Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our cycling holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their cycling holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their cycling holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Dr Penney on 29/11/2016
Excellent organisation and friendliness of staff/guides at Headwater. We opted for cycling in Burgundy with the gastronomic option. We're all foodies to a degree but found it was all just too much of a good thing and relished the thought of beans on toast when we got back to the UK. The problem with 5 course meals for a group is that when the meal's over it's time for bed! A wholesome beef casserole would have gone down a treat with time afterwards for a drink or two. The bikes were great and fit for purpose, most of them new.
By Mrs Craig on 29/11/2016
This was our best holiday so far with headwater. Each hotel was better than the last. The hotel Le Clos was quaint with lovely breakfasts served in the garden . A new owner was taking over when we were there. Le Deux Chevres was excellent, a very comfortable room and excellent breakfasts and packed lunch. The Chateau Sainte Sabine was stunning. Our room was beautiful with a lovely view over the park .
We cycled every day. From Gevrey Chambertin we cycled into Dijon on our 'rest day' . At Sainte Sabine we did the suggested cycle. On our extra day at Beaune we cycled into town along the cycle path. We were glad that we had booked the extra day to recover at Le Clos. Beaune was very interesting .
All the meals were excellent and well earned! The transport to restaurants, when required, well organised.The distances were doable by 2 slightly elderly occasional cyclists! There are two steep climbs but the views are worth it and offset by some easier stretches by the picturesque canal .
By Ms Cope on 18/11/2016
Please only print this review if you are prepared to print the whole review, on a previous year you extracted the positive elements only, so please use it all or none of it.
We think this is our 8th Headwater holiday so to put it into context definitely one of the best. Great location, cycling routes, hotels and in the main the food. The maps & guides for the cycling were excellent some of the best we've had. We chose this particular holiday as although the gastronomic was not specifically what we wanted, we did want hotels which were in quiet countryside locations, these hotels were all fabulous.
Les Deux Chevres was particularly good, great location, lovely rooms, great service and excellent breakfasts. We added two extra nights at Les Deux Chevres - as recommended by Headwater - it was definitely the best place to have extra time. We also took the train to Dijon (without bikes) and Beaune (with bikes) so the area has plenty to do. On one of our extra days we made our own cycling route via the Vergy villages (Reulle / Curtil) which was also fabulous. The differing countryside is all stunning, the routes give a very varied view of the area, we felt we really had covered this area of France.
Our only minus was one of the dinners in Gevrey Chambertin (La Rotisserie) otherwise all the dinners were absolutely excellent.
This holiday felt more like the early Headwater holidays we went on, when dinner was included in the package. The hotels were usually smallish country or village hotels well off the beaten track, and by default the only place you could have dinner was in the hotel. There wasn't a need to have the hotel in a larger town location which gave options for dinner. We appreciate this doesn't suit everybody but we loved the quirky places we stayed and the more rural locations.
However this holiday did give us what we were looking for, fabulous!
Dear Ms Cope,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday questionnaire.
We would like to reassure you that do we post all our customers feedback, constructive or positive in its entirety, unedited.
During the completion process, we do advise customers to add viewable comments in the holiday sum up box, if they prefer to enter comments for our information only; they enter in the other comments or suggestions box. Many customers choose to complete both boxes. We then post this information to the relevant holiday page displaying the comments provided. We hope this clarifies your query.
It was great to read this was your 8th Headwater holiday and was one of the best so far. It sounds like you really made the most of your holiday.
We would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team
By Mr Newberry on 29/09/2016
A great introduction to the pleasure of a cycling holiday, wonderful varied scenery with ever changing views at every turn and well chosen stopovers.
By Mr McGinn on 23/09/2016
Good, bikes, good hotels, delicious food and wine, what more could you wish for.
By Ms Catterall on 05/09/2016
Lots of planning 'legwork' saved by going through Headwater. Hotels all carefully chosen for their individuality. We had the back up of a large organisation but the personal service of, what seemed, a much smaller one. Great standard of evening meal on the Gastronomic tour.
By Mr Francies on 30/08/2016
Harder work than I expected - August too hot for long cycles - Restaurants selected weere good
By Mr Breach on 23/08/2016
A great holiday, well organised and not as physically demanding as we imagined. Steve was a very knowledgeable and accommodating host. Please let him know that I was reunited with my wedding ring and that I think we found the hidden aircraft factory that he told us about.
By Mr Clayton on 25/07/2016
OK but accommodation, especially Auberge de la Chappelle, which was pretty poor, ordinary for the price and not representing good value.
