"LAST CHANCE or BEST CHANCE"
newsletter APRIL 2010 LAST CHANCE or BEST CHANCE? Ever get the feeling that long haul travel could soon be a thing of the past? In ten years time, will it be socially acceptable to fly long haul? Will the effects of global warming and pressures from increasing tourist numbers combine to make travel to remote or endangered places unviable? Ramblers Worldwide Holidays has always taken great care to ensure that our holidays leave the least impact on the places we visit so that future generations can derive the same enjoyment as we do today. Overleaf our product managers look at five of our current long haul holidays and explain what measures we take to safeguard these precious environments as well as suggesting why now might be the best time to visit. CRUISE & WALK FAMILY HOLIDAYS SAINT LUCIA ALSO IN THIS ISSUE NEWS NEW BROCHURE OUT SOON Our new brochure for Autumn 2010 - Spring 2011 is now at the printers and will be sent out to clients around mid April. Look out especially for some brand new holidays: Antequera in Spain, the Great Algarviana Route, The MARTIN HESP column Renaissance Italy, Captivating Cappadocia, Kenya, Malay Peninsula, Colombia, and many more. We welcome journalist Martin Hesp in the first of a regular Newsletter column. NEW CELEBRITY FACE OF RAMBLING Go country walking for a living? Seems like a tiring and muscle-grinding way to pay Julia Bradbury is set to become the new face of rambling to encourage the mortgage – but someone’s got to do it. more people to enjoy our great outdoors. That, at least, is what I say to folk who ask Julia (pictured, left) presents Countryfile and Wainwright Walks on BBC TV, about my work – for I have the honour of and has just become President of The Ramblers to raise the profile of walking as a fun and being Britain’s longest serving walks writer sociable activity for all age groups, as well as adding her own inimitable celebrity allure. on the staff of a large daily newspaper. And sometimes I feel almost embarrassed • Ramblers Worldwide Holidays has teamed up with Celebrity Angels magazine to produce a that I actually get paid for doing such a travel issue guest edited by Julia and fellow TV adventurer, Simon Reeve. The magazine is lovely and highly pleasurable thing. currently available from all good retailers, including WH Smith, or via www.celebrityangels.co.uk I have been turning in my Friday walks page for the Western Morning News for WHICH? HOLIDAY SURVEY ACCOLADE over a decade – which means I’ve done some 600 hikes in one of the most Ramblers Worldwide Holidays has been ranked amongst the TOP FIVE tour beautiful regions in the UK. operators in the UK for customer satisfaction in a Which? Holiday survey. The WMN covers the South West The survey featured 4,507 Which? Online panel members who were asked to rate aspects of peninsula, so my newspaper walks are their holidays including journey, accommodation, customer service and value for money. located anywhere from the Mendip Hills to Ramblers Worldwide Holidays attained the fifth highest customer score of 87%. As always, our the Isles of Scilly. After the Lake District, Tour Leaders came up trumps with our clients, winning five stars within the company this is probably the most walked region in representation category. What’s more, we won five stars within the organisation, journey, Britain. accommodation and customer service categories. We have Exmoor and Dartmoor National Which? Holiday magazine also reports that Ramblers Worldwide Holidays had the highest level Parks as well as other delights like Bodmin of client loyalty from all those surveyed, with 91% of respondents having booked with us before. Moor and the Somerset Levels. And of course, we have the big granddaddy of them all – the 630-mile South West Coast NEW! JOIN OUR COMMUNITY Path - said to be the most popular long distance trail on the planet. Hi, I’m Julietta and I have been working on Writing about walks is just a part of my setting up the Ramblers Worldwide Holidays work as a professional journalist, but Community. It will be full of your stories about people often ask how I managed to land your holidays, your pictures, your comments, such a plum job in the first place. The your ideas and so much more! answer is - I volunteered. If you would like to contribute or get involved in any way, please contact me on 01707 386811 or email: email@example.com It’s your community – join in the conversation! And that is how I begin this new column for Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. I’ve now been on two trips abroad with the company CLIENT TURNED AUTHOR BOOK OFFER and I enjoyed both walking holidays so much I volunteered to become the Regular client, Robin Bray, loves bridges and loves the Lake District. newsletter’s resident columnist. He’s just fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition by combining his two passions The aim of the new column? Well for a in his first book, entitled Walking on Bridges, which celebrates the start, it’s my belief that first and foremost packhorse bridges along some of his favourite Lakeland walking routes. walking should be