Introducing Headwater – Handcrafted Holidays

Relaxing holidays for well-travelled people who enjoy both adventure and comfort

Chateau in the Loire Valley

Chateau in the Loire Valley

View of Assisi Umbria

View of Assisi Umbria

Sunnmore in Norway

Sunnmore in Norway

Established in 1985, leading tour operator, Headwater, offers relaxed Walking and Cycling holidays for well-heeled, well-travelled customers looking to combine gentle activity by day with high end creature comforts – quality hand-picked accommodation, great food and wine – every evening.

With over 150 holidays to choose from, Headwater’s 2017 portfolio extends from gentle country strolls to challenging mountain hikes, and from pancake-flat lakeside trails to hillier cycling routes. Many of the trips are self-guided, following the company’s meticulously researched notes from one hand-picked hotel to the next (luggage is always transported for you), with small group-led options available for customers wanting to share their experiences with like-minded fellow travellers.

Headwater’s carefully selected accommodation reflects the individual nature of each tour, with each property chosen on its own particular merits. So you’ll find restored manor houses, converted castles, former royal residences and authentic family farms where life continues as it has for decades. Whether you’re hiking the Swiss Alps, pedalling past French vineyards or exploring Italy’s great art cities, you’ll sample the finest regional cuisine prepared by passionate chefs who simply love what they do.

Unlike a typically mass market package holiday, every Headwater trip has been cleverly designed to give customers a real insight and beneath-the-skin experience of the place they have chosen to visit. When travelling on foot, or by bike, you travel at your own pace, stopping off as often as you choose to explore interesting villages, panoramic landscapes, centuries-old churches or tiny off-the-map wineries. All these things give you the chance to see your surrounds in a new way, creating memories you can cherish long after the suntan has faded!

France: Gastronomic Cycling in the Loire Valley

This 6-night, self-guided, unhurried gastronomic cycling holiday follows a triangular route through the heart of the great Loire Valley. Highlights include the majestic chateaux of Amboise and Chambord, and the rich Renaissance splendour of Chenonceau. You’ll pass vineyards, sunflowers and pretty, sleepy villages, before pedalling gently along shady riverbanks and out through open countryside abundant with wildlife.

On each cycling day, you’ll have the opportunity to taste dozens of different wines – stopping at big wineries or village vineyards as the mood takes you – in a wine region more varied and diverse than any other in the world. The places you’ll be staying in have been hand-picked for their elegant cuisine, extensive wines and beautiful settings. All have picturesque gardens and private swimming pools, and the Chateau de Chissay (where you spend 2 nights) is a former royal residence!

This holiday departs every 2 days from 11 May – 8 Oct with prices from £1149 (tour only)/ £1329 (inc return BA flights from Heathrow to Paris and onward rail) including: 6 nights’ half board hotel accommodation (mix of 3 and 4 star hotels), gastronomic menus every evening, bike hire, detailed maps and meticulously researched cycling route notes, luggage transfers and 24/7 support from Headwater both in UK and overseas.

Italy: Footsteps of St Francis Walk

Known as Italy’s “Green Heart”, Umbria is a sun-drenched region of deep, lush forests, impressive limestone gorges, majestic lakes and stunning Mediaeval villages with the most amazing panoramic views! But it is also rich in cultural interest and has been home to many great artists – including Raphael, della Francesca and Perugino – over the centuries. As you stop off to admire the quiet, hilltop towns and villages, you’ll find old paintings, intricate frescoes, churches and arches all reflecting Umbria’s unique history. The “jewel in the Umbrian Crown” is, of course, Assisi and, on this 2-boot (“moderate level”) walk, you’ll re-trace the steps trodden by St Francis on his last visit to the town in 1226. It’s a route brimming with rare flora & fauna, following ancient forest tracks through centuries-old forests and passing olive groves dating back to Roman times.

This holiday departs every 2 days from 3 May – 14 Oct with prices from £1049 (tour only)/ £1379 (inc return BA flights from Heathrow to Rome Fiumincino and onward rail) including: 8 nights’ B&B hotel accommodation ( 4 star level hotels), 6 evening meals, detailed maps and meticulously researched walking route notes, luggage transfers and 24/7 support from Headwater both in UK and overseas.

Fjords of Norway Guided Walk

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth, Norway is home to some of the finest unchanged scenery and natural wonders – from 1000+ serene fjords and glistening glaciers to jagged mountains and dreamy lakes, awe-inspiring scenery awaits at every turn! As you watch thundering waterfalls cascading down mountainsides, and hike up the Bodalsbreen Glacier – one of the arms of the great Jostedalsbreen Glacier, the largest ice sheet in Europe – you’ll have the magnificent reminder of how the vast forces of mighty Mother Nature can never be tamed.

This 8-night, guided, 2-boot+ (“moderate/ challenging”) level walk departs on selected dates from mid June to late Sep and costs from £2099 (tour only)/ £2349 (inc return Scandinavian Airlines flights from Heathrow to Alesund via Oslo) including: 8 nights’ full board hotel accommodation (3 and 4 star hotel levels throughout), fully guided walking programme led by experienced local guide, luggage transfers and 24/7 support from Headwater both in UK and overseas.

For bookings and further information call Headwater 01606 822 675 or email