Our Holidays

Why join an Experience Nature Wildlife Watching holiday?

Our holidays are sourced personally by us! We visit every location ourselves before offering them to you and work directly with local tourism and communities in the countries that we operate. This means we offer responsible travel experiences…responsible to the country, culture, wildlife and of course for our travellers.

Top Ethical Ecotour Provider

Our Ethos and Ethics. We always work in partnership with local experts, offering a wealth of knowledge in their country. Using a local team ensures money is injected back into the community, which in turn promotes protection of the beautiful areas and wildlife we are privileged to be a part of on that journey. This has earned awarded us recognition by Terra Incognita as a Top Ethical Ecotour Provider for consecutive years.

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You are in safe hands. From the moment you pay your deposit, your money is protected by TRIP (Travel Regulation Insolvency Protection). The TRIP scheme is fully approved by ABTA and has the backing of one of the worlds leading insurers in Zurich.

Price Confidence. The price of your holiday at the time of booking will always be the price you pay… we have no hidden costs! Keeping our overheads low, ensures all holidays are priced very competitively, without cutting corners.

We are passionate about what we do… wildlife is amazing… Experience Nature through us

 

WADER IDENTIFICATION WORKSHOP

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 04 September to 06 September 2022

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Overview: Waders or Shorebirds come in all shapes and sizes and that diversity makes them a favourite group of birds for many of us.

However, they are not the easiest to tell apart in the UK, particularly as many of them just visit us in the Autumn & Winter months having moulted out of their colourful breeding plumages.

The timing of this workshop based on the East coast of England, is aimed to capture not only those waders that return to winter in the UK, but also the various species that pass through Britain on their migrations south, like the Stints and Spotted Redshank for example.

Our base in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire gives us a short journey to Frampton Marsh RSPB where it's quite possible to see over 20 wader species in a day at this time of year. We'll also be close to various coastal sites famed for their good numbers of waders, so plenty of opportunity to improve your identification skills of this group of birds and more besides for sure.

The cost of the holiday includes two nights on a bed, breakfast and evening meal basis, in a well recommended pub/hotel.

Also included is return minibus transport from the Solihull area, or pick ups en-route if appropriate.

Spaces currently available;

Single room ensuite x 2
Twin room ensuite x 1
Double room ensuite x 2

FULLY BOOKED

For further information, please contact Ashley. 07704 189835, experiencenaturetours@gmail.com

Cost: £395

Deposit: £100

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Devons Birdlife, Migrants on the move

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 25 September to 30 September 2022

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Overview: Join us in Devon for a five night, half board birdwatching break based at TLH leisure resort Torquay.

One of two breaks based at the Victoria hotel Torquay for 2022, these holidays have attracted repeat visitors annually since we started running them in 2018 because of their great value, fab birding and have proved a great starting point for beginner and novice birders over the years.

As well as some of the wonderful resident birdlife in the area, we will be hoping to catch up with a few of the birds that pass through the South West on their Autumn migration. These could be American vagrants blown adrift by westerly winds, as well as European and Eastern species.

Regular autumnal visitors could include warblers like Yellow-browed and waders such as Curlew Sandpiper. Who knows what might turn up.

This break offers a great combination of quality birdwatching and excellent hotel facilities at an affordable price and is open to birdwatchers of levels.

Whats included:
- 5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast at the TLH Victoria Hotel
- Pre dinner drinks reception on the first night to meet your host/tour guide Ashley Grove and fellow bird watchers
- Full day & two half days birdwatching.
- A talk on ‘The Birds of The Gambia’
- Transport for all trips is included.
- (Packed lunches not included but can be ordered at TLH Victoria Hotel) 

To book a place, Contact TLH directly on 01803 400500

No Single Supplement on this break!!

JUST 3 PLACES REMAINING

Why not book along with the Isles of Scilly Holiday below?

Cost: £347

Deposit: £

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


The Scilly Isles in Style...

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 30 September to 07 October 2022

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Overview: The Isles of Scilly have long been known as a beautiful UK holiday destination, particularly so for birdwatchers. It’s varied Islands have a warmer climate than anywhere else in Britain and host some fabulous flora and fauna.

We visit the islands in October for this holiday, when migration is in full flow and birds around the world are moving to their southerly wintering grounds.
The Scilly’s annually have falls of migrants from western Europe at this time, including Hoopoe, Lapland Bunting, Black Redstarts and Wryneck, but stronger winds and weather fronts can bring in birds from eastern Europe, which produce yearly records of Yellow-browed Warbler, Rustic & Little Buntings, various Pipits, and Red-breasted Flycatcher for example.

Even more remarkable are the regular occurrences of American birds, or “Yanks” as they are known in the birding world, that can cross the Atlantic on the back of strong winds. Solitary Sandpiper, Bobolink, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black & White Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, even American Robin have occurred in recent years.

So what we will see during our week of birdwatching is a real lottery, but what is guaranteed is some very comfortable accommodation, great food and the warm atmosphere of these tranquil islands.

Ashley will be keeping an ear to the ground and an eye on the web… to keep abreast of the latest bird news on the islands, so a fluid itinerary, with Island visits being guided by which will be most fruitful in terms of ‘good birds’, whether that be based upon reported sightings, or the most likely place we may find our own.

