Bishopdale couple launch walking holiday company

Helen and Matt Coppin.

A West Burton couple are combining their knowledge of the Yorkshire Dales and love of hiking to run a new self-guided walking holiday company. Matt and Helen Coppin have created Muddy Boots Walking Holidays and devised self-guided itineraries. The aim is offer walkers the chance to journey through some of the best scenery, quietest spots and heritage-rich landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.

The couple, who are both in their 30s, turned their backs on legal careers in London and after a spell spent travelling the world, relocated to Yorkshire where they set up a tour business seven years ago aimed at organising self-drive holidays across Britain to overseas visitors.

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Keen to find a way of working with local businesses, they then established Muddy Boots just as the Covid-19 lockdown began. Now however they're hoping to tap into the nation's new-found interest in walking and nature as part of a staycation and the demand for finding quieter places away from the traditional visitor honeypots. Helen said: "We've spent a large proportion of lockdown fine tuning our initial itineraries that enable guests to explore beautifully remote areas and quieter spots such as Arkengarthdale, Coverdale and Bishopdale as well as finding the less-trodden paths towards well-known highlights such as Malham's limestone pavement.

"We're working with some fantastic country pubs and small hotels so that guests can have a rewarding hike each day and still have all the comforts that make so much difference to the experience. "Many people, including a younger age group, have discovered the simple delights of walking in beautiful countryside during lockdown and so we're hoping to show that the Yorkshire Dales offers much more than the beauty spots that normally draw the crowds."

The initial Muddy Boots itineraries focus on Wensleydale and its tributaries, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale and the southern Dales around Malham and Burnsall. More routes are in the offing including itineraries exploring the lesser-known Westmorland stretch of the Dales and family holiday packages that include adventure walks for youngsters.

For more information: www.muddybootswalkingholidays.com or call 01969 663828

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