fun – so we’ll have some sparkling walk-related tales and anecdotes. Produced by Andrew Bogle. Printed by Lithoflow, EC1R 0ET The book has descriptions of 24 walks over passes used by packhorses, 10 short walks, each with a bridge, and 12 circular walks. There are 65 maps, 36 colour plates and 26 drawings. Added to that, walking is interesting - so we’ll also have news on the latest products OFFER Ramblers Worldwide Holiday clients can receive Robin’s book at the discounted price of that help make putting one foot in front of £16 (including P&P) for the paperback, or £20 (including P&P) for the hardback edition by the other even more pleasurable. Add emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 07971 352473, in both instances quoting code RWH. some hiking gossip and updates on other matters concerning outdoor leisure – and I Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, Lemsford Mill, Lemsford Village, Herts, AL8 7TR hope we’ll have a recipe that appeals to Tel: +44 (0)1707 331133 • email: email@example.com walkers of all ages, shapes and sizes. www.ramblersholidays.co.uk www.ramblerscountrywide.co.uk Why did I volunteer? Well, someone’s got www.ramblersfamilyadventures.co.uk to do it! www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk LAST CHANCE or BEST CHANCE? Machu Picchu Views from some of our Product Managers David Kay says “Possibly the most recognizable tourist attraction in the world, Machu Picchu is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But mass tourism has taken its toll with recent flooding cutting off thousands of tourists in the village below the citadel, prompting the Peruvian authorities to consider greatly restricting numbers in future. With Ramblers Worldwide Holidays you’ll travel with a responsible tour operator working to ensure that your impact on all tourist sites is minimized. We journey by train to Machu Picchu, we walk around the site with a local guide, and we try to avoid peak times to lessen our impact and safeguard the future viability of this unique attraction. Machu Picchu is a highlight of a visit to a stunningly beautiful country which has so much to offer.” • Six Faces of Peru SS/D/P departs 7 Aug, 11, 30 Sep & 16 Dec ’10, from £2625. Michael Hatch says “Of all the world’s wildlife havens “Don’t worry, the the Galápagos is perhaps the Kaçkar Mountains in most important and fragile. north east Turkey aren’t From the moment that Darwin going anywhere. What makes them outlined the theory of evolution special now is that they are based on his Galápagos research beautiful, accessible and virtually the huge importance of unknown outside Turkey. Even this biosphere has been Galápagos German hikers don’t seem to acknowledged and great Kaçkar Mountains have discovered them yet! efforts have been put into its Switzerland with mosques . . preservation. Visiting the islands the Turkish Himalaya . . . call them offers some of the most what you like, in July and August inspiring wildlife encounters to be had on the globe. The sealions are they offer excellent high level the most photogenic but everything here is unique. It is recognised walking and spectacular displays of flowers. We really feel that once the that tourism is important but the voices suggesting that excessive word gets out then the yaylas, those high pastures beneath the rocky tourism is harming the local ecology grow ever stronger. Restrictions peaks, will see a huge influx of hikers. New roads will be built, the on travel to the Galápagos will only become greater and hence travel small villages will spread to accommodate the seasonal influx, prices will become more expensive. Soon we predict prices will increase will rise and some of the magic will go. Anyone who loves and respects beyond the reach of most travellers. You can visit now with Ramblers mountains has the right to go there, so we have no wish to hold people Worldwide Holidays. We carefully monitor the impact of our holidays back. We stay in really nice hotels and have the services of the top local on local ecology and economy so you can visit knowing you are not guide to assist our leader. Go now – this is really is a gloria mundi.” contributing to the destruction of the islands”. - David Kay • Kaçkar Adventure D+/P departs 10, 27 Jul and 7 Aug ’10, from £1795. • Ecuador and The Galápagos D/SS/P departs 31 Oct ’10, from £3099. Helen Nelson says “Mention the Seychelles to anyone and you’ll conjure up images of one of the world’s most idyllic holiday destinations. The archipelago, which lies off the coast of Africa in the western Indian Ocean, has set aside almost 50% of its land area as national parks and nature reserves, which nurture an amazing array of indigenous flora and fauna. The natural history found here is globally important with giant tortoises, marine turtles and some of the best bird watching found anywhere. You’ll find breath-taking natural beauty under the sea too, where snorkelling or taking a glass bottomed boat cruise will open your eyes to the Seychelles islands’ stunning marine life. Visiting the Seychelles is certainly a trip of a lifetime, but like so many low lying