Views from Malvern Hills, England, UK

United Kingdom

‘And did those feet in ancient time…’
Steppes’ UK holidays lift a lid on the eccentricities for which our small island is renowned while showcasing our lesser-known, ‘green and pleasant’ locations.

Following a visit to our office in the Cotswolds and a fabulous pub lunch, an American partner of Steppes, posed the question, “Why on earth don’t you offer holidays to the UK?” It is easy to be complacent about what is on your doorstep but with a wealth of riches only minutes away from our office, we agreed it was about time we used our travel expertise to showcase the wonders of our own back yard.

Using our own personal contacts and sharing some of our fondest memories of childhood holidays and special occasions, we have pulled together several holiday ideas and experiences we think you will enjoy. From the wilds of Scotland to the rugged coastline of Devon, and all the wonderfully quirky bits in the middle, you can expect a Steppes UK holiday to be crafted with the same care, passion and attention to detail that thousands have come to expect from us on their overseas adventures.

Jay bird, pirched on a branch, England, UK
England
Pembrokeshire coastal path, Wales, UK
Wales
Sunset over the Valley of the Rocks, Devon, UK
Devon, England
Puffin bird flying, UK
United Kingdom

What to expect on a UK holiday with Steppes

A holiday in the UK with Steppes is a celebration of the outdoors. We know the weather is unreliable, but we won’t let a bit of rain spoil the view or stop us from enjoying a walking tour of the Cotswolds hills or a boat trip around the Isle of Mull. We’ve pulled together a collection of holiday ideas and small group tours that showcase our favourite parts of this island we call home.

You can expect walking, cycling, paddleboarding, kayaking, wild swimming, bird watching and husky-sled dog-trekking. Yes, you read that last bit correctly. We’ll take you to the UK’s wildest and most spectacular places and, as with any Steppes’ holiday, we’ll find the most fascinating and articulate guides to help you see a different side to the country.

A young Red deer stag, Scotland
Scotland
Alladale Estate, Highlands, Scotland, United Kingdom
Scotland
Eagle, Scotland, United Kingdom
Eagle, Scotland, United Kingdom, Scotland

Rural Britain and Rewilding

At the heart of the rewilding philosophy is the desire for a greater co-existence between humans and wildlife. Urbanisation, intensive agriculture, pollution and climate change have taken a heavy toll on the UK’s plants and animals – something the rewilding movement is eager to redress.

Tourism should play a key role in supporting the UK’s rewilding projects and Steppes can help you get behind the scenes to learn what is being done to create a more sympathetic environment for the UK’s native species. Call us to hear how you can visit beaver reintroduction sites in Devon, wild cat breeding programs in Scotland and butterfly conservation projects in the Cotswolds.

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Experiences

Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Chaple Beach, Cornwall, England, UK

Beaches of Cornwall

Explore beautiful sandy coves and endless beaches.

Overlooking Brecon Beacons from Pen Y Fan, Wales, UK

Climb Pen y Fan

Hike to the summit of the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons for stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Gateway to Pembrokeshire walking route,  Wales, UK

Coastal footpath

Walk the spectacular Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, which passes above a series of sweeping beaches, sheer cliffs and inaccessible coves.

View from Tarka Trail, Torrington, Devon, England, UK

Cycle the Tarka Trail

Bike the Tarka Trail in Devon through wooded valleys and alongside peaceful river banks and coast.

Cycling at golden hour in the Yanworth Valley, Cotswolds, England,  United Kingdom

Cycling through the Cotswolds

Take a slow cycle ride through some of the Cotswolds lesser-known villages and sites.

Tintagel Coast, Cornwall, England

Discover Celtic history

Discover the seat of Cornwall’s Celtic kings at Tintagel Castle.

Close up of brown and black striped wild cat.

Alladale Wilderness Reserve

Explore Alladale Wilderness Reserve to learn about wild cat reintroduction programmes.

Beaver, UK

Beaver reintroduction

Visit a beaver reintroduction project in Devon.

