It’s not every day we get chance to celebrate something really big. So when Headwater Holidays asked us to help them celebrate their 30th birthday we were delighted to put together a major campaign for them.
To help celebrate turning the big 3-0, leading walking and cycling specialist, Headwater, has launched a brand new 30-day relaxed “hike and bike” relay event, taking in some of the most beautiful corners of Europe! Working in partnership with Captivate, Headwater has commissioned an elite group of award-winning bloggers and digital storytellers to walk and cycle through undiscovered France, Italy and Austria, burning calories in real time and gently getting fit and healthy in a way they never could even in the swankiest of gyms!
The 30th celebrations kicked off in the Loire (Headwater offered its first holidays here back in 1985) where Becki Enright followed a gentle triangular route through the heart of the great Loire Valley pedalling past majestic chateaux, pretty sleepy villages and fields full of sunflowers, before handing over to Michael Turtle who will this week try his hand at canoeing, cycling and walking as he combines three exciting – and totally flexible – itineraries on the ultimate Dordogne activity holiday.
Mark Rose of our video partners Global Fire Productions, will be next, posting videos from Alsace as he strolls past romantic castles, Gothic churches, ancient forests and exquisite “gingerbread” villages. Moving on to Italy, Captivate’s resident foodie Niamh Shields is destined for culinary heaven as she samples Piedmont’s Gastronomic Barolo Walk.Here, in arguably the most sophisticated corner of Italy, spectacular hikes and luxury hotels are complemented by world-famous wines and fabulous local cuisine: prized white truffles, chocolates and hazelnuts all adding to its epicurean appeal!
Our milestone trip ends in Austria where Abigail King will be found cycling along traffic-free lakeside trails (great for families and first-time cyclists), perhaps taking time to try some of the many other activities on offer – boat trips, watersports, mountain rail rides – before a pre-dinner swim in her hotel’s state-of-the-art spa.
Throughout their travels, the bloggers will be using all forms of social media to share their “under-the-skin” experiences, via the #30activedays hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
Headwater’s managing director, Tina James, explains the thinking behind this exciting new venture: “We all recognise the importance of exercise, however we know that, for the majority of people, it’s a case of forcing yourself to do something you don’t really like (let’s face it, spending hours running on a treadmill or lifting weights is not exactly fun, however motivated you are!) Plus, a lot of us feel self-conscious in a gym; a study by Sport England last year revealed that 75% of women are put off exercise for fear of being judged by others. So, we wanted to find a way to use our position to help show how all ages and abilities can combine gentle exercise with fabulous holidays – even adding gastronomic meals, great wines and luxury hotels to the mix! With over 150 holidays to choose from, in 20+ countries, there really is something for everyone – and, with each holiday graded in terms of activity level (we even offer electric bikes on some cycling routes!), they can be enjoyed equally by parents, children and grandchildren.”
Abigail King, Captivate’s lead on this project, describes what drew her in to the project. “I love looking for creative ways to combine the work of our team with companies whose message I believe in, so having worked with Headwater before, I was thrilled to design this project.
As a former doctor, I’m well aware of how important it is to exercise regularly. But as a busy business owner, I’m well aware how easy it is to let good intentions slide!
For me, the secret is to have something to work towards and something to look forward to at the end. The “beneath the surface” and relaxed activity approach of Headwater holidays is just the kind of kick into action I need.
But not everyone’s the same, and that’s where the strength of the Captivate team comes in. We have hardcore adventurists who have joined the TA as well as those whose fascination with food and local ingredients leads them to hit the paths and explore.”
You can follow #30activedays with the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.