islands, predicted rising sea levels due to global warming could pose a threat to this unique and beautiful destination.” • The Secrets of the Seychelles E/SS/P departs 14 Nov ’10, from £2785. Sherree Winnan says “New Zealand is a stunningly beautiful and homely-feeling country for the British. The layout of the towns, New Zealand the welcoming faces and easily understood accent makes many things immediately familiar. Perhaps the best known walking route in the world, the Milford Track, is so popular that it is oversubscribed, so strict restrictions on visitor numbers make it essential that you book with an accredited tour operator like Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. Happily there are many other stunning walking trails throughout the country which are blissfully uncrowded and little visited. New Zealand is very much a country for walkers and New Zealanders are keen to ensure that their near-pristine natural environment is carefully preserved and managed to keep it that way.” • The Great South Island Adventure D+ departs 17 Nov ’10, from £4929. The important thing about any family holiday is entertaining the kids because if they are not having a good time it is unlikely anybody else will. This is the huge advantage of Ramblers Family Walking Adventures where entertainment and lots of outdoor physical stuff provides great fun and leaves everybody happy and relaxed at the end of the day writes Product Manager, David Kay. I took the Kay family on a holiday to Samos last summer and we had a ball. Megan (aged 8) immediately struck up a friendship with the other girls on the holiday and they spent every possible minute in the hotel pool or sea depending which was closer. Each day’s walking was downhill and we could always see the sea (our destination) on the way down. If occasionally young minds wandered they could easily be refocused by pointing out the beach taverna where we would be stopping for lunch. 2-3 hours stroll then lunch and a swim is an ideal recipe. We saw mountains and villages, birds, lizards, flowers and fruit trees. Always something new to look at and always that afternoon swim beckoning. CLAIM YOUR FREE CAMEL We’re giving away a FREE souvenir Get the brochure Camilla the Camel to any of our young readers who email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Back at the hotel we had time for a shower, a change and another swim in the hotel pool with your full postal address and before strolling out to a Greek taverna to enjoy a relaxed and child friendly meal where all answer to the question: “Which tastes were easily catered for. After all this, sleep was never a problem. country does Camilla come from?” (Clue: It’s a NEW North African The best day was the boat trip around the coast for a beach barbie and another swim. holiday in our 2010 Family brochure). A quick game of UNO on deck out and back and stopping for two more swims. All entries by 30 April 2010, please. I thought the whole thing was so ideal for kids (and parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles Camilla the Camel can and anybody else who would care to join us) that I signed up to become a leader, (it being join you on your next some time since I led for Ramblers Worldwide Holidays), and now the Kay family is off to Ramblers Family Burgundy in May on what looks like another great trip. Again we have a comfortable little Adventure holiday. hotel, canoeing, walking, cycling and an adventure park, friendly hosts great food and a Send us a holiday snap special beach which the locals build each year on the side of a huge pool in the local river with Camilla in the picture and we may publish it on our for the all important swim at the end of the day. website. Some of the best All the holidays are carefully planned and all are equally fun, so if you don’t fancy France entries may even win a prize! we have plenty more to choose from. P.S. Camels can walk great Come and join us. distances so this is not only www.ramblersfamilyadventures.co.uk • Telephone 01707 386766 restricted to family holidays. What could be better than a holiday where you walk in a different place every day and return to a gorgeous floating hotel every evening? Leader Maeve Hamilton Hercod describes the joys of our Cruise & Walk programme aboard the comfortable ships of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. Getting your bearings Food, glorious food Canaries, where Ramblers Worldwide Most cruises have an initial day or more Breakfast is a lavish spread while lunch Holidays clients are frequent visitors, the at sea which allows the group time to on board caters for all tastes. On walking planners in the office ensure that we discover all that the ship has to offer. days our walking group takes a packed have the pick of the walks to really show Four laps of the deck make a mile, so lunch which you can choose from a menu just how different all the islands are. we are amongst the first to take a on the first day. On Christmas cruises And as always on our holidays, if you constitutional in the sea air. Others prefer there is an afternoon carol service and don’t want to walk with the group you are