William and Kate trek to Bhutan's Tiger's Nest monastery

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Media captionThe Duke said the trek was ''easy'' and the Duchess called the countryside ''beautiful''

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have trekked in the Himalayas to Bhutan's Tiger Nest monastery.

They took time to soak up the panoramic views surrounding the 17th century monastery, formally known as Paro Taktsang, during a three-hour walk.

Situated about 10,000ft (3,000m) above sea level and on a cliff face, the monastery is considered to be one of the holiest for the Bhutanese people.

The royal pair are taking part in a seven-day tour of India and Bhutan.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge walked hand in hand for part of the hike.

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"It was quite tough on the way up," Prince William said after completing the challenge, while the duchess added the journey was a "great way to burn off the curry".

The couple, who arrived in the kingdom on a flight from India on Thursday, in the evening attended a reception for British nationals in Bhutan and Bhutanese people with strong links to the UK.

The duchess wore a full-length red chiffon gown featuring a poppy pattern - a nod to the Himalayan blue poppy which is Bhutan's national symbol - by British fashion house Beulah, one of the her favourite designers.

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Image caption The trek took the royal couple through a pine forest
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Image caption The duke and duchess climbed for three hours to reach the Tiger's Nest
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Image caption They spoke to Khenpo Phuntsok Tashi, director of Bhutan's National Museum, on their way up
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Image caption The couple later attended a reception in capital Thimpu where she met Bhutanese people with strong links to the UK

'Great view'

William and Kate's route up to the Tiger's Nest trailed through a pine forest on the slopes of the hill.

The duchess was dressed in a white blouse, leather jerkin, leggings and calf-length boots, while Prince William wore chinos and a blue shirt and walking boots.

The hike to the monastery, which was built in 1692, was one which the Prince of Wales half completed in 1998, but hampered by a polo injury he decided to sketch the scenery rather than continue to the top.

On arriving at the summit the duchess said: "Wow, that's amazing", while Prince William, admiring the architecture, said: "Look at the roof, it's cool. What a great view."

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Image caption The royal couple spun prayer wheels at a stop at the half way stage on the trek
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Image caption And posed for photographs
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Image caption They walked arm-in-arm on their way to the site
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Image caption They were following in the footsteps of the Prince of Wales, who visited the area in 1998

Sonam Penjor, 34, who works in the Bhutan information department, said: "Prince Charles came here before in 1998, but he only made it to the cafeteria, the halfway point. So he took some nice shots but he was not able to come to this point.

"Maybe the altitude affected him. I think his son and daughter-in-law wanted to beat him.

"They wanted to recapture his father's memories but go further. And maybe later George and Charlotte will come to follow in their parents' footsteps."

The monastery is near the cave where Guru Padmasambhava - who is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan - is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days in the 8th Century.

The monastery partially burnt down in 2008 and took two years to rebuild.

On Thursday evening, they had a private dinner on Thursday with Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema.

They are due to return to India to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, on Saturday, before returning to the UK the following day.

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Image caption The duke and duchess had dinner with Bhutan's king and queen on Thursday evening

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