By Mr Ridyard on 02/07/2016
Excellent organisation and support, fantastic accommodation and food, very enjoyable cycle routes
By Dr Garton on 14/06/2016
great support right from time of booking, challenges such as French floods tackled proactively, very comfortable, civilised cycling
By Mr Jones on 06/06/2016
Good holiday, scenic routes and very pleasant towns and villages. Excellent support from local Headwater staff Stephen Miles - you are lucky to have such an experienced person on board.
By Mrs Kyle on 29/09/2015
A wonderfully relaxed holiday with broad open views and interest on the journey every day.
By Mr Otiv on 21/09/2015
An excellent holiday with well researched routes off the beaten track , very clear written instructions given . Lovely villages and gardens en route , giving a good taste of France at its most typical. The hotels selected were all excellent and varied in nature.
By Mr Athroll on 16/09/2015
An initial problem with the rail tickets (we were not allocated seats with those with whom we were travelling) was sorted out speedily and new tickets allocated. In addition, due to the illness of one of the party members Ross picked up 2 members along with the luggage on the last cycling day. This removed a lot of stress/worry of getting back to Auxerre.
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable holiday (despite the illness) and the weather was kind too!
Apart from the Auberge in Clamecy the rating of the food relates to breakfast only as meals were taken elsewhere.
By Mr Browne on 15/09/2015
Easy cycling with great wine tasting opportunities.
By Mrs Bawn on 14/09/2015
Amazing holiday, well thought out. All hotels were unique and special. Beautiful cycling routes. Try.practising cycling at home before you go. It would improve the enjoyment of the holiday.
By Mr Grubb on 01/09/2015
Exceeded our expectations, really enjoyable experience. Our rep, Ross, was always on hand, with advice even acting as a taxi service taking us to and from the local restaurant for evening meals and also to Vezelay for the day, nothing was too much trouble.
Will be looking forward to booking our next cycling holiday!
By Mr Davey on 21/08/2015
This holiday is an ideal introduction to Headwater. Rep, Ross Brown, was excellent: knew the area well, had very good relationships with local hotels, very helpful and inspired confidence. Hotel Normandie excellent urban base to begin the holiday. Relais St Vincent is a quite outstanding hotel, full of character, very comfortable, superbly run and offering excellent food in a fine dining room. Vermenton relaxed, informal and welcoming, and food at Accolay excellent. Varied and interesting route with places to visit and wonderful rides on fine towpaths beside the rover Yonne.
By Mrs Wright on 13/08/2015
Awful maps/directions - need dramatic improvement, which I have offered
Very average to fair food - esp as it was supposed to be Gastronomic - restaurants offered very poor service and weren't interested in our custom
Give twin beds for my husband and I - not overly romantic and bizarre
By Mr Reynolds on 10/08/2015
Our first cycling holiday and it was a PERFECT introduction! Looking forward to the next one.
By Mrs Norfolk on 10/08/2015
We have been with Headwater for a number of years and I am afraid that this year the level of service from the booking office and the rep was not as good as in previous years. The Rep asked us to wait for 40 mins for the next guest's train to arrive; but the journey was only 10 mins to the hotel; and there were a lot of challenges with a booking for our group from two different families. We spent an extra night in Paris, but it might have been suggested we got the Eurostar back.
The grading was 2 - but this was quite an easy two in comparison to Piedmonte.
Food, hotels and cycling were all however superb.
By Mrs Unwin on 03/08/2015
A great way of getting to know a small area of France and savouring local life. On a bike you see and hear things and also meet people that would pass you by if travelling by car.
By Mr Curtis on 24/07/2015
Annual fitness check up for the occasional cyclist and food lover
By Mr McHugh on 17/07/2015
Need to tell travellers that French villages have no shops or water.
By Mr Holt on 08/07/2015
Perfect mix of activity and opportunity to explore with time built in for relaxing. The 'two night stop' arrangement works well and whilst it helps to travel light, you soon get efficient at packing and unpacking. Even with a few challenging cycling moments (especially the visit to chateauneauf from St Sabine) it is hard to cycle off all the beautiful food and wine taken on board! Each day offered something different, both in terms of scenery, sightseeing and accommodation. The ebike was much appreciated by one of our party to help with some of the longer climbs.
We have now taken two cycling holidays with Headwater - the Carinthian Lakes, Austria and Gastonomic Burgundy, France, which were both in their first season, but were really well put together and we enjoyed the first so much we brought some friends with us on the second!
