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Theresa May dressed for action as she begins Swiss Alps trek with husband Philip

Published 12/08/2016

Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip hike through a Swiss forest on the first day of their summer holiday
Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip hike through a Swiss forest on the first day of their summer holiday

Theresa May headed out on an Alpine trek with husband Philip as they began a two-week holiday in Switzerland.

The couple are regular visitors to the Swiss Alps, with the Prime Minister previously revealing she loves holidaying in the country because she can get some ''peace and quiet''.

In contrast to her usual glamorous footwear, the PM ditched the kitten heels for a pair of sturdy walking boots.

Allowing photographers to capture an image at the start of her break, the premier's holiday looked to be a very different style to that of her predecessor.

David Cameron and wife Samantha were regularly snapped dressed in summer wear, enjoying a drink in a beach-side cafe as they relaxed in sunnier climes.

The Mays, however, looked ready for action as they headed out into a forest using hiking poles and wearing similar walking trousers, boots, polo shirts and rucksacks.

The Prime Minister said she and her husband ''discovered the joys'' of walking in the country ''quite by chance''.

In a piece for the Telegraph in August 2007, she said: ''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, enjoyed it and gradually began doing more adventurous hikes.

''We have been going back ever since and have walked all over the country.''

Mrs May said her two favourite areas are Zermatt and the Bernese Oberland, which are both ''fantastic for walking''.

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

During a recent visit to Berlin, her first overseas trip as premier, Mrs May gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel two books about hiking to reflect their shared passion for the hobby.

The holiday comes one month after Mrs May took the keys to No 10 following Mr Cameron's resignation in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister remains in charge and will be kept fully briefed while she is away. Chancellor Philip Hammond is the most senior Cabinet minister in London during her absence.

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