Max group size of 12

Price includes;
- Seven nights half board accommodation at the wonderful St - Mary’s Hall Hotel, St Mary’s.
- Collection & drop off at St Mary’s airfield
- Guiding throughout, by Ashley Grove & Wendy Palmer-Grove
- Three return boat tickets for off island day trips
- Entry to Tresco Abbey Gardens

4 PLACES REMAINING

Cost: £1450

Deposit: £325

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Sri Lanka - Birds, Leopards & Blue Whales

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 16 November to 3 December 2022

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Overview: With so much to see in this wonderful little country, we have extended our original tour to 16 nights, enabling us to visit some of the wildlife rich areas in the North of the country, in addition to the well known sites in the southern and central regions. This will increase our chances of seeing key species like Sri Lanka Leopard and Sloth Bear.

We have chosen to stay at some of the best accommodation in Sri Lanka, so along with great food, we can enjoy comfortable, restful nights between our wildlife watching.

Sri Lanka's bird list tops 430, including 33 endemics, and with the help of a highly experienced English-speaking guide, who will be with us throughout the tour, we will see most of them, including the rare Serendib Scops Owl, which was only discovered in 2001! Our visit coincides with the presence of winter visitors, including waders from Siberia and songbirds from the Himalayas.

In addition to the abundant birdlife, other wildlife we can expect to see are Marsh Mugger Crocodile and various land mammals such as Grey Langur and Purple-faced Leaf Monkeys, Water Buffalo, Sambar and Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Indian Fruit Bat, Sloth Bear, Leopard and Asian Elephant. On top of all this, our visit to the south coast is timed to coincide with a calm sea and the presence of Blue Whales, as well as several other whales and dolphins, which can often be seen from a boat at close range. Sri Lanka also has 244 species of Butterflies.

The price includes full board en-suite accommodation, all transport in Sri Lanka by air conditioned vehicle, all excursions and reserve entry fees, including four jeep safaris in national parks, and one whale watching excursion, plus bird checklist and the services of local guides & two Experience Nature guides.

The price does not include your flights (circa £550 return pp from LHR with Sri Lanka airlines). Your personal travel insurance, alcoholic drinks or items of a personal nature.

FULLY BOOKED

Cost: £2695

Deposit: £300

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


North Norfolk in Style

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 11 December to 16 December 2022

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Overview: The North Norfolk coast in Winter can be such a rewarding location for birdwatching. Big skies full of skeins of Geese, murmurations of Knot by the thousand and so many good reserves at your finger tips, whats not to like.

We'll be spending four full days birding and five nights staying at the wonderful Titchwell Manor Hotel, what better place to dine on the experiences of the day and afterwards relax in the comfort of your cosy room, or in front of a roaring fire in the lounge.

Our outings will include a full day at Titchwell RSPB reserve, which can easily yield 70+ of species of birds in a day even at this time of year, with its varied coastal habitats attracting Seaducks, Waders, Wildfowl and Reedbed specialists like Bearded Tit, Bittern and Marsh Harrier.

Snettisham RSPB will also be on the to do list, which can host Shore Lark, Snow Buntings and of course countless waders, so lots to look out for. While nearby Holkham is great for large numbers of grazing geese of various species.

A full day at Cley as well will further increase the variety we see and the chances of seeing the odd rarity.

The winter of 2021 holiday included highlights such as Grey Phalarope, Glaucous Gulls, Little Gulls, Bearded Tit, Hen Harriers, Barn Owl, Shorelark and several large flocks of Snow Buntings.

The prices below are based on 5 nights bed, breakfast and dinner at Titchwell Manor Hotel, Norfolk. The hotel has been accredited by the AA as a 'Covid-19 Confident' establishment, so you can rest assured they will be looking after us safely.

Guiding throughout by Ashley Grove is also included throughout and dependant on your arrival time, a late afternoon visit to Titchwell RSPB in search of Barn Owls and Harriers as they come to roost.

Minibus transport for the group is also included in the price for the duration of the holiday, also return transportation there and back if convenient from the Solihull area.

There are two room options available as follows;

Good Room - £1150pp, based on two people sharing
Good Room - £1299pp, based on single occupancy

Better Room - £1250pp, based on two people sharing
Better Room - £1450pp, based on single occupancy


Do visit the Titchwell Manor website via this link to see detail of each room available.

Please be assured that if this holiday needed to be cancelled due a new Covid lockdown, your deposit can be carried forward to use on an Experience Nature, North Norfolk in Style Holiday anytime in the following 2 years

7 PLACES AVAILABLE

Cost: £1150

Deposit: £150

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Jewels of The Gambia

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 03 January to 17 January 2023

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Overview: The Gambia has been a popular Birdwatching destination since the 1970's and is still probably the safest African Country to visit. No wonder our tour leader Ashley has visited close to 20 times, leading two trips a year here since 2011.

As with all our trips, this is run at a relaxed pace, giving ample opportunity to enjoy the wildlife and in particular the many colourful bird species that can be found here. With 9 Kingfishers and 8 Bee-eater species for example, this guarantees to be a real feast for the eyes.

With little effort we can hope to see up to 300 bird species, with the photographers among us expecting to get quality images of a large percentage of these.

Throughout the trip we will have 3 guides and our own driver, making sure individual group members needs are catered for, so photographers for example can spend longer with a single species if they wish. The max group size will be 12 people.

We spend time near the coast, but also travel inland to experience the real Gambia and it's various habitats and associated wildlife, including Hippo's, Bee-eater colonies, bird rich rice paddies and ancient forests.