By Mr Vaile on 29/06/2015
An excellent and relaxed holiday made all the better by a very helpful and knowledgeable local representative, Ross Brown. The cycle routes along the canal and river paths especially on the final day, were delightful. Wine tasting and buying opportunities were frequent and fun and the wine collection service worked flawlessly.
By Mrs Colquhoun on 25/06/2015
Overall a good holiday well organised excellent friendly reps and a good variety of hotels some excellent some very good weather could have been a little better!
By Mrs Caulkin on 24/06/2015
Excellant holiday with one of the best travel reps we have come across .He put himself out to help us and nothing was too much trouble
By Mr Moss on 17/06/2015
Ross was great as a tour guide, and very helpful in pointing out places of note/interest. Countryside and views were glorious, and the villages were delightful. However, 2 things stuck out on this tour: This was a level 1 tour but there were several 1-plus hills on the route - i think that could be better explained; and most of the pretty villages we visited were empty of life, no people, no animals, no cafes/bars or facilities - i think that needs to be better explained too, as it was a disappointment to find them shuttered up. Auxerre was interesting, and Chablis and Vezelay very pretty with plenty to see and do, but not much in between. Our 2 nights with external dinners in Vermenton were great - superb choice of restaurants, and Ross was a very considerate driver, waiting for us to finish late on both occasions!
By Mrs Thomas on 15/06/2015
Lovely to have everything arranged for us ; quiet cycling routes and accommodation planned by people with local knowledge and luggage taken care of . All we had to do was relax and enjoy the holiday !
Not Headwaters fault , but coming back on May 31st , we arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to find that we had been put on Standby and had no seats allocated . We have since learned that this is common practice by airlines but we did spend a stressful couple of hours before being told that we could get on the 13.05 flight for which we had reservations .
By Mr Redman on 26/05/2015
Excellent, good fun and good value.
By Mrs Sanderson on 08/10/2014
Lovely area with some very good cycle routes. The accommodation and meals were excellent. The cycling was relatively easy, however you could add extra mileage and create longer routes if you wanted.
We had a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday which was organised without fault.
By Mr Norman on 19/09/2014
excellent route but day excursions not clear. change hotel in clamacy as poor accommodation and food try hotel poste .
By Mr Dunn on 11/09/2014
This was absolutely our best holiday to date. Excellently planned, organized and looked after by our rep - Ross, we felt free to enjoy the delights of the Burgundy region. We loved the bikes and the routes made sure we saw the very best of the countryside and avoided any major roads. The opportunity to swim at designated places in the river Yonne was the icing on the cake - it was truly a 'Swallows and Amazon' experience. Fabulous scenery, weather, food and of course, wine - sheer bliss. Can't wait to go again - anywhere - as long as it's organized by Headwater. Thank you so much.
Dear Mr Dunn,
Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback questionnaire. We were delighted to see that you enjoyed your time in the Burgundy region of France and that you rated this holiday your best to date! It really does sound like you had a great time. It was also great to see that you felt well looked after by our Rep Ross, he was thrilled to receive your lovely comments too. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater Customer Service team.
By Mrs Barr on 08/09/2014
Contacted Headwater at very short notice to arrange our cycling holiday and the help and advice given by holiday adviser was excellent [Karen Ross]. Cycling days easy apart from Ligny to Vermenton,mileage was perfectly manageable [31 miles] but have to admit to walking through village of Courgis [this is allowed as we are OAPs] and view was worth it. Would strongly recommend buying supplies as mentioned in the notes before starting out each day as there were no cafes open at all. Area was beautiful very picturesque and peaceful. Thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday again - this was our 7th Headwater Cycling Holiday and are already planning our 8th.
By Mr Craven on 27/08/2014
Good bikes, variable accommodation. Good daily distances and accurate grading. Very willing but inexperienced rep. has the potential to be a very good rep but needs to get out cycling, driving or walking the routes and making his own notes.
By Ms Marshall on 31/07/2014
This was our first experience of a Headwater holiday and we'd certainly do another one. I was a bit apprehensive about the level of fitness required for the cycling, but it was easily manageable - although I'm glad I did some training beforehand. The bikes and routes were great - all we had to do was enjoy the scenery en route and get to the next destination. Loads of suggestions of things to do and places to visit - but no pressure to do anything. Bliss.
By Mr Marston on 24/07/2014
A very well organised holiday with outstanding tour manager, top quality bikes, excellent hotels with very high standard of cusine in a lovely area of France
By Mrs Griffith on 21/07/2014
Every detail of the holiday had been researched well which resulted in a complete and professional package. The routes, hotels and food were all excellent and from the first welcome by Ross a feeling of confidence and helpfulness was portrayed - all surpassed expectations.
