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Pre-arrival Information United Kingdom

Prepare for your self-guided, active UK holiday

Self-guided cycling and walking holidays require you to use problem-solving skills, be adaptable and be alert.

There are a few bits you should be comfortable with:

  • have a good sense of direction (or be willing to work on improving this!),
  • map-reading,
  • using a travel app, and/or
  • referring to route notes.

At times, route finding, losing your way (and finding it again), or asking locals for help is all part of the adventure. Is it your first time on a self-guided walking or cycling trip? You will certainly get the hang of it after the first couple of days, as do the vast majority of our first-time travellers.

On this page we will provide you with as much useful information ahead of your trip as possible.

This is essentially an independent holiday, and part of the pleasure is experiencing local life, with its day-to-day challenges. Your trip was designed and is organised entirely by S-Cape Travel UK (the registered office for UK Bike Tours). Our staff members are always available to help out in case of an emergency, to help with an enquiry or to solve a problem. If you have any questions or problems while travelling, you can contact the office during office hours or the 24hr emergency phone (see back of your route notes).

We wish you a fabulous holiday!

Becky and the team at S-Cape Travel UK

Please be assured that all material provided for route finding are updated regularly, and we provide a 24/7 emergency hotline in the event of any problems. There is a certain level of uncertainty that comes with self-guided trips. However, with a methodical approach, potential problems will be avoided. The freedom of a self-guided trip is something that, once experienced, is sought time and time again.


Address and contact details

S-Cape Travel UK
20 Wild Boar, St Luke's Road
Kirkby Stephen CA17 4HT
Cumbria
England, United Kingdom

Office Tel.:   +44 (0)1768 807617
Emergency Mobile: +44 (0)7717 181270
   
Office hours  
November – March:  09.00 – 17.00 (9am-5pm) - UK
April – October: 09.00 – 18.00 (9am-6pm) - UK

 

Problems/complaints during the trip

In the unlikely event that you have a problem or complaint during your trip, please speak to your host. We cannot fix things once you have returned. 
Please do not wait until the trip is completed before bringing any matter to our attention as 99% of problems are easily and quickly resolved locally without affecting your enjoyment. 
If, after advising your host, the problem is still apparent and has not been resolved to your satisfaction, please explain this to your host and also contact our office (if possible) for further advice. We ask that you write an account of the events. S-Cape Travel UK are committed to ensuring you have the best holiday experience and we will do our best to resolve any problem in a timely manner. 


If you cannot continue your trip

In the unfortunate event you cannot continue the programme due to illness, injury or extreme weather conditions; you should always inform the (next) accommodation as well as your local agent/S-Cape Travel UK. We will assist you in changing the accommodation scheme if necessary, discussing possible extra costs involved for this change. You will generally be asked to pay for extra costs on the spot and then claim compensation from your travel insurance if possible.


Loss of personal Items

If you lose something or have it stolen and wish to make a claim to your insurance company, you must report it to the police immediately when it occurs. The police will ask you to fill out a form and give you a copy. The vast majority of insurance companies will request a copy of this form when processing your claim. If you lose your passport, this document may be valid for international travel, but you must always contact your embassy / consulate.

Joining instructions

All tours begin at your first hotel. Day 1 of the tour is an arrival day and advice on how to get to the first hotel will be in your route notes.  Buses or trains from airports are not included. 

Planning your arrival / departure

Bus linksTrain Links

Bus
Britain's long distance coach network is served by National Express that operates several times a day to principal towns from the main cities, often stopping at popular destinations enroute. The National and international terminal is at Victoria Station, London, which is about 5 minutes’ walk away from the rail and tube station. Most towns in Britain will have a booking agent for them, but you can book online at nationalexpress.com

Rail
Rail travel in the UK can be relatively expensive.  Especially if the tickets are purchased on the day or you are purchasing standard tickets which are flexible and allow you to travel on any train.
There are multiple train operators in the UK but you can purchase tickets for all at trainline.com. On average, advance tickets are released 12 weeks before a journey date. If you can fix your dates and times of travel then you can make a saving of up to 50% depending on the route and subject to availability.