the onboard gym or health centre. midnight mass followed by a late night free to do your own thing – have tea in Entertainment on board ranges from buffet on Christmas Eve - you’ll never be Reids Hotel on Madeira, explore St Magnus lectures by interesting speakers, piano hungry on a cruise! cathedral in Orkney or you can sample recitals or the daily quiz in the pub. the Guinness in Dublin. There is a well-stocked library and bridge A different day, a different experience Treats and delights sessions for beginners and the Being in a different location – even a Once back on board in the evenings, experienced, while afternoon tea and different country – each day means the there is a short briefing before we all sit cakes – served on deck when the weather variety of walks on shore is enormous: down to a first-class 4-course dinner. is warm - is a high point of the day. from the sights of St Petersburg to the For Christmas of course this is extended volcanoes of the Canaries. Norwegian to 6 (or is it 7?) courses – all served by Evening entertainment cruises offer scenic train journeys and the delightful crew. And then there are Every evening after dinner, if you don’t spectacular views. Sometimes we just the cocktail parties and formal evenings fancy watching the sunset on deck, it’s walk straight off the ship to start our which are a great excuse to get all showtime in the theatre with a polished walk, on others we wait for a tender to dressed up and show that we have more young group doing song and dance take us to shore. In some places we have in our cases than fleeces and sunhats! routines. Other entertainers range from a coach or a guide laid on, as on the Isle comedians to magicians to pop singers - of Lewis where we dock in Stornoway and • For more details about Cruise & Walk all very professional - and most evenings enjoy a drive across the island before holidays, visit www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk there is an opportunity to dance as well. walking on the west coast. In the or telephone 01707 386767. SAINT LUCIA a hidden tropical gem Imagine 19,000 acres of lush rainforest to explore, an abundance of wildlife to see, stroll through beautiful tropical gardens or visit the world’s only drive in volcano – you can find all this and more on the stunning island of Saint Lucia. Hiking the Pitons The world’s only drive-in volcano Rich culture and heritage Famed for its striking natural beauty, this In Soufriere, you will find the world’s only You can learn more about Saint Lucian culture Caribbean gem provides the perfect setting drive in volcano with its bubbling Sulphur through the many tours available including: for a host of activities. The iconic Piton peaks, Springs. Here you can relax and have a Lushan Country Life Tour You will see a mock a World Heritage Site in Soufriere, dominate refreshing mud bath. Amerindian hut which would have been home the South West coastline and are one of the to the original inhabitants of the island. You most recognised symbols of Saint Lucia. The Fascinating history will also be given a tour of the medicinal Gros Piton mountain is very popular with The Awarak Indians were the original gardens, passing turmeric patches, bayleaf hikers and offers breath-taking views of the inhabitants of Saint Lucia but were overcome trees and cinnamon trees. island from the summit. The Petit Piton is the by the Caribs. Between the 17th and 19th most challenging due to its very steep incline century, the British and the French fought Fond Latisab Creole Park Experience the and is ideal for experienced hikers. over Saint Lucia 14 times with the British timeless traditions which include preparation eventually gaining control of the island. of cassava bread in the ancient Amerindian Abundance of rainforest trails Remnants of the old military forts and manner, the traditional practices of cooking The stunning lush rainforest provide barracks used during this battle can still be on the leaves of macamboo, and the local numerous trails for low and high impact seen at Pigeon Island National Park. practice of catching crayfish. trekking. Along the way you will see ferns, Saint Lucia gained its Independence in 1979 bromeliads, brilliant heliconias and other and is still a Commonwealth country. Saint Lucia has so much to offer the fascinating flora and fauna. The shady canopy adventurous traveller whether it be hiking the is a great hiding place for a wide variety of Pitons or trekking along the vast number of bird species making the island a popular rainforest trails. With a tropical climate, choice for keen bird-watchers. Look out for stunning scenery, warm and friendly people the elusive indigenous Amazona Versicolor and a diverse range of activities, your holiday parrot found in the depths of the rainforest. will be one to remember. Other activities Diving and snorkelling are very popular on island with some great dive sites along the West coast, perfect for beginners and advanced divers. WALKING ON SAINT LUCIA D/D+/SS 16 days, half board. Departure dates & rates: 2 Nov 2010 £1799; 14 Dec 2010 £1950; 11 & 25 Jan, 8 & 22 Feb and 1 Mar 2011 £1955.