The latest travel news, interviews, traveller reviews, inspiration & advice on cycling and walking holidays in the UK and Europe..
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Budget Holidays in Europe
You may already know from previous experience that early in the season, often you will have the tracks and trails of Europe to yourself. Guesthouse and restaurant owners have more time for a chat and the atmosphere can be more relaxed. To help you profit from the spring season, we have selected five budget holidays in Europe that cost less than £500 (and don't compensate on value) so that you can easily squeeze them in at the start of the year (or later on, as most run until late autumn!).
Isle of Wight >> From £420
5 days of island cycling in the UK
Pick up your hire bike at the traditional seaside resort of Ryde, the largest town on the island, and let your budget trip in the UK's Isle of Wight begin! Ideal for anyone looking for a short town-and-country cycling break, the circular route is undulating and distances are kept fairly short, giving you time to stop and explore. Highlights include sophisticated Cowes, world famous for its regatta (taking place early August); the astonishing brick-built Quarr Abbey; and taking the cycle path to Freshwater Bay, which follows an old railway line.
>> Find out more >> Isle of Wight Cycle
The Balkan Mountains >> From £480
8 days of mountain walking in Bulgaria
The narrow roads of the Central Balkan National Park meander through valleys, forests and villages that have not changed for centuries. Along the self-guided Balkan Mountains walking route, you will see several of Bulgaria’s most significant Orthodox monasteries and churches with colourful murals. On the final day, you will ascend Petrahilya Peak, the highest mountain in the area, and enjoy panoramic views of Teteven and the Central Balkan National Park.
>> Find out more >> Balkan Mountains Walk
Yorkshire Dales >> From £270
4 days of relaxing walking in England
Escape to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales staying at the Old Brewery, a tastefully decorated house that retains its old-world charm, yet offers every modern comfort. A stone’s throw from the River Swale, at the foot of the castle hill, and just a short walk from the cobbled market place, you can set off to explore peaceful trails, quiet country lanes and sleepy villages of the Yorkshire Dales. With just four days, this is a perfect and short budget holiday in the UK.
>> Find out more >> Yorkshire Dales Mini Break
English Cotswolds >> From £360
5 days of easy walking in friendly England
An itinerary specially crafted for those who want a soft introduction to walking in the English countryside and have a limited budget for it. Highlights include the medieval wool town of Bourton-on-the-Water, the picture-perfect village of Guiting Power, the atmospheric ruins of Hailes Abbey (destroyed under Henry VIII) and the still inhabited castle of Sudeley. You will stay in charming, family-run B&Bs on this budget walking holiday in the Cotswolds.
>> Find out more >> Exploring the Cotswolds - 5 Days
The James Herriot Way >> From £450
6 days of walking around Wensleydale & Swaledale in England
Launched only in 2016, this new trip in the Yorkshire Dales, a six-day version of the James Herriot Way, is considered by many as ‘the best short long-distance walk in the UK’. The 50-mile (80km) circular walk has been designed to take in some of the countryside that James Alfred Wight, the vet who wrote about his experiences in the Yorkshire Dales as James Herriot, was so fond of.
>> Find out more >> James Herriot Way
For more information and ideas for other budget holidays in Europe, please download the trip notes or get in touch with our team of travel experts by email or phone.
To mark the centenary of the beloved James Herriot’s birth, in 2016 we launch a new trip in the Yorkshire Dales: a six-day version of the James Herriot Way. This walking route is considered by many as ‘the best short long-distance walk in the UK’.
The 50-mile circular walk is designed to take in some of the countryside that James Alfred Wight, the vet who wrote about his experiences in the Yorkshire Dales under pseudonym James Herriot, was so fond of. Born in Sunderland in 1916, his books featured stories about animals and their owners and became extremely popular in the 1970s-80s. Even spawning a film adaptation and a long-running television series, ‘All Creatures Great and Small’*.
James Herriot Way NEW FOR 2016
6 days, daily self-guided departures from April to October
This active holiday is an introduction to long-distance walking in Britain. You walk through the Yorkshire Dales, which have often been coined as ‘God’s Own Country’. Here are some reasons why we believe this trail makes for such a special walking holiday:
- A beautiful 50-mile circular walk threading its way around the emerald valleys of Wensleydale, Swaledale and Apedale and over the mountains and moorlands in between
- A bountiful landscape, encompassing sleepy rivers punctuated by jolly cascades and limestone escarpments, fields stocked with sheep and cows
- Take in classic English countryside, with high moors that bristle with heather, sedge, bracken and bilberry
- Discover attractive local villages (small but not sleepy!), bustling with farm and estate workers, tradesmen and walkers
- Stop at the green edged village of Reeth, whose tea shops and pubs reflect the times when lead mining was the key economic drive to the area
- Easily followed paths, often along parts of the longer ‘Pennine Way’ and ‘Coast to Coast’ trails
- Cosy accommodation throughout, including B&Bs, traditional inns, rural guesthouses and small hotels
View the new James Herriot Way trip here for more information and the exact travel period.
*The TV series All Creatures Great and Small is said to be getting a remake by HBO.
Photo of James Herriot, copyright by his son Jim Wight via The Telegraph.