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Theresa takes some stick m61wob sticku M62stickup; HOTSPOTS AS PM HIKES, HERE'S WHERE OTHERS HOLIDAYED After strolling into No10, May hits another high walking in Swiss Alps.


JUST weeks after arriving at No 10, it looks like Theresa May has already taken a hike Sadly for her opponents and critics, the Prime Minister hasn't flounced out of Downing Street like David Cameron, she is on a walking holiday with husband Philip, 58, in the Swiss Alps.

While she may have strolled into office with no obstacles, yomping up huge hills will require a bit more effort for the 59-year-old Tory leader.

But being a stickler for detail and preparation, there was no way she would arrive on a walking holiday without the proper gear of boots, hiking sticks and rucksacks full of supplies. Mind you, hoofing it up well-marked pathways in the Alps will be a doddle compared to the mountain she will have to climb when she returns home on August 24 to guide Britain through Brexit amid fears of economic doom.

May is the first PM since Margaret Thatcher to take a break in Switzerland. She has been a regular visitor there for the past 30 years with investment banker Philip and has written about their Swiss trips.

She said: "Philip and I discovered the joys of walking in Switzerland quite by chance. "We first visited the country about 25 years ago but spent most of the time in Lucerne. On a return trip, we decided to go walking and gradually began doing more adventurous hikes.

"We have been going back ever since and have walked all over the country. However, we have two favourite areas - Zermatt and the Bernese Oberland. Both are fantastic for walking.

"Zermatt is pretty high and most of the walks have wonderful views of the Matterhorn and the Bernese Oberland is overlooked by three stunning mountains - the Eiger, Jungfrau and Moench.

"If you're a keen walker, Switzerland is a wonderful summer destination. The views are spectacular, the air is clear and you can get peace and quiet.

"A good time to go is June when a lot of wild flowers are blooming. Sadly, Parliament is sitting at that time of the year so we usually visit in August.

"If you go, the key thing is to be well-prepared and invest in a good pair of walking boots."

Of course, being PM means May will have to be trailed by bodyguards, even on holiday.

The clear mountain air and stunning views in the Swiss Alps is a change of scene for the team, who, not that long ago, were protecting David Cameron. In his tenure, minders spent summers at sun-drenched resorts in spots such as Portugal, Lanzarote and Ibiza.

There were also a series of staycations. Cameron and wife Samantha headed to North Cornwall each summer and fitted in a break at her father Viscount Astor's Scottish estate in Jura. He owns a six-bedroom cottage on the island, as well as the 20,000-acre Tarbert estate.

Cameron was last week pictured in Corsica but is believed to be heading to Jura this weekend. His visit is well-timed - the grouse shooting season opened yesterday with the Glorious 12th.

The former PM is a keen shot but had to shelve his hobby during his spell in No10 for fear of a public outcry if he was pictured shouldering a weapon.

May's hiking trip is in stark contrast to holidays of other Prime Ministers throughout history.

As well as Switzerland, Thatcher and husband Denis, like the Camerons, loved Cornwall. Harold Wilson visited the Scilly Isles, Gordon Brown and wife Sarah stayed in Norfolk and Tony Blair's family took regular trips to Italy.

Further back in time, Harold Macmillan holidayed in Yorkshire and Clement Attlee spent time in North Wales, as did David Lloyd George.

Britain's wartime PM Winston Churchill enjoyed painting during a stay in exotic Marrakesh.

LLOYD GEORGE: WALES THIS PM didn't go far for his hols. Here, Liberal Lloyd George is seen on a camping holiday at Moel Hebog in North Wales. He began the tradition of PMs posing for cameras on a break designed to demonstrate they're "one of us".

ATTLEE: WALES ONCE described as "a quiet man with a lot to be quiet about", Attlee took that to heart on vacations. He chose to relax with his family in the small seaside town of Nefyn in North Wales, where he would row boats and sit on the beach.

CHURCHILL: MARRAKESH FOR Churchill, only the exotic would do.

Marrakesh in Morocco was his top spot, where he'd paint the landscape's colours. In World War II, he persuaded a reluctant US president, Franklin D Roosevelt, to join him there.

THATCHER: CORNWALL THE workaholic disliked a holiday. But she and husband Denis did find one place to relax - Cornwall. The PM fell in love with Constantine Bay. In Switzerland, she stayed with ex-MP Sir Douglas Glover in Schloss Freudenberg.

MACMILLAN: YORKSHIRE TORY Harold Macmillan is pictured on a grouse-shooting trip on Barden High Moor in the Yorkshire Dales, with the Duchess of Devonshire and the Duke of Devonshire's agent. A year earlier, as soon as the August grouse season had started, he went shooting at Swinton.

BLAIR: TUSCANY HE earned the nickname "Tuscan Tony" for his many visits to the Italian region, usually at Villa Mucchio, owned by Labour's ex-Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson.

WILSON: SCILLY ISLES THEY loved the Scillies so much that in 1958 Harold Wilson and wife Mary bought land for PS200 and built a three-bed bungalow which they visited for the rest of their lives. His biographer wrote: "He wouldn't have wanted anything that detracted from his image as a plain man."

BROWN: NORFOLK RUMOUR had it that Gordon Brown had to be pushed into going on holiday by his wife Sarah to make him look more at ease in public. The Browns stayed in Norfolk during his leadership, taking in Whitlingham Country Park, near Norwich.

CAMERON: CORNWALL was the first place David Cameron headed on holiday as PM, and he returned there numerous times with SamCam. He once raised laughs by attempting to get changed under his beach towel with photographers lurking nearby.


SUMMIT TO DO May and Philip on a forest hike in Switzerland. Picture: Reuters
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 13, 2016
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