What We Do
Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an ‘up close and personal’ experience of your destination, but minimises impact on the immediate environment. As members of AITO we support their Sustainable Tourism ethos recognising the social, economic and environmental responsibility of tour operating.
• We aim to operate within the Travellers’ Code set out by the Friends of Conservation and we try to ensure our holidays give consideration to local people and cultures.
See the code at www.foc-uk.com/travellerscode.pdf
• We often use local guides, transport, porters and food to benefit the local economy without exploitation.
• We try not to insulate you too much from the realities of local life. You’ll be on holiday to gain new experiences, and you’ll have them in abundance.
• We like to develop long term relationships with our destinations, hoteliers and other local partners and support valuable local projects in the places we visit through our staff ‘Heart & Sole’ charity.
We are committed to responsible tourism initiatives at home, as well as overseas. To become even more environmentally friendly, we installed a waterwheel into the refurbished mill from which we operate for the purpose of generating electricity by hydropower. It uses the flow of the River Lea and was the first of its kind to generate electricity in Britain. This provides us with our own sustainable source of power, with any excess going to the National Grid. We welcome visits by research and university groups.
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators, company profits that are not required for the running of the business are channelled into the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust and The Walking Partnership which supports environmental conservation projects in the UK. In the UK our Trust supports the Ramblers (formerly the Ramblers Association) and smaller UK charities that provide outdoor experiences including the disadvantaged, the disabled and inner city children.
Heart & Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to peoples’ lives. In addition to our Charitable Trust, which works mainly with projects in the UK, we also have a scheme called Heart & Sole, managed by our office staff, and our aim is reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Our hope is to make a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
Heart & Sole offers much-needed support to projects and charities in the UK and overseas, dealing with both large issues such as animal welfare as well as small, and more personal, ventures such as providing schools equipment to village communities.
We are currently working with SPANA in Morocco, Cockermouth Mountain Rescue, SOS Children’s Villages in Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Malawi and Morocco.
In South Africa, we support the Royal Drakensberg primary school, in St Lucia a school breakfast club and Andros Routes in Greece. Most recently, we are delivering donated items to an orphanage in Tanzania and foster homes in San Jose, Costa Rica. By travelling with us, in addition to experiencing the joy of visiting new places, you can help us make a difference in these communities.
See more about the Heart & Sole projects we support at home and overseas.
The Walking Partnership
This initiative provides direct financial support to local walking clubs. Sign up for the scheme and your walking group will receive funding in the form of a financial contribution every time you or one of your members books a holiday with us as well as other great benefits. If you feel that your group would benefit, sign up now! And remember to nominate your group each time you book.