The tour dates coincide with return flights from Gatwick, but flights are also available from Birmingham and Manchester.

Please contact Ashley for a full itinerary and do check out the Gambia gallery through the link below for further temptation.

The price below does not include flights.

FULLY BOOKED

Cost: £2295

Deposit: £250

See images from this Wildlife Watching Tour here

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Burns, Birds & Highland Beasties. Plus optional Solway Firth extension

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 20 January to 25 January 2023

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Overview: Our Burns Break for January 2022 sold out in a week, so early booking is recommended. See below to read about the optional extension to this holiday. We're even offering transport there and back from our base near Solihull West Midlands.

The Burns Night Gala Dinner at the Grant Arms Hotel is always fun, entertaining, with fabulous food and great service. The piper welcomes in the Haggis (other food available of course), which will be toasted by us all, led by David the hotel manager.

This great night will just be a part of this winter break in the Highlands as we visit various wildlife hotspots within the Cairngorm national park.

Snow isn't guaranteed even in this part of the world, but does add to the atmosphere of the break and we are more likely to encounter some on a trip to Cairngorm Mountain. Snow Buntings should be around the car park here at this time of year and we may even be able to catch a glimpse of Ptarmigan.

This area is stunning at all times of the year, but be sure to bring a camera for this one as if we do get snow, the landscape is truly breathtaking and makes the evening meal and a dram of whisky by the fire at the end of the day, go down even better.

A trip to the coast for some birdwatching can be very productive, with Waders like Purple Sandpiper, offshore Divers, Scoters and Long-tailed Duck being targets.

The Price includes -
* Five nights full board accommodation at the wonderful Grant Arms Hotel, within the Cairngorms national park.
* Transport and guiding throughout
* Burns Gala Dinner
* Cairngorm mountain visit looking for Snow Buntings & Ptarmigan
* Visit to Udale Bay RSPB and other coastal sites for wintering birds
* Visit to Findhorn Valley in search of Golden Eagle & Mountain Hare
* Hunt for Crested Tits and Red Squirrels in Anagach woods and Abernethy forest.
* Evening talk by Ashley

Transportation throughout is provided, including collection and drop of from Aviemore railway station, or Inverness airport if required. See below if you'd like a lift there and back..

FULLY BOOKED

Bookings now being taken for 2024

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON THIS BREAK

Transportation by minibus is provided throughout this holiday, but you may also be interested in our offer to take you there and back for just an additional £95. Contact us for more information.

Those opting for the return transportation might be interested in an optional two night extension near Dumfries, where we'll not only enjoy some very nice accommodation and good food, but have a full day to explore the local wildlife.

SOLWAY FIRTH TWO NIGHT EXTENSION
This extension will include a visit to Caerlaverock WWT centre or Mersehead RSPB reserve and a chance to witness what is surely one of the best wildfowl spectacles in the British Isles, with thousands of over wintering Barnacle Geese and much more besides.

The cost of this extension to the main holiday is £390 includes two nights on a dinner bed and breakfast basis in a very nice local hotel, transportation throughout and cost of entry to the wetland centre and of course guiding throughout.

Just get in touch for full information.

Cost: £765

Deposit: £150

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Winter Wildfowl, Waders & more in the Southwest

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 26 February to 03 March 2023

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Overview: A different approach to our regular Devon based holidays for this one, in that we're providing transportation there and back from the Solihull area and we're adding a couple of sites in Somerset to the itinerary as we pass through.

We'll be based at the TLH Victoria Hotel in Torquay for five nights as they've looked after our groups so well over the past few years and although the itinerary will be relaxed, we'll have more days out birdwatching to enjoy.

So what's included;
- Transportation throughout
- Five nights at the hotel including breakfast & evening meal
- Visits to various top reserves in the Southwest, including at least five RSPB reserves.

Overview;
Day 1 - We'll head off from the Solihull area at a sensible time, stopping on our way to Devon at the small but perfectly formed RSPB Greylake reserve. The reserve holds impressive numbers of wintering wildfowl to include Wigeon, Teal and Pintail, many of which can be seen at close quarters in front of the hide. Water Rail and Cetti's warbler are among other regularly seen birds here in winter.

Day 2 - After yesterdays travels its not to early a start and not far to travel for our first port of call. Broadsands is a pleasant cove which offers a great chance of seeing Cirl Buntings, which in the UK can only be found here in Devon. There's also a chance of finding Firecrest here to and its not unheard of to have Yellow-browed Warbler overwinter in the same area.
It's worth us taking a scan over the sea too, as Divers and Grebes are often seen in the winter months fishing in the sheltered waters here. Great-northern, Red-throated and Black-throated Divers are all possible, as well as Great-crested, Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes.
From here it's just along the coast to Berry Head where again Cirl Bunting are likely and an even higher vantage point to scan the sea. Gannets, Fulmar and various Gulls pass regularly as do Harbour Porpoise. The cafe on the head will provide us with a lunch stop.

Day 3 - A day to explore both sides of the Exe Estuary, starting at RSPB Bowling Green Marsh which offers excellent views of overwintering wildfowl as well as waders which will include Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Dunlin. After a stop off for a pub lunch we can explore RSPB Exminster Marshes, an extensive reserve holding large numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Pintail and Gadwall among other ducks. We've had sightings of all three Egrets here over the years as well as Spoonbill and Glossy Ibis.
Out on the adjacent estuary large flocks of Brent Geese, Curlew and Golden Plover join Shelduck and Red-breasted Mergansers which are all pretty much guaranteed at this time.
While still at a nice relaxed pace, we could see in excess of 60 species of birds today, so plenty to talk about over dinner.

