Customer reviews: Self-Guided walking in France
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 walking 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 walking 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 walking 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 Mr Armstrong on 23/09/2016
See the box above.
By Mr Heyes on 14/09/2016
Our first holiday with Headwater but it won't be the last. We enjoyed seeing France from a different angle and at a slower pace.
By Mrs Tod on 14/09/2016
Meysset's food was good but not Gourmand-Tuna kebabs? Monrecour was lovely but we were in annex and didn't eat there as a wedding had taken it over! We couldn't eat in the Chateau due to a wedding.The restaurant ( Petite Tonnelle) in Beynac was excellent instead. the owner of Chateau took us there! Glycines was over the top,to us, food wise, and they tried to suggest very expensive wines! Laborderie was the best for us, good food, nice staff/owner!
We had difficulty understanding the last day's route after Lac Rouge and there was an annoying delay at Meysset waiting for our bags due to a communication missunderstanding somewhere between hotel and taxi driver. We waited 90 mins plus for them when they were in fact there! We were not staying there that night so we were late arriving at our next hotel.Elisabeth is aware.
By Mr Barr on 30/08/2016
We thought about doing a holiday like this before, but hadn't quite got round to it, so we jumped in at the deep end not really knowing what to expect. The country side is stunning and the views from the top we well worth the climb up. The organisation was perfect, the accommodation great, the food fantastic, and all the hotleliers were very friendly, just make sure you take a good pair of boots to avoid Hobbit foot. We will definitely do another of these trip through Headwater and would thoroughly recommend them to others.
By Mr Sheridan on 23/08/2016
The holiday was extremely relaxing. Travel arrangements, accommodation, table booking and baggage transfer were all handled professionally without fuss or drama, giving us the complete freedom to enjoy our walking tour.
The quality of the accommodation and the wonderful restaurants probably exceeded our expectations. Whilst not an inexpensive holiday we did we feel got value for money and lasting memories.
By Mrs Humphries on 23/08/2016
An excellent holiday. Well organised and great hotels. The walks were fantastic with clear instructions. We took the telecabine to gain some height where we could and I would recommend that particularly on days 2 and 6. The grading of the walks is accurate.
By Mr Lowe on 19/08/2016
The local team gave us really useful practical tips and were very friendly
The holiday exceeded our expectations in terms of pure enjoyment, accuracy of walking routes and notes and we particularly appreciated the views, suggested stops for refreshments and quality of the hotels we stayed in
By Mrs Monk on 17/08/2016
A well structured, walking holiday on the Brittany coastline .
By Mrs Took on 17/08/2016
This was a very enjoyable holiday exceeding my expectations. The walks and walking notes were great, the included meals were extremely good and the Headwater contacts, James and Hazel were excellent - very friendly and helpful. I loved having a day off between the walks to explore the area surrounding our hotels or to simply relax by the pool.
By Dr Paget on 17/08/2016
High Alps walking tour is strenuous but rewarding. Certainly challenging in places. Well worth experiencing.
By Mrs Clark on 16/08/2016
The booking process was simple and supportive. The holiday exceeded expectation; not something I have said before. The accommodation was superb, food wonderful, welcome huge and help available when required.
By Mr Spackman on 16/08/2016
Our Headwater walking holiday contained the perfect mixture of beautiful and challenging walks with comfortable hotels and delicious French meals. We felt we were able to escape from the well-trodden tourist trails and really explore the countryside, knowing our luggage was being taken care of and there would be a crystal-clear swimming pool awaiting us at the end of another hot day.
By Mr Lewis on 16/08/2016
For us in our seventies, this three boot walk presented a serious challenge, especially as the weather was unsettled and thundery. Hence the fact that we did indeed complete the basic circular walk without using local transport (except for a few ski-lifts), and without mishap, was a matter of great satisfaction to us. When the clouds cleared, the views were magnificent, and when they didn't clear, the views were still pretty good. The hotels and their locations were nearly all ideal places to recover between assaults on the sensational hills. This is definitely one for the serious walker who is in practice. However, should the body or spirit fail (and ours did not), there are more options for ducking out than we had been led to believe; plenty of local buses, for example.
By Mr Turner on 08/08/2016
A really good walk across the Loire Valley. Highly recommended
By Mr Clare on 08/08/2016
Some superb chateaux to visit along the route. Gentle walking. Beware of biting insects.
By Mr McMahon on 01/08/2016
A very simple booking process. Quickly confirmed. Our times for crossing via tunnel/rail were good. An excellent local guide/rep. Hotels were of a good standard, food arrangements were excellent.
