Your Guide to Hiking as a Family with Contours Holidays

Contours Little Ones

With the sun starting to make an appearance, it’s time to leave the hustle and bustle of busy life and escape to the tranquillity of the trails with your family.

We get that the thought of your first multi-day walking adventure may feel a little daunting with the added responsibility of bringing the little ones, and that’s where our friends at Contours Holidays come in. The company offer self-guided walking holidays in all the best places in the UK, with accommodation, luggage transfers and route planning included. You just have to worry about convincing the kids to keep their rain jackets on. Imagine waking up each morning to the promise of new adventures, knowing that every little detail has been taken care of.

Plenty of the Contours team also have little ones of their own, like Ben who has written all about his and his daughter’s adventures here, so they know what’s needed for your family hikes. From the perfect family-friendly accommodation to the best little luggage recommendations, they can help you ever step of the way.

So, now Contours Holidays have taken the load off, let’s unpack all the things you’ll need to get the family on the trails, plus three incredible adventures you could try with the kids…

Contours Holidays what to pack for your kids

What to pack

Preparation is key! You need to make sure you and the kids are equipped with the right outdoor gear to ensure your hike goes as smoothly and as safely as possible.

Footwear: Your footwear is going to be with you every step of the way, so it’s essential that everyone has a pair of sturdy walking boots. You’ll also want to make sure they’re suitably worn in before you set off. Pair your boots with moisture wicking hiking socks for happy feet – and always bring extra pairs.

Clothing: We all know the British weather has a habit of being unpredictable, so layering will be your best friend. Start with a moisture wicking base layer, designed to be breathable and keep the sweat away from your skin. Next up, pick an insulating base layer, such as a fleece or a cosy down jacket for extra warmth. Finish with a waterproof/windproof outer layer – if rain is expected, pack some waterproof trousers too. Don’t forget to bring a hat and gloves if it’s going to be cold.

Backpack: To ensure your comfort as you rack up those miles, you’re going to want a comfortable and durable backpack with enough room for all your family’s gear.  It’s important not to overload yourself, you want to keep yourself as light as possible so pack only what you need. We’d recommend a 60-80L bag for adults and 6L for the little ones to carry some of the lighter load – think snacks, their rain jackets and some children’s binoculars.

Hydration: You must keep yourself and your children hydrated whilst hiking, so make sure you have plenty of water for everyone. Bring good sized-water bottles and adults can set their backpacks up with a hydration system.

Snacks: Little (and big) legs need calories to keep them going on the trails, so make sure you have enough food to keep everyone’s energy levels up. Make sure you include foods that offer slow releasing energy such as nuts, fresh and dried fruit, protein bars and pocket-sized fruit juice boxes – not just choccy bars!

First aid: Contours do offer 24-hour emergency assistance, but little accidents can happen along the way. So, it’s advisable to bring basic supplies such as plasters, bandages, antiseptic, pain relief and any personal medications.

Other essentials: Don’t forget to bring sun protection and hats if the weather is going to be warm, and its always useful to carry a headtorch (just in case!). Insect repellent is another one not to forget if you’re prone to bites.

Contours LIttle ONes

Top tips

Make it fun: Although you’ll be surrounded by some of the most incredible views the UK has to offer, sometimes our little ones need that extra bit of stimulation. Children’s binoculars are a great light-weight item to pack, so they can spot all the beautiful flora and fauna on the trail – they’re also perfect for games of eye-spy! Bring a wildlife spotting book so the children can tick off all the different animals and flowers they’ve seen on the route.

Take a break: Sometimes it’s easy to forget that little feet can tire more easily than ours, so keep the pace slower and make sure to plan lots of stops on your route. Adults can take in all that the scenery has to offer whilst the kids hunt for bugs and explore rocks.

Sing-songs: To help distract from tired legs, learning new hiking songs to try with your children can help when the miles are starting to pile up and their motivation is starting to peak.

Celebrating the miles: Don’t forget to let your little ones know how well they’re doing, celebrating all their little wins during the hike. Plenty of affirmation on their achievements will help keep spirits high and smiles big.

Picking the perfect route

So, you’ve got the gear, but where to go? You’ll want to choose a destination that’ll have lots of fun sights to see along the way, but isn’t too complex when it comes to terrain. To help you choose, we’ve picked three incredible Contours routes that are low level and perfect for families.

Northumberland Coast PathPhoto: Contours Holidays

  1. Northumberland coast highlights

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Details: 28 miles, three to five nights

The Northumberland coast path tour offers not only breathtaking coastal scenery but impressively large fortresses that’ll have the kids saying “wow!”. This historic journey is an easy, low-level trail that’ll be kind to little legs, but still offers spectacular sights such as rugged coastline, sweeping golden beaches, towering cliffs and quaint seaside villages.

As well as rich history, keep your eyes peeled for species of seabird nesting in the cliffs and cute seals snoozing on secluded shores – make sure you pack those binoculars! This awe-inspiring coastal trail oozes timeless beauty and has dog friendly routes.

You can find out more about this route and the walking holidays available on the Contours website.

Limestone Way Contours Little OnesPhoto: Contours Holidays

  1. Limestone Way highlights

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Details: 28 miles, three to five nights

If you’re looking for a jaw droppingly picturesque route, then look no further than the Limestone Way. This journey through the stunning Peak District reveals a tapestry of natural wonders, quaint villages and ancient woodlands adorned with wildflowers.

Keep your eyes peeled for interesting wildlife along the way, such as the elusive red deer and buzzards soaring high overhead. The Limestone Way showcases millions of years of geological history, such as Robin Hood’s Stride, which adds a little (but not too difficult) scrambling adventure en-route, spoiling you with a beautiful viewpoint at the top.

You can find out more about this route and the walking holidays available on the Contours website.

Three Castles WayPhoto: Contours Holidays

  1. Three castles walk

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Details: 20 miles, three to four nights

A real little-people pleaser, this circular route in Monmouthshire traverses three Norman-built castles in a triangle; Grosmont Castle, Skenfrith Castle and White Castle. These exquisite ruins are dripping in history and nestled within the stunning Monnow Valley.

Not only is the walk steeped in Medieval lore, but the path meanders through lush countryside adorned with enchanting forests, peaceful rivers and rolling hills. Look up, and you might catch a glimpse of kites soaring overhead or, if you’re lucky, a shy otter on the river. You can also admire vibrant hues of wildflowers such as bluebells and primroses.

You can find out more about this route and the walking holidays available on the Contours website.

Why Contours?

The beauty of a self-guided walking holiday with Contours is the flexibility it offers, and the company ensures that every aspect of your journey is thoughtfully planned.

So why wait? Embrace the spirit of adventure and embark on a multi-day walking holiday with your little ones. With Contours‘ expert guidance and unparalleled support, you’ll discover a world of wonder waiting to be explored right here in the UK. Let the journey begin!