Day 4 - Just a morning excursion and a short drive to Stover Country Park today. The woodland here holds Marsh Tit and Treecreepers, while the lake often has Goosander and Mandarin Duck among other wildfowl. Kingfisher can be seen too with luck and again a chance of finding Firecrest.
The afternoon is yours to enjoy the hotels extensive facilities or perhaps explore the near by Marina.

Day 5 - Heading further west for the day to Slapton Ley where mixed habitats provide a selection of birdlife. Seabirds, water birds on the freshwater lake, woodland species behind that, even some reedbed that hides other species. Snow Bunting can sometimes be found overwintering on the beech, while Stonechat and Rock Pipit are regulars. The lake can turn up rarer ducks like Greater Scaup and ring-necked Duck which join the Tufted Ducks, Shoveler and Pochard. Seabirds might include Little Gull, Divers and Grebes.
Where better place than to partake in some fish & chips for lunch perhaps between some good birding.

Day 6 - After a leisurely breakfast we'll begin our journey home, but with a stop en-route at RSPB Ham Wall reserve in Somerset, home to one of the largest Starling Murmurations in the country. We'll have time before the Starlings show to explore the reserve, looking for wintering waders and wildfowl, Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tit and Cattle Egrets.


So a lot to like for less than £100 per night I hope!

FULLY BOOKED

If you'd like to book a place or have any questions please contact Ashley via email - experiencenaturetours@gmail.com, or by phone - 07704 189835

Cost: £495

Deposit: £150

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Swedens Crane Migration, Grebes & Great Food

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 05 April to 09 April 2023

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Overview: The Lake Hornborga area of Sweden plays host to one of the most incredible bird spectacles to be seen in Europe. From late March to mid April, thousands of Common Cranes stop here to feed up on their journey to more northerly breeding grounds. The quantity of birds varies from year to year, but we have timed this trip to catch the peak of the birds movement and hope to see between 15 and 30,000 cranes at this time. In 2019 the peak count reached upwards of 27,000 birds, plus of course a wide variety of wildfowl that are present at this time. A highlight of this trip will be the sight and sound of thousands of Cranes coming into the lake at dawn, which really has to be experienced.

Whooper Swans and Goldeneye that stay on to breed in the area are joined by White Fronted & Pink-footed Geese, Wigeon, Pintail, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Pochard and Tufted Duck in large numbers.
Other breeding birds in the area are setting up territory at this time and very evident are the grebes. Great-crested and Little Grebes are present, but in addition Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes breed here and often Black-necked pass through at this time, so it can be a Grebe bonanza.

We also visit other areas locally which are fabulous for birdwatching, sites where we could be lucky enough to see some birds that are either very rare in the UK, or don’t occur at all. Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Black Woodpecker, Hawfinch, even Eagle Owl and Pygmy Owl are all possible.

Our base for the 4 nights is a converted water mill, where the owner prides himself in offering top quality, locally sourced and organic food and wine.
This tranquil riverside location has some wonderful local walks to enjoy and we also will have a canoe safari on one evening in search of Beaver which are relatively common in the area.

The gentle flow of the water and sound of bird song is only broken by the occasional splosh of a beaver submerging as we approach.

This break has a very relaxed pace to it, with ample down time to enjoy the locality and its wildlife and to round off the package, we have a meal in a very well recommended local restaurant on one of our evenings.

Flights are in addition to this price and are with British Airways from Heathrow, coming in usually between £150 and £250 return.

The minimum number for this trip is 5, with a max of 10. There is a single supplement charge of £245, but please let us know if you are willing to share.

7 PLACES REMAINING

Cost: £1350

Deposit: £250

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Devon's Spring Birdlife

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 16 April to 21 April 2023

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Overview: Join us in Devon for a five night, half board birdwatching break based at the TLH leisure resort Torquay.

Having successfully run the winter version of this holiday several times, we've decided to offer a Spring version. This will give us a good taste of this area during this exciting season, as migrants like Osprey, Redstart, Wood Warbler and Hobby arrive on the south coast from their wintering grounds in Africa and Southern Europe.

The sites we will visit should provide a good cross section of these new arrivals, as well as searching for local residents like Cirl Bunting, Dartford Warbler and Lesser-spotted Woodpecker.

This break offers a great combination of quality birdwatching at a relaxed pace and excellent hotel facilities at an affordable price.

Whats included:
- 5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast at the TLH Victoria Hotel
- Pre dinner drinks reception on the first night to meet your host/tour guide Ashley Grove and fellow bird watchers
- Half day trip of bird watching to Woodbury Common
- Full day trip of bird watching Dawlish Warren
- A talk on ‘How to be a bird watcher’
- Half day trip to Yarner Woods
- Evening talk ‘Shetland to Scilly, Birds of The British Isles’
- (Packed lunches not included but can be ordered at TLH Victoria Hotel) 

A local coach company provides the transport for our outings, between which you are free to explore the area by yourself, or take advantage of the hotels extensive facilities.

To book a place, Contact TLH directly on 01803 400500, or email rooms@tlh.co.uk

No Single Supplement on this break!!

