Things To Do in Barnes, Battersea, Cheam, Clapham, Epsom, Fulham, Kingston, Putney, Surbiton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Wimbledon

Flying Solo

Solo travelling has long shed its image of attracting only the lonely; now it’s regarded as a perfect opportunity to have the holiday you have always wanted and meet like-minded people along the way. Yes, you could head off backpacking, but if you’re keen to avoid the gap year connotations and are looking for a little more luxury, the good news is that travel companies have become increasingly attuned to the needs of the solo traveller, making it easier to book, with the promise of fun, new friends and beautiful sights.

For the culture seeker
Delve into your cultural passions and join a dedicated tour, such as those run by Martin Randall Travel. These not only employ lecturers knowledgeable in their field to lead the group on excursions, but they also host meals with the tour company, so single travellers can join in convivial conversation over dinner. Are you an art aficionado? Try its Picasso in Spain tour, taking in the places associated with the artist in Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona. Passionate about Puccini? Book onto a tour of Lucca and evenings of opera near Puccini’s home. This is really about travelling with people who share your passions; you can also choose from archaeology, literature and drama, and gastronomy tours. ?

For the adventurer
There are many advantages of travelling in a group on a solo tour – avoiding the tourist traps, the chance to make friends, local leaders guiding the group to offer peace of mind – and Intrepid Traveller has these areas covered. The company offers a raft of themed trips covering everything from cycling Tanzania’s off-road tracks to sailing around Indonesia and trekking in the Patagonia wilderness. For a truly adventurous trip, how about embarking on a spot of sea kayaking in the Antarctic? This is just one of the options available on its Polar Tours, along with snow shoeing, mountaineering and even camping out for a night. ?

For cruise lovers
One of the disadvantages of travelling by yourself is the potential single supplement charge. ROL Cruises, however, offers cruise options with either low or no single supplement for solo travellers. One of its most popular cruises, if you’re travelling alone, is its Baltic Cities tour. You’ll take in the charming sights of Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm all from the eightpassenger deck ship Marco Polo. Solos Holidays also offers cruise options; one of the operators it works with, Marella Cruises, offers trips that take solo travellers around the tropical islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Grenada, Bonaire and St Lucia or around the stunning islands of South East Asia ?,

For the sun worshipper
Friendship Travel has cottoned on to the fact that not all solo travellers are looking to climb mountains or kayak wild waters, but may be in search of a place to relax in the sun. Head to the glorious white sandy beach-fringed shores of the aquamarine Caribbean Sea with its trip to the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun Resort in Mexico, where you can linger by the pool or on the beach. Or stay closer to home and check in to a beachfront hotel on the small Greek island of Paros, for golden sands and a full range of watersports. ?

For the explorer
Just You holidays aren’t just for singles, they’re for anyone who wants to travel solo, and offers a range of trips from walking in Tuscany, train journeys in the Pyrenees and tours of the Grand Canyon. Its 10-day China trip takes you from Beijing to Xian, Chengdu to Shanghai, taking in the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Warriors, a Chengdu tea ceremony and a visit to the Panda Breeding Research Centre. It has also added 12 new tours to its 2018/2019 offer, including to the Galápagos, Ecuador, Transylvania and the Inca Trail.

Travelling alone has never been more popular, Steph Siegle rounds up a few of her favourite trips for one

 Stop off in South East Asia on Sola Cruises Around the World trip © Solo cruises Cycling in Cambodia © Intrepid Travel Antarctica Cierva Cove Kayakers © Intrepid Travel