The young Roald Dahl, who spent his summer holidays here from 1920 to 1932, wrote: “Unless you have sailed down the Oslofjord… on a tranquil summer’s day, you cannot imagine the sensation of absolute peace and beauty that surrounds you.” And the same goes for travelling by bike; with its gentle coastline, hilly little roads through forests, tranquil beaches and charming coastal towns, the Oslofjord region of Norway is a cyclist’s paradise. For 2018, there is a 6-night self-guided cycling trip, where you can pedal back in time to a simpler life, where the locals embrace a stress-free culture and the astonishing nature that surrounds them. Prices start from £1,289pp, including all breakfasts and 2 evening meals.
What to wear:
Stepping back in time is all about enjoying a simpler life. And our Soft Leisure range of clothing is all about that. Simple, comfortable, exquisite. Perfect for relaxing in after a day exploring the fjords, but equally well-suited to wearing whilst travelling or out for a spot of lunch in a nearby village. Our Starfish Trousers for women are a customer favourite and when paired with a slouchy, Merino Blend Jumper and Lightweight Suede Trainers, you’ve got the perfect look. For him, we have the ultimate casual bottoms, our luxurious Merino/Cotton Joggers, which go beautifully with the Brushed Rib Pullover and Suede Loafers.
Nestled in Ireland’s south-western corner, the Kerry Way is the Emerald Isle’s longest trail. At 210km, walking along the trail offers fantastic views of the unspoilt landscapes – and 10,000 years of dramatic Celtic history. Highlights include the magnificent Three Lakes of Killarney; beautiful Kenmare Bay; the heritage town, Kenmare and Waterville, a favoured fishing location of Charlie Chaplin. The self-guided Mystical Walking on the Kerry Way trip includes 7 nights’ bed and breakfast and guaranteed awe-inspiring vistas. Prices from £789pp.
What to wear:
We all know what the weather at home is like in Spring, changeable and a little unpredictable, and Ireland is much the same. It’s a beautiful place, but you won’t enjoy it to its full potential if you’re not prepared! So make sure you take rainwear and comfortable shoes. Our Coastal Rain Coat is lightweight, but waterproof and stylish too. Pair with some All-weather Shoes to keep toes warm and dry and you’re ready to go. For him, you can’t beat the Squall System Jacket, part of our men’s range which zips together, this outer shell is light yet totally waterproof, windproof and comes in a great range of colours. Worn with a pair of Everyday Moccasins, he’ll be ready for anything.
The Loire, France
Headwater’s first-ever tours were launched in the Loire region of France in 1985, and today, it is still one of their most popular regions. Based in Touraine, in the heart of the Loire Valley, you can walk or cycle through sleepy hamlets, beside lush vineyards and fine châteaux, along riverside trails and even spend two nights in a luxury château! The self-guided Loire Gastronomic Cycling holiday incorporates all the above as well as all breakfasts and gastronomic evening meals, and an exclusive Headwater Rep. Prices from £1,169pp for 6 nights.
What to wear:
A favourite cotton jumper is a great travelling companion. Breathable and versatile, it’s just enough to take the chill off a morning, or be a comfortable layer to relax in in an evening. Our Drifter Cable Jumper gets rave reviews, as does our men’s version, and it’s easy to see why. You don’t want to be weighted down when out exploring the delights of the Loire, so choose shoes that are lightweight, like our Trekkers for women and men.
Small, family-owned hotels, with delicious regional cuisine, and owners who take a genuine interest in their guests, are things Headwater values. The Venabu Fjellhotel, where cross-country skiing customers stay, has been welcoming Headwater guests since 1990. Enjoy a 7-night, single-centre holiday here, with full support and tuition, equipment hire and all meals. Wrap up warm, though, as it’s a ‘snow-sure’ destination! Prices from £999pp.
What to wear:
Nothing beats the feeling of crisp, cold air on your face, especially when you are wrapped up warm. Layering is important on a holiday like this, but so is a reliable, weather-proof coat. Our Expedition Down Coat for women is ideal for snowy climes. Complete with inner snow cuffs, a dipped back hem for coverage and a hood which is filled with the same warm, natural down as the rest of the coat. Likewise, our men’s Expedition Bomber Jacket offers style and substance. Incredibly warm and packed with features, but looks the part too. When not on your skis, you’ll need sturdy footwear, so make sure you’ve got a pair of women’s Snow Boots or men’s Winter Boots at the ready.
Short Breaks across Europe
Ideal for those who would like to go on a walking or cycling holiday but can’t fit in a full week away, independent short breaks are increasingly popular. 4-night trips are structured without the usual ‘stay put’ days so that you move on every day – seeing the maximum the region has to offer within the shortest space of time. Headwater have a range of short break walking and cycling holidays in France, Ireland, Scotland, Portugal and Spain. Prices start from £579pp and include all/most meals.
Headwater Holidays specialise in walking and cycling holidays across Europe and beyond. Their 2018 brochure is out now and includes a variety of new self-guided trips to France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Scotland and Spain. As well as a selection of guided trips to places such as Transylvania, Croatia and Norway. You can request a copy of the new brochure here or sign up to receive their weekly e-newsletter.