Many people's pent-up desire to resume travel will be tempered by lingering concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but a family-run Yorkshire business is offering a safe path out of lockdown with covid-friendly walking holidays and guided ‘Discovery Walks’ designed and planned to avoid the crowds.

Founded by two passionate walkers, Helen and Matt Coppin (pictured), Muddy Boots arranges self-guided and guided walks throughout the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The couple - who are raising a young family in the heart of the Dales – use their in-depth local knowledge to plan unique routes that take tourists on trails less trodden, allowing them to enjoy the area’s highlights with space to themselves at every step. Muddy Boots also takes care of booking, transport and luggage transfer arrangements for local hotels and inns that maintain covid-secure policies and procedures.

As committed advocates of the Yorkshire Dales as a tourist destination, Helen and Matt recently got involved in Welcome to Yorkshire’s ‘Walkshire’ campaign promoting the county’s multitude of beautiful walking routes. Muddy Boots’ walks are carefully planned to offer an outdoor experience in keeping with the themes of that campaign, encouraging people to explore Yorkshire’s stunning scenery in a safe and responsible way.

Helen said: “With the end of lockdown on the horizon, a lot of people in the UK are eager to escape for some sight-seeing while being mindful that we haven’t yet returned to normal life. It’s still very important to do what we can to limit the spread of the virus, so there’s something to be said for excursions that avoid crowded settings. Many people unfamiliar with the Dales will head to the famous locations, often because these are the only places they know about, but the National Park is full of hidden gems to discover. As an alternative to the hot spots, which are likely to be extremely busy post-lockdown, we have created a series of walking routes which take in some of the best scenery that the Dales has to offer without compromising social distancing.”

Welcome to Yorkshire Director of Strategic Delivery, James Mackenzie, said:
“We know that Yorkshire is a world-class walking destination and Welcome to Yorkshire’s Walkshire campaign aims to showcase that and let people see the huge variety of walking available across the county. Muddy Boots epitomises the spirit of Walkshire and it is great to see a Yorkshire tourism business finding an inventive way to encourage people to visit and enjoy the region whilst staying safe at all times.”

Matt said:“The main aim of Muddy Boots is to take the hassle out of planning a trip to the Yorkshire Dales. Our self-guided walking holidays offer a variety of difficulty levels, from relaxed rambles to hikes on the highest peaks, with detailed route instructions including a route-marked OS map. The guided walks are provided privately for each customer and their group, so timing and content can be tweaked to fit their needs and all covid distancing requirements are carefully observed. I think what we have to offer is ideal in these uncertain times. Our holidays and walks give people a much-needed opportunity to their stretch their legs and enjoy a spectacular change of scenery. The pandemic is far from over and we all need to continue to tread carefully, but that needn’t get in the way of an amazing experience like the Yorkshire Dales.”