Classic Dolomites - Premium

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8 days
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£1,249
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4.6 / 5 from 50 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
TWU
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays, Premium Adventures
Activity:
Centre-based Walking
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–15

Trek through the Italian Dolomites

The small village of Villabassa, just north of Cortina d'Ampezzo, is nestled close to the Austrian border and sandwiched between the spectacular, jagged limestone peaks of the Dolomites. From here we enjoy an excellent choice of routes with the opportunity to relax in comfort at the end of a day's walking. During the week, we venture into the Fanes-Sennes and Dolomiti di Sesto National Parks for great views of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Historically the front line between Italy and Austria-Hungary during the First World War, the trails take us each day through incredible open-air museums.

Highlights

  • 4-star hotel with delicious food, warm family hospitality and wellness centre
  • Tre Cime di Lavaredo, UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Some weeks Challenging (level 5) 

Key information

  • 7 nights 4-star Hotel Adler, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre-based walking; one free day.
  • Altitude maximum 2539m (level 3) / 2839m (level 5), average 2500m
  • Not recommended for vertigo sufferers

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Day by day breakdown
Day 210.0km/6.0miles
Day 314.0km/8.0miles
Day 414.0km/8.0miles
Day 612.0km/7.0miles
Day 710.0km/6.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Villabassa
to
Villabassa
  • Day 1

    Fly to Venice; transfer to Villabassa.

    Fly to Venice; transfer to Villabassa.

  • Day 2

    Lago di Braies (level 3 weeks)

    The ideal start to visiting this vast area is a walk straight from the hotel through the very pretty, flower filled Braies Valley. We walk through small villages and farmland until we reach the magnificent Lago di Braies (Pragster Wildsee), one of the 297 glacial lakes of the area. It is certainly one of the most beautiful thanks to being surrounded by jagged peaks that are reflected in the extraordinary mirror-like surface of the lake. We follow the route of 'SS hostages', the leaders of 19 countries who were freed after the First World War by the inhabitants of Niederdorf/Villabassa. Approx distance 16km. 750m ascent, 255m descent.

    Summit Durrenstein (level 5 weeks)

    Some departures of this trip are at Level 5. On those weeks the walks completed are slightly different. 

    Starting at Platzweise we walk to the summit of Durrenstein (2950m), a majestic peak which boasts views all the way to the Austrian Tyrol. Distance approximately 14km (approx 930m ascent, 930m descent)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Kreutzberg Pass to Nemes Alm (level 3)

    Today we explore high pastures and ridges along the Austrian border. We walk steadily up to the Summit of Lutterkopf (2145m) before continuing towards Durakopf. Approx distance 12km. 800m ascent, 800m descent.

    Rossalmhütte (level 5 week)

    We start our walk today from the beautiful Lago di Braies (or Pragster Wildsee) and ascend to Rossalmhütte. Distance approximately15km (approx 1250m ascent, 650m descent)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Climb up towards Strudelkopf (level 3 weeks)

    We walk amongst beautiful wild flowers on our climb up to the summit of the Strudlekopf (2307m). We stop at the Durrenstein hut in the early afternoon for a rewarding homemade apfelstrudel. On our descent down the valley, we explore fortifications and tunnels from the First World War on our return. Approx distance 15km. 600m ascent, 1000m descent.

    Col Quaterna or Knieberg (level 5 weeks)

    We start today's walk by heading to the Malga Rinfreddo hut, where we can find local produce (such as cheese) and maybe enjoy a well deserved cup of coffee. We carry on towards the ridge and a possible climb up Col Quaterna or Knieberg (2503m) alongside the Austrian border.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day

    A free day to relax in the hotel's wellness centre or take a self-guided cycle ride around this wonderful area. Alternatively, you can make your way to Bolzano to visit a museum dedicated to Oetzi, the 5000 year-old 'iceman' whose remarkably well-preserved body was found in 1991 high on a glacier on the Austro-Italian frontier. Or you could journey to the attractive provincial capital of Lienz in Austria.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Tre Cime di Lavaredo (level 3 weeks)

    We enjoy a memorable circuit around the famous 'Three Chimneys', or Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Set amid one of the classic mountain groups of this area, our circuit around these impressive peaks is certainly a highlight of the week. Approx distance 12km. 550m ascent, 550 descent.