By Mr Fiske on 10/07/2014
The 'one plus' category was about right if you did not take any of the optional trips on the 'at' days or alternative routes. If you do, that will make it a 'two' bike holiday. For example, the hills in and out of Vezelay are challenging so once there we did not want to make any trips out only to have to climb back again.
On previous Headwater holidays we have always cycled the suggested routes on the rest days.
By Mr McLean on 13/06/2014
A more relaxing and fun way to have a cycling holiday which is well organised from the beginning.
By Mr O'Loughlin on 03/06/2014
Helpful Headwater staff . Location was a bit boring compared to the Loire or the Dordogne regions.
By Mr Ingram on 30/05/2014
Well organised travel arrangements. Good overall accommodation. Welcoming and knowledgeable staff. Rep support very good and while not needed by ourselves we spoke to others who had been helped. Wine collection service tried and tested - it works! (Thank you, Ross).
In our experience (May 2014) finding an open cafe and 'facilities' was not always easy.
Next trip with Headwater is already booked! Enough said!
By Mrs Logan on 03/12/2013
A good holiday with excellent cycles and this time a good rep/agent and his wife although we could have had more information on how to adjust the bikes if needed before we set off. Maps are poor and it is worth photocopying your own before leaving home to help you plan your trips. Route guidance is reasonable most days.
By Mr Patterson on 09/10/2013
A wonderful week's escape. Just what we were looking for. Peaceful cycling in idyllic rural France.
By Mr Bush on 10/09/2013
Really enjoyable holiday with excellent routes worked out and plenty of scope for variation if you wanted to do a bit more. Lots of 'hidden gems' along the way with the notes signposting them really well. Really useful to have the pointers to cafes and restaurants along the route, or to know that a particular village had no bakery or the cafe was closed on Tuesdays! The bikes were incredibly comfortable and great to ride and having chosen the less strenuous holiday option, we found that we could manage them easily despite not having cycled any great distance for some years .
By Ms Warren on 08/09/2013
Headwater provide all the component parts for an excellent acivity holiday: great equipment and instructions, helpful and knowledgeable guides, and a great choice of locations and hotels.
By Mr Taylor on 15/08/2013
hassle free and relaxing with no worries
By Mrs Cranfield on 09/08/2013
Please note we stayed in Chablis not Ligny so comments re that hotel relate to Chablis. That was to our advantage as Chablis a much better centre and the food at the hotel was superb. Keith and Judith were excellent reps. All in all a very good holiday.
By Mr Sharp on 05/08/2013
Once again Headwater delivers. The entire holiday experiance was fantastic ( this was our third Headwater holiday - and we are already planning TWO next year) and will live long in the memory - even those Burgundian undulating hills!
By Mr Cooper on 03/08/2013
NB For Relais St. Vincent above please Read Hostellerie des Clos, Chablis. A delightful holiday; beautiful scenery, lovely food; excellent accomodation and hospitality. The only weak link (by Headwater's high standards) is the Hotel Normandie, where the accomodation is average only and the staff businesslike rather than hospitable. Otherwise Keith and Judith are first-rate reps and his bikes are the most comfortable we've ever ridden. Mark and Alison at Vermenton and the staff at Chablis we all delightful and very attentive.
By Mr Lodwick on 18/07/2013
Very well organised from start to finish, Keith, our rep was excellent and very professional. Our cycling trip was absolutely brilliant couldn't fault it in any way.
The food which was included as half board was absolutely fabulous and we will recommend headwater to our friends.
By Mr Asbrey on 14/07/2013
This was an well organised holiday, backed up with excellent support from the people on the ground. Very impressive bikes. All the hotels had certain core values. clean, great food.lovely staff, Great service,
The routes were interesting and challenging. We loved it. It was good fun.
By Mrs Callens on 06/07/2013
This is a lovely, relaxing yet energising holiday for reasonably fit people of all ages. We are in our early sixties and only cycle a few times a month and never for more than 15 km at a time. The route in Burgundy is mostly flat, in beautiful countryside along the river Yonne and the Canal de Nivernais. We did find the second half of day 5 (to Vezelay) quite hard and had to walk a few stretches but that helped to return the blood flow to some nether parts. We liked the flexible arrangements, with the option between a shorter and a longer route on some days. Being able to have a rest day on alternative days was also good, especially where there were interesting things to do locally. We particularly enjoyed roaming through picturesque Clamecy on the Sunday morning, visiting the church (where there was a well attended mass), then having a drink in La Taverne, followed by a light lunch in the Hotellerie de La Poste. Most of the afternoon was spent in the Musee Romain Rolland, where we particularly enjoyed the brilliant Charles Loupot posters and the history of the ' Flotteurs' We discovered the delightful secret garden at the Auberge de la Chapelle a little late in the day but would highly recommend it to other travellers. We would definitely consider another cycling holiday with Headwater but would prefer to have the B&B option on all days in order to maximise flexibility.