By Mrs Love-fordham on 25/07/2016
Great for a relaxing experience of every day France. Our sixth Headwater vacation in six years! The food was fantastic - even though two of us are vegetarians - every restaurant was really outstanding! The hotels have a lot of character - with the exception of Normandie, which was very good too just not as exciting. Sadly, the local train/bus issues make getting places less carefree - especially on stay-put days. Our rep, Stephen, did the best he could of making up for the trains/buses. Enjoyed meeting the local French people a lot -- they were very friendly. This hike is good for meeting the locals. The country side and villages were beautiful. We did two walking excursions not on the trip notes that were outstanding: The first made the hike 2 hours longer, but we hiked to the Notre Dame D'Orient at the top of a hill in Semizelles - this was a highlight of the day!! The regional notes have this suggestion. Absolutely worth the climb! The other was to an organic brewery just outside of St. Pere (Near Vezelay) - also a highlight of the day! Try the white beer! The Grotto near Vermenton was a lot of fun! Vezeley was the highlight of the trip - do not miss morning 7:00 prayers in the basilica!!!! The singing of angels!! Can't wait to plan our next Headwater vacation!
By Mrs Hills on 25/07/2016
Brilliant holiday, fantastic views and flower meadows. Luggage transfers etc went smoothly and our hosts were welcoming especially at Les Sapins and hotel Renard. The walk is definitely tough especially if doing extensions and rest day walks, I found walking poles essential my husband managed without! Route descriptions re ridges for those worried about heights were accurate. Mont de Grange was very steep but worth the effort we were fortunate in having great weather for this day but still needed a fleece at the summit due to snow field. The food was generally good, we opted to buy our own lunch at the local bakers and grocers shops which worked well - note the supermarket described in our notes in Chapelle d'Abondance closed in March we couldn't find another but bought an excellent quiche at the boulangerie, and fruit from grocers just past the tourist info office. The Chalets du Mouet on the walk from Chatel to Chapelle d'Abondance was charming they do a lovely salad. Also the mountain refuge at Ubine is ideally placed for a stop, the food looked great, we took shelter and advantage of a hot chocolate which was very welcome on a wet and chilly day. We would recommend this holiday if you're fit but be aware that the temperatures vary considerably, we started at 28c and had 3 days at 9c! Being non skiers it was great to witness the alpine scenery.
By Mrs Elston on 22/07/2016
A very enjoyable break - excellent support from the Headwater rep, fabulous walking supported by excellent notes and lovely hotels in beautiful countryside to recover and recuperate in - who could ask for more?
By Mrs Smith on 22/07/2016
The scenery in the Alps is stunning especially when the flowers are in bloom but the walking is quite strenuous so you need to be reasonably fit and well equipped.
By Mr Wallis on 21/07/2016
Hotel in a beautiful location, welcoming and friendly staff, superb food and an excellent area for walking.A week was much too short!
By Mrs High on 15/07/2016
A much enjoyed and excellent holiday giving us the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery. we did appreciate the days restbetween each walk as the walks were fairly demanding and the miles covered were probably to our limit.
By Ms Gordon on 15/07/2016
Stephen is a great asset to Headwater, he is outgoing, helpful and informative.Thank you again to the online staff of Headwater for a glorious 9 days!
By Mrs Lynn on 15/07/2016
Good food, good walking and good organization.
By Mrs Triger on 15/07/2016
We had two varied weeks in France, interspersed with the 8 day walking holiday. I think we have come to the conclusion that staying based in one hotel (i.e. Kandersteg) is probably better for us than walking from hotel to hotel. We missed having a car on our 'rest' days in order to explore the surroundings. We also found 23kms rather too much for us! We got lost a couple of times following the instructions - better signposting in Switzerland! However, the food, wine and the beautiful countryside was much appreciated. Not often one walks only hearing birdsong and nothing else!
Thanks Headwater for all your arrangements.
By Mr Parker on 15/07/2016
Tough walk but very stimulating
By Mr Forward on 15/07/2016
we appreciate all the information and support provided and i look forward to travelling with headwater again.
By Mrs Gardner on 06/07/2016
We had a lovely holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the walking from one hotel to the next. The route notes were very detailed and easy to follow (especially as we had the maps too). Also the folders in the hotels with customers comments were useful especially for finding restaurants. We particularly appreciated the wine carrying service. It was great being able to buy wine on the way and then find it all in our hotel room at the end. Our rep, Hannah, was very friendly and helpful especially in finding a restaurant for our first night in Turckheim when most restaurants seemed to be shut. We did all the suggested longer walks (even in the rain) and have arrived home feeling very fit! All in all it was an excellent holiday - many thanks to Headwater and to our rep Hannah for her help and encouragement.
