That southwestern peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic, Cornwall is a place just meant for walking. Think of its deeply indented coastline and winding scenic cliff-top paths. Think of its smugglers’ coves, secret beaches and fishing villages that epitomize ‘quaint.’ Think of its echoes of King Arthur’s knights, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and the pilgrims bound for mystical St. Michael’s Mount. The English love to vacation in Cornwall, but because few tourists make it this far west, you’ll be hiking uncrowded trails most of the time.
“Cornwall: Coastal England” is a six-night overview that takes you to some of the most photogenic corners of England, from the fishing village of Fowey to the artists’ colony of St. Ives, via the Southwest Coastal Path, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Land’s End — manageable hikes for all levels of experience, with a boat trip and tidal walk for good measure. (6 nights, price to be announced. Total walking miles: 11 ½ with climbing.)
The “London and Cotswolds” tour is Ramblers’ answer to requests from many clients – “Since London is near the gloriously picturesque Cotswold, could England Lakeland Ramblers please add a couple of days in the capital?” The resulting add-on itinerary takes in all the must-see sights and also incorporates walks through Inns of Court (the legal hub), a walking tour of Sir Christopher Wren’s historic churches, including his towering masterpiece, St. Paul’s Cathedral. The final day includes a boat trip on the Thames. (7 nights, $3,375. Total walking miles: approximately 22 miles.)
“Lake District & Hadrian’s Wall” features the 73-mile long series of ramparts and forts across the north of England, built by the emperor Hadrian to keep the marauding Scots at bay. Today this World Heritage Site is a wonderfully evocative backdrop for hikers, but between milecastles and Neolithic stone circles the itinerary also takes in thoroughly English towns and lakes while basking in the rejuvenating nature of 880 square miles of national park. (6 nights, $3,325. Total miles walked: 14 ½).
Ramblers offers a choice of 24 departures from April through September – including the Lake District, Scotlands Highlands and Islands, Wales, Cornwall, the Cotswolds and England’s Coast-to-Coast, all meals, transfers from airports or railroad stations, transfers of luggage where appropriate, services of guides and assistants throughout and local taxes.
English Lakeland Ramblers, www.ramblers.com