Contours' 2019 in Review

2019 was a very busy year for the Contours team, as we got involved with a range of exciting research trips, conservation days and charity events. Here is a rundown of the variety of activities the team got up to last year:


At the very beginning of the year, we welcomed three new recruits to the office. Bex, Finn and Vikki joined our Customer Services Team, Tour Pack Team and Booking Team respectively. They have each become fully-fledged members of the Contours team and we're delighted to have them. Thanks guys!


This month, Database Administrator Alec and Visual Marketing Specialist Tana headed out on the Tarka Trail to carry out some important route research, ensuring that the information we supply for this trail is completely up to date. You can read how they got on here, or alternatively watch this wonderful short film.

Also in February, our Company Director Karen did her own valuable route research by walking the Shropshire Hills trail in Wales, accompanied by Office Dogs Tia and Ralph. Check out her blog about walking the Shropshire Hills here.


March was quite a busy month for our Customer Services Team: Our head of Customer Services, Christine, went out to review the Usk Valley Walk in Wales (read her blog here) while Customer Services Advisor Richard explored the Three Dales Way in Yorkshire (his blog can be found here). Thirdly, our Customer Services Supervisor Ben headed out into the Lake District to check the Lakeland Three Passes trail, and managed to capture some spectacular video footage along the way. Check out his video here.

As well as this, up in Northumberland our Booking Team Supervisor Laura ran a section of the Hadrian's Wall Path to check its suitability for our Trail Running holidays. This was Laura's first real taste of multi-day running, and she relished the opportunity to explore this iconic trail first-hand. You can read about her adventures here, or watch her film here.

Finally, back in the office itself, the Contours Team enjoyed a fun-filled day of activities, treats and laughter at the end of March, all to raise money for Comic Relief. Director Karen got us all kitted out in official T-shirts, Customer Services Manager Christine led a team stretching class, Booking Team member Rebecca hosted a quiz, and we shared a variety of homemade cakes and goodies! Overall, we raised more than £400 for Comic Relief!


With the weather gradually warming up, April was the perfect time to help with some valuable conservation work in the Peak District. A motley bunch of Contours staff members suited up and headed to Abney Grange, where they were tasked with dismantling an old bridge and erecting two waymarker posts. Click here to read how they got on.


This month saw the Contours team take part in the Castle to Abbey Coastal Challenge, a 24-mile walk from Scarborough to Whitby to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cleveland Way National Trail. For some of the group, this was by far the longest day walk they've ever done, and they were all very proud of their achievements. Read more about their experience of the challenge walk here.


Our Head of Customer Services Christine went out on the trails again in June; this time she walked the Downs Link trail in order to review its suitability as a new walking holiday route for 2020. You can read her thoughts about the Downs Link here. In the meantime, Company Director Karen was out in the Wye Valley, updating our route information for our existing Wye Valley Short Break walk. Check out her trail diary here.

Marketing Coordinator Melody was also busy exploring a new trail this month, namely the Lincolnshire Coast Path. Accompanied by loyal Office Dog Effie, the duo enjoyed a wonderful beachside excursion from Gibraltar Point to Mablethorpe, taking in a range of attractions along the way. Their short film will be available to watch soon!


The new trail research trips continued into July, which saw Database Supervisor Gosia reviewing the Camel Trail in the southwest of England. She had a fantastic time checking out the route from Wenfordbridge to Padstow, and is confident that our customers will love it, too. Her blog will be available to read soon!

Meanwhile, Visual Marketing Specialist Tana headed out to review part of the Kennet and Avon Canal walking trail, from Devizes to Bath. This particular trail is known for its flat terrain and lack of obstacles, so Tana's job was to check out its suitability for walking beginners and those with mild impairments. Check out this short film for a closer look at this wonderful route.


August saw Company Director Karen return to Wales to review the Three Castles Walk, in order to ensure that our route notes were all up to date. This circular trail has bags of character to uncover, thanks to its three iconic border fortresses found along the way. You can read her first-hand account of the route here.


The Contours team thoroughly enjoyed hosting our second annual Macmillan Coffee Morning at the end of September. Lots of delicious, homemade treats were shared while we played fun games and had a wonderful time. Thank you to Laura in the Booking Team for once again organising this fabulous event, and a huge thank you to everyone for donating generously; we are delighted to have successfully raised £100 for Macmillan Cancer Support!


As the busy summer season begins to wind down, this is the ideal time of year for the Contours Team to refresh their skills with their annual Emergency Training days. These training days are designed to give the team a chance to practice handling emergency scenarios, while also enjoying a teambuilding day out in the countryside. Click here to read about this year's training.


As the weather became progressively colder, Customer Services Advisor Richard grabbed his winter cycling gear and went out to review the Trans Cambrian cycling route in Wales. This is one of our new cycling holiday routes, and Richard was excited at the opportunity to ride the trail and discover its unique attributes for himself. His blog will be available to read soon!


Lastly, the last month of the year saw the Contours team getting in the festive spirit, donning our festive knitwear in honour of Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day, and raising money for a worthy cause in the process. As well as this, the team enjoyed decorating the office (and redecorating when some of it fell down!) and shared many wonderful moments during our annual Secret Santa and Christmas lunch celebrations. A perfect way to see out the end of 2019, and here's to an equally exciting 2020!

Originally published 31/12/19

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