By Mr Pearson on 30/06/2016
Challenging walks lead to magnificent and interesting views within this small area of France . We were rewarded with the most beautiful array of spring flowers including several varieties of orchid. The excellent hotel , where English is widely spoken meant a lovely homecoming each evening.Wonderful gourmet menu etc completed our day! Thank you!
By Ms Roy on 30/06/2016
An enjoyable, varied and flexible holiday. It was possible to have long days or short days as you wished in a quiet and relaxed mountain area. Much less busy than the Alps but with beautiful scenery. We were given a very warm welcome wherever we went.
By Dr Sterland on 27/06/2016
Good location for walking and other things of interest. Hotel was a bit odd although comfortable. Being larger than some it was not so friendly as some of the smaller hotels, although the staff we individually friendly there were quite a number.
By Mrs Rayden on 17/06/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed the walks, which were interestingly varied, with marvellous views and clearly defined paths. The route notes were accurate and helpful, and the hotels welcoming, clean and comfortable. The Headwater team helped sort out problems with travel resulting from the French rail strikes, which was very reassuring.
By Mr Brady on 17/06/2016
The first thing to say is how friendly, welcoming, dependable and helpful we found Hannah. We are also aware of the amount of time and effort she put in to assist our fellow travellers after the lady injured herself.
We took all the longer walking options and experienced some weaknesses in the route descriptions, which we passed on to Hannah so that she can check them out.
We can understand why you chose the hotels that you did, but, while it was interesting to visit Turckheim, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, all of which are beautiful, we would prefer to have stayed in locations that were not so thronged with tourists. For example, hotels in Kientzheim and Sigoldsheim, very close to Kaysersberg, had English speakers and offered evening meals.
Erratic opening times of shops, restaurants and cafes is also a bit problematical as you are setting off not knowing whether or not it is necessary to carry provisions. The cafe in Trois Epis and the restaurant at St Alexis Chapelle are cases in point. In the case of the latter, we would strongly recommend booking in advance. I'm sure Madame in Hotel Constantin would oblige.
All in all, we had a good time, enjoyed the local delicacies and wine, the beautiful and varied countryside and, in particular, the lovely unspoilt little villages that we walked through. We now look forward to our next trip with you to Menorca.
By Mr Kingsford on 16/06/2016
Varied walking in superb countryside through pine forests, cherry orchards, lavender fields and vineyards, all of which which gave us a wonderful experience of Provence in all its glory
By Mr Salisbury on 16/06/2016
Great holiday in beautiful location. Headwater team were excellent throughout.
By Dr Bainbridge on 15/06/2016
The balance of vineyard and forest was good. The towns and villages and castle were varied and interesting.
By Mr Wildsmith on 14/06/2016
Interesting area; good length of walks; very helpful rep.
By Mr Buckham on 14/06/2016
Despite a week of rain we were able to enjoy walking and the hotel was really good, though couldn't really appreciate the outside facilities. Only thing that would have helped would have been access to a drying room for waterproofs and boots.
By Mrs Honey on 14/06/2016
Fairy tale ancient towns, which were lovely to explore. The wine, of course was delicious although we did not visit the vineyards on walks but indulged in the evening . The nesting storks were one of the highlights of the holiday. Do try to visit the stork breeding centre it was lovely with a lot to see as well as the storks themselves..
By Mrs Moffett on 13/06/2016
We enjoyed it. very much. Steve was very good at adapting to our limited capacities.
By Mrs Ing on 06/06/2016
A relaxing holiday in an unspoilt part of France. The coastal scenery is fantastic and the uncrowded stretches of beaches a joy to behold. What really made the holiday was Steve. He was so helpful and accommodating we were made to feel quite special.
By Mr Ingram on 03/06/2016
A varied walk, first days along the magnificent coast and latterly along the river and into the forest. Comfortable Hotels and excellent food!
By Mr Propert on 03/06/2016
This is a holiday of variety. In walks, from vineyards, open country and woodland. And in the towns too, from small hamlets to busy Auxerre. There is a lot to listen to and look at along the way - and we found Burgundy deserted - but that may just have been May.
Stephen Miles is newish to this post, but is thoughtful and showed great care. We presume that the instructions about the train back to Auxerre on the last walking day will now have been changed to 'Stephen picks you up opposite The Mairie'.
