The history of Inghams


Inghams was founded by Walter Ingham in 1934, and has now been running for over 85 years, hosting holidays that all celebrate our love for the great outdoors - specialising in skiing holidays, walking holidays and holidays to Lapland. Walter was passionate about sharing all that our amazing planet has to offer with others from around Britain, be it cruising down a slope on skis, chasing the Northern lights on a sleigh or walking to the best view points across Europe. We aim to carry on that sense of adventure in all our holidays to this day. 


Walter Ingham: 

Walter Ingham has long been credited as the man who took Britain skiing!

Walter had a varied life, attending school in Vienna where his initial love of skiing was ignited to joining the army during the war as a linguist, where he became a Lance Corporal in France. 

In 1934, Walter launched his first 'Christmas Party Ski Holiday' to Austria to the British public. After a great success, Walter slowly began to grow his business and that year alone Walter managed to arrange 5 more skiing holidays. 

As time went on, Walter's business started to grow, renting an office in London where his retired father joined him at what became their company 'Inghams'. Here, they expanded from winter holidays for skiing and summer holidays for walking. 

By 1936, Walter had added holidays France as well as Austria, where Walter started to gain 'repeat bookings' and bookings made out of his great reputation and recommendations. Walter soon realised that many people across the UK also loved being outdoors and the adventures he had to offer.

Sadly, the company had to pause as war began and Walter joined the fight and remained in the army until 1948. Once back home, Walter threw himself back into his passion and started up his business again - determined to give people back the inspiration and hope of exciting, adventure travel. That same year, Walter was able to launch his first post-war 'Christmas Party Ski holiday' and so the Inghams brand took off once more. 

Walter found great pleasure in making the great outdoors accessible to many, but eventually found himself sat in meetings instead of out on the slopes himself. So, after many years of success in taking Britain skiing, Walter eventually sold his company to Hotelplan Group who then not only carried on Walters success, but expanded into Lapland Holidays as well (including visiting Santa). 

History Highlights: 

It all began at Christmas 1934. Walter Ingham began advertising his private ski party to Austria in national newspapers, and the first group travelled out over the Christmas holiday.

In 1963 Inghams Travel was acquired by Hotelplan, one of Switzerland’s leading holiday companies, which is in turn, part of the Migros organisation, the largest grocery wholesaler and retailer in Switzerland. Today the Hotelplan Group caters for over 3 million guests.

Ever ahead of the game, in 1999 Inghams was the first UK ski company to take bookings online.

In 2008, Inghams purchased the award-winning walking holiday specialist, Inntravel, who are the UK's leading provider of self-guided walking.

In 2010, Hotelplan acquired the Enigma Travel Group, comprising of Santa’s Lapland.

In 2014 - Inghams celebrated its 80th anniversary, and by 2015 Hotelplan took acquisition of Explore Worldwide.

Now today, we have over 85 years of experience in providing specialist holidays to a global market. As of 2023, Inghams launched a renewed celebration of their passion for the great outdoors to encourage their guests to ski the slopes, walk the walks and explore the Lapland wilderness with a new feel and look to the brand. 


Santa's Lapland: 

Inghams sister company Santa's Lapland specialises in a once in a lifetime holiday to visit Santa in Lapland - as well as his excited Elves and friendly reindeer. 


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