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All aboard a new walking trail across Wales

All aboard a new walking trail across Wales The 122-mile Heart of Wales Line Trail traces a much-loved railway through magnificent countryside, taking in a forgotten wonder of the industrial age On the station platform at Craven Arms, a helpful elderly lady asks where I’m going. “I’m looking for the Heart of Wales?” Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Kevin Rushby Tweet

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10 of the best rural breaks in the UK

10 of the best rural breaks in the UK The UK countryside comes alive in spring and these breaks – everything from seal-spotting to cycling and even wine-tasting – make the most of it The North York Moors come alive in spring, with heather creating a sweet-scented carpet of colour for walkers – and there are plenty of pubs and tearooms for refuelling. Join a three-night walking break with HF Holidays for guided moor and coast hikes from a base at Larpool Hall, Whitby. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the 109-mile Cleveland Way, celebrated with WalkFest, a programme of guided walks and children’s treasure hunts from 24-27 May • Book it From £289 for three nights’…

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Trek back in time ‘to the real Nepal’

Trek back in time ‘to the real Nepal’ There’s little authentic trekking left on the famous Himalayan trails. But on a hike to a hidden glacier, our writer mucks in with the Sherpas and meets only villagers He ate all the rice. He threw rocks at the monkeys. He lied about the toilets and proved pathologically incapable of walking down a trail without veering off on some wild adventure. He sank the raft and brazenly encouraged hard drinking and ribaldry, especially among the old village ladies. Yes, Maila Gurung was undoubtedly one of the finest travel companions I have ever had the privilege to accompany. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Kevin Rushby Tweet

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Spring adventure: trail running on Madeira

Spring adventure: trail running on Madeira Madeira may have a sedate reputation but the wild, rugged landscape is the perfect place for hiking and trail-running in the spring sunshine Having found a bench in the hot spring sunshine, I was unwrapping my bolo de caco – an excellent toasted sweet potato sandwich, slathered in garlic butter – when “Michael Jackson” walked past. He was dressed Thriller era, and accompanied by a few pirates and a brass band in orange Afros. The band struck up. Michael strutted. The bystanders on Funchal’s lively Avenida Arriaga cheered. That evening, the fancy dress and frivolity were fully unleashed. It was Madeira Carnival’s main parade – one of the Portuguese island’s biggest celebrations (10…

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10 of the best activity holidays worldwide: readers’ travel tips

10 of the best activity holidays worldwide: readers’ travel tips Kayaking, cycling, running and hiking from the Andes to Iran … Our tipsters aren’t content with a book and deckchair For climbing and scrambling with a twist head to Le Bourg-d’Oisans in the French Alps south-east of Grenoble. Stay in one of the many campsites (Le Château de Rochetaillée is excellent) before finding La Montagne Sports shop in town who will kit you out for €10 per day with everything you need for the area’s seven spectacular via ferrata routes. On another day, head an hour’s drive west to Alpes du Grand Serre and experience the thrill of scrambling, climbing and traversing along rock, over a raging river and…

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Holidays that make a difference: 25 ethical trips in the UK and worldwide

Holidays that make a difference: 25 ethical trips in the UK and worldwide Our pick of community projects, homestays, ethical tours, working holidays and trips that benefit women’s charities and initiatives ThailandOriginally set up to help the fishing village of Ban Talae Nok recover after the tsunami of 2008, Andaman Discoveries has expanded its community tourism programmes across Thailand. From the beginning, the social enterprise has been committed to providing communities with additional income to allow them to continue living the way they want, and 50% of all profits support local development. A wide range of activities includes sleeping out in the jungle, visiting ethical elephant sanctuaries and snorkelling with the sea nomads. But for a taste of rural…

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Walking in the Caribbean: sun, sea … and treks

Walking in the Caribbean: sun, sea … and treks With its gorgeous coastlines, lush interiors and volcanic peaks, the Caribbean is now a hot ticket for hikers, too – as our writer finds in Antigua and Montserrat Rendezvous Bay is billed as Montserrat’s only white-sand beach; all the others are volcanic black. When we reached it, the secluded cove was deserted. We followed huge, tractor-like tracks left in the sand by green turtles, and floated in the warm, crystal-clear water as pelicans dived for sprats overhead. Then we dried off – and pulled on our walking boots. This beach doesn’t get crowded because it can only be reached after a stiff hour’s hike. Related: A bike tour of the…

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In Ethiopia, your holiday really can change lives

In Ethiopia, your holiday really can change lives A new tourism project in the northern Ethiopia highlands brings spectacular scenery and a warm welcome, where ‘your holiday can become the source of someone else’s dreams’ We arrive at sunset. The guesthouse sits on a rising prow of rock with dizzying views of the vast gorge below. The altitude is around 3,000 metres, and after six hours’ walking, I am tired. Inside the thatched hut, two young women are tending a fire where the shiro, a kind of bean stew, is cooking. I glance out of the small window and a lammergeier, a bearded vulture, comes sailing past. Perhaps he, too, is drawn by the smell of food. This is…

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Mountain rescue: Why bothies need a helping hand – a photo essay

Mountain rescue: Why bothies need a helping hand – a photo essay Bothies, free to use by anyone out in remote parts of the UK, are more popular than ever. But they’re maintained by veteran volunteers and need younger blood if they are to survive for future generations The Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) is a charity made up of volunteers who maintain more than 100 remote shelters across England, Wales and Scotland. It was founded in 1965 by Bernard Heath after he spotted a remark in the visitor book at the Backhill of the Bush bothy in Galloway Forest park, suggesting the setting up of a club to save a growing number of deserted farm buildings from ruin. Continue…

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Amid lava fields and lizards: a walking trip on El Hierro, Canaries

Amid lava fields and lizards: a walking trip on El Hierro, Canaries Before Columbus, the island of El Hierro was the ‘edge of the world’. Today, its volcanic peaks and forest offer superb family trekking Clouds of volcanic dust envelop the car as we judder down the track through the Malpaís – the badlands. Contorted lava fields and cinder cones surround us in a fierce display. This was once believed to be the end of the Earth. Before Columbus voyaged to America, El Hierro – the smallest and least-visited of the Canary Islands – was the westernmost edge of the known world. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Kari Herbert Tweet

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