    Tre Cime di Lavaredo (level 5 weeks)

    Today we complete a beautiful walk near the spectacular Tre Cime di Lavaredo (or Drei Zinnen). Distance approximately 14 km (approx 750m ascent, 750m descent)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Monte Piano (level 3 weeks)

    To complete the week, we take the amazing attacking route of the Austrians up to the summit of Monte Piano (2324m). Using an impressive network of safe paths, bridges and ladders, we find ourselves upon the flat-topped mountain surrounded by some of the most impressive scenery in the Dolomites. It is the site of an open-air museum dedicated to the First World War where trenches, dugouts and shell craters can be seen amongst the many alpine flowers. On our return, we have time to spot the brilliant blue gentians, alpine white edelweiss and bright saffron that create a beautiful scene around Lake Misurina, thanks to the beautiful pink off the limestone rock. Approx distance 13km. 1000m ascent, 600m descent.

    Monte Piano (level 5 weeks)

    Dramatic traverse of Mt Piano's summits, including an exploration of the open air museum on the way to the very friendly Rinbiancco hut. Distance approximately 11km (approx 1000m ascent, 650m descent)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Venice; fly to London.

    To Venice; fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners.

Please note an evening meal is not included on the first evening, as the group flights may arrive late into Villabassa. Sandwiches or snacks are available at the airport or ask the leader to stop on the journey. For breakfast, the hotel offers a large selection of cereals, fruit, cheese and cold meats, (along with tea and coffee of course). Packed lunches are provided for the walks, which are usually sandwiches with a fruit and snack. There is a set menu for evening meals, which may include some local specialities such as Speckknodel.

Weather

In the Dolomites, (as always in the mountains), the weather is very changeable. On average in summer months you can expect some rain on one day in two, but it is likely to come in heavy and thundery outbursts of relatively short duration rather than prolonged showers. In the valleys, daytime temperatures range on average from 12º to 22ºC, although 25º is not unusual. Up in the mountains it will be a few degrees colder. There are always patches of snow remaining on the higher peaks late May and early November, and sometimes due to unpredictable winter weather, this can remain for a little longer *there is always a possibility of snowfall at any time of the season. Therefore you need to be ready for anything, so pack shorts as well as warmer clothes; full waterproofs as well as sun cream.

Is this trip for you?

Due to the nature of the terrain on this trip, neither walking levels are recommended for vertigo sufferers.

Level 3 - moderate walking or level 5 - challenging walking depending on the departures.

We enjoy the same walks and visit the same areas on each trip, but the length and difficulty vary according to the walking level. Please make sure you choose the week that matches your ability.

Most weeks offer Moderate walking (level 3), where we usually walk between 5 and 7 hours per day. The area we are visiting is criss-crossed by a network of long established trails and walking paths, most of them well maintained and waymarked. Even so, paths are rocky and on occasion exposed. A reasonable level of fitness is required for these weeks.

On some weeks, we offer Challenging walking (level 5). On these departures, we usually walk between 6 and 8 hours per day at a steady pace. We use established trails and mountain paths, which are often steep, rocky and more exposed than the level 3 walks. For these departures you will need to be surefooted and have a good level of fitness. Some fixed equipment and easy via ferrata may be encountered.

The exact itinerary (and therefore the length of each walk) may vary depending on weather conditions or other factors beyond our control. Whilst aiming to always follow the routes described in these trip notes, it will be the leader's decision to amend the itinerary if and when necessary. Altitude maximum 2900m, average 2500m.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel Adler - 4 Star

The week is based at Hotel Adler, a 4 star hotel in Villabassa. Located on the village square, this quality hotel is considered the 'best in town'. The cosy bar is often busy with locals and there is a relaxing lounge for peaceful reading. Other facilities include a superb indoor pool and wellness centre with sauna, steam room, solarium and small fitness centre. The well-known restaurant, run by head chef Helene Markart, appears in the Michelin Guide among others; the menu features a mixture of local and international cuisine. All bedrooms are spacious and have en-suite facilities, minibar and TV. A limited number of double rooms for single use are available for a supplement.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2017
    susan brown

