Awfully big adventures

Adventure sports looks set to continue to benefit from the London Olympics. Inspired by heroic athletic triumphs, adults from 20 to 65-plus want to include a new sport or other physical activity into a holiday, according a survey from marketing firm SOUK Response.

While young travellers opt for bungee jumping, abseiling and coasteering, older people might try sailing, canoeing, cycling and swimming, while golf is a much bigger draw for men than women.

A new leg-stretcher for summer 2013 is gentle walking. Ramblers Worldwide Holidays offers seven-night river cruise itineraries along the Rhine, Danube and Rhone in its Adagio programme, allowing guests at each daily port of call to leave the boat to explore capitals, villages and the countryside on foot, sometimes with a guide.

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Walks include the scented Alpilles hills in Provence and the Austrian capital of Vienna. For more information, call 01707 386 700 or visit

Next year also looks set to see a rising demand for long-haul tailor-made travel as those over 45 with careers and plenty of cash set out to catch up on the experiences they missed by not taking a gap year after their A-levels.

Sean Down, Hayes & Jarvis commercial manager, says: “Growing numbers of customers now seek more bespoke travel experiences on long haul, so our new tailor-made travel programme covers China, India, Indochina, southern Africa and South America.

“It means that we can design individual trips with a range of activities and adventure experiences – such as exploring Vietnam by bike or taking a hot air balloon trip over the temples of Bagan in Myanmar.

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“We see custom-built packages to more unusual destinations like Myanmar and Bhutan becoming increasingly popular in 2013 as people want to get away from tourist hotspots and explore more places off the beaten track.”

For those who want to stay closer to home, how about walking holidays, which can be cheap, offer great exercise, and it doesn’t matter much if it rains.

HF Holidays celebrates its centenary in 2013, with more than 32,000 members enjoying breaks at 19 country houses, including three leased from the National Trust. For more information, call 0845 470 7558 or visit

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