Having the right kit is essential for any activity holiday. From foot creams to bath soaks, and from super balms to leg gels, we’ve stalked out the best products for family walking holidays and breaks.
All prices were correct at the time of going to press.
Feet and Legs
Encased in socks and boots all day, at best your feet can become tired and achy, and at worse can suffer from blisters and sore areas. End each day with some tootsie TLC, though, and you'll be able to kick back in relief. Start off with Crabtree & Evelyn's La Source Foot Mask (£18, crabtree-evelyn.co.uk) – slather it on and cover with the supplied socks for 20 minutes to let the cocktail of ingredients rejuvenate and refresh. Peppermint oil cools, shea butter and mango seed oil moisturise and a detoxifying clay draws out impurities to leave feet fresh and baby-smooth.
Follow this by sloughing off dead skin and working on rough heels. Liz Earle's Foot Scrub (£11, lizearle.com) contains rosemary, avocado oil and peppermint to buff skin, while Crabtree & Evelyn's Self-Warming Foot Smoother (£16, crabtree-evelyn.co.uk) is a luxurious option that exfoliates, conditions and moisturises in one step. Now massage in a rich foot cream – Nails Inc Bond Street Mexican Lime Foot Cream (£11, nailsinc.com) is a wonderfully zesty indulgent treat that leaves feet super-smooth.
Perfect for not-so sweet smelling soles, Australian Organics' Tea Tree Hand and Foot Cream (£9.25, outbackorganics.co.uk) deodorises and aids any minor scrapes, bruises or split skin, with macadamia oil to soften hard skin. Another product that leaves feet unbelievably soft and free of hard skin is Ahava's Dermud Intenstive Foot Cream (£18, ahava.co.uk), enriched with Dead Sea mineral mud and aloe vera to soothe irritated skin and reduce swelling.
When it comes to cracked heels and dry feet, This Works Perfect Heels Rescue Balm (£15, thisworks.com) is like a miracle in a tube – and just the thing if you need to get you going again, with cotton thistle, lemon and lavender combining in a fast-working remedy. Suti's Fabulous Organic Foot Balm (£16, suti.co.uk), meanwhile, targets damaged skin and sore areas caused by long periods spent on your feet. Olive oil, carrot and avocado give a creamy texture that melts immediately into dry calloused feet while calendula and pumpkin seed soothe soreness. For radical effects wear under socks over night – Eco Tools Sustainable Moisture Socks (£5.99, boots.com) are made with rayon from bamboo, which lets your feet breathe.
If this all sounds like a bit too much effort after a day of exercise, take a pair of Footner Exfoliating Socks (£19.99, boots.com) with you. Just launched, this 'first of its kind' product is a 60-minute treatment in a sock that activates the skin's peeling effect and gets rid of calluses and hard skin.
Legs can bear the brunt of the load on a walking holiday but there are some amazing new products that will put a spring in your step again. Oriflame's Feet Up Cooling Relief Crackling Leg Mousse (£6.95, gb.oriflame.com) has an innovative chill-action technology that gives an odd crackling sensation when applied but instantly cools and relieves heavy legs. Thalgo's Gel Light for Feather-Light Legs (£25.55, thalgo.com) helps eliminate fluid retention and swelling post-walking, while Mandara Spa's Island Paradise Refreshing Cooling Gel (£5, timetospa.co.uk) will cool and revitalise tired limbs while transporting you to an exotic isle with its kukui nut oil, lemon and grapefruit scent.
There's nothing like a good soak at the end of a day on your feet, braving the elements. Sold for more than 100 years, the classic Radox Muscle Soak Bath Therapy (£0.95, thehealthcounter.com) is based on mineral rich natural salts blended with thyme to ease away aches and pain. Just decant some into a bag or empty tub before you go.
Oriflame's Swedish Spa Relaxing Bath Crystals (£3.95, gb.oriflame.com) contain mint and detoxifying Dead Sea salts to unwind and soften skin. For those that must have a few bubbles in their tub, Dove's Beauty Bath (£2.10, boots.com) is an indulgent and economical treat containing moisturising cream.
While you’re soaking, wash away the day's grime and simultaneously target any strains or minor injuries with Love Your Skin's Arnica Bath & Shower Cleansing Gel (£12.99, lys-london.com), rich in arnica montana, lavender and geranium. If you prefer an oil-based shower gel, Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath and Shower Oil (£37, aromatherapyassociates.com) also targets tired and heavy limbs with its potent blend of plant extracts and essential oils. Yardley's English Lavender Luxury Body Wash (£3.50, yardleylondon.co.uk), meanwhile, is just the thing to encourage sleep.