Depending on the length of your journey and if you will be making other train journeys during your visit to the UK within one year, you could consider the Two Together Railcard. This gives two nominated card holders 30% off advance purchase tickets and standard fares. It can often pay for itself in one journey. You can 1) buy this at staffed mainline railway stations in the UK Just download and complete the application form and  bring along a passport photograph of each applicant; or 2) order this online, having submitted digital passport photos of both applicants and have it delivered to a nominated address in the UK; or 3) buy a digital version of the card and store it on your phone. You can explore all these options on twotogether-railcard.co.uk


Telephoning home

On a landline, first dial 00 wait for the continuous tone, then dial the country code followed by the STD code minus the first 0. Alternatively, on your mobile phone replace the first two zeros with the + sign. Eg. for a number in Australia, 0061 1 2345 6789 or +61 1 2345 6789 (instead of 01 2345 6789).

Public holidays 2022

•    15 Apr  - Good Friday
•    18 Apr - Easter Monday
•    02 May - May Day
•    02 June - Spring Bank Holiday
•    03 June – Jubilee Holiday
•    01 Aug  - Summer Bank Holiday (Scotland only)
•    29 Aug - Summer Bank Holiday (England only)

When To Go

Although previous weather conditions are not a reliable predictor for the future:

  • April – can range from cold (often snow and frost) to warm and sunny. Season starting and so quieter, aside from Easter weekend.
  • May – most popular time, for good reason. Often the driest and pleasant temperatures. Wildflowers out in full bloom, plenty of nesting birds.
  • June – sometimes wetter than May, shortest nights – you probably won’t see darkness for whole trip.
  • July – similar to June but quieter in terms of walkers in the latter part of month.
  • Aug – can often feature rain. The Lake District is at its busiest, but nice on the fells. Heather in full purple colour.
  • Sept – often the second driest after May. Autumnal colours starting to come through. Light and shadows often the best for photos. As busy as May with regards to other travellers.

Fitness: preparing for your trip

Make sure you are in good health and in sufficient physical condition to handle the exertion required by the trip.
The concept behind our trips is the enjoyment of an active holiday, and the fitter you are the more you will enjoy yourself. So we recommend
preparing for this holiday. The best training is to practice what you are going to be doing: walking or cycling uphill, downhill and cross-country (on uneven terrain). Train and build up gradually to avoid causing yourself an injury. Use your gear before departure (boots, day-pack, clothing, etc.) as this gives familiarity and comfort while on your trip, and helps identify any potential problems.

Before you travel

Passports & visas

As of March 2022, you do not need to take any COVID-19 tests or fill in a passenger locator form. This applies whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

All travellers will require a valid passport. It is your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient blank pages for any visas required and for entry/departure stamps. Please contact the consulate or embassy of the country(s) that you are visiting for up to date information. If you are travelling on more than one passport, please use the same passport for the entire trip.

You need to ensure that you have enough validity on your passport for when you return home.  This varies between countries and we recommend that you check before travel. In general we recommend the following:

  • At least 6 months validity on your return home
  • Be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

UK Passport Holders: please make sure you check your passport using the UK Govt website tool, and renew it if necessary.

Please comply with UK entry requirements that apply to your specific situation. For more information https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

Brexit & visa information*
You may need a visa to enter the UK, depending on which country you’re from.

Citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States of America, Singapore and South Korea - with a biometric chip in their passports - can use ePassport gates to pass through the border on arrival and do not need a visa for their holiday. 

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you can normally enter the UK with a passport. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can continue to use the automatic ePassport gates to pass through the border on arrival.
You will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021.

* It is your responsibility to ensure you have the most up to date information and comply with UK entry requirements.

Travel insurance

It is a condition of you booking with S-Cape Travel UK that you are fully insured with a comprehensive policy which includes a telephone assistance number that will enable you to be medically evacuated and if necessary expatriated in the case of emergency.

Even though a helmet may not be a legal requirement where you are cycling, Travel Insurance may not cover you from your home country if you do not wear one. Please double check before departing.

Time

Britain is on GMT plus one hour during daylight saving (Last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).  Please refer to timeanddate.com to convert times from your home country.

Electricity

AC240 volts, Hz50. Square three pin plugs are standard throughout the country, and the you are unlikely to come across the old style round 3-pin type.

Money matters

Currency = Pound Sterling. The easiest method of changing money is through an ATM machine.  Make sure your card is linked to a Cirrus, Maestro, Visa or MasterCard.  You will need to carry enough cash to pay for meals not included and any incidentals.  Ensure you travel with your bank’s 24 hour emergency contact number.

Money to Bring
Approx £200 per person, per week will cover your general needs such as packed lunch and evening meal. If you plan on some larger purchases you may wish to use a credit card however please remember that ATM facilities may not be available in small towns and villages. 