    classic dolomites premium

    This was my first Exodus holiday and first trip on my own, so i didn't know what to expect. I need not have worried. the trip was absolutely first class five star. the Group leader was a real character, very knowledgeable about the area, the walks were very cleverly thought out and the views were spectacular. The Hotel Adler was very welcoming and the staff were very helpful, the food was delicious. and catered for vegetarians and food sensitivities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment of the trip for me was the actual walk programme, which was perfect for a level 3. As a group of strangers we all got along very well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was a real character, bringing a great deal of knowledge about the area in which we were walking. He was very tentative and ensuring the safety of all the group members.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to be wowed by the scenery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would recommend this holiday to all enthusiastic walkers.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Nicky Handcock

    Classic Dolomites

    This was a moderate walking holiday in the Dolomites, with Premium accommodation. The trip certainly lived up to its expectations - which, with Exodus, are always high! Fabulous walking that got more challenging and more rewarding as the week went on, great group, excellent leader and wonderful accommodation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through snow and ice, up and up and up to the Three Chimneys. The views were astounding and it was well worth the effort of getting up there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was entertaining, knowledgeable, an integral part of the group and always ready to change or amend the plans according to the weather or the ability of the group members. He also gave us useful tips on things like the use of walking poles and did all he could to ensure we had a brilliant holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking can be tough and there is plenty of uphill, so do get as fit as possible before the trip. Bring plenty of warm clothes for the mountains and be prepared for all weathers.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Sarah Conlon

    Beautiful walking

    Great trip. Opportunity for two walks each day. I only did level 5 which were varied heights and terrain. Awesome views. Guide changed itinerary when we were hit with early snow. Beautiful views each day. Four seasons in one week!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    360 degree views of Dolomites and then whiteout on one of the days

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ingrid was very fit, friendly and kind. She was very knowledgable and made the walk to suit. We were a small group of level 5 and were not fit enough for level 5 walks so she adjusted and made the walks challenging with level 5 sections so perfect. She waited patiently and we never felt rushed. Albert I didn't walk with but had the pleasure of a few beers and dinner at end of day. Great man, very experienced and funny to boot!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We had four seasons in one week. I should have packed better so more emphasis on trip notes of the variation in weather. I expected variation but not from 33 degrees to 0 and snow. Some members of the group underestimated the physical fitness needed and so I think the required level of fitness needs to be higher on the notes so good level for level 3 and above average/very good for level 5. Two members of the group lost bags and only did one walk so maybe suggest packing outfit etc in hand luggage??

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great trip, great leaders, completely knackered! Hotel is fab. Drinks great quality and generous quantity. Service from all staff was amazing! Don't change the hotel!!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Steven Buxton

    Walking the dolomites

    Level 5 week nice introduction to walking in the dolomites nice centre based hotel with facilities. Relaxed atmosphere and lovely surroundings. Challenging walks but not to difficult or technical ideal trip for relaxing short break in beautiful area

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tough but rewarding climb up to Monte piano.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent knowledge and very approachable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walking poles good investment.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Rupert and Jo Livingstone

    Grade 5 Dolomites fun

    We chose a grade 5 challenging week and it did not disappoint. This part of the Dolomites is incredibly beautiful, Tre Cime is one of the most beautiful places we have walked and we felt part of the landscape, almost swallowed by it's beauty and grandeur. Each day of walking brought something different and each was wonderful. Returning to the Hotel Adler each day made the trip very special as the facilities, the food, the accommodation and the staff are simply superb.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tre Cime was a highlight with almost too much natural beauty to take in. Throughout the days walk, in each and every direction there were awesome views that made us feel humbled and privileged to be there. Monte Piano was equally good in a different way. The walk up was long and sweaty but enjoyable and worthwhile. The wooden steps and steel ropes were interesting and gave security on what might have been a tricky section. Seeing the trenches and bunkers on the summit, amidst such natural beauty, brought the futility of war and the power of nature into stark contrast.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was very good, imparting some advice to each of us (all experienced walkers) on the most efficient way to walk and use poles. He was enthusiastic without being over the top and the sight of seeing him skip and jump down the trail each day gave our weary limbs a little boost.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really, the trips notes are clear and representative of what you will do. We did the challenging week and the walking was what we expected, tough but not beyond regular/experienced walkers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Villabassa is a lovely village and you should be able to get any extras you might need in the supermarket (helpfully open early each morning) - trail mix, cereal bars, fruit etc. but there is not much else. If you prefer specific or specialist products it is probably best to take them with you.
  • Reviewed August 2017
    DAVID BELL