Note that our comment about food at Vermenton relates to the breakfast. The evening meals - both at La Fontaine for us, were excellent. No-one could have been more helpful than Mark and Alison at Vermenton. The meals at Chablis had the Bistrot BEFORE the hotel, and both were very good indeed.
By Mrs Hartley on 03/06/2016
We never imagined walking through vineyards could be so varied and interesting; the countryside was beautiful and the villages charming. The hotel staff all looked after us very well. Our Headwater rep was absolutely delightful and could not have been more friendly and efficient. We did not see a see any UK cars nor heard any other British people but most people we spoke to replied in good English when we spoke to them in our basic French.
By Mrs Preston on 03/06/2016
From the moment we received our holiday information pack we were excited as it really whetted our appetites. We also had a post card from our Rep, Hannah saying that she hoped we would have a good trip and she looked forward to meeting us at the station in Colmar and giving us her mobile number in case we needed her. This was a very thoughtful gesture. So, even though I had a bad back and had to be transported around by Hannah instead of walking, the overall holiday was wonderful.
By Mr Hamilton-viall on 26/05/2016
We enjoyed it and had a lot of fun, but it could have been even better with a few tweaks. Some of the walking notes certainly need reviewing as we wanted to enjoy the walking, not stand scratching our heads wondering if we had the right path. An explanation of the GR markers would have been really useful as we had to find out what they meant by trial and error. Also there were markets or events on some days that it would have been nice to know and arrange our days off to coincide with.
As regards hotels the Monrecour was superb, the labourderie very good and the Meysset OK. Les Glycinees we found varied. The location was great, the room ok. The food at the hotel varied from some of the best ever eaten to some of the worst. Our picnic sandwich was inedible. Generally it did not have the same feel as the other hotels. Also tea or coffee making in all hotels would be appreciated.
By Mrs Sodring on 26/05/2016
This was the best holiday we have taken with Headwater! Despite imperfect weather, the walks were wonderful (even though the vultures did not fly when it was raining); we saw the Rivers Tarn and Jonte both as green and peaceful and in full spate after rain. For those interested in wild flowers, this is a perfect holiday in May - the deciduous woods and meadows are full of them - lilies, orchids, asphodels ... and there are many birds besides the vultures in the trees.
Besides walking the main walks we also visited Montpellier le Vieux - do go and take the red route, the rock formations are stunning : Aven Armand - more commercialised but the stalactites are amazing: Vulture Museum (don't go on a wet day, there are no live vultures to see); finally, on our return journey to Toulouse, the Roquefort Society Caves - most interesting! The hotel, food, local wines, beer & picnics were excellent with wonderful service from the staff.
By Mrs Watson on 14/10/2015
Great walking with an excellent meal to come back to
By Mrs Greenbank on 12/10/2015
We enjoyed our visit to a part of Burgundy that was new to us. The walking was varied, not too strenuous with good maps and mostly clear directions. The hotels and the meals were excellent. Having a Headwater rep to welcome us and be on hand if needed really made a difference.
By Mr Dentith on 06/10/2015
THIS PARTICULAR HOLIDAY ,THANKS TO THE HOTEL AND THE WEATHER WAS ONE OF THE BEST HOLIDAYS WE HAVE HAD WITH HEADWATER.
THE WALKING IN PARTICULAR WAS SUFFICIENTLY CHALLENGING AND ADAPTABLE . SPECTACULAR VIEWS .
THE AREA ITSELF WAS VERY INTERESTING, FROM ALL PERSPECTIVES.
GOOD NOTES AND GOOD MAPS.
By Mrs Guthrie on 06/10/2015
Apart from the rail debacle, the content of the holiday was stunning. The nature of the medieval villages was quite breathtaking and more reminiscent of Walt Disney cartoons or even pantomime scenery. The vineyard walks were very enjoyable, as were the visits we made to the wineries! In addition the Riquewier 'Council' offer conducted vineyard walking tours, together with wine cellar visits every Friday throughout the summer until harvest time in September WITHOUT CHARGE!! (BUT possibly only in French and/or English). Another Vineyard 'special' (which I don't think you are aware of) is the 'Spirit of the Vines' a line of seven groups of wooden statues representing a modern interpretation of mankind's integration with the vines over the centuries. This is a surreal eye-catcher, not to be missed and is just outside the village of Bergheim. Best to get directions from the local Tourist Office.
By Mrs Reeves on 29/09/2015
An excellent holiday in every way. The food and wines were amazing and it was a most interesting region to explore.