Single Travellers

Single rooms are not often available in our hotels - you will normally be taking up a double room - hence the need to apply a single supplement. The cost of moving baggage between hotels is also increased for single travellers. You will have paid a single supplement before travelling, and will incur no further cost during your holiday.

Drones

Civil Aviation Regulations regarding the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as Drones, vary widely across the globe from a national level right down to a regional or even local level. The use of drones is heavily regulated and even illegal in many areas; often permits are required for their use which are expensive and time consuming to obtain. Additionally please keep in mind that the use of drones for photography can be perceived as intrusive in some communities and may unintentionally cause discomfort to the residents. We recommend leaving your drone at home when travelling so as to avoid complications arising for their use. This will also allow you to enjoy a more immersive experience when travelling.

Dress

Casual dress is accepted almost everywhere, but you may wish to bring a few smart/casual items for dining out. Remember to take an extra sweater for spring, autumn and evenings, which can get chilly in spite of high daytime temperatures.

Maps

You will be supplied with the most appropriate map and/or guidebook for your chosen trip (where applicable). These are generally Ordnance Survey or Harvey’s maps and/or Stedman guides. You will always be emailed gpx route files in advance.

Warning on Lyme disease / Tick Encephalitis

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Ticks are tiny arachnids found in woodland areas that feed on the blood of mammals, including humans. We strongly recommend you read further information and speak to your GP at least 6–8 weeks before your travel in relation to Lyme disease and if you should be immunized against Tick Encephalitis. Find more information:

 

During your travels

Hotels

We always book en-suite rooms where available, though private facilities will include a shower more often than a bath. On some occasions and in some of the most remote hotels we cannot guarantee en-suite facilities. Most of our hotels are locally owned and if you have any problems please speak to them at that time. They will do their best to rectify matters. It is often hard to sort out problems after the event.

Porter service
We do not offer porter service on our holidays. You must be able to move your own luggage to and from your rooms. This more than likely involves stairs, as many of the properties we stay in do not have lifts. Sometimes your luggage will have been taken to your room awaiting your arrival however do not be surprised if it is waiting for you to take up to your room and you are asked to bring it down again the next morning. 

Check-in times
Check-in is normally after 4.00 pm (16.00hrs) for our guesthouses / B&B’s and for hotels after 2.00 pm (14.00hrs) or 3.00 pm (15.00hrs). If you arrive before these times, you may not be able to check-in early or have access to your room. Please do not expect that you will be able to do so and any early check-in is subject to availability. Sometimes your hosts will be away from the property until check-in times so do not be alarmed if arriving early that there is no one there to greet you. 

Meals

Breakfasts provided will be a mix of either a Full English or Continental. If you have a special diet and did not advise at the time of booking, please do so now. We always advise hoteliers in advance but please also inform them upon your arrival. If you have a really strict diet we suggest you specify exactly what you eat and don't eat to both the S-Cape Travel UK team and the hoteliers. You may also wish to bring along supplement snacks.

Please note that drinks, coffees, snacks, phone calls, laundry charges and other personal expenditure must be settled with the hotel before departure.

Dinner
During peak summer months, for groups of 4+ and/or in small locations with only one or two dining options it is recommended to call ahead to reserve a table for dinner.

Picnic lunches
Picnic lunches are not included on our tours. You can buy provisions en route or sometimes you can order a picnic lunch from your hotelier the night before and pay for it direct (you will have to ask your hotelier in each case if this is possible). If you plan to take picnics, it is wise to carry a few essentials like a corkscrew and basic eating equipment. Picnic gear needs to be simple and light: lunchbox and cutlery. We also suggest you bring a plastic bag to keep all rubbish in until you can dispose of it properly.

Vegetarian & vegan meals
Many, but not all, eating places will now offer at least one vegetarian and vegan dish for each course, and often more. We do recommend you look up the places in advance to check whether they are suitable for you. Find vegan & vegetarian restaurants through https://www.happycow.net/.

Tipping

In general, tipping is not included in your bills or invoices. For good service, a 5-8% tip would be appreciated or a bit more for excellent service. Or you can leave a small cash amount in a tipping box that is often found at the bar in pubs. 

