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ACE Nature Tours



Introduction from Dr Roland Randall

As one of ACE’s longest standing tour directors, I am delighted to introduce to you ACE Cultural Tours nature programme. The timing is particularly important as – having led tours for ACE since the 1980s – I will soon be retiring and handing over the tour directing reins to my colleagues, while continuing to take an active role in developing the natural history programme.

An intriguing blend

Marcus Kohler for example – a keen bird and animal ecologist – has recently developed a fascinating autumn tour to the Isles of Scilly to coincide with the bird migration, interwoven with many other aspects of these islands, including their Bronze and Iron Age past.

Since I started working for ACE, a number of highly experienced and engaging tour leaders have come on board, including Dr Peter Exley, geologist Dr Morag Hunter, biogeographer and Mediterranean specialist Dr Harriet Allan and botanist Professor John Parker. These experts have impressed me not only in their specialist subjects, but also in the broader ecology of the areas in which they have researched.

This absorbing combination exemplifies a hallmark of ACE’s approach to natural history – an immersive blend of natural history with history, archaeology, geology and landscape (and, of course, good food!) that is hard to find elsewhere. There is always something new for the general interest traveller, but also opportunities for the more specialised person to hone their ornithological or botanical skills in company with an expert in the field.

The on-tour experience

Most of our tours take us out into the field throughout the day, exploring the ecology of the localities in which we are staying. In the evening, either before or after dinner, there is the opportunity to hear a talk, enter into discussions or review the highlights of the day (or go to the bar or to bed instead!). Nothing is compulsory, but most people find an in-depth look at natural history and how it impinges on, and is affected by, other subjects, an intriguing and rewarding experience.

Roland Randall, botanist, biogeographer and Chair of Trustees, The ACE Foundation



Somerset levels in Winter

Feb 14 - 17, 2018; £595 | Peter Exley

 Join the RSPB’s Peter Exley on this winter wildlife tour to look out for Somerset’s growing flock of cranes, recently reintroduced after a 400 year absence. More>>


Crete: Birds, Flowers & Minoans

Apr 3 - 10, 2018; £1995 | Kevin Hand

Absorb captivating views across the Cretan landscape from the beautiful Lassithi Plateau and explore the Minoan palace at Knossos in addition to the remains at Gournia and Malia. More>>


Sardinia: Birds, Flowers & Nuraghi

Apr 17 – 24, 2018; £1895 | Kevin Hand & Harriet Allen

Discover Sardinia’s wonderful flora and fauna in a variety of habitats including coastal lagoons, cork oak woodland, and karstic mountain landscapes. More>>


Wildlife & Walking in Extremadura

May 2 - 9, 2018; £1695 | Kevin Hand

May 9 - 16, 2018; £1695 | Kevin Hand

Wander over rolling plains and through cork and holm oak dehesas in one of the most untouched areas of Spain.

2nd May departure More >>

9th May departure More >>


Wild Romania

May 3 - 10, 2018; £1795 | Marcus Kohler

Explore Romania’s breath-taking landscapes, rich diversity of flora and fauna, and fascinating culture. More >>


Isles of Scilly

May 8 - 15, 2018; £2245 | Peter Exley

Explore the botanical and ornithological highlights of the tranquil Isles of Scilly in the company of expert exologists. More >>


Poland's Green Lung

May 22 - 29, 2018; £1695 | Kevin Hand

Explore the truly unique environment of Bialowieza, the greatest primeval deciduous and coniferous forest on the continent, home to wild boar, red deer and wild bison. More >>


Islay, Jura & Colonsay

Jun 19-26, 2018; £1795 | Kevin Hand

Islay, the ‘Queen of the Hebrides’, will be our base for this rewarding study of the area’s flora and fauna. More >>


Iceland: History & Landscape

Jul 8 – 15, 2018; £3795 | Harriet Allen

Uncover Iceland’s extraordinary natural history through visits to several of the country’s glaciers, waterfalls and steaming vents– including its largest ice cap,Vatnajo╠łkull. More>>


Wild & Ancient Orkney

July 14 - 21, 2018; £1795 | Andrew Wilson & Peter Exley

Survey the spectacular archaeological treasures of the Orkney Islands, whose Neolithic monuments are a UNESCO World Heritage site and enjoy the special Orcadian flora and fauna, from marine mammals and seabird ‘cities’ to the rare and delightful Scottish primrose. More >>


Arctic Finland & Norway

August 3 - 11, 2018; £2515 | Kevin Hand

Travel above the Arctic Circle to explore some of Europe’s largest remaining wilderness landscapes: from taiga forest to sparse tundra and dramatic coastline. More >>


South Africa

Aug 31 - Sep 5, 2018; £4495 | John Parker

Travel through the magnificent scenery of the Cape, from sandy coastlines to rugged mountains, at a time when the landscape is carpeted with dazzling displays of spring flowers. More>>


Isles of Scilly

September 4 - 11, 2018; £2245 | Marcus Kohler

Explore the botanical and ornithological highlights of the tranquil Isles of Scilly in the company of expert exologists. More >>


Wildlife of Andalucia & the Straits of Gibraltar

September 15 - 22, 2018; £2025 | Marcus Kohler

Explore the endemic wildlife of southern Andalucía and Gibraltar and witness the amazing movement of western European migratory soaring birds across the Gibraltar Strait. More >>


Wildlife of Albania

October 12 - 19, 2018; £1895 | Kevin Hand

Uncover a little visited European gem, where snow-capped mountains plunge into bright blue seas, charming villages nestle amongst the forested landscape, and coastal lagoons teem with birdlife. More >>