New Year brings a time for reflection and contemplation with many of us proudly making New Year’s resolutions or perhaps more quietly setting a few goals for the forthcoming year. Recognising that inspiration is an important element in achieving one’s objectives, Chapters Experience Holidays (01707 246 666, www.chaptersholidays.co.uk), the small group, expert led experience holiday specialists, have put together some great holiday options to motivate you on your way to achieving your ambitions.
With a large selection of experiences to choose from, here are a few attainable ideas to get you started:
Plot Your Direction for 2017 - NAVIGATION & HILL SKILLS
Navigating your way through life can involve a lot of skills but equally important can be the skill of navigating your way from one end of a walk to another when the likes of modern technology fail. Brushing up one’s navigation skills can blaze the trail for taking on more challenging terrain with the added reassurance of knowing where you are going. Staying in Hassness Country House on the shores of Buttermere - a tranquil area of dramatic fells, farms and woodland, encompassing three lakes, beginners and more skilled navigators alike can get to grips with interpreting maps and the intricacies of a compass as they wander through superb Cumbrian countrysidewithout worrying that the battery might go flat. Aligned with the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS), it is a great way of getting up to speed and ensuring safe walking with the added benefit of picking up your NNAS Bronze or Silver certificate. Based on leisurely walking, days out are well rewarded with locally sourced home cooked meals and the promise of Ruby’s superb freshly baked cakes.
Navigation & Hill Skills 3 night break starts from £199 including full board accommodation, tuition with maps, equipment and optional assessment for NNAS. Chapters Holidays, 01707 246666, www.chaptersholidays.co.uk
Adjusting your focus…LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
Wasn’t it great to discover your new SLR had an automatic feature but how do you adjust it manually to capture the subtly changing light as it transforms the landscape in front of you? With over 25 years of experience in landscape photography, professional photographer David Lewins is a firm believer that ‘getting it right’ with the camera is the most important stage in producing good photography. Taking pictures straight away, with both group and individual tuition and advice throughout the day, he gives hands on tuition on basic composition, correct exposure, the use of filters and most importantly camera settings. With early starts and late afternoon sessions to catch the light and visits to particularly photogenic locations in the Northumberland countryside, the focus is on improving image composition, introducing interesting dynamics into pictures and experimenting with aperture, shutter speeds and exposure compensation as well as discovering the impact that graduated filters and circular polarising filters have on shots. Back at the 17th century coaching inn in Wooler, tips will also be given on the basic processing of RAW images and compressed jpeg files for both digital SLR users and those with simpler point and shoot cameras.
Landscape Photography 4 night break starts from £619/person including half board accommodation, all necessary transport, tuition from professional photographer David Lewins and services of a tour leader. Chapters Experience Holidays, 01707 246666, www.chaptersholidays.co.uk
Propelling yourself forward in the New Year… TRENTINO NORDIC WALKING
Learning a new way to exercise can certainly up the enthusiasm scales and make getting fit seem less of a chore…especially when it’s in a beautiful alpine location with the promise of delicious Italian food and wine at the end of the day. Perhaps the finest Nordic Walking area in Europe, the open pastures of the altiplano in Trentino are not in the high peaks but still afford great views and have the ideal terrain for trying out this sport. Originally derived from walking with ski poles, Nordic Walking involves applying force to the poles with each stride using more of the body to propel forward and get a better overall workout. Initially requiring some concentration, it doesn’t take long to master the basics and begin to enjoy soaking up the fresh mountain air, warmth of the sunshine and stunning surrounds as you walk through lush rolling hills and pastures dotted with flower clad villages. Nordic walking trails are well marked, generally follow the contours and are good under foot so are ideal for the beginner through to the more experienced walker.
Trentino Nordic Walking 7 night holiday starts from £960/person including flights and airport transfers, half board en-suite accommodation, dinners in the hotel, instruction and Nordic walking equipment and all local transport costs. Chapters Experience Holidays, 01707 246666, www.chaptersholidays.co.uk, http://www.chaptersholidays.co.uk/trentino-nordic-walking
For an alternative closer to home, try Chapters Nordic Walking in the Lake District (http://www.chaptersholidays.co.uk/nordic-walking-in-the-lake-district) or Nordic Walking in the Vale of Lune (http://www.chaptersholidays.co.uk/nordic-walking-in-the-vale-of-the-lune).
Once in a lifetime… CHASING THE US GREAT SOLAR ECLIPSE
Something few people get to experience more than once in a lifetime, a full solar eclipse is perhaps the most impressive celestial wonder available to earth dwellers. Taking place in the skies over North West USA on 21 August 2017, the air will turn eerily cold with the light taking on an odd metallic quality as the moon slips between the earth and the sun, turning the sky dark, leaving only an enthralling thin halo to light the sky. The definitive highlight of a new Chapters Experience Holiday, the eclipse* will be seen from a viewing point near Salem, a city famous for its 17th century witch trials, with the opportunity to join in with the local celebrations. ‘Chasing the US Great Solar Eclipse’ also takes in San Francisco, with an excursion out over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County; the Californian Coast with a walk through a redwood plantation – the tallest trees in the world; Oregon’s capital Portland; and walks at Mount Hood and Mount St Helens, the site of the cataclysmic 1980’s eruption.
Chasing the US Great Solar Eclipse 16 night holiday starts from £5250/person including return British Airways flights, en-suite B&B accommodation, dinners at hotels or local restaurants, all local transport and guides.
Chapters Experience Holidays, tel: 01707 246666, www.chaptersholidays.co.uk
* Subject to weather conditions
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Or call: Sarah Bolam: 07714 337756
Anthea Yabsley: 020 8578 6777
Judith Watson: 020 7372 7732
Tony Maniscalco: 01707 386755
Notes to Editors:
Chapters Experience Holidaysis one of two new holiday brands from RWH Travel (formerly known as Ramblers Worldwide Holidays), the experts in guided walking adventures. Celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year, with the launch of two new programmes, other brands within the group include the newly launched Ramblers Walking Holidays – a collection of dedicated small group guided walking holidays; Adagio Holidays – leisurely walking and cultural holidays at a gentle pace; Load Off Your Back – a self-guided UK walking programme and Cruise and Walk – Walking Holidays in association with Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines.
For its walking holidays the company is the proud holder of Which? Recommended Provider status – ie companies which are highly rated by Which? Members and reach the exacting standards of Which? Researchers.
Each of the Chapters Experience Holidays has been categorised to help clients choose the right pace:
Symbols have been devised to help clients choose the holiday that will appeal to their interest. These include: Pioneer; Wildlife; Flora & Fauna; Bird Watching; Lifestyle, Culture & Natural History; Cooking; Rail Journeys; Sightseeing; Nordic Walking and Cycling.
The company’s mission is to generate funds for walking charities by the provision of outstanding outdoor activity holidays worldwide.
With its not-for-profit philosophy, the company contributes monies to the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust which supports walking related and environmental projects in the UK. The company also funds Heart & Sole - an initiative managed by company staff, with the aim of reaching into the heart of the communities visited both in the UK and overseas.
RWH Travel also runs The Walking Partnership - an initiative which champions walking at the 'grass roots' level by providing funding and support to walking groups and clubs throughout the UK.
Ramblers Walking Holidays is the Walking Holiday Partner of the Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity which drove the recent Big Pathwatch project, and has been pioneering and championing walking and ‘rights of way’ for over 70 years across England, Scotland and Wales.
Customers travelling on all holidays operated by RWH Travel are fully protected via the company’s membership of ABTA and ATOL. RWH Travel is also a member of AITO.