    Classic Dolomites - premium

    An excellent week of walking in the dolomites expertly led by Alex. Very comfortable hotel with wonderful food. Breakfasts and evening meals were all very good. The weather was cool and damp at times but Alex chose excellent routes to follow and the free day cycling to Bruneck was very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final day's walk to the World war 2 trenches on the Italy/ Austria border. A great climb up the mountain with wonderful views and very interesting historical sites at the top.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex knew the area very well and planned for the fickle weather. He did not always give enough information regarding what to take on each walk but we were generally well prepared for all eventualities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get plenty of walking training in before you go and you will love this trip. Be prepared for all weathers and walking poles are a must in my opinion.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel Adler is very comfortable and food is excellent. The choice at breakfast was superb.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    David Williams

    Dolomites

    A great week away walking in the dolomites, weather was perfect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Scenery fantastic, hotel comfortable, staff friendly and welcoming, food very good, beer cold, sunshine all week, what could be better.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent leader, helpful, knowledgeable, friendly worked well with the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just book it you won't regret it
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Karen Duffy

    Memories for a life time

    This was my first European walking holiday and I was very impressed with the quality of the whole holiday from the Hotel Adler and its staff who were very accommodating to our guide Alex and also the team at the office. I did wonder about food on holiday as I am a picky eater but all the food provided was delicious and more than enough. There is nothing I could fault on this holiday even with rain for 2.5 days of our walks we managed to do all but the last day of the planned routes and in my opinion it added a chance to see the Dolomites in a dramatic scene as well as glorious sunshine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The penultimate day of walking was beautiful scenery throughout the whole day and a chance to spot native flowers in the wild also.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was fantastic. He was informative and supportive to all group members setting the pace at a level that suited all abilities in the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There is a lovely pool in the hotel that you can relax after a day's walking. If you have the chance to take this walk from Brunex to local ski resort they have a ski lift to 3000ft which gives most impressive panaromic views of Alps and Dolomites on a clear day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great holiday and worth booking, I have fantastic memories and can't wait till my next holiday.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Helen Thew

    Excellent walking trip in the Dolomites

    An excellent trip which I would highly recommend to other walkers. Each day's walk takes you to a different part of the Dolomites to explore and enjoy. Alex, our group leader, had very good knowledge of the area and could adapt our walks based on the weather conditions and was able to share his historical information with us. The hotel, Hotel Alder, in Villabassa, was a treat to come home to every night - the food was superb and the staff were very friendly. There were 12 of us in the group and we all got on very well indeed which made for a very good week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last day's walk on Monte Piano was very special. We were lucky with the weather and had blue skies and lovely sunshine making the views just amazing. However, thinking about the events that had taken place up there during the war was a very sobering moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was an excellent group leader and kept our group together very well which made for a very united group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all weather conditions in one day!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    To future travelers - you will spend most of the week having "wow' moments at the scenery - hope you enjoy as much as I did!
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Robert Hill

    Walking in the Dolomites from a very fine hotel

    The Dolomites are spectacular. I did the moderate week and found it accurately rated and described. The Hotel Adler was just the cream on the cake with friendly staff, a good bar and outdoor seating area and really, really good meals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day the fabulous scenery in the Dolomites. July 1 - 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and we were in the trenches in Monte Piano the front lines of Italy and Austria Hungary.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was extremely knowledgeable and efficient. But more than that he took care to see everyone was safe and having a good time. His video on our last evening of winter activities in the Dolomites was absolutely spectacular and an unadvertised added bonus. I would not hesitate to follow Alex on future adventures

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make full use of the Spa at the Hotel Adler. Make sure you have full wet weather gear. Most of our days the first week of July were warm and sunny. But one day a late afternoon thunderstorm caught us out and anyone without full wet weather gear would be soaked to the skin in minutes with miles more to walk down the valley.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For me this was the perfect follow up to the Tour de Mt. Blanc trip the previous year.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 0208 772 3936