PLACES REMAINING

We also have spaces available for the autumn break below

Cost: £365

Deposit: £

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Birding in the Midlands Shire Counties

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 23 April to 28 April 2023

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Overview: The shires of Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire probably wouldn’t be ones that spring to mind when thinking of a birdwatching holiday, but for land-locked counties they are surprisingly bird rich. They offer a wide range of habitats which suit a diverse cross section of Britains bird life, from large forests, reclaimed gravel pits with extensive reed-beds, heathland, rivers, green fields and even some salt marsh.

Breeding birds in the area include Avocet, Dipper, Hawfinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Nightingale, Wood Warbler, Pied & Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, Bittern, Hobby, Ring Ouzel, Yellowhammer, Willow Tit, Mandarin and plenty more besides.

The holiday is timed for the arrival of the Spring migrants, so they’ll all be in full song and of course there is always the chance of catching up with a few of the regular species that pass through at this time, like Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Gull.

Your guide for the holiday has grown up in this area, so the sites we will be visiting he has been birding for over thirty years, so you couldn’t be in better hands for local knowledge.

We’ve not skimped on the accommodation either, basing the break from one of the most respected hotels in the area. Situated in a rural location midway between Solihull and the historic village of Henley-in-Arden, Nuthurst Grange is well known in the midlands as an up market place to stay and is sort after as a wedding venue due to its tranquil setting, leafy grounds, excellent rooms and great food.

Some evenings you’ll eat at the hotel, but on others we’ll eat at one of many very good restaurants in the area to add some variety.

Single Supplement - £250
- Max group size of 8

Price includes;
- Five nights bed & breakfast at the lovely Nuthurst Grange Hotel.
- Evening meals
- Transportation throughout.
- Guiding throughout - Ashley Grove

5 PLACES REMAINING

For further information, please contact Ashley. 07704 189835, experiencenaturetours@gmail.com

Cost: £965

Deposit: £200

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Escape to The Chateau

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 13 May to 20 May 2023

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Overview: This holiday brings together some fabulous Spring Birdwatching, superb food & wine, Chateau accommodation and all set within the spectacular countryside of south-east France between Toulouse and the historic medieval city of Carcassonne.

We’ve hired Chateau de Thuries exclusively for this holiday, with our hosts Jayne and Steve providing us home prepared meals throughout. If the venue sounds familiar, you may have seen the chateau and its owners featured on the recent series of ‘Escape to the Chateau DIY’ with Dick & Angel Strawbridge, so you’ll be able to see for yourselves what a stunning job Jayne and Steve have done to bring the old building back to life.

We’ve spent a lot of time exploring this area of France over the years and the wide variety of habitat that this location offers, gives us a very good range of birds, so our outings will cover farmland, mountain foothills, wetland and forest to increase the diversity of sightings. Meadows will be alive at this time of year with flowers and butterflies, so plenty to entertain the all round naturalist.

As with our other holidays, it’s not about ticking birds from a list, as ample down time will be available to relax, dangle your feet in the plunge pool or perhaps partake in a coaching or wellbeing session with Wendy.

Wildlife we may hope to encounter on this holiday includes Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, European Bee-eater, Night Heron, Short-toed Eagle, Montagues Harrier, Rock Sparrow, Lammergeier, Rock Thrush, Crag Martin, Bonelli's Warbler, Ring Ouzel, Capercaillie, Scarce Swallowtail, Silver-studded Blue, Spotted Fritillary, Ocellated Lizard and various Orchids.

We'll also be making a visit to the famous turreted old city of Carcassonne which dates back to the 12th century to add a cultural twist to the holiday.

For a more detailed itinerary, simply get in touch through the contacts page, or email directly to Ashley on - experiencenaturetours@gmail.com

The holiday is limited to just 8 persons, so early booking is advised. We have three room prices to choose from starting at just £1290 per person, this includes all food throughout, transportation throughout including airport transfers, but does not include your flights.

FULLY BOOKED

Cost: £1290

Deposit: £350

See images from this Wildlife Watching Tour here

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Scotlands Highlands & Outer Islands

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 29 May to 7 June 2023

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Overview: Continuing to expand our selection of UK holidays, this break explores the rugged islands of the Outer Hebrides as well as the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and National park.

Staying on North Uist for five nights, sandwiched between four nights in Grantown-on-Spey, we’ll visit the islands of Benbecula and South Uist, as well as reliable sites around the Cairngorm national park for top birds like Slavonian grebe, Ring Ouzel, Black-throated Diver, Crested Tit, Osprey and Black Grouse.

Our time spent on the islands gives us the best chances in the UK to enjoy close views of Corncrake, Hen Harrier, Red-necked Phalarope and much more besides.

As with all our holidays, this will be run at the same relaxed pace, no rushing around ticking birds off lists, but watching the wildlife in its environment and soaking up the stunning scenery in good company.

The Price includes - 4 nights at the Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown-on-Spey and 5 nights at the Temple View Hotel, North Uist, to include breakfast, dinner and packed lunch.

Transportation throughout and if required and timings are suitable, free collection and drop off for Inverness airport or Aviemore railway station.
Also included is the price of the short ferry crossing between the Isles of Skye and North Uist.

Single Supplement - We have 4 rooms available for single occupancy, after that a double room can be taken for sole occupancy for an additional £200

Group size - 12 persons max, plus 2 guides

FULLY BOOKED

If you'd be interested in joining this holiday another time, let us know and you'll get first refusal on the next dates.

