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You are currently viewing Walks in Dartmoor and the Cotswolds, Nordic walking festivals and Nordic skiing in Finland

We have been putting our 2016 weekend walks programme together and we’re really excited to offer you a fist-full of options to choose from.  We love the weekends away as they’re an opportunity to spend a good few days exploring a new area, getting to know people a bit better and, of course, using our Nordic walking skills in different terrain!  Here’s a taster of what’s going on:

  • April 2016 – Dartmoor with Ros and Elaine Sylvester
  • June (11-12th) 2016 – Cotswold Way with Vicky
  • September (16th-18th) – Nordic walking festival in the Isle of Purbeck (organised by Nordic Walking UK)
  • September (23rd-25th) 2016 – Dartmoor with Ros and Elaine Sylvester
  • November (23rd-27th) 2016 – Nordic walking festival in Seville (organised by Nordic Walking UK)
  • February/March 2017 – Cross-country skiing and snow shoeing in Finland


We’ve been running the Dartmoor weekend for two years and it’s become so popular that Ros has added two trips for 2016! If you want a taster of what it’s all about click here to see the photos from last years trip. They had fantastic weather (which helps of course) but our highly experienced Dartmoor guide Elaine Sylvester will choose a route depending on the weather so you’ll always see Dartmoor at it’s best. 

Here’s what’s planned for the 2016 weekends…

Friday evening  

Arrive to a delicious three course meal using local, seasonal produce in the Two Bridges restaurant. Relax, meet your other intrepid explorers and get ready for the next day. 


You’ll start your day with a full Devon breakfast – a cold buffet selection followed by a range of hot dishes cooked to order. Then we’ll pick up our packed lunches and meet Elaine to find out our route for the day. We’ll cover a multitude of terrain including tussocks, clitter, streams, stepping stones, gurts and gullies and we’ll scale the most stunning, imposing tors. Distance covered will depend on the weather, but last year we covered 9 miles in dry weather. There will be plenty of time to stop, admire your surroundings and take photos.  

Saturday night we’ll dine again at the Two Bridges restaurant where chef Mike Palmer will cook another hearty three course meal. After dinner Elaine will run a light hearted quiz to see how much information we can remember about the many fascinating facts we’ve learned about Dartmoor. There really is nothing Elaine doesn’t know about this historic and wild place. 


That lovely breakfast again and then off to find out our route! The second day is usually shorter as we like to ensure we get on the road earlier, so we’ll cover around 7-8 miles. Breakfast will keep you going until your packed lunch calls, then it’s make the most of the stunning scenery for your final afternoon. Leave for Bristol around 4pm. 

Prices are £235pp sharing a twin or £295 for a single. We will have a maximum of 12 people on each trip. 

Dates are April 22-24th and September 23–25th. If you are interested please contact Ros



Cotswold Way – June 11th/12th

Over the weekend of 11th-12th June 2016, Vicky is leading a two day walk covering the first leg of the Cotswold Way from Chipping Campden to Cleeve Hill.  This will be her third walk along this section and if you’ve never walked it before, it’s an absolute must. 

The distances on each day are long – day one is 18 miles minimum and day two, 12 miles.  However, the conditions underfoot are very reasonable, mostly paths through fields and some easy walking tracks.  The emphasis is on a stretching but enjoyable weekend’s walk. 

The weekend will run along the following lines:

Sat 11th June:   Chipping Campden – Winchcombe (18 miles)

We will meet up early in the beautiful village of Chipping Campden, ready to start walking by 9.30am (you may want to get there the night before…).  There is a bit of a climb up onto the escarpment but then a wonderfully long stretch with panoramic views over the Vale of Evesham.  The first section – to Broadway – is about 6 miles.  We go past the impressive Broadway tower before heading down across fields of ancient ridge and furrows and into Broadway itself, one of the most photographed villages in England.  We’ll stop here at one of the teahouses for a cuppa before heading off. 

The next part – Broadway to Wood Stanway – is another six miles or so.  We will probably picnic at the end of this before heading to Hailes Abbey (we go right past the ruins) and then onto Winchcombe.  We will be staying the night here – most of us in The White Hart Inn, where we can feast in their private dining room on a three course meal plus wine (all included).  Yes I will be bringing a few party games along for afterwards!

Sun 12th June:  Circular walk Winchcombe – Cleeve Hill (12 miles)

A full English breakfast awaits you if you want it – we will be doing another hefty walk today don’t forget – or else stick with the Continental croissant elegance.

The highlight of today’s walk (in my opinion) is the magnificent Belas Knapp Long Barrow, which dates back to the Neolithic period, some 4,000 years ago.  There are some steep climbs and we end up at the top of Cleeve Hill, the highest point on the Cotswold Way.  There is a golf course here and we’ll stop for something to eat in the restaurant (quite basic) before heading via a different route back to Winchcombe, feeling thoroughly satisfied with ourselves!  We should arrive in Winchcombe around 3.30pm.

Click here to see some photos from Vicky’s last trip and this section.

Numbers and cost

Numbers are limited to a maximum of 16 people.  Accommodation will be split between the White Hart Inn and The Lion Inn, with dinner on Saturday night being at the White Hart Inn.  Rooms will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Twin room/rambler room (own room but share a bathroom with two others from the group) – £155

Single occupancy double (White Hart Inn) – £195

Single occupancy double (The Lion Inn) – £225

Cost includes three course dinner (including wine), bed and breakfast on Saturday 11th June plus Vicky’s two walks on the Saturday and Sunday.  Email Vicky if you are interested.


Nordic walking festivals

Nordic Walking UK are organising two Nordic walking festivals next year: one in the UK and one in Spain.  We thought it would be fun to take a group to one or both of these events and link up with other Nordic walkers from around the country.

The Isle of Purbeck festival is over the weekend 16th-18th September. It will be an opportunity to explore the Jurassic Coast with experienced Nordic walking guides for social walks, relaxed evenings and informative workshops.  

The festival in Seville, Spain runs from 23rd-27th November. Basically, it’s a celebration of Nordic walking with walks, tours, presentations and social events.

We don’t yet have the full details but will let you know when we do.


Finland Nordic Skiing Trip February 2017

You may well have heard a number of us chatting about the Nordic skiing trip I have organised for February 2016.  Ever since I discovered Nordic walking I have wanted to visit Finland, the ‘birthplace’ of Nordic walking, and try cross-country skiing. Nordic walking originates from cross-country skiing and is used as summer training by the sport’s elite athletes.  The Nordic skiing tracks in Finland are apparently fantastic and the scenery stunning.

The 2016 trip has been fully booked for a long time but I am in the process of organising a similar trip for February 2017.  It would be along the same lines as the 2016 trip.  We would have our own private instructor for the whole week to teach us Nordic skiing and act as our guide on tour days and we would also try snow shoeing.

The details should be finalised within the next few weeks but I wanted to give everyone a bit of advanced notice so that you have time to think about it.  The dates are likely to be Sat 25th February – Sat 4th March 2017 and trip is likely to cost in the region of £1,400, excluding flights.  This covers all accommodation, dinner, bed and breakfast, ski hire, private ski guide for the week to teach us Nordic skiing and take us on ski tours, snow shoeing, and all transfers in Finland.  Spaces are limited to ten people and the trip is for Bristol Nordic Walking members only.  Again, please email Vicky if you think you might be interested.

In addition to these trips away we will be running longer walks closer to home, plus there are the Challenge Events run by British Nordic Walking to get stuck into.  So lots to think about for the coming year – I hope you’ve got your 2016 diaries!