By Mrs Everson-davis on 23/09/2015
Challenging and varied walking in spectacular surroundings, with the additional bonus of a comfortable and friendly hotel base providing excellent cuisine.
By Mr Knowles on 23/09/2015
Very well planned and organised. We made a change to our itinerary which Headwater took in their stride. Very impressed with the hotels which were exactly to our taste, not too posh for walkers!
By Mrs Daniels on 21/09/2015
This was such a very well organised package holiday that we felt that we were independant travellers, but with the safety net of a rep, if required. We managed the pace, stops and route ourselves and had a truly excellent break.
By Mr Graham on 18/09/2015
This was a really good holiday, excellent in all respects except that the walking notes, generally of high standard, let us down badly at one point. We explained to Lin where this was and hopefully this will be sorted out
Thank you for taking the time to pass along your comments, it is wonderful to know that you had such a lovely holiday. Your explanation of where the notes went wrong was indeed passed along and, as we always try to do, your suggestions were taken into account in order to improve the experience for future customers. Once again many thanks from your team at Headwater.
By Mr Blunt on 14/09/2015
Lovely locations. There is so much choice of what to do on your spare days.
Although the walks are not too strenuous you do need to have enough food and water with you as there are few places on route where you can stock-up.
Do take your time following route instructions as markers are not always immediately obvious and can become difficult to see or disappear entirely.
By Mrs Carrington-bro on 14/09/2015
This was our second holiday with Headwater and again we had an excellent holiday. It was very well organised and the walking notes were easy to follow. The holiday certainly lived up to its name of being a gastrnomic walking tour - the food was delicious throughout and all four hotels were very friendly.
The walking was pleasant but suffered a litlte in comparison to our first hoiday with Headwater (Umbria) as the Dordogne is a busier area than Umbria.
Our top tip would be to visit Le font de Gaume when staying in Les Eyzies - there are a limited number of tickets issued each day and 52 of these go on sale each morning at 9.30am. The receptionist at the hotel suggested we shoud be there by 7.30am, as September isn't peak season and as she predicted we weren't the first, we joined the very orderly queque as nos 11 and 12; it was a magical experience seeing original paintings that are 14,000 years old.
We came home feeling very relaxed and ready to book another Headwater holiday.
By Mrs Hine on 01/09/2015
A good holiday. The weather was not kind to us, but the hotels were very helpful about this, offering drying room services. The notes were very helpful. Accuracy was a problem in only one area where substantial redevelopment work was being done on the tracks. The fact we had a good map (supplied by Headwater) with us, meant this was not a major issue. One of the hoteliers summed up the area as being good for cows and cheese! The walking is therefore mainly through pasture (often quite high), but which was very pretty, if a little muddy in the rain. Some of the views (when it was not raining) were magnificent. Overall, despite the rain, we had a relaxing break.
By Mr Versteeg on 01/09/2015
We really enjoyed ourselves on the High Alps Walk. We were very pleased that we had built in additional days (taking the holiday to twelve) to provide variety and be 'tourists' We really enjoyed 'Belle Dimanche' - the annual Fair high above Chatel. (next year it's on weekend around 21st August) Cloisters at Abondance very interesting.
In twelve days we had two dull and one very wet day(be prepared); rest of the time very good. Can be hot.
By Mrs Maddison on 25/08/2015
Most enjoyable holiday, great walks, beautiful scenery and lots of wine tasting along the way.
By Mr Still on 24/08/2015
Well researched, well organised, varied walks to interesting towns with an attractive mix of accommodation all supplemented by an excellent local rep.
By Mr Cook on 17/08/2015
A very enjoyable experience in one of the lesser known (for Americans, at least) areas of France.
By Mrs Hayton on 12/08/2015
The combination of good walks, comfortable accommodation and good quality evening meals provided us with a relaxing and enjoyable weeks holiday . Knowing that our Headwater rep was available on the end of the phone if we did needed anything was a bonus.
By Mr Willson on 10/08/2015
Holiday lived up to gastronomic label with a good selection of restaurants. Hotels are comfortable. Quality of walks is satisfactory but more work is needed.
We are so glad you enjoyed the hotels and the gastronomic restaurants. We always aim for more than satisfactory and your suggestions regarding the walks were passed along and have been considered as part of our process of continuous development. We are happy to say that the walks have been improved for 2016 and we hope to see you again soon. All the best from your team at Headwater.
