Easy does it
IF trekking was developed for explorer types who see disaster as a welcome change of pace, then the industry has done a great deal to broaden its appeal. Young backpackers have been wandering around the foothills of Nepal’s Annapurna range for decades now, arriving in Pokhara by bus and surviving on next to nothing. World Expeditions offers an off-the-peg 11-day equivalent for newbie trekkers, which takes in the pretty villages of Landruk and Ghandruk. You won’t sleep higher than 2500m, but you’ll still get stunning views of the Annapurna range and the colossal pyramid of Dhaulagiri, the seventh-highest peak in the world.
The Mountain Company offers a beautiful 11-day village walk in India’s Kumaon mountains in Uttarakhand. You stay in basic but homely accommodation en route, follow easy trails between villages, and end with a few days at the luxurious and very relaxing Himalayan retreat Shakti 360 Leti.
Once kids get over the initial shock of the idea that a walk can last for days, rather than hours, trekking can be a brilliant family option. Exodus offers a great itinerary in Ladakh that takes in visits to Tibetan monasteries, rafting on the Indus and a three-day trek that crosses the Sarmanchan La, a pass that reaches 3750m. The trip is suitable for ages eight and older.
Nepal is also a great place to take children, combining a trek with a visit to Chitwan National Park, close to the border with India, where you can see wildlife and ride elephants. Longtime resident Steve Webster runs Escape2Nepal, a small travel company specialising in ‘‘soft’’ adventures just right for children. He also has a quiet guesthouse, Shivapuri Heights, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, away from the everincreasing noise of Thamel, the city’s tourist district. shaktihimalaya.com themountaincompany.co.uk exodus.co.uk escape2nepal.com