Starling, England, UK

British Trust for Ornithology

Take part in a fieldwork survey under the auspices of the British Trust for Ornithology.

Yellow butterfly, Cotswolds, England UK

Butterfly conservation

Help with butterfly conservation and census work in the Cotswolds.

Port Isaac, Cornwall, England, UK

Explore Cornish harbours

Explore picturesque Cornish harbours like Port Isaac for picturesque 18th-century cottages and meandering coastal footpaths, and Mousehole, one of the principal ports of Mount’s Bay until the 16th century.

Eden Project,Cornwall, United Kingdom

Explore Eden

Visit the world’s largest greenhouse and miniature ecosystems at the Eden Project, connecting us to the natural world around us.

Road through Cairngorms, Scotland, UK

Explore Cairngorms Connect

Take a rewilding tour of the Cairngorms for privileged insight into Cairngorms Connect.

Chavenage House, Cotswolds, England

Discover Cotswold manor houses

Explore fascinating manor houses, like Asthall Manor or Chavenage House.

Atlantic puffin, UK

Explore Lundy Island

Visit Lundy Island to see the puffins and skylarks.

Gardens at Cotswold houses, Cotswolds, England, UK

Explore private gardens

Discover some of the UK’s most exquisite private gardens and arboretums.

Flowers on Exmoor, Devon, England, United Kingdom

Foraging in the wilds

Go foraging on Dartmoor with a local expert.

St Michaels Mount, Cornwall, England, UK

Head to St Michael’s Mount

Cross the causeway to St Michael’s Mount, a rocky island crowned by its medieval church and castle.

Trelissick House, Cornwall, England, UK

National Trust properties

Step back in time at Lanhydrock and Trelissick Houses.

Pine marten, UK

Pine martens in the Forest of Dean

Learn about the reintroduction of pine martens to the Forest of Dean.

Holkham, Norfolk Coast, Norfolk, UK

Sailing in Norfolk

Sail around the Norfolk creeks on a refurbished, traditional wooden whelk boat.

Wild garlic near Miserden, Cotswolds, England,  United Kingdom

Search for wild garlic

Explore ancient woodlands in springtime, when the wild garlic blossoms and fills the damp air with its scent

Whitesands Bay, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK

Search rock pools

Search tidal rock pools for marine creatures, including crabs, anemones and sea urchins.

Coastline, Scotland

Self-drive in Scotland

Drive Scotland’s North Coast 500 on a luxury, supported self-drive holiday.

The Devon coastal view from coastal footpath,  Devon, UK

South West Coast Path

Walk England’s longest National Trail, the South West Coast Path.

Stand Up Paddleboarding, Devon, England

Stand up paddleboard in Devon

Get out on the water on stand-up paddleboards and journey from Watermouth Cove to Broadsands beach.

Alladale Estate, Highlands, Scotland, United Kingdom

Stay at the incredible Alladale Reserve

Stay in exceptional lodges at spectacular locations like Alladale Reserve, which is situated on 23,000 acres of wild, highland terrain and the perfect base for lovers of unspoiled wilderness.

White tailed eagle, Isle of Mull, Scotland, UK

White-tailed eagles in Scotland

Photograph white-tailed eagles and learn about their conservation in Scotland.

Stream running through Dartmoor, England, UK

Wild swimming in Dartmoor

Go wild swimming in Dartmoor at the remote Sharrah Pool or on remote stretches of coast.

Roe deer near Ampney Crucis, Cotswolds, England,  United Kingdom

Wildlife walk

Head out in search of British wildlife, including deer, foxes, badgers and birds of prey.

Sunrise on Cotswold Way near Chipping Camden, Cotswolds, England, UK

Walk the Cotswold Way

Walk the most stunning sections of the Cotswold Way – a 164-kilometre footpath that skirts along the Cotswold Edge escarpment.

St Ives, Cornwall, England, UK

Visit St Ives

Visit St Ives with its Tate and arty vibe, home to some of the greatest artists and sculptors from all around the globe.