By Mis Bernstein on 03/08/2015
All the hotels were lovely and all the staff everywhere were welcoming and helpful. The walking was a little disappointing in that there was a lot of road-walking and two very boring long slogs from the town of Meursault to the station and from the station at Gevrey-Chambertin to Les Deux Chevres. The meals in the evening were marvellous and memorable. The villages were very pretty. Disappointing that there was no truffle hunting. Lin was an excellent tour guide and everything ran like clockwork.
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We appreciate all customer feedback and are pleased that you enjoyed such a wonderful, memorable holiday. Regarding the road walking and the slogs to and from the station on day 2, we have taken these - and other - customer comments on board and for 2017 have made suitable alterations. The route no longer follows the roads and the train station no longer features. The new route follows footpaths and tracks, and very occasionally quiet lanes, through woodland, vineyards and mediaeval villages, from just south of Dijon to the wonderful wine village of Gevrey Chambertin. We believe this has greatly improved the walking. We were sorry to read that you missed the truffle hunting during your holiday; this activity is only available between Thursdays and Mondays. We were also pleased to see that you thought our Rep Lin was excellent. She will be delighted to hear your lovely feedback. We would like to thank you for constructive comments and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future. Kind regards, Your Headwater customer service team.
By Mr Parker on 28/07/2015
Delightful holiday experience from start to finish. The hotels were lovely and the walking varied. It's a good way to get to know a small part of Burgundy and appreciate the lovely scenery as there was plenty to do on the rest days too. The hotels were all well chosen and the neighbouring restaurants of a high standard. We especially appreciated being taken into Beaune by Lin for our last dinner, which was especially good. We also appreciated the chance to buy wines en route and collect them at the end.
By Mr Powell on 27/07/2015
Well organised and did what it said on the can!
By Mrs Dentith on 27/07/2015
This is a true three booter there isn't a lot of level walking , have good comfortable boots and poles ,I think, are essential.
Do use the lifts if they are working ,it's no fun walking up those gradients with a working chair lift over your heads.
The views from the tops are dramatic on clear days.
The walk timings are pretty accurate.
By Mr Hayes on 21/07/2015
As a holiday focussed on easy walking, gourmet dinners and luxurious accommodation, this ticked all the boxes. Beautiful country of the Cote D'Or, gorgeous little villages and towns and everywhere Burgundy wine production continuing all around you. All three hotels were superb. I walked in July 2015, so arrived somewhat dusty and sweaty at what are very upscale hotels. No problem at all (but worth reassuring guests it isn't an issue). Walking directions were generally good, with some issues flagged to Headwater in separate email. Just a few tweaks needed, and as it is the first year of this tour, some teething troubles expected.
If you want to seriously investigate wine, doing so during your day's walk is not really practical. I'd suggest researching before you go, possibly setting up cellar visits via Headwater, if they will do it, or knowing which vignerons you want to visit and then using your rest days to get along to see them. But you can just wing it and you can thoroughly enjoy this holiday if, like me, you know nothing about wine. It's a good place to start to learn.
Last but not least, I would single out Paul and Yolanta at Les Deux Chevres in Gevrey-Chambertin for wonderfully friendly advice, practical tips, suggestions and laid-back accommodation. If you want to know more about the area, its wine, history and so on, they are a mine of information.
ALAN HAYES, WEST LONDON, JULY 2015.
By Ms Rose on 17/07/2015
We had a fabulous time, beautiful weather, gorgeous alpine flowers and a hard enough walk to feel we had earned our delicious evening meals.
By Mrs Jacobs on 15/07/2015
Pleas read my document sent to Lisa copied to Tina James
By Mrs Glover on 15/07/2015
Well organised trip that met all our expectations. New walking guides provided during trip as a result of changes to routes.
By Ms Steenman-clark on 14/07/2015
The Chablais region is certainly very beautiful but with the excellent hotels in the valleys a lot of the walking was up and down farm/ski/access tracks or roads to the higher level, flower strewn, paths with the fantastic views. These tracks, especially in the heat we experienced, were quite brutal and did detract somewhat from the overall pleasure of the walks.
By Mr Langford on 13/07/2015
Excellent. From our arrival to departure our Rep Ross tailored our stay to suit what WE wanted. He really went the extra mile to sort any issues created by rail strikes and unusually hot weather. He was always on time ( in fact early). There was never a feeling of being rushed or hurried which made our holiday really great. He had also ensured that our directions for the walks were totally up to date and accurate.
The accomodation was always excellent as were the meals provided.
The highlight has to be our stay at Vermenton! Such attention to detail...amazing.
We will do another one next year.
