Ramblers Walking Holidays

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RWH Travel have been successfully providing expertly guided walking holidays around the world to small groups since 1946. Originally founded by the Ramblers Association; close links to the charity are maintained but we are now an independent ‘limited-by-guarantee’ business. With the two brands of Ramblers Walking Holidays and Adagio, our not-for-profit philosophy sees our returns invested in the business or distributed to charities or groups that support and promote walking. Much of this is through the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust, with initiatives including The Walking Partnership and Heart & Sole investing in local groups and the communities we travel to.
Member since: 19 Jul 2019

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

There are three primary channels through which we re-invest our profits into charitable causes or projects that
support walking:
• Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
• The Walking Partnership
• Heart & Sole
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust (RHCT)
The primary method of fund distribution is through the RHCT. The Trust is run independently of RWH Travel, as
required by law. Two members of RWH Travel’s Board are on the Board of Trustees of RHCT. Since 1990, RWH
Travel have donated £5m to RHCT. That money has in turn been invested through major projects and small grants.
The main investment goes to the Ramblers, with recent projects including “Don’t lose your way”
In addition, any walking related groups can apply for a small grant, which might include fixing a style or gate or
repairing footpaths.
The Walking Partnership (TWP)
TWP aims to provide direct financial support to the grass roots of the walking community in the UK through local
walking clubs and societies. We donate a contribution of £10/£20/£30 to any registered walking group when a customer books a holiday with us and nominates their group. We accept local groups that organising group walks, encouraging people to get out walking, help to clear and improve footpaths, provide equipment to help walkers or some
other contribution to walking in their area. We currently have over 600 groups registered in the UK.
Heart & Sole
Heart and Sole is our staff-managed initiative which financially supports local charities and communities in the
destinations we visit around the world. Recent projects have included donations to schools, animal welfare projects,
mountain rescue volunteers and organisations including: Sightsavers, ToiletTwinning and Justadrop.
We support the local community where we can, and one example is the support we are giving to Welwyn Garden
City’s centenary year. https://www.wgc100.org/centenary-walk/
We have provided some funds in developing the route and will be helping on the launch day.

Environmental responsibility

We take our responsibility towards the environment seriously, demonstrated by our head office location in Lemsford.
We occupy Lemsford Mill on the River Lea, believed to be one of four mills recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086
and known to have milled flour since the 12th century. We installed a waterwheel into the refurbished mill for the
purpose of generating electricity by hydropower. It uses the flow of the River Lea and was the first of its kind to generate electricity in Britain. This provides us with our own sustainable source of power, with any excess going to the
National Grid.
We recycle all plastic, food and paper waste. We have removed 80% of plastic usage from our country house in the
lake district “Hassness Country House”.
We recently switched our brochure packaging to 100% compostable wrappers.
Our motto “The world is more beautiful on foot,” means that we are committed to making only gentle footprints in the
countries we explore. By keeping our groups small, supporting local and global charitable causes and approaching
all that we do ethically, we are able to minimise any negative effects.
Our Tour Leaders We work with all our Tour Leaders to share the content of this code with customers, with all attending a weeklong in-house training course, attending follow up briefings once a year where possible and we have
a dedicated Leader Website regularly updated with relevant and timely information.
Whilst not currently a member, we aim to operate within the Travellers’ Code set out by the Friends of Conservation
and we try to ensure our holidays consider local people and cultures. https://www.foc-uk.com/travellerscode.pdf .
Other areas of focus include:
• We like to develop long term relationships with our destinations, hoteliers and other local partners and support valuable local projects in the places we visit through our staff ‘Heart & Sole’ charity.
• We choose to operate to destinations around the world which allow our clients to discover the diversity of
landscapes and cultures and ways of living around world as it is, and at times to inform their opinions and
challenge their preconceptions.
• We do not travel exclusively by air to overseas destinations. Several tours are by train or allow for self-drive
connections and we work primarily with BA who are investing in technologies for the future. We are working
through how we might further develop our policy and actions around air travel.

Social responsibility

responsibility – e.g. details of: preserving local culture, visits to local projects, etc
• Heart and Sole, as described earlier, is a small but growing focus in our business that seeks to support local
projects in the communities we visit. Where we can, we take our customers to see projects as part of the
tour itinerary.
• RWH Travel through RHCT has committed millions of pounds to local and national projects around the UK
over the 73 years of our operation.
• Our Tour Leaders go through an in-house week-long training programme including navigation, group leadership and responsible travel. We have a dedicated Leader Website and forums for Leaders to share their
feedback on tour management and interaction with the destinations and people we visit. Our leaders are
almost all volunteers and choose RWH Travel as their own values align to our company values.
• Our tours are by foot, allowing us to tread lightly and see aspects of local culture that is often off the beaten
track or off main tourist trails.
• On our Long-Haul holidays, we use local guides, transport, porters and food to benefit the local economy
without exploitation.
• Some of our holidays are to beautiful destinations; lovely mountains, welcoming hotels, good food, and engaging locals. In others, you may encounter local activities, cultural behaviours and social values
which need a bit more thinking about. Our aim is to adhere to an ethical and socially responsible approach
to operating holidays and to enable travellers to experience the reality of the world we live in