For 34 years, from 1974 to 2007, Waymark Holidays provided walkers and cross-country skiers with memorable holidays. It was a sad day when its last ever group of holidaymakers returned from France on 7 October 2007.
Previously a private company, Waymark was acquired by First Choice Holidays in December 2002, but continued to operate separately for another five years. In the meantime, First Choice had been taken over by TUI, the German travel industry giant, and as the group now included two other outdoor activity specialists (Exodus and Headwater), the writing was on the wall for Waymark, the smallest of the trio.
Inevitably, Waymark would be the first to go, and its Spring 2007 newsletter announced that the company had “teamed up with” (a euphemism for “swallowed up by”) Exodus.
Yet the Waymark name was not quite dead: it had long been the market leader for cross-country skiing (XC) holidays, and a version of the distinctive WM logo continued to appear beside XC holiday descriptions in the Exodus winter brochure, trumpeting “the Waymark experience”. The world of cross-country skiing in Britain had much to thank Waymark for, and there was much lamenting of its passing.
You can read all about it, as well as reminiscences from former directors, staff, leaders and clients, in The Waymark Story, available as a free PDF download, and written and edited by Colin Saunders, a former member of Waymark’s staff.
Click HERE for The Waymark Story.
Former staff member Colin Saunders publishes an occasional newsletter about what Waymark’s former staff, leaders and customers have been doing recently, and some of them get together occasionally for a day’s walk somewhere in London and the south-east. Please email if you would like to receive the newsletter.