Nutrition

Your body needs fluids, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates to work. While walking or cycling, your body needs more of these than it can store. Have a low-fat, regular portion breakfast (such as cereal) every morning and drink plenty of water and fruit juice.
During your walking or cycling route, maintain your body's water level by drinking often; drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry; consume low-fat snacks such as fruit or energy bars; good foods include bananas, oranges, apples, raisins and other dried fruits. It is recommended to carry at least 2 litres per person, and more if it is particularly hot or windy. Avoid eating a big meal during the route.
After the walking or cycling route, continue to hydrate and replace lost energy stores by eating proteins, carbohydrates and sugars.

Flasks

We recommend that you bring along a vacuum flask for the tour. One of the wonderful things about many UK B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels is that you will normally find tea/coffee making facilities in your room, perfect for filling a 'Thermos' for a hot drink enroute, especially (God Forbid) on a cold blustery day. If there are no facilities in your room or you have run out, the proprietor of the establishment is normally happy to make up the flask for you, although there may be a charge for this.

Sustainability

S-Cape Travel considers it of utmost importance to select environmentally friendly hotels, excursions and means of transport. You can join the effort and we ask you to please consider the following:

  • Take short, colder showers instead of baths.
  • Limit your use of air-conditioning as much as possible. If in use, please choose a temperature within 5°C of the outside temperature. Apply this practise in your car as well.
  • Let hotel staff know if you wish to use your towel for another day.
  • Tip: choose not to pick up new plastic bags when you shop, put items directly in your day pack.
  • At bars/restaurants, prefer dishes made with local ingredients: better for the environment and the local community.
  • Do not litter. Should you encounter rubbish bins that are full, take your rubbish with you.
  • If you visit a protected area, you may consider making a donation or buying a book in the park shop.
  • Keep the following sequence in mind: 1. Reduce, 2. Re-use, 3. Recycle.

 

UK national emergency number (ambulance / medical assistance / police): 999 or 112
Non-emergency police: 101
Non-emergency medical: 111
   
S-Cape Travel UK  
Monday-Friday 09.00-17.30 hrs (9am-5.30pm) +44 (0)1768 807617
Emergency mobile (outside office hours) +44 (0)7717 181270

 

If you have booked luggage transport, your main luggage will be transferred by vehicle, so you will only need to carry daily provisions with you in a day pack. Take plenty of water (at least 1.5-2 litres per person per day) as well as a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, rain jacket or windbreaker, warm jacket/fleece, camera, small first aid kit, lunch & snacks.

Take extra water if the weather is particularly windy or hot.

The following is a guide to recommended clothing and equipment for your active holiday in the UK.

 

You may have most of the items listed especially if this is not your first wakling or cycling trip.  The following list should help you decide what you really do and don’t need.  

  • Adaptor plug for shavers, mobiles etc.
  • Bike helmet (when cycling)
  • Bike repair kit (when cycling)
  • Camera & memory cards / batteries
  • Compass          
  • Daypack / rucksack
  • Cycling gloves (when cycling)
  • Good quality waterproof jacket
  • Lipsalve
  • Map case
  • Personal First Aid kit, incl. scissors & blister plasters
  • Reflective ankle straps (when cycling)
    Reflective vest
  • Sewing kit
  • Shorts (padded, when cycling)
  • Small torch
  • Sturdy wakling boots (that you have broken in, when walking)
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Thick socks
  • Thick sweater, fleece or similar (dependent on season)      
  • Thin socks
  • Thin sweater
  • Toiletries, including soap
  • Towel
  • Trainers
  • Trousers/track suit bottoms
  • T-shirts (1 long sleeved for sunburn) (2 or 3)
  • Waterproof over trousers (optional)
  • Whistle

Spare portable mobile phone battery / power bank
We strongly recommend carrying a spare portable battery or power bank for your mobile phones. These come in handy at the end of the day if you are running late and need to call your accommodation.  Ensure to recharge both each evening where possible.

 

Other personal effects are a matter of individual taste and experience but here are a few notes and comments to help.

Toiletries
Unless care is taken, toiletries can add up to a considerable weight. Keep to essential and small quantities. We cannot guarantee that any of the accommodations supply toiletries – especially in remote areas, but most of them do. Remember that the luggage we transfer for you cannot exceed 20kg (1 bag pp) .

Water bottle
This is an essential item. We recommend that you have enough water bottle capacity for up to 2 litres. Drink much more water than you think that you need. Take care if you end up using springs or village sources to replenish your water bottle, you may need to use water purification tablets or a filter. Bottled water is readily available and cheap so if you are in any doubt, buy a bottle before you set off or take water purifiers. 