By Mrs Johnson on 13/07/2015
A very interesting walk through small villages in Burgundy with the highlight being Vezelay. Auxerre is a lovely old town worthy of an extra day there.
By Mr Buss on 08/07/2015
A superb location for walking and an excellent hotel - the staff were friendly and always very helpful. Travel arrangements - flights and car hire all went smoothly. Exactly what we had hoped for.
We also extended the car hire for a further three weeks and delayed our return flight for the same period. Headwater arranged this for us when we booked and everything went according to plan.
By Ms Whiteaker on 07/07/2015
The walking trip in Brittany was excellent. Our rep was brilliant, going out of his way to ensure we had everything we needed and more. The route notes were thorough and the walking itself was on lovely trails.
By Mr Fairweather on 07/07/2015
This was an excellent holiday where the standard of food and accommodation fully justified the description 'gastronomic'. The walks are interesting and quite varied with the combination of woodland, vineyards and picturesque villages, but it is a new route, and as it evolves I think that some improvements can be incorporated: Day 3 seemed a bit early for a free day and perhaps the amount of walking on tarmac could be reduced.
By Mr Strong on 02/07/2015
Beautiful region of France. Didn't see a soul whilst walking and the hotels were quiet which suited us! Representative was very friendly and helpful.
By Mr Bedford on 02/07/2015
Excellent. Location stunning. Views wonderful. Food, apart from one meal, great. Hotels good 3 stars. Local representative very helpful. Overall a most enjoyable, although tiring, holiday.
By Mr Boyd on 23/06/2015
Enjoyable walking in attractive countryside with plenty opportunity to visit historic places such as Dijon and Beaune, staying in remarkable small hotels, and eating amazing food and drinking some of the world's best wines.
By Mr Ball on 23/06/2015
Excellent local arrangements and facilities. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
By Ms Sampson on 19/06/2015
Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience; a lovely lazy way of booking a really good holiday - everything is provided for and has been thought of. Excellent.
By Mr Rodesano on 15/06/2015
This was an excellent varied walk and well constructed taking in coastal paths, forest and river scenes and the beaches were superb.
By Mr Hamilton on 15/06/2015
We had a fabulous trip in perfect weather. Ross the Rep was first class. He goes the extra mile , is particular on detail and plans ahead.
The rating for the walks is right, not as testing as our usual 2 boot but with gentle climbs to give interest and the spectacular views. Thank you and thank Ross.
By Mr Maitland on 07/01/2015
Varied walking, generally on quiet routes. Good views on all the walks. Gavarnie and Lac D'Ourrec were especially good - take the offer of the lift on the Lac D'Ourrec day if you can as it gives you more chance to explore the high meadows etc.
Excellent welcome in each hotel, food generally very tasty, local and varied. Especially enjoyed the local trout at Ramonjuan and everything at Les Pois Sont Rouges in Argeles! Transport options worked well.
For Gavarnie - we managed to get up and back to the waterfall with a very quick detour up to the Cabine des Soldats in a total of 6.5 hours but that was really pushing it (for us). So we managed to use the bus that arrived at 10am (on a Sunday) and left at around 5.30. If you missed out the Cabine (which was ok for views but great for Marmots) then it would have been a comfortable walk. Definitely recommend going there on the best day of weather as it is spectacular!
Thanks Headwater - another great holiday!
By Mrs Barrett on 17/10/2014
Fantastic coastal walks. Distances are reasonable but remember as it is coastal you drop from cliff tops to sea and back up again. Fantastic beaches, well worth a return visit on the 'day off' from walking.
By Mrs Maddison on 17/10/2014
This must have been one of our most enjoyable holidays. There was never a dull moment. Fascinating region , great walks and great towns and villages to explore
By Dr Darke on 14/10/2014
The joy of not using a car for 8 whole days was amazing! The walking was lovely, the grape harvest in full swing, the hotels EXCELLENT with good breakfasts and all arrangements extremely convenient and clear. Flying from Bristol is such fun compared with the toil of Heathrow/ Gatwick. Staying in Paris for the first night makes good sense, and the TGV is superb! There is only one snag...not having a car to bring home all the excellent wines! The Co-op at Turckheim is surely one of the best in France.
By Mrs Sharp on 29/09/2014
Well put together holiday ensuring something of interest every day. The half board element can be a bit restrictive although most places were ok with making changes for a supplement. The only place we had a problem with this was Hostellerie de Clos where we were basically told what we were to eat with no choice given at all. As it happens we were ok but foie fras to start and pigeon to follow might not be to everyone's choice. The hotels were quite varied but generally good or better. Our least favourite was Hotel de la Poste in Vezelay. It's pretty tired and we had a poor room (102) which was at the front of the hotel and directly over the Bistro. You might think Vezelay would be quiet but the lorries are relentless from about 4.30am.
