The Walking Party
These are the key features which make us different from our competitors
- All the walks are run and accompanied by James. From an office with views over the Pyrenees, James personally plans and guides every trip. He oversees all aspects, from handpicking the hotels and menus to creating glorious picnic lunches that celebrate the best regional food. Over the years James has established links with artisans, chefs and other local characters; now deep-rooted, these bonds shape the itineraries and experiences.
- There are unlimited and varied drinks included in the price. Many of the wines coming from James’ cellar.
- Excellent food much of which is home cooked. Both your hosts are very keen cooks.
- Unusual and comfortable places to stay such as private châteaux and auberges de charme not just hotels.
- Back-up pack animals and local muleteers accompany most walks in France and Italy carrying day time kit. This is unique and means everyone can walk without carrying any equipment.
- Remote country walking trails. Exclusive as seldom seen by other tourists.
- Gentle walking and moderate daily distances.
- Surprises en route not included in the brochure.
- The feeling of good value for money.
The Grade of Walking
The walks are designed for mixed abilities with pack animals in France and Italy (donkeys and mules) and support vehicle back up for those who find a 15 mile day too long. We have many people who have never been on a walking holiday before who often need reassurance. In this respect pack animals play an important part as they travel at the back of the group at the speed of the slowest walker. You can safely be assured that the nervous walker will not hold the group up! We normally walk as a complete group stopping for rest breaks and to look at birds and wild flowers that are exceptional in France and Spain from March to June. Most botanists like to come about mid April/May when numerous orchids are still in flower.
Age and Non Walkers
We have no upper age limit however we insist that eighty year olds and older come accompanied by a partner to keep an eye on them. Occasionally for one reason or another we find someone cannot manage the walking. In this case they are transported by the support vehicle on each leg joining the group at their next meal.
These walks are not suitable for children unless it is a private family group.
Self Catering Accommodation
As well as the walks concentrating on gastronomy food culture and landscape there is also a charming self catering cottage on the property which is available for rent. Three bedrooms and bathrooms, an open-plan kitchen/sitting room and a swimming pool (www.dordognelothouserent.com).
“My husband and I just completed our second trip with The Walking Party, which was set up in 1996. Our first was through the Dordogne area of France and the latest was in Suffolk County, UK. They describe their walks as “walking for the discerning traveller, rambling in wilderness or pasture, alike with the gentle flow of conversation or time for quiet thoughts.” It is all that and more. Much emphasis is placed on food and wine, both uniformly delicious on both our trips, and there is a pleasant surprise around every corner. To call them delightful hosts is to understate the fact. You will not only experience stunning natural landscapes but meet and get to know delightful people along the way. Whether quoting poetry or Shakespeare along the way to pulling a bottle of wine out of a well, you were never sure just what was coming next, but knew it would be fun and delicious. And the lodgings along the way are all unique in their own way but uniformly charming and comfortable. We have travelled all over the world but never encountered anything quite like The Walking Party. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”
As featured in The Times top activity holidays in France 2018 and 2016
tel: +33 (0)9 66 11 30 27
mob: +33 (0)6 87 67 11 51