First Aid
It is advisable when travelling, to carry a small supply of first aid items like moleskin, band aids, foot powder, aspirin etc., and any drug your regularly use. If you are allergic to any normal medicine (e.g. penicillin), you should take your own substitute.

 

Wet weather
When you are cycling, if you get soaked to the skin and you are tired, your body core temperature can drop very quickly.  A waterproof, windproof top is essential if it looks as if it is going to rain.

Cold weather
In the cold your extremities suffer far more when you are cycling than when you are walking. A beanie style hat which covers your ears, a buff around your neck, a pair of warm gloves and a thermal top and bottom combined with what you would normally wear cycling should cover almost all conditions.

Footwear
You can cycle in just about any sort of footwear, but using shoes with a stiffened or supporting sole can reduce pressure points and fatigue.  Trainers or something similar, with a smooth sole to slip onto the pedal are probably adequate until you buy specialist cycling shoes, which have stiffer soles and are sometimes designed for use with specialist pedals. It can be worth bringing overshoes, neoprene or Goretex booties that slip over any shoe and protect you from rain and spray.

Other Clothes
Cycling shorts or padded cycling underwear worn under everyday clothing make long rides much more comfortable. Avoid tight, non-stretch trousers, which are very uncomfortable for cycling and will sap your energy, as they restrict the movement of your legs. Baggy tracksuit bottoms, which can get caught in the chain and will sag around your ankles if they get wet. Almost anything else will do, though a pair of stretch leggings is probably best. What you wear should be long enough to cover your lower back when you are leaning forward and, ideally, should have zips or buttons that you can adjust to regulate your temperature. In principle, several thin layers of clothing are better than one thick layer.

Cycling / walking in the dark
Wearing light-coloured clothes or reflective strips is almost as important as having lights on your bike (when cycling). Reflective bands worn around the ankles are particularly effective in making you visible to motorists.

Daily luggage transfers are included in all our walking and cycling trips. These are limited to 1 piece per person and cannot exceed 20kg. You have the option to pay for extra luggage.

You should also have a small daypack to carry those items you will need during the day. Please ensure you are carrying all valuables including medications.

Labellling
Please clearly mark all your belongings with your name (name tags or stick on labels). Labelling your belongings helps the hotels/taxi companies who will be arranging for the transfer of your baggage each day and prevents mix-ups, delays and loss. You should have your baggage ready by 8.30am, unless otherwise advised in your Route Notes. The hotel management will generally inform you if they require it to be left at reception or left in the room. In the afternoon, your luggage will be in your accommodation before 5:00 pm.

Max weight
You are requested to limit your baggage to one piece and 20 kg maximum per person, due to labour laws. Loose items or items in carrier bags are not permitted. 
Note: If your baggage exceeds the 20 kg maximum or you have more than one bag, you will be charged locally for the extra weight and/or luggage.

Passenger transfers
If you are unable to do the route on a given day, you can ask the person in charge of luggage transport if you can ride with the luggage. However, this is not always possible and sometimes you will have to pay a small fee locally. Sometimes the vehicle is not suited for passengers, or the transporter does not have the proper insurance / permit to take passengers along. When on a cycling trip, remember to ask about the transfer of your bike too.

Luggage & public transport
When you travel by public transport you always take your luggage with you.

Lost / damaged luggage
In the unlikely event that your luggage is lost or damaged on your trip, we are only liable for such losses or damages if they are caused during transfer and it is reported straight away, up to a max. of £180 per bag in compensation. We are not liable for: 

  • Items and breakables not usually carried in luggage such as laptops, mobile phones, glass bottles, prescription drugs etc.  
  • Passport, cash or credit cards
  • Slight wear on the outside and damage on handles and wheels
  • Pieces of luggage exceeding a total weight of 20 kg.

Bicycles

We would expect that everyone on cycling tours can remove a bicycle wheel, identify and repair a puncture, be able to change gear properly, put a derailed chain back on the sprockets, and do simple adjustments to brakes, seat stem and handlebars where necessary. Please make sure that you do not over tighten nuts and Allen bolts.

Bringing your own bike
Ensure that you have sufficient insurance coverage if you choose to bring your own bike.  Make sure you bring metric wrenches / allen keys if your own bike uses standard gauge tools. If you have an unusual wheel size or different spokes or valves, remember to bring some replacements from home. If a serious breakdown occurs and your bike is unusable for whatever reason, you may be able to hire one of ours, provided we have spare bicycles. Alternatively, there are bicycle shops in all our touring regions and it would probably be possible to rent one through one of these shops however we cannot guarantee.

