Slow Down you Move too Fast

Peter Morrell catches up with Kathy Cook, Joint MD of Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, for an update on Adagio their new gentle walking program

Kathy Cook

I interviewed Kathy last year just as Ramblers Worldwide Holidays (RWH) were launching Adagio, a completely new type of holiday aimed at walkers who prefer a gentler and more relaxed pace. Twelve months on I went back to see what the reaction has been to the new tours and what plans there are for the future.

I started by asking Kathy what the motivation had been for setting up Adagio last year. She explained that there are people who have enjoyed RWH holidays in the past but now they physically don’t feel up to strenuous rambling. So Adagio was created to provide easier walking itineraries. The other group RWH was keen to appeal to were those who had never been on a walking holiday, were nervous about keeping up with more experienced ramblers and not sure whether they had the stamina to cope.

I asked Kathy what the reaction had been from clients during 2013 and she told me that the new Adagio brochure has just been launched and the number of holidays on offer has more than doubled. This has been as a direct result of the popularity of the concept. She quoted a letter that she had received from a retired army officer who had been on two Adagio holidays and who had fulsome praise for the trips that he had been on. He also commented on what good value for money they had been.

One of his trips was the ‘Lazy Alps’ itinerary which has proved to be highly popular and during the year extra places had to be made available. This tour particularly appealed to people who wanted the dramatic scenery of the mountains without involving a lot of effort. This is achieved by using the extensive cable car and train system in Switzerland which takes care of all the ups and downs while ramblers can walk through the flat meadows between stations taking in the fabulous views.

While all the travellers have enjoyed the holidays, it has given many the extra confidence to take a full-blown RWH trip. Whether you take an Adagio amble or an RWH ramble you will get the same positive experience. There are experienced leaders who supervise the walks and the camaraderie that develops among fellow walkers is for many an unexpected and welcome bonus. There’s lots of opportunity to talk while you walk and conversations over dinners in the evening become a lively discussion of the day’s experiences.

Kathy mentioned that comfort is the keyword on an Adagio holiday with good quality accommodation and many walks designed in a figure of eight so the more energetic can continue while other may choose to rest.

This year there are 14 new tours, making 20 in total. Two are in the UK, one is in Ireland and, for the adventurous, there are two long haul destinations, Cape Town and South Africa. The itineraries are a mix of culture, cuisine, sightseeing and history, all wrapped up in a manageable package of walks.

Kathy thinks that Umbria, the green heart of Italy, will be popular this year. Based in the medieval town of Trevi it features the treasures of Assisi, a boat trip and strolls through the local sun-dappled olive groves.

City lovers and culture vultures have not been forgotten with the new Cities of the Danube tour visiting art rich Vienna and Budapest. The wildlife watching in South Africa and the sheer energy of Hong Kong will satisfy the travel aspirations of many. And with plans already in place to increase the number of destinations for 2015 there’s lots more to come.

I asked Kathy to sum up why she thought this new style of trip had been so successful. She said that Adagio makes rambling accessible to people who are not regular walkers but who enjoy an active holiday. It also gives people the confidence to try a walking holiday with no risk and there are a wide range of destinations and styles to suit every taste. Added to this they are good value for money and are being run by RWH, a trusted and long-standing brand in the walking holiday market.

I look forward to talking to Kathy again in a year’s time to find out what has happened with Adagio during 2014 and what’s new for 2015.

For more information about Adagio go to

The new Adagio brochure is available online

For information about Ramblers Worldwide Holidays go to

To read last year’s interview with Kathy click here…