February update – walking & cycling

Bonjour tout le monde,
The Walking Party Is James Tamlyn’s owner-operator company, specialising in fully escorted, all-inclusive, small group walking holidays which get rave reviews from everyone who has experienced them.
Robert, I can’t say enough how I enjoyed the walking tour.  James is full of personality, very genuine and great fun. It was like travelling with friends.  At 46 I was the youngest on the tour.  However it was a small group (8 of us – 2 couples, 4 independents) and so we talked amongst ourselves a lot.  I got the impression that the tour can appeal to fun-loving people in their 50’s through to 70’s, as much as it did to me.   It really was a wonderful trip for a single traveller because I never felt alone, or like I was a third wheel.  James has it so everyone eats together at one table, and he mixes the seating plan up every night.  When we were walking, people drifted at different paces and found themselves walking at different times with different people.  It was so inclusive.
From Gina following her Haut Quercy walk
Hi Robert, Well, if you ever want ringing endorsements and loads of superlative-laden reviews of our Dordogne walking tour, then come to us!   

It has been one of the best holidays we’ve ever had.  Everything James and Diana have done has been impeccable – the accommodation, the food, the wine and the surprises.  James makes every moment special and has a knack of including everyone and involving everyone in his enthusiasm.   Thank you very much for finding this wonderful week for us!
From Sue & Ed following their Dordogne-Quercy walk
The Walking Party season started this week with a Truffle Hop in Quercy, where James lives, and ends in October in Georgia (only the non-walking tour starting on 3 Oct is available).   In between he’ll explore Catalunya from Barcelona to Collioure, the Basque country (including the Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao), the Dordogne-Lot-Quercy region and the St James Way from Le Puy to Cahors.   In June he takes a break from France with a couple of walks in Italy and, in July, he returns to his place of birth, Suffolk, for two more walks.   Most walks cost 2690 Euros per person and includes all meals, drinks, accommodation, entrance fees and transport, plus the services of James and his colleagues.
DORDOGNE QUERCY picnic.jpeg
For independent, self-guided holidays, our Backroad Discovery cycling itineraries are available throughout France and our walking holidays in Burgundy and Alsace.  They can range from 3 to 19 nights.  Some are based at one hotel (no daily packing), but most are lineal or circular with daily luggage transfers and there is always a local agent to help if needed.  The standard bikes are hybrid models with 20-odd gears and e-bikes are available with a surcharge.  
Clients who combined three walks with some rest days, wrote –
Bonjour Robert,  Thank you so much for arranging three wonderful walks for us in the Alsace during September.  We did the three parts of the Medieval trail, from Wissembourg to Kaysersberg.  Espace Randonee were great – our bags always arrived safely, the hotels were brilliant – great variety and often, wonderfully big rooms with baths – the latter very important for a good long soak after a day’s walk!  The complimentary guide book to the Alsace, included in the walk pack, was an excellent resource and also a good souvenir of the region.  The hotels that were a highlight of the trip – wonderful service, food and location –  included Au Moulin de la Walk, Wissembourg; Hotel Au Lion D’or at La Petite Pierre, and Hotel Le Parc in the delightful village of Wangenbourg – the way a small number of staff handled a full dining room at the latter, whilst remaining smiling and courteous to all, was really impressive. 
From Margaret & Simon following their Medieval Trail walk
Get back to us if you are thinking of an active holiday in France.
Lastly, a quote from the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road …..
Best wishes,
Robert & Barbara
BESPOKE FRANCE
Robert Buchanan & Barbara Keen
52 George St, PORT CHALMERS 9023, NZ
ph (64) 03 472 7856,  freephone (NZ) 0800 147 856