Bike rental
Important: book your bike hire as early as possible 

You can choose from a range of bicycles suitable for your route. As well as providing you with the different options available, our team can organise the rental for you. Just contact us or your local agent for details.

Once all confirmed, you will find your rental bikes waiting for you at your first hotel or at an alternative meeting point. When your bike is handed over to you, you'll also be provided with items such as the keys, chain lock, helmet and spare inner tube. 

Extras
With the hire bikes are a rack with a pair of panniers (bring polythene bags or ‘drybags’ to make them water resistant), spare inner tube, puncture repair kit, tyre levers, Allen keys and a basic wire lock. Helmets can be provided, but we recommend that you bring your own; not only for hygiene reasons, but so that you know its history.

When you receive your bikes, ensure that you test them while they are there or before you leave the shop with them so that any problems can be addressed immediately. If once you have your bike and a problem occurs, take it to a local bike shop for fixing. Pay the bill, keep the receipt and we shall reimburse you for this expense. If you are too far from the nearest shop, contact our local representative who will help to arrange a solution.

 

Footpaths & bikes

In general, the footpaths in Britain have not been created recently.  They have long been part of the fabric of this island. Along these paths have travelled hunters, traders, and pilgrims for hundreds of years.  Many of the tracks were ancient before the Romans came. It is not often appreciated, even by citizens of this island, just how extensively the rights of way of England and Wales are protected by law. A public footpath is regarded as a Queen’s Highway just as much as is a motor road. These are rights of way and any attempt to impede your progress along them is an offence, however they offer limited access to the cyclist. 

In Scotland the law regarding rights of way and access to land is quite different to that in England and Wales.  

The information below only applies to England and Wales.

There are three main types of rights of way:

A public footpath provides right of way for walkers only therefore you should not contemplate using one on a bicycle; not only are they often narrow and would impose difficulties on other users, but there is a high chance of doing some damage to your bike or getting a puncture (e.g. through bramble thorns or barbed wire). Footpaths may sometimes be marked with yellow direction arrows on trees, gates and walls etc. and a red or green hatched line on the maps.

A public bridleway provides right of way for walkers and horse-riders and cyclists, but not motor bikes or any motor vehicle.  Here pay attention to other users, especially horses. Blue arrows on trees, gates, walls etc are sometimes used to indicate public bridleways.

A byway  (or 'B.O.A.T'. i.e. 'Byway Open to All Traffic') is a very minor road, usually unsurfaced but nevertheless in theory open to all traffic including motor vehicles as well as walkers and horse-riders.  These are sometimes indicated by red arrows, or ._._._. on an O.S. map. Be careful of horses; make their riders aware of your presence especially if you are pedalling up behind them. On these small roads also look and listen out for motor vehicles and trail bikes.

 

Physical & medical preparation for your cycling holiday

The concept behind most of our tours is action holidays and the fitter you are the more easily you will adjust and enjoy yourself.  We expect you to take responsibility for your fitness. That way, when you start your tour you will feel relaxed, comfortable and strong having done more than sufficient preparation for the trip.  You will also have more energy to enjoy the views, take photos and explore more in your spare time.

As a minimum we recommend 40 minutes of aerobic type exercise, running, swimming biking, hill walking or gym work three times per week as training for your trip.  The best training is the activity that you are actually going to be doing wearing the gear that you plan to take away so you know you will be comfortable. Training should be stepped up as you get closer to departure however be careful not to overdo it and injure yourself.

 

Cycling technique

If you are not used to cycling more than a few miles at a stretch, you may find that riding is tiring at first. There are ways of conserving your energy:

  • Do not struggle in a difficult (high) gear if you have an easier (lower) one - use the gears to help you get along at the speed of your choice. Ultimately, it is leg power that will get you up the hills, which you may decide to walk with your bike.  
  • You can save a lot of energy on the road by following close behind a stronger rider in his or her slipstream, but do not try this off-road.  

The main difference in technique between on-road and off-road cycling lies in getting your weight balanced correctly. When going down steep off-road sections, lower the saddle, keep the pedals level, stand up out of the saddle to let your legs absorb the bumps and keep your weight over the rear wheel. Control here is paramount: keep your eyes on what lies ahead.

