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The view from Glasonbury Tor

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  • Creating a Walk – The Tamara Way

    Interview: Behind the Scenes of Creating a New Walk for Encounter Walking Holidays with Company Director, Damon Willcox. Q: Tell us about how you decide on which walks to add to Encounter Walking’s list? A: As a team, we regularly discuss new routes that catch our interest, and the Tamara Way came up because it received some media attention. Ideally, we’d love to offer walks anywhere, but we must consider practicalities first. We look at whether there’s suitable accommodation along the route, if we can arrange luggage transfers, and whether there’s a guidebook available for walkers. Sometimes as in this case its our regular customers that are pushing us for a holiday option on a new route and of course if we can oblige we will! Q: And with the Tamara Way, how well did that fit in? A: Accommodation was indeed a bit tricky since the Tamara Way is in a remote part of Cornwall we hadn’t used before. However, we identified areas where people could spend two nights if needed and noted that there’s a train service for convenient access. Fortunately, the Tamara Way is part of a European funding project and has a brand-new guidebook specifically for it. We also collaborate with a local company for luggage transfers, and they agreed to handle them for this route, making the Tamara Way a viable option for us. Q: Once you select a walk to work on, what’s next? A: The big task is locating accommodation. We have several methods for this, including on-the-ground scouting and online research. Once we identify where people can stay, we piece together the route and accommodation overnight locations. All of this is done before we decide to walk the route ourselves because there’s no point if we can’t provide a workable holiday experience. Q: What publications support this walk? A: We have a new, dedicated guidebook produced specifically for the Tamara Way, thanks to the European funding project. As well as bespoke maps through a local publications company. Q: Is this a route you would recommend for dog owners? A: Most of our walks are suitable for dogs, though it does limit accommodation options. The Tamara Way would suit solo travellers, couples, and small groups ideally. Q: What time of year is best to walk this route? A: From spring onwards, the walk is perfect, as well as in autumn, offering stunning scenery and colours in the woodland areas of the walk. Q: What are the highlights of this walk? A: Walking in early spring much of the route was stunning, with woodlands full of wildflowers. The gorge sections are particularly enjoyable walking, even though I live only 20 miles away and hadn’t realised their beauty. The iconic viaduct at Calstock and the walkway across Lopwell Dam were highlights. I was also surprised by the old mining remains and, whilst no surprise, loved revisiting the immense cliffs and coves on the coast near Morwenstow. While the long day on the back lanes is one to slog through, passing through the rolling Devon countryside was more enjoyable than expected. Q: How do you promote the walk to your walking community? A: We promote new walks like the Tamara Way through email marketing to both existing and new customers, as well as via social media. We also follow up on any enquiries about the route, in which we’ve had quite a lot of interest already. Q: Can this walk be combined with other routes? A: Absolutely! For those seeking a longer adventure, you can combine the Tamara Way with the entire Cornish coast path from Bude, around Land's End, back to Plymouth, and then do the Tamara Way to complete the ‘Cornish Circuit’ called ‘Kylgh Kernow’ in Cornish, which is a total of 387 miles.  A few weeks walking to work at there! For shorter trips, walkers can start with the Tamara Way and then head down the coast path to Newquay, passing places like Boscastle and Tintagel, or start in Falmouth and walk through areas like Mevagissey. This combination allows for an awe-inspiring mix of coastal and inland scenery over a 2-week holiday and is a popular concept for seeing and walking “a bit of everything”.

  • Walk with us on selected routes this Autumn and get a FREE nights stay...

    THE MENDIP WAY The Mendip Way route winds through the picturesque Mendip Hills in Somerset, England, offering breathtaking views of rolling countryside and dramatic limestone landscapes. Along the way, walkers encounter charming villages such as Wells, with its historic cathedral and medieval streets, and Cheddar, famous for its gorge and cheese. Use code MENDIP24 - valid on walks on the Mendip Way between 15th September and 31st October 2024 THE COLERIDGE WAY Named after the famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, meanders through the stunning landscapes of Somerset and Devon in England. This scenic trail takes hikers on a journey through diverse terrain, from the rugged coastline of the Bristol Channel to the heather-clad hills of Exmoor National Park, offering a rich tapestry of natural beauty and literary inspiration. Use code COLERIDGE24 - valid on walks on the Coleridge way between 15th September and 31st October 2024

  • Team Day 2023

    Tuesday 7th November was our Team Day, and this year we spent the day at Bedruthan Steps Hotel. We discussed our bookings for 2023, brainstormed fresh ideas and routes for 2024, and cooked up some exciting social media plans for our walker community, Big things are on the horizon. Thanks to everyone who booked with us for making 2023 an incredible year.

  • South West Coast Path Association, 50th Anniversary.

    Last Friday 6 of us attended the South West Coast Path Association 50th anniversary forum in The Royal William Yard in Plymouth. The speakers covered a range of key issues affecting the coast path, including equity of access, climate change, nature recovery, regenerative tourism, community engagement and the coastal wildbelt. All subjects close to our hearts. They also looked forward to the next 50 years, and how the coast path and those of us that operate on and support it, will have to change. Gave us a chance to check out one or two of the local cafe bars and restaurants too...which is never a bad thing!

  • Join us on The Mendip Way

    The Mendip Way offers 50 miles of top quality walking through an area of outstanding natural beauty along the Mendip Plateau in beautiful Somerset, through an ancient landscape of hidden caverns and gorges. Visit places replete with myths and legends including King Arthur's Vale of Avalon, the cathedral city of Wells and the iconic Glastonbury Tor. Read more about The Mendip Way. Contact us for more information and to request a quote. Review of The Mendip Way in Somerset Life Magazine "Simone Stanbrook-Byrne revels in her surroundings as a newly re-launched route takes her through some of the most dramatic and varied terrain in the country." Simone Stanbrook-Byrne's excellent review of the Mendip way is available online by visiting Somerset Life's website and reading the magazine article by clicking here.

  • May 2023 - TWO MOORS WAY WALK UPDATE - Tarr Steps Repaired

    Big thank you to Somerset County Council who have made the most of the recent good weather and repaired the 150m long Tarr Steps in Exmoor National Park. This iconic Bronze Age Clapper bridge is required for crossing the river on the Two Moors Way route. Since it washed away in the winter an alternative crossing has had to be used further upstream which meant walkers could not enjoy the bridge crossing OR the Tarr Steps Farm Inn which lies on the other side of the river. All back in place now and ready for a summer of Two Moors Way Ramblers The Two Moors Way is part of the Devon Coast to Coast Route crossing both Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park from Ivybridge to Lynmouth,

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