Peregrine falcon, UK

Visit Knepp Estate in West Sussex

Since 2001, the land at Knepp – once intensively farmed – has been devoted to a pioneering rewilding programme. Extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies are now breeding here; and populations of more common species are rocketing.

Sue Grimwood planting trees

Tree-planting in the UK

Get involved with a tree-planting project or other land restoration in the UK, perhaps even at our Steppes Travel forest in Brigg, Scunthorpe.

White tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in flight in the rain, Scotland

Support the white-tailed eagle project

Gain privileged insight into rewilding and visit the white-tailed eagle project in Mull, Scotland.

Atlantic puffin, UK

Skomer Island

Visit Skomer Island in search of the countless bird species found here, including puffins.

Holiday Ideas

Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure in the UK.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Alladale Wilderness Reserve £££££

  • Scotland
  • Wilderness

Situated on 23,000 acres of wild, highland terrain, the main house of Alladale offers the perfect base for lovers of unspoiled wilderness. There are three well-appointed houses on the reserve offering fully catered accommodation on an exclusive basis. These include the sizeable Main Lodge, as well as the slightly smaller Eagle’s Crag and Ghillie’s Rest.

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Calcot Manor £££££

  • Cotswolds
  • Boutique

This honey-coloured country house dates back to the 14th century and languishes in 220 acres of Cotswold meadowland. It boasts 35 beautiful uniquely-designed rooms and suites, some in individual cottages. The hotel has outdoor and indoor pools, a secluded lavender-lined courtyard, hot tub and log fire and gymnasium, while the spa offers multiple treatment rooms stocked with the best therapists and the best products. The Conservatory restaurant serves simple local food and The Gumstool Inn next door has roaring log fires and a great British pub food menu.

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Dormy House £££££

  • Cotswolds
  • Boutique

From the 17th century, Dormy House was a working farm whose owners cultivated the surrounding land. In the 1940s, it caught the eye of the neighbouring Broadway Golf Club who bought it and changed the name to Dormy House after their favourite golfing term, (a ‘dormy’ is an unbeatable round). In 1977, it passed to the same family that has owned it ever since. With a passion for style, service and hospitality, they have turned it into one of the area’s best-loved hotels.

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Whatley Manor £££££

  • Cotswolds
  • Boutique

Whatley Manor is a beautifully restored, 18th-century Cotswold manor house hotel and spa. The charming honey-coloured building sits in 12 acres of splendid, landscaped gardens which, inspired by the original 1920’s plans, have been divided into 26 individual areas, each exuding the timeless elegance of a traditional English country house garden.

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Dornoch Castle £££££

  • Scotland
  • Boutique

A 500-year-old converted Scottish castle that’s paired with the inspiring 12th-century Dornoch Cathedral directly opposite. This historic hotel is full of character and boasts its own highly-rated distillery and close links to plenty of activities, including first-rate golf courses.

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Wolf Wood Treehouses £££££

  • Devon
  • Boutique

A hidden gem tucked quietly away in a 13-acre woodland just outside Bratton Clovelly. Stays here reach different heights when it comes to mixing the outdoors with luxury.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

It wasn’t part of the script, career plans were quite different but after four global trips visiting such exciting destinations, travel became a passion that eventually led to me entering the industry. The more I have travelled the greater the desire has been to see and do more.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Sue Grimwood

I was inspired to travel south from an early age. My form teacher when I was nine made us listen to tapes from Shackleton’s expeditions, I didn’t know it at the time, but it obviously left a deep impression on my psyche.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

John Faithfull

My love affair with travel began in a vintage Italian train carriage at sunset on a hot and sticky September evening in 1983. Sardined into a two-bench compartment, I’d spent five hours sharing sweaty thighs, broken-Italian pleasantries and furtive glances while rattling towards Turin, stopping at every wisteria-draped village along the way.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

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Why Choose Steppes?

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