Self-guided walking has its inherent risks. It is an activity where safety depends upon the judgement and alertness of each participant.

S-Cape Travel is concerned about client safety and we go to great lengths to provide correct, detailed and up-to-date information in our route descriptions.

It is very important for each traveller to be conscious of his/her responsibility to heed the information given in our route descriptions and apply these, using common sense.

When out walking, you are responsible for the way you act and the decisions you make. At times, this may involve walking on a varied terrain (uneven surfaces, wet/muddy/slippery sections, loose rock, poor visibility, etc.) that can present difficulties and challenges that should not be underestimated. In these situations, it is of utmost importance that you use a great deal of caution and common sense as some routes can become dangerous and unsafe if you have not taken sufficient care, are not dressed appropriately and do not have adequate physical and/or technical ability.

The walking routes generally follow official paths. On these routes there are places where the path crosses a stream (or dry streambed). You will often not find bridges, since these are streams which you can walk across with your boots on or by using stepping stones. In spring and autumn, the depth of some streams may increase and you may have to take off your boots and wade across (through ankle-deep or slightly higher water). We would not recommend wading across when water levels are above the knee!

Stepping stones can be slippery so pay special attention when crossing and use your trekking poles for balance. It is best to walk on the stream bed rather than on top of the stones especially if they are wet, mossy or muddy.

Safety
Use common sense and caution at all times.
Always keep an eye open for potentially dangerous situations (difficult terrain, wet surfaces, sheer drops, changing weather conditions, etc.).

Signs & signals
Obey all signs and recommendations along the walking routes.

Intersections
Although on most of our trips you mainly follow walking paths, with occasional sections on rural tracks or quiet country roads, you will inevitably have to cross some major roads with traffic.

If you are used to keeping to the right, please remember to use the left-hand side of the road when turning or crossing at junctions. This may be easy to forget after a long section on your own in the countryside.

Crossing streams
Usually you should be able to walk across easily. However in spring and autumn, the depth of some streams may increase and you may have to take your boots off to wade across (through ankle-deep or slightly higher water). Never attempt to cross a stream where the water comes above your knees.

Opening hours

Shops

Shops in villages and small towns are generally open from 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Saturday. They may close earlier on Sundays and one other day in the week (depending on the local habits). Cafes and bakeries will normally close by 16:00.

Pharmacies

There is always at least 1 pharmacy on call 24 hrs in larger villages or towns (see sign on pharmacy door for emergency number). They tend to be closed on Sundays; especially in rural areas.

Post offices

In cities and larger towns, post offices will be open:
Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 17:00 hrs (9 am - 5 pm)
Saturday: 09:00 to 12:00 hrs (9 am - noon)
Sunday: closed
In some villages they may only be open on weekdays for one or two hours in the morning.

Stamps can be bought at the Post Office, and often in supermarkets or corner shops. These shops usually have longer opening hours.

Banks

Most banks are open from Tuesday to Friday from 09:00 to 16:30 hrs (open on Saturday morning). Many will close from 12:00 to 14:00 hrs. It is always better to go to a bank before noon. It is generally easiest to get your money at atms.

Museums & monuments

Smaller museums and monuments have more or less the same timetable as shops, whereas major monuments will be open all day from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs (10 am - 5 pm), although some may close at lunchtime from 12:00 to 14:00 hrs (noon - 2 pm). Please check on the museum’s website or ask at tourist information on arrival.

Restaurants & pubs

The kitchens of most restaurants and pubs are open from 12:00 to 14:00 hrs (noon - 2 pm) for lunch and from 18:00 to 20:30 hrs (6-8.30 pm) for dinner. In larger towns they could be open longer.

Sundays

Alongside their normal menu, traditionally a Sunday Roast is offered in pubs at lunchtime. You may want to make a reservation to guarantee a meal. 

Your itinerary has been compiled with great care and precision. However, it is possible that you may experience small changes during your holiday, or notice errors unforeseen at the time of writing. The information is provided “as is” and we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience experienced as a result of this information.

We are very pleased to receive comments on your trip and would be grateful if you would return your feedback either directly to us or via your agent. Perhaps you have made a discovery that will enhance the experience of those who follow you, or maybe the tree with the waymark on it referred to in our notes has been felled! We are happy to hear from you.

Also, do not hesitate to share your experience with your family & friends - and perhaps the worldwide web by tagging in your pictures #travelwithscape #morethanthebike. 

Thank you in advance.

Team S-Cape Travel UK

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