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Walking holidays for the over 50's

19th July 2010 Print
Walking holidays

By now, we know that the key to a long and fruitful life is helped by maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Health professionals agree that walking regularly, however little, helps make a difference to our overall health.

Startlingly, 1 in 3 women and one in 12 over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones that make them more likely to fracture. Osteoarthritis also affects around 8 million people in the UK over the age of 40. Walking is known to reduce the likelihood of developing these painful conditions.

Specialist tour operator and Winner of the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award 2009 (Best in a Mountain Environment), Upland Escapes –, offer independent walking holidays that tick all the boxes for active travel for the over 50's.

If you are looking to step up your activity, even whilst on holiday, this is the perfect way to achieve your goals. At least half of the clientele is comprised of this age group thanks in part to the way in which the company are successfully able to offer flexible, inspiring holidays to some of the most stunning and little known areas of Europe. Upland Escapes specially select their destinations to provide the most inspiring scenery and walking to revitalise the body and mind. Guests stay in single-centre accommodation that are carefully chosen for the traditions and culture that remains unique to each location, where they are surrounded by locals (not tourists) and wonderful mountains.

The walking holidays are different in that they can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. There is no need to worry about whether you are still fit enough, so they appeal especially to the 50+ age group who are still keen to explore the beauty of the mountains, at their own pace. With an Upland Escapes holiday, there are no set itineraries and no timetable, just the flexibility to walk as little or as much as you wish whatever the fitness level and whatever the weather. Each Upland holiday comes with a selection of self-guided walks on which to explore the surrounding areas yourself, or a choice of whether to embark on a guided walk with your Upland Manager who lives close-by, whether you're a couple looking for a little adventure and an opportunity to explore the magnificent scenery, or a small group - or a mixture of the two.

Upland Escapes continues to pledge its commitment to Responsible Tourism, which means that they only choose areas which are relatively undeveloped for tourism where our contributions to the local economy are essential. The company hopes that their regular custom at the tiny family-run local village shop can ensure that it stays open for longer to serve other village residents for years to come.

A percentage of profits are ploughed back into the communities visited, enabling them to restore footpaths or put fresh flowers in the village shrines, and all carbon emissions from all aspects of the holidays are offset. Walking is also the form of travel with the lowest environmental impact, but maximum impact for personal health and wellbeing. Many of guests report how relaxing and rejuvenated they feel on their return from an Upland Escapes holiday, which is not just restricted to walking. A hire car is included in the price of an Upland Escape, perfect for discovering hidden treasures whilst offering the freedom and flexibility with which to seek out other sporting activities such as canoeing, mountain biking or boat trips.

A short-haul suggestion:

The Majella, Italy
Summer offer – 7 nights for the price of 6 for travel in the month of July

Travel by train to Italy, via Paris (time for dinner before the night train) & Milan (time for cappuccino) to the wild and beautiful Majella National Park, in the heart of the Appennines, where bears and wolves still roam and where life is still pastoral and deeply rural. Stay in an agriturismo run by the local farmers, or in a charming B&B in the tiny village of Decontra (population about 80) and explore on foot the limestone mountains and deep gorges of the park, ending up each evening at a little trattoria or village restaurant serving some of the local delicacies. Soak up the clean mountain air, the gossip at the village fountain, the silence of the upland meadows and nature at its finest.

Prices start from £305.00pp (3 nights – land only) / £545.00pp (7 nights for the price of 6 – land only) – children under 12 receive a 25% discount – infants (under 2 years old) travel for free – one free place for every booking of 6 or more people.

A UK suggestion:

The Rhinogs, North Wales

Travel by car or train to the lovely little town of Harlech, with it’s impressive castle looking out over a magnificent beach and Cardigan Bay. Harlech stands between the mountains and the sea, at the foot of the wild and almost deserted Rhinog Hills. This is unknown Snowdonia, with fine heathered hills, lost mountains tarns, miles of sandy beach and is a wonderful place to explore on foot. Stay in a charming B&B run by in the centre of town or on a working Welsh farm in the farmhouse or in cosy studios converted from former stables, and set out each morning to discover ancient drove roads, long-lost mines, picturesque waterfalls, awesome views along the Mawddach estuary and then treat yourself to a delicious welsh tea as a reward for all the bracing adventure.

Prices start from £100.00pp (2 nights – land only) / £310.00pp (7 nights – land only) – children under 12 receive a 25% discount – infants (under 2 years old) travel for free – one free place for every booking of 6 or more people.

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Walking holidays