Cost: £1695

Deposit: £250

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


St Kilda & Outer Hebrides Cruise

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 9 June to 17 June 2023

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Overview: This holiday is based on board the Seahorse II, a comfortably converted former Norwegian ferry. June in this part of the world gives us nine long days (17 hours between Sunrise & Sunset) to explore the breathtakingly beautiful Western Isles of Scotland.

We board the boat near Oban and chart a course to St Kilda, but also visit the isles of Mull, Canna, Harris, North Uist, Rum and Treshnish Isles, each beautiful in their own right. Weather permitting we will disembark for a wildlife walk each day and an opportunity to enjoy the landscape, and relax. Evenings we will drop anchor and maybe enjoy Kayaking or Paddle Boarding, perhaps even a swim or a snorkel in the ‘relatively warm’ Gulf Stream waters.

Evening meals will be taken in the open air when possible, overlooking the shore of an island that we may well have all to ourselves. The numbers of locally breeding seabirds will be at their peak, with this years birds taking to the air and water, with the Gannet colony on Stac Lee (St Kilda) being a must see.

Apart from a wide variety of oceanic birds, we will of course be on the look out for Whales and Dolphins, which could include, Hump-Back & Minke Whales and June gives us a very good chance to see Orcas and possible early Basking Sharks as well. The various bays we visit will be good places to see Seals and surely Otters.

All in all, we’ve carefully crafted a package to experience a very special part of the world, with fabulous food and great company.

We have the whole boat to ourselves and with just 9 guest places, 2 guides and 3 crew, it's a very exclusive holiday. The breakdown of cabins and prices is as follows;

3 x Single Cabin with wash basin and shared bathroom - £2745pp ALL THREE SOLD
2 x Twin Cabin with with basin & toilet - £2845pp BOTH SOLD
2 x Twin/Double Cabin with en-suite - £2995pp BOTH SOLD

STILL ONE TWIN AVAILABLE ON THE 2024 SAILING

Cost: £2745

Deposit: £350

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Spanish Pyrenees Birds, Butterflies and so much more.

Type: Wildlife Photography Tour

Dates: 13 July to 23 July 2023

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Overview: The Lammergeier is one of those must see birds and this tour gives you unrivalled opportunities to get up close to these amazing creatures.

We will use purpose built hides, overlooking where these birds feed throughout the year, high in the Spanish Pyrenees. Three hides offer different views of the birds, plus a forth hide close by overlooking a deep valley, offers the opportunity to photograph these birds against a spectacular mountain backdrop.

This fourth hide is almost guaranteed for very close views of Golden Eagle, as the locally nesting pair are fed regularly here by the hide owner. Nesting on adjacent cliffs, they often arrive just moments after the carrion is put in place.

Other regular raptors include, Griffon Vulture (over 400 birds during a feed) , Monk (Black) and Egyptian Vultures, Peregrine and Red Kites. In fact this is one of the only sites where you'll find all 4 of Europe's Vultures in one location. Booted Eagle are also seen here almost daily.

A fifth hide overlooks a natural pool, where regular Dartford, Bonelli's, Orphean & Subalpine Warblers, Rock & Cirl Bunting, Hoopoe, Crested Tit and plenty more besides come in to drink and bathe.

We will rotate use of each of the hides to give everyone ample opportunity of photographing or watching each key species on this holiday.

In addition to the birds, alpine flowers are numerous and over 100 Butterfly species have been recorded here, so plenty to keep all wildlife enthusiasts busy.

Sunsets are amazing up here at nearly 4000ft and to watch these with a cold beer at the end of the day, while Nightjars, Nightingales and Scops Owl call around you and Red Deer emerge from the trees to graze, is it truly magical.

Holiday cost includes all transportation, accommodation and meals throughout your stay, plus use of the hides. Ashley will be on hand to offer advise to photographers where required and of course to spot the wildlife for you. The holiday dates are based on flights from Birmingham to Girona with Jet2. We will likely be travelling with you from Birmingham airport, if not we will meet you in Girona.

We will also take time to explore the local area, where different birds and flora may be found. Plus Ashley will site pop up hides for photographers wishing to photograph some additional species. Red-backed Shrike is a particularly good opportunity.

Around the seven in the Pyrenees, we have three nights on the coast based near Empuriabrava. This adds a relaxing start and end to the holiday, where we can explore local wetlands for a different variety of colourful Spanish birds. This will give you a taste of an area where we also run a week long Spring break.

We can tailor the itinerary to suit you, with the right balance between, wildlife watching, walking, photography, or just downtime to relax in this tranquil setting.

Perfect for a family or two or three couples.

FULLY BOOKED

OTHER DATES MAY BE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

CONTACT US ABOUT A FULLY BESPOKE HOLIDAY FOR JUST 4 PEOPLE IN THIS LOCATION

Cost: £2299

Deposit: £250

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Devons Birdlife, Migrants on the move

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 08 October to 13 October 2023

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Overview: Join us in Devon for a five night, half board birdwatching break based at TLH leisure resort Torquay.

One of three breaks based at the Victoria hotel Torquay for 2023, these holidays have attracted repeat visitors annually since we started running them in 2018 because of their great value, fab birding and have proved a great starting point for beginner and novice birders over the years.

As well as some of the wonderful resident birdlife in the area, we will be hoping to catch up with a few of the birds that pass through the South West on their Autumn migration. These could be American vagrants blown adrift by westerly winds, as well as European and Eastern species.

