Claire Balman

Claire Balman


I was born and raised in the Northwest of England, where from an early age our holidays to Castleton and the Peak District inspired a love of beautiful mountains and countryside.  As a child I also have early memories of watching the TDF with my grandma and being completely mesmerized by the mountains and stunning terrain.

I cut my professional teeth in the world of hospitality, working for large international hotel chains for over a decade and here I grew my curiosity for travel and enjoyment of meeting new people from all over the world.  My work took me to sunny Scotland, where I met my husband and got to discover a whole new playground of awe-inspiring mountains – walking, camping and later learning to rock climb and ski. My first ski trips to the Alps blew my mind and still do.

My passion for health and fitness grew beyond my role in hospitality and I trained to become a Group Exercise Instructor and Fitness Professional.  My work grew until I could sustain a living from teaching health & fitness full-time. Teaching Indoor Cycling classes was up there with my favourites when back in 2013 I discovered road biking and started cycling outdoors (following gentle coercion from my super keen spin class participants who were also local bike club members, I think just wanting to get their own back and see me suffer on the road!).

Still considering myself as a rookie rider, I am grateful for every chance I get to get out on my bike, explore new routes and challenge myself either alone, or with friends and fellow bike riders I meet on the way. I love riding hills. Something about the air, the space and general epic-ness! I have been fortunate enough to have ticked off a few L’Etape du Tours in my relatively short ‘cycle life’ alongside a few brutal Scottish sportives, and a Mallorca 312.  I love the challenge, of course, but I really think the magic is sharing those experiences with everyone else on the road!

Following the challenging years of the pandemic, in 2021 my family and I took the leap of moving our lives to a small town in the Aude region of France where I’m now usually found teaching yoga or cycling, walking, paddleboarding, rock climbing, and occasionally kite surfing (badly). I am a keen nature lover and thrive on sharing most things energetic & life outdoors.

I am excited to be part of the Marmot Tours team in 2024 and can’t wait to meet you!