By Mrs Thomas on 28/06/2013
Cycling through Burgundy was a wonderful experience. The fields sprinkled with bright red poppies and blue cornflowers was breathtaking. We had a 'day off' cycling in Veselay and wandered around the town and basillica. We also went to vespers in the Basillica which was amazing.
The food was also excellent in the hotels/restaurants chosen by Headwaters.
Cycling in a surprising hot spell was more difficult than anticipated, but still manageable and the last few days when it had cooled down were a joy.
By Ms Giggey on 18/06/2013
Headwaters is an excellent holiday company, provides very good information about the holidays and is extremely good value for money. The only small concerns I personally had was how unfit I really was (there were more hills than I had anticipated even at Level 1! ) and the service at the Hotel de la Poste et du Lion d'Or was a bit confusing e.g. when we arrived, there was no obvious bar service and the hotel receptionist eventually found and brought us our long - anticipated drinks outside. For dinner, we were given the exact menu 2 days in a row (with no plat du jour or alternatives) and we weren't sure if that was the arrangment or not. When we asked about it, the waiter also seemed confused. However, the Chef then provided an alternate menu that was absolutely one of the most beautiful meals I have ever eaten; the presentation was superlative and the tastes even better than that!
Regarding cycling instructions: 99% were spot on! Small confusion at Chateau Censoir - the statement that ' the marine port is to your right' when leaving the town is confusing - suggest removing that bit and just note 'from the square, with the Mairie on your left, carry on to the junction and and then turn right'. In terms of the 'industrial area' for 2 kms when leaving Clamecy: we found the path totally paved and there were some small industries across theothe side of the river/canal? but that section also had lovely vegetable gardens etc. and really wasn't unpleasant at all. And finally,if one choses to take the train back from Cravant to Auxerre, there are no instructions as to getting back to the Hotel Normandie,nor is the rail station located on the map of Auxerre. But other than that, I was in awe of the detail provided for the routes. Thank you!
By Mr Cocksedge on 29/09/2012
The standard of accomodation, evening meals and rep care was extremely good and helped to offset the two hours of hill climbing that were involved in the "undulating" sections of the ride getting to Vezelay and then on to Clamecy. Our rest day at Vermeton we spent back in the saddle to retrace our steps to Vincelotte where I had left my cycling gloves on a picnic bench. To my surprise they were still there and we then cycled up the hill to Irancy where we had a very nice plate du jour in the local bar. We then cycled back down the hill turned left at the bottom to take the white road along to Cravant and so back to Vermenton. Auxerre and Vezelay were the highlights for us and overall this was a very enjoyable holiday.
By Mr Hood on 24/09/2012
Wonderful holiday - lived up to our expectations. Great way to see France and the countryside and meet the wonderful people. After a days cycling the lovely food was a welcome treat.
By Mrs Beck on 29/08/2012
Well organised, very efficiencent helpful local reps and some great places to stay. Route instructions were clear though sometimes hills were underestimated!
By Mrs Kimber on 13/08/2012
Although the quality of the food was excellent, choice was much too limited. It was not made clear that we could upgrade to a higher priced menu. I would suggest that an "allowance" is made per person per day to be set against any menu available.
In Vezelay the ensuite was so small as to be practically useless.
In Clamecy the wall shower fitting was broken. As we do not speak French it was not possible to have this rectified.
By Mrs Miles on 23/07/2012
It was a wonderful experience. The scenery was beautiful. The bags were were always at the destinations.
By Mr Herron on 23/07/2012
Helpful rep and interesting accommodation. All the hassle taken out of organising a hliday.
By Mrs Bishop on 11/07/2012
We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday!
By Mr Pritchard on 30/06/2012
Very enjoyable, with mostly very easy cycling and excellent route notes.
By Mr Poultney on 30/06/2012
very enjoyable holiday
By Mrs McInnes on 11/06/2012
A w lender full cycle trip
We did cycle through rain,thunder and lighning which will make it more memorable,
We look forward to walking the camino in Spain wit you next year ,it will be our eight trip with you.