Here are some of my features on favourite destinations, with links to published sites, if appropriate.
They are grouped in sections, each of which contains one tour with multi-destinations and its logistical details, like how to travel there by train and how to travel between islands on ferries. UK and European destinations are included in each section.
- Discover the magical Isle of Skye, climb the Munros in the Knoydart peninsular, the last true wilderness in Britain, get there and back by overnight train and travel along the beautiful West Highland line and from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, regularly voted among the best rail journeys in the world. Read it here.
- Celebrate the freedom to travel across Europe without boundaries on this tour to the centre of the historic Hapsburg Empire, leaving from Brussels on the overnight train to Vienna and returning from Budapest to Paris. Read it here.
- Climb two of Scotland’s famed Munros, wonder at the amazing views and leave your car at home because they’re both easily accessible by public transport from Glasgow. Read it here.
- Find out how to reach an undiscovered area of Slovakia, boasting thousands of kilometres of walking routes, spectacular rock formations and virtually no British tourists. Read it here
- Leave your car at home, take the ferry, boot or bike into Knoydart, the last wilderness in Britain, climb its mountains, photograph its amazing views and have a pint, coffee and a ceilidh in the country’s most remote pub. Read it here
- The Abruzzo is a beautiful, but undiscovered corner of Italy in the shadow of the Apennines. Savour a different type of campsite, in a stunning, eco-friendly setting, far from the crowds and the hook ups. Read it here.
Long distance footpaths:
- If you have a feeling for history, a love of literature and a passion for the great outdoors, trekking from Scotland’s largest city, along the banks of her most iconic loch, past the head of her most historically (in)famous glen, to the slopes of her highest mountain, on routes laid down over the centuries by soldiers, drovers and emigrants, the West Highland Way would be difficult to better. Read it here.
- You don’t have to downhill ski to enjoy a winter activity holiday, strap on some snowshoes, learn to cross country ski, or hike through the wondrous mountainscape that is the Dolomites in winter. Read it here
- It may be on the same latitude as Rome, but Passo Lanciano in the beautiful mountains of Abruzzo, is the perfect location for a winter break encompassing, snow, sun and sea, far from the crowds and with the added bonus of spending your evenings sampling some mouth-watering Italian cuisine. Read it here
Some tours complete Sustrans’ long-distance routes, while others follow individually planned, random routes, linking islands, places of interest and beauty.
- Bike from the centre of Scotland’s biggest city to the banks of Loch Lomond traffic free, then wonder at the mystical beauty of the Trossachs, with some great cake stops en route from Glasgow to Pitlochry. Read it here
- Combine three of Scotland’s most beautiful islands by biking from Arran to Islay, then Jura, but make sure you pack waterproofs, midge repellent and your camera, because when the skies clear you’ll never forget the views. Read it here.
- Escape the crowds and discover the enchanting Loch Katrine by bike, train, ferry and paddle steamer, find out why Glasgow’s drinking water tastes so good, before rewarding yourself with a coffee and cake at one of Scotland’s quirkiest bunkhouses. Read it here.
It may seem strange to include cities but booting and biking are two of the best ways of getting to the heart of a city. Also, a city is often the gateway to and finale of your trip.
- Don’t rush through Glasgow on your way to the Highlands – explore the architecture, culture and art treasures of this surprisingly boot and bike friendly city. It’s got great shops and cafes too – base yourself here for a few days and enjoy trips to the coast, hills and Munros. Read it here.
- The historic capitals of the Hapsburg Empire, Vienna and Budapest, with their renowned art nouveau architecture and traditional coffeehouses, were ideal destinations at either end of a booting trip to Slovakia. Read it here.
- Romantic, Renaissance Florence never fails to thrill, particularly when you travel there by train. You can’t leave Italy without seeing the treasures of Rome and, on your way back, sample the sophistication of Bologna and the coffee bars of Turin, before leaving this enthralling country. Read it here.
- Underrated and overlooked, but Mid Argyll, with its unique mix of history, scenery and peacefulness is an ideal area for booting and biking. Don’t ignore this jewel on Scotland’s west coast. Read it here.
- Discover Dumfriesshire, Scotland’s best-kept secret, home of the bicycle, unspoilt hills and river valleys and ideal booting/biking country, with direct train links to Glasgow and Carlisle. Read it here.