After your soak, rehydrate skin with a good body cream or oil to replenish skin and get you feeling alive again. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner, parent or child on hand to give you a massage, hand them G. Baldwin's Everyday Aches & Pains Body Oil (£5.85, baldwins.co.uk), made with soothing eucalyptus, rosemary, marjoram and black pepper for a deeply restorative effect. Good Things Soothing Body Lotion (£4.99, goodthingsbeauty.com) is great for targeting dry and neglected areas with its passion fruit, peach, goji berry and blueberry.
Korres Guava Body Butter (£12.50, waitrose.com) is a soothing body cream ideal for dry elbows, heels and knees, using guava, a source of vitamin C that stimulates collagen production, shea butter and quince extract to restore elasticity to skin. Lastly, Dove's Pro-Age Nourishment Body Cream Oil (£5.99, boots.com) is a great option for older walkers, with rich glycerin and olive oil to deeply nourish and lock in moisture.
Walking all day means you’re literally facing the elements for long periods of time, and a good facial moisturiser is essential to prevent damage and dehydration. Australian skincare brand Natio's Ageless Daily Moisturiser (£13.60, Debenhams.com) is perfect for protecting the face during summer days spent outside. It's SPF30 and is enriched with rosehip oil, a powerful antioxidant to help protect the skin from free radical damage.
Suited to those walking in harsher conditions is StriVectin-SH Age Protect SPF30 (£45, spacenk.co.uk), a sun cream and moisturiser in one, formulated specifically for those enjoying active holidays in high altitudes and dry winds. Its sheer formulation contains the brand's NIA-114 molecule, clinically proven to repair existing damage while strengthening the skin's natural protective layer.
Walking in the UK? Dr Nick Lowe's Super Charged SPF15 Day Cream (£17.35, boots.com) is the one for you. It gives UVA protection and contains the label's Anti Age Cranley Complex, which shields the skin from environmental conditions, so helping to prevent visible ageing.
If your complexion has been left dry and dehydrated from too much time outside, you'll love Caudalie's Vinosource Crème Moisturising Sorbet (£22, uk.caudalie.com). This gel-cream turns into water upon contact with the skin to instantly soothe and fortify. It is 98% natural and great for younger, sensitive skins.
New from Korres, the Watercress Ultra Nourishing and Moisturising Cream (£19, feelunique.com) targets weathered skin and helps cell renewal by using argan oil and shea butter. Queen's Sensiderma Moisture Soothe (£15.75, queen-cosmetics.com) is aimed at mature skins and sensitive types that have conditions such as rosacea. Aloe vera and almond oil are among the ingredients that give deep moisture and relieve tightness.
To prevent chapped lips, include a balm in your backpack. LP Skin Therapy's Lip Rescue Gel (£15, lpskintherapy.com) not only prevents cracked or sore lips but also contains St John's wort and wild yam for a calming effect and orange oil to improve your mood. Or Living Nature's Lip Balm (£9.75, livingnature.com) using active Manuka honey to keep lips smooth and soft is suitable for the whole family.
Novices to walking for prolonged periods should pack Essential Care's Muscle Ease (£9.50, essential-care.co.uk) for use at the end of each day. Essential oils are blended to give relief to painful joints, muscles and minor strains.
Kiwiherb's Comfrey and Calendula Ointments (£7.09, kiwiherb.co.uk) are handy to have to hand when out and about. The Comfrey Ointment uses arnica flowers, comfrey leaf and root, with lavender essential oil, in a natural base of sunflower oil and beeswax. The result is a natural anti-inflammatory aid to reduce swelling and bruising. TThe Calendula Ointment, meanwhile, heals sore areas and blisters.
The age-old Tiger Balm Red (£2.89, the healthcounter.com) is a herbal ointment designed to relieve aching joints and muscles. Natural ingredients such as cajuput oil, clove oil, menthol and camphor, work to calm irritation and swelling due to sprains, strains, backache and arthritis. The balm can also help relieve tension headaches, as well as the itchiness caused by insect bites.
Thea Spa Natural Deep Tissue Oil Blend (£5.95, theaskincare.co.uk) can be used as a massage oil or added to a bath. The combination of natural essential oils, such as basil, black pepper, chamomile, eucalyptus and rosemary, is deeply penetrative when massaged into injuries or rheumatic pain. It also removes toxins, provides a natural pain relief and aids relaxation. Champney's Skin Comforting Miracle Balm (£5, boots.com), formulated with shea butter, known for its healing properties, and sweet almond oil to nourish damaged skin, is a super-intensive quick-fix treatment for any dry and itchy patches.
Lastly, to keep all the family fresh and fragrant as you explore the great outdoors, take a sachet of 4711 Original Eau De Cologne Wipes (£3, boots.com) – the simplest way to stop feeling hot and bothered.