Over the course of the 6 Nations, considered by many to be rugby’s greatest championship, we will be comparing some of our favourite walking and cycling tours located in the competing nations: Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, France & Italy.
France and Scotland have historical links that go back centuries. Born out of the need to resist England expansionism in the 13th century the ‘Auld Alliance’ has endured. There is no denying, with stunning scenery and large swathes of untouched land both countries are fantastic options for a walking or cycling holiday but when it comes to choosing where to go, you have to ask yourself some questions…Champagne or Whisky? Fois gras or Haggis? Blue skies with a chance of rain or Grey skies with a chance of sun? Cheese & wine or Chips & cheese?
In 1878, the young Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stevenson began an epic journey. Over the course of 12 days he walked 156 miles from Monastier sur Gazeille in the Haut Loire region to Saint-Jean-du-Gard in southern France. Stevenson’s Trail takes in the spectacular and idyllic rural countryside of southern France, passing through the Cevennes National Park in the latter stages of the walk. Our take on Stevenson’s trail begins in the ancient medieval town of Puy-en-Velay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the medieval houses, alleys and steep streets have remained almost unchanged for 1,000 years. Stevenson immortalised his journey in Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes and you can trace his steps, visiting the sites he wrote about over 140 years ago today. Sites such as the mule track that descends into the Allier valley, the historic hamlets such as Chasserades, the ancient standing stones or Montjoies around Finiels, the forest-covered Goulet Massif, and the gateway to the Cevennes National park La Bleymard.
Wonderful walking, delicious French food, striking, colourful scenery and literary connections make this a particularly engaging walking trail.
A classic journey from Perth to Fort William that traverses Scotland from Coast to Coast taking the walker through the ever-changing landscapes of the central Scottish Highlands, across moors, past mountains and alongside rivers. As well as the scenery the Scottish Coast to Coast walk visits charming highland towns, remote hotels, quiet glens and allows you to discover some of Scotland’s finest exports, delicious locally sourced salmon and smokey whiskies.
Begin the walk in Perth on the banks of the River Tay, Scotland’s longest river will become familiar over the course of the next few days. There are many highlights along the way, including historic sites and areas of outstanding scenery. Whilst walking to Dunkeld you cross the Rumbling Bridge and enter the Hermitage, an area of protected land whose mature forests, streams and waterfalls make for one of the most picturesque sections of the tour. The Hamlet of Fortinghall is known to have the oldest living tree in Scotland and is reputedly the birth place of Pontius Pilate. For those interested in Scottish hill walking names such as Schiehallion, Rannoch Moor and Buachaille Etive Mor need no introduction and all feature on this unforgettable walking tour in the heart of Scotland.
For more information on our range of self-guided walking tours in France or Scotland, contact a member of our team on [email protected] or if you would like to receive adventure travel tips and advice straight to your inbox sign up for our newsletter!