Regular autumnal visitors could include warblers like Yellow-browed and waders such as Curlew Sandpiper. Who knows what might turn up.

This break offers a great combination of quality birdwatching and excellent hotel facilities at an affordable price and is open to birdwatchers of levels.

Whats included:
- 5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast at the TLH Carlton Hotel
- Pre dinner drinks reception on the first night to meet your host/tour guide Ashley Grove and fellow bird watchers
- Full day & two half days birdwatching.
- A talk on ‘The Birds of The Gambia’
- Transport for all trips is included.
- (Packed lunches not included but can be ordered at TLH Victoria Hotel) 

To book a place, Contact TLH directly on 01803 400500

No Single Supplement on this break!!

PLACES REMAINING

Why not book along with the Isles of Scilly Holiday below?

Cost: £382

Deposit: £

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


The Isles of Scilly in Style...

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 13 October to 20 October 2023

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Overview: The Isles of Scilly have long been known as a beautiful UK holiday destination, particularly so for birdwatchers. It’s varied Islands have a warmer climate than anywhere else in Britain and host some fabulous flora and fauna.

We visit the islands in October for this holiday, when migration is in full flow and birds around the world are moving to their southerly wintering grounds.
The Scilly’s annually have falls of migrants from western Europe at this time, including Hoopoe, Lapland Bunting, Black Redstarts and Wryneck, but stronger winds and weather fronts can bring in birds from eastern Europe, which produce yearly records of Yellow-browed Warbler, Rustic & Little Buntings, various Pipits, and Red-breasted Flycatcher for example.

Even more remarkable are the regular occurrences of American birds, or “Yanks” as they are known in the birding world, that can cross the Atlantic on the back of strong winds. Solitary Sandpiper, Bobolink, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black & White Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, even American Robin have occurred in recent years.

So what we will see during our week of birdwatching is a real lottery, but what is guaranteed is some very comfortable accommodation, great food and the warm atmosphere of these tranquil islands.

Ashley will be keeping an ear to the ground and an eye on the web… to keep abreast of the latest bird news on the islands, so a fluid itinerary, with Island visits being guided by which will be most fruitful in terms of ‘good birds’, whether that be based upon reported sightings, or the most likely place we may find our own.

Max group size of 12

Price includes;
- Seven nights half board accommodation at the wonderful St - Mary’s Hall Hotel, St Mary’s.
- Collection & drop off at St Mary’s airfield
- Guiding throughout, by Ashley Grove & Wendy Palmer-Grove
- Three return boat tickets for off island day trips
- Entry to Tresco Abbey Gardens

BOOKINGS TAKEN ALREADY

Cost: £1450

Deposit: £325

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Sri Lanka - Birds, Leopards & Blue Whales

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 15 November to 2 December 2023

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Overview: With so much to see in this wonderful little country, we have extended our original tour to 16 nights, enabling us to visit some of the wildlife rich areas in the North of the country, in addition to the well known sites in the southern and central regions. This will increase our chances of seeing key species like Sri Lanka Leopard and Sloth Bear.

We have chosen to stay at some of the best accommodation in Sri Lanka, so along with great food, we can enjoy comfortable, restful nights between our wildlife watching.

Sri Lanka's bird list tops 430, including 33 endemics, and with the help of a highly experienced English-speaking guide, who will be with us throughout the tour, we will see most of them, including the rare Serendib Scops Owl, which was only discovered in 2001! Our visit coincides with the presence of winter visitors, including waders from Siberia and songbirds from the Himalayas.

In addition to the abundant birdlife, other wildlife we can expect to see are Marsh Mugger Crocodile and various land mammals such as Grey Langur and Purple-faced Leaf Monkeys, Water Buffalo, Sambar and Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Indian Fruit Bat, Sloth Bear, Leopard and Asian Elephant. On top of all this, our visit to the south coast is timed to coincide with a calm sea and the presence of Blue Whales, as well as several other whales and dolphins, which can often be seen from a boat at close range. Sri Lanka also has 244 species of Butterflies.

The price includes full board en-suite accommodation, all transport in Sri Lanka by air conditioned vehicle, all excursions and reserve entry fees, including four jeep safaris in national parks, and one whale watching excursion, plus bird checklist and the services of local guides & two Experience Nature guides.

The price does not include your flights (circa £550 return pp from LHR with Sri Lanka airlines). Your personal travel insurance, alcoholic drinks or items of a personal nature.

PLACES REMAINING

Cost: £2985

Deposit: £350

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Burns, Birds & Highland Beasties

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 26 January to 02 February 2024

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Overview: Our Burns Breaks for January 2022 and 2023 sold out within a week of launch, so early booking is recommended. See below to read about the optional extension to this holiday. We're even offering transport there and back from our base near Solihull West Midlands.

The Burns Night Gala Dinner at the Grant Arms Hotel is always fun, entertaining, with fabulous food and great service. The piper welcomes in the Haggis (other food available of course), which will be toasted by us all, led by David the hotel manager.

This great night will just be a part of this winter break in the Highlands as we visit various wildlife hotspots within the Cairngorm national park.

Snow isn't guaranteed even in this part of the world, but does add to the atmosphere of the break and we are more likely to encounter some on a trip to Cairngorm Mountain. Snow Buntings should be around the car park here at this time of year and we may even be able to catch a glimpse of Ptarmigan.

