Ours are active holidays. Walking, stair-climbing and standing around for lengthy periods are unavoidable aspects of every tour. These features should not present problems for anyone of normal fitness, but our tours and events are not suitable for those who walk slowly, need support, or lack stamina.
On many tours there is a lot of walking on streets, which may be steep or poorly paved. On some you may need to scramble over fallen masonry and very uneven ground. More usually, it is just a case of walking from one place to another – and getting on and off a coach several times a day.
Secondly, the tours are group events. The presence of even one person who is not fit enough to cope can spoil the experience for everyone else.
We therefore ask that everyone wishing to join a tour take the quick and simple self-assessment fitness tests described here. It is a condition of booking that you have passed these tests. (You do not have to pass the tests to attend music weekends and symposia in the UK.)
If during the tour it transpires that you are not adequately fit, you may be asked by the tour manager to opt out of certain visits, or requested to leave the tour altogether.
Tours do vary in their physical demands. Please refer to the ‘How strenuous?’ paragraph towards the end of each tour description.
Tours which are billed as walking tours, with hikes of up to four hours through often hilly countryside, require a different scale of fitness and agility. Please attend to the descriptions of these tours, as well as our walking grading system opposite, carefully.
If you have a medical condition or a disability which may affect your holiday or necessitate special arrangements being made for you, please discuss these with us before booking – or, if the condition develops or changes subsequently, as soon as possible before departure.
1. Chair stands. Sit in a dining chair, with arms folded and hands on opposite shoulders. Stand up and sit down at least eight times in thirty seconds.
2. Step test. Mark a wall at a height that is halfway between your knee and your hip bone. Raise each knee in turn to the mark at least sixty times in two minutes.
3. Agility test. Place an object 3 yards from the edge of a chair, sit, and record the time it takes to stand up, walk to the object and sit back down.
You should be able to do this in under seven seconds.
An additional indication of the fitness required is that you should be able to walk unaided at a pace of 3 miles per hour for at least half an hour at a time, and to stand unsupported for at least 30 minutes.
On a tour that focuses on food, wine and cooking traditions, we regret that participants with special diets may not have the same gastronomic experience as those with no restrictions. Please discuss your requirements with us before booking.