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Top green autumn breaks

Posted by Richard Hammond at 09:13 on Wednesday 19 September 2007

Greentraveller's pick of autumn breaks, from cycling in Corsica to hill walking in Montenegro...

Kayak, The western isles
Sea-kayaking around the northwestern isles of Scotland is about as remote as you can get, without flying. Wilderness Scotland runs a five-day trip that starts and finishes at Inverness, from where you'll be taken to Ullapool to paddle around the Summer Isles, camping out in the wild on remote sandy beaches. Costs £495pp, including food, tent, equipment and guide (wildernessscotland.com, 0131 625 6635). Train from London to Inverness costs from £113.20 (thetrainline.com).

Kayaking around the Scottish Summer Isles Photo: Richard Hammond 

Cycle, Corsica
Cycling specialist Saddle Skedaddle runs an eight-day trip departing October 7. From Bastia, the trip follows the spectacular coastal route from Calvi to Porto before heading inland over the island's highest mountain pass to Corte then through the chestnut forests of the Castagniccia back to Bastia.

· £780 including accommodation, most meals and a guide (0191 265 1110, skedaddle.co.uk). Train from London to Nice costs from £133 return (08708 304 862, raileurope.co.uk), ferry from Nice to Bastia costs from €64.54 return (orsicaferries.com).

Watch seal pups, Cardigan Bay
Grab your binoculars and watch one of nature's most endearing creatures - the seal pup - come into the world. From September, grey seals come ashore in Cardigan Bay to give birth to a single pup each.

Stay at Penbont, a stone cottage with 12 acres of organically farmed meadow to roam in, and you'll have access to one of the few lengths of coastline in Britain undisturbed by development of any sort - probably why it's a favoured spot for expectant mothers.

· Under the Thatch (underthethatch.co.uk, 01239 851410) has a week at Penbont for £435 (Sleeps 6-8).

Play Indians, Cornwall
Tents are an awful faff; tipis on the other hand are up and ready when you get there - and more comfortable. There are 37 to choose from at Cornish Tipi Holidays, set in a private nature reserve near Port Isaac on Cornwall's north coast.

The floors are covered in Turkish rugs and each has a bed roll, camp stove and kitchen equipment so all you need to bring is warm bedding and food. The site is in 16 acres of woodland and you can cycle and walk on the nearby Camel Trail. Cornish Tipi Holidays are offering a 10% discount on any one-week holiday until the end of October (including half term).

· A three-night break in a medium tipi (sleeps 2-3) costs £225; or from £275 for a large tipi (sleeps 4-6). 01208 880781, cornish-tipi-holidays.co.uk

Forest living, Derbyshire
With over 700 miles of paths across 200 square miles, the National Forest offers plenty of choice for walks, bike rides and horse-riding. Stay at the Rosliston Forestry Centre in one of four self-catering eco lodges built from timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Forest activities include archery, orienteering and laser clay shooting.

· The lodges sleep 8-10 and cost from £349 for a weekend. Bikes can be hired for £6.50 for two hours. 01283 519119, roslistonforestrycentre.co.uk

Woodcraft for women, Kent
A new women's-only outdoor survival course in Kent will teach you how to build an overnight shelter, identify plants, mushrooms and animal tracks and cook over an open fire. The weekend course in woodland near Canterbury costs £222 including meals and shelter - though you can take refuge under canvas if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

· 01304 842045, natural-pathways.co.uk. The train from London to Aylesham costs from £25 return, from where the organisers will pick you up (thetrainline.com).

Hill walking, Montenegro
Things are changing fast in the tiny Balkan republic of Montenegro. With the help of aid agencies, local authorities are renovating many of the old walking routes over high mountain ridges in an effort to boost tourism to the country. Ramblers Holidays is running a new eight-day walking trip departing October 20 and November 4. You'll be based at a boutique hotel by the beach in Budvar. Guided walks will take you into the hills behind the town and to the Lovcen national park and the Bay of Kotor. · From £499pp, including flights from Gatwick to Dubrovnik and transfers. 01707 331133 ramblersholidays.co.uk.

Solar power, Portugal
Quinta do Rio Touro is a solar-powered B&B on a working organic farm between the hills and the Atlantic in the heart of the Sintra-Cascais natural park. Stay either in a room in the main house with a balcony overlooking the sea or in a guesthouse at the foot of an organic garden. There are two large, sandy windsurfing beaches at Guincho and Praia Grande, several restaurants in the village of Azóia, and the Unesco world heritage city of Sintra is nearby. · Rooms from €120, 00 351 219 292862, quinta-riotouro.com

Rustic, Spain
El Correntiu Country House is a converted grain silo in nine acres of land near the mountains in eastern Asturias. There are two simple-but-stylish apartments and one small, solar-powered cottage, each with their own kitchen garden. It's a steep walk down to the fishing village of Ribadesella while 30km inland there's the Picos de Europa national park.

· Apartment for two costs from €55, cottage for four from €85. 0034 985 861436, elcorrentiu.com.

This article, by Richard Hammond, was first published in the Guardian.

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