Our wide selection of holidays means that we work with lots of wonderful tour leaders. We’d like to introduce you to outdoor enthusiast Vic, who leads a lot of walking tours but also gets involved in Solos parties and other social events. Here is what he had to say about leading ‘Walking the Jurassic Coast’, a tour he has taken previously and will also lead this weekend which is actually our first group tour since lockdown. Here he shares his advice on how to prepare for the trip and some of his favourite destinations.

Meet our tour leader Vic

Hello, I’m Vic and I’ll be leading the Jurassic Coast Walking tour starting this Friday.

I took a group on the same weekend holiday last September and it was great. On that occasion, we were lucky enough to enjoy some really wonderful weather, which made the views from the coastal paths out to sea exceptional. The only minor down-side was that the Sandbanks Ferry was out of action, which meant that our journey times to and from each of the walks was increased by about 30 minutes. Thankfully, the Ferry is now back in action so not only will journey times to the walks be less, but the journeys themselves will travel along some of our most picturesque coastline.

I love the outdoors, and the natural world around us, and my passion for walking and playing golf has allowed me to enjoy some truly stunning landscapes. Belek in Turkey is one of my favourite golfing destinations. All of the golf courses in that region are first class, and the landscape in which they are woven is simply superb. They are a joy to play whether you are on form or playing not so well, and the wildlife you can encounter is wonderful. Not only beautiful flowers and trees, but also the variety of birds and wild animals. I remember on a recent trip to Belek being enthralled by the sight of wild tortoises strolling across the fairways without a care in the world… Just brilliant.

My last assignment for Solos Holidays was to share the Tour leader responsibilities for a large group of guests at last year’s Cambridge Christmas event. This was a very enjoyable event during which we did some walking, quizzing, and dancing, as well as the obvious eating, drinking, socialising and generally making merry at Christmas time. Before that in September of last year I led a walking-based tour which explored the Durrell Trails and Sea walks of Corfu. I was fortunate enough to get a late call to host this tour as the original Tour Leader had to return to the UK at short notice. The tour was just brilliant, and I thoroughly enjoyed it; fantastic walks with breath-taking scenery, a great group of guests, lovely weather and a beautiful country to explore. What more could you ask for.

This year will be different as a result of the pandemic. We are actually the first Solos tour group to run since the easing of lockdown measures!  I’m looking forward to meeting our guests and helping them make the most out of their walking weekend, but I’m also mindful that we must adhere to all of the recommended Covid guidelines, whilst trying to ensure that everyone still has a great time. Over the next few days I’ll be contacting the hotel, the travel companies, and our walking guide to ensure that I am fully aware of all of the protocols we will need to follow, that is in addition to normal Tour Leader preparation activities for the weekend. I will, as always run through everything at the Welcome Meeting, including the new protocols.

I’ll be packing a few masks - enough to see me through the weekend along with hand sanitiser, and it is essential that all guests also pack these items. The weather looks promising after Friday, but I would still advise layers, sturdy footwear and a light outdoor jacket in case there are any showers or strong coastal winds, and of course do not forget your camera; the views along this stretch of coastline are stunning.

The great thing about a walking tour is that we’ll be outdoors during the day and able to enjoy the fabulous scenery on the Isle of Purbeck and along this fabulous stretch of coastline. I’m looking forward to getting to know my Solos group, and we’ll hopefully be sharing some fond memories and photos of our wonderful walking weekend – so stay tuned and also check out the Solos Instagram page!

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