This area is stunning at all times of the year, but be sure to bring a camera for this one as if we do get snow, the landscape is truly breathtaking and makes the evening meal and a dram of whisky by the fire at the end of the day, go down even better.

A trip to the coast for some birdwatching can be very productive, with Waders like Purple Sandpiper, offshore Divers, Scoters and Long-tailed Duck being targets.

The Price includes -
* Five nights full board accommodation at the wonderful Grant Arms Hotel, within the Cairngorms national park.
* Transport and guiding throughout
* Burns Gala Dinner
* Cairngorm mountain visit looking for Snow Buntings & Ptarmigan
* Visit to Udale Bay RSPB and other coastal sites for wintering birds
* Visit to Findhorn Valley in search of Golden Eagle & Mountain Hare
* Hunt for Crested Tits and Red Squirrels in Anagach woods and Abernethy forest.
* Evening talk by Ashley

Transportation throughout is provided, including collection and drop of from Aviemore railway station, or Inverness airport if required. See below if you'd like a lift there and back..

SPACES AVAILABLE

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON THIS BREAK

Transportation by minibus is provided throughout this holiday, but you may also be interested in our offer to take you there and back for just an additional £95. Contact us for more information.

Those opting for the return transportation might be interested in an optional two night extension near Dumfries, where we'll not only enjoy some very nice accommodation and good food, but have a full day to explore the local wildlife.

SOLWAY FIRTH TWO NIGHT EXTENSION
This extension will include a visit to Caerlaverock WWT centre or Mersehead RSPB reserve and a chance to witness what is surely one of the best wildfowl spectacles in the British Isles, with thousands of over wintering Barnacle Geese and much more besides.

The cost of this extension to the main holiday is £419 includes two nights on a dinner bed and breakfast basis in a very nice local hotel, transportation throughout and cost of entry to the wetland centre and of course guiding throughout.

So the full weeks package including transportation there and back is just £1299

Just get in touch for further information.

Cost: £785

Deposit: £150

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


Starling Murmurations, Red Kites and more in Mid Wales

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 18 February to 20 February 2024

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Overview: A short break of two nights in a delightful, well positioned guest house in Aberystwyth, gives us perfect access to one of the most photogenic Starling Murmurations on the UK.

The birds roost on the pier, as the sun sets directly behind them, making for some fabulous sites and excellent photographic opportunities. The beech here is also a good place to search for Purple Sandpiper in the winter months and nearby are some excellent sites for winter birding.

On our return journey we will visit Gigrin Farm for the afternoon feed, where up to 400 Red Kites come in from far and wide and put on a wonderful show of their acrobatics as they jostle for the food put out for them. Again this makes for some excellent photographic opportunities.

The cost of the break includes your accommodation, breakfast, entry to Girgrin and we'll eat out locally for our evening meal for both nights which is also included in the price.

Also included is transportation there and back from the Solihull area of the West Midlands, or pick up on route if possible.

All in all a nice short break to tide you over between Winter and Spring with something to suit Birder and Photographer alike.

Why not take a look at my BLOG from the 2022 holiday.

The maximum group size is 8 people, with the following room options;

Double room @ £445 per person
Double/Twin room @ £445 per person
Double room for single occupancy @ £535
Single room @ £445 (Just one available)

7 PLACES STILL AVAILABLE

For more information contact Ashley via phone or email 07704 189835 - experiencenaturetours@gmail.com

Cost: £445

Deposit: £150

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


St Kilda & Outer Hebrides Cruise

Type: Wildlife Watching Tour

Dates: 09 June to 17 June 2024

photograph

Overview: This holiday is based on board the Seahorse II, a comfortably converted former Norwegian ferry. Mid July in this part of the world gives us nine long days (17 hours between Sunrise & Sunset) to explore the breathtakingly beautiful Western Isles of Scotland.

We board the boat near Oban and chart a course to St Kilda, but also visit the isles of Mull, Canna, Harris, North Uist, Rum and Treshnish Isles, each beautiful in their own right. Weather permitting we will disembark for a wildlife walk each day and an opportunity to enjoy the landscape, and relax. Evenings we will drop anchor and maybe enjoy Kayaking or Paddle Boarding, perhaps even a swim or a snorkel in the ‘relatively warm’ Gulf Stream waters.

Evening meals will be taken in the open air when possible, overlooking the shore of an island that we may well have all to ourselves. The numbers of locally breeding seabirds will be at their peak, with this years birds taking to the air and water, with the Gannet colony on Stac Lee (St Kilda) being a must see.

Apart from a wide variety of oceanic birds, we will of course be on the look out for Whales and Dolphins, which could include Orcas, Hump-Back & Minke Whales and July gives us a very good chance to see Basking Sharks as well. The various bays we visit will be good places to see Seals and surely Otters.

All in all, we’ve carefully crafted a package to experience a very special part of the world, with fabulous food and great company.

We have the whole boat to ourselves and with just 9 guest places, 2 guides and 3 crew, it's a very exclusive holiday. The breakdown of cabins and prices is as follows;

3 x Single Cabin with wash basin and shared bathroom - £2995pp ALL SOLD
1 x Twin Cabin with with basin & toilet - £2995pp STILL AVAILABLE
2 x Twin/Double Cabin with en-suite - £3295pp BOTH SOLD

Cost: £2995

Deposit: £350

Request a full itinerary here

Contact me here to book your space.

or book your space online. (Requires a deposit).

       


   

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