Good things to bring are plasters & wound dressings, sterile cleansing wipes, pain killers, tweezers (for splinters & ticks), bandages, zinc oxide tape or elastoplast tape (for blisters or sprains) and a foil rescue blanket to keep you warm (or cool) in case of an accident.

◻ WHISTLE & TORCH – In the very unlikely event you need to signal for help (whistle) or if your walk takes longer than expected and you end up walking in the dark (torch).

◻ MOBILE PHONE – We recommend that you bring or purchase a mobile/cell phone. It will allow you to contact your accommodation and transfer providers from the trail and call for help in an emergency.

  • Visitors from other European Countries: Most European billpay and prepay customers can use ‘roaming’ in the UK (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland), but check with your operator for the best rates before you travel.
  • Visitors from the United States, Canada and elsewhere: Make sure that you have a GSM/UMTS phone compatible with European networks and a roaming service / suitable phone plan for the country you are travelling to. If your phone is unlocked and GSM/UMTS compatible, you can also purchase a UK SIM card from a variety of mobile phone stores and supermarkets and use it in your own phone.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase a cheap pre-pay phone when you arrive. It is possible to buy a basic pre-pay phone for as little as £15. You can then top-up with vouchers or a credit/debit card.
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged before you start your walk. You might not always have a phone signal on the trail but, in general, the level of coverage is quite good.

◻ PLUG ADAPTER (/CONVERTER) – Three square pin plugs are used in the UK – voltage is 230V.

 

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS:

◻ SUN CREAM, SUNGLASSES AND SUNHAT (April to Sept) – Let’s hope you’ll need those!

◻ MIDGE/INSECT REPELLENT & MIDGE NET (May to September only) – Especially important for Scotland, but can also be useful for other regions. Our tip: Avon ‘Skin So Soft’ moisturising cream – it’s not made specifically for midges but we find it works better and is also cheaper.

◻ CAMERA – Vital for capturing photos of the stunning scenery along your trip, which help you brag to your friends about your holiday.

◻ COMPASS– A compass (and the ability to use it) is a good idea but not a requirement.

◻ WALKING POLES – Assist forward movement, reduce impact on your knees, and help with balance in difficult terrain. A pair is best but many hikers also just use one.

◻ GAITERS – By covering your upper boot and lower leg these help to keep your feet and trousers dry in wet grass and boggy terrain.

◻ EARPLUGS – We know how important it is to get a good night’s rest. However, as there may be other guests in the guesthouse with different plans for their night, we recommend bringing a pair of earplugs to ensure sweet dreams!

During Your Tour

When will my room be available?

Your room will be ready each day from 4pm at the latest and sometimes sooner

What time will my luggage arrive at?

Your luggage will arrive by 4pm each day

What types of breakfasts are available?

Both continental breakfast and hot breakfasts are available every morning

Where can I get a packed lunch? Can I pick this up along the trail?

Packed lunches should be purchased each morning from your accommodation hosts or a nearby shop before you start your walk as you may not pass any shops/cafes during the day.

Where can I get an evening meal?

You can generally buy an evening meal in one of the local restaurants, cafes or pubs close to your accommodation. If there aren’t any restaurants/cafes/pubs in the local area, evening meals can be obtained from your host.

Will there be drying facilities at my accommodation?

The majority of accommodation hosts will be able to assist you in drying your clothes and boots.

What is the difference between kilometres and miles?

1 kilometre = 0.62 mile
1 mile = 1.61 kilometres

How do I deal with animals on my hike?

In England, many hiking trails are on private land. This means that farmers still have their cattle grazing in the same fields. Some cattle may look intimidating. However, don’t worry, you will find these animals are actually quite timid. Continue walking in a normal fashion (do not run) and you should have no problems.

Here are a few other tips to avoid any issues when dealing with cattle on your hike:
– Don’t walk between cows and their calves if possible
– Walk around cattle not through the middle of them
– Calves and young bullocks are very curious and may even run towards you. Don’t worry, jump up and shout and they will run away again.

Will I have cell phone reception?

Most areas have cell phone reception, even while you are hiking. However, you may pass through some remote areas where reception will be either limited or unavailable entirely.

Will our accommodation have Wi-Fi connection?

Yes, in most Bed and Breakfast’s Wi-Fi is available.

Are the trails clearly way-marked?

Yes, most routes are very clearly way-marked with a marker directly before and after each turn.

Climate

In England, famous for its rain and the lush green of its countryside, the Gulf Stream ensures mild, maritime influenced weather. The warmest months are July and August with temperature averages between 16 and 21°C. Rain falls throughout the year, and the weather in England can sometimes change very quickly. Average annual rainfall in the north is more than 1,600mm, but central and southern England receive an average of less than 800mm. April, May and June are the driest months.