Our rep Ross could not be bettered. He put his heart and soul into making sure we had a good holiday and was endlessly patient - as well as very good company.
By Mrs Reeves on 25/09/2014
Fantastic hotel with amazing food in great location. Very friendly staff who were always smiling!
By Mrs Boorman on 25/09/2014
Read the brochure carefully and check the photos of the holiday are not misleading
However the first 2 hotels were great
By Mr Tabrett on 22/09/2014
This was a superb holiday made especially enjoyable by the exceptional help and untiring humour of your rep, Steve Barrington, who went way beyond the call of duty to look after everyone.
By Mrs Pogson on 19/09/2014
This was a fantastic holiday - all the walks are interesting & varied with spectacular views. We were very lucky to have good weather everyday. The accommodation was excellent throughout - can't fault a thing.
By Mrs Henry on 02/09/2014
This holiday was one of the best holidays I have ever had, the scenery was absolutely wonderful once you were up the top of the mountains, and so peaceful, you need to be very fit to do this holiday, but the views and tranquillity was worth all the hard work.
By Mr Duesund on 28/08/2014
Have told rep about weather and path conditions on Day 3. He was right about poor waymarking. The hotell had few good options and the vegetarian member of our group had problems at the last hotel AS they didn't follow up. When meals are included Headwater should have a higher level than a 20â‚¬ meal. Best place was Argeles Gazost. But not so exciting food offered at alternative restaurant 14th July. In general a OK holiday but a bit too many Wales in the Woody on poor paths. Definitely best Wales on first day with extension. Hopeless quality with dinner at the Ramonjuan. Where did they manage to Get such comments? Make sure Headwater clients get the upstairs bedrooms as there are two rooms without windows on the first floor. Try to Get more Walks like the first Day and the Gavarnie.
By Mrs Barker on 19/08/2014
We really enjoyed our hioliday. The rep gave us everything we needed, but compared to our other 2 headwater holidays, he perhaps wasn't quite as attentive. Three of the hotels were great, but the Constantine was not anywhere near the same quality and disappointing. We recommend Hotel Schwendi in Kintzheim, a 20 minute walk from Kaysersberg.
We look forward to our next Headwater holiday.
By Mr Mason on 30/07/2014
Stunning scenery and brilliant walks.
By Mr Graham on 23/07/2014
Sensible daily itineraries; good, comfortable hotels; efficient transfers, accurate guide notes; good value for money.
By Mrs Price on 14/07/2014
Hotel de la Muse du Tarn is not only our 'best' Headwater hotel but probably one of the best hotels we have stayed in worldwide.
We had one very wet day and the hotel was a comfortable and pleasant place to take refuge with books and crosswords.
The walks were well described and accurately graded, we felt. Although one or two of the descents were longer than implied but maybe that was because I am very very slow!!
The whole region is stunning with lots to do apart from walking. We didn't have great weather but it didn't dampen our walking spirits. And the views - wow!
By Mr Burn on 13/07/2014
Smoothly organised and unstressed providing an enjoyable holiday
By Mrs May on 11/07/2014
On this itinerary the length and gradient of the walks are not so suitable for the over 65s - we experienced them as three-boots rather than 2 on account of our age.
Your notes are very well written, congratulations. We never went wrong and rarely used the maps.
The menus on this gastronomic holiday were surprisingly limited - should have guessed they would be though. There was one evening when we could not face the foie gras and duck again so crept out for a cheap Italian despite having paid for the gastronomic bore. We cannot blame Headwater for this, please note.
Throughout the service was very good. The landscape and local attractions were outstanding. The routes were creatively chosen. Thanks!
By Mr Sidey on 10/07/2014
Overall summary is that we thought the walks were excellent with a variety of scenery. The hotels were generally very good and the staff as well as local people were friendly and helpful. It is a beautiful area with lovely villages and towns being part of the walking route.
By Mrs Pritchett on 09/07/2014
Beautiful part of France, stunning gorge scenery. Hotel in brilliant location right on riverside. Excellent food with choice from whole menu every day + chef's special of the day for each course. Highlight was lots of lovely butterflies!
By Mrs Taylor on 26/06/2014
We paid £2082 of this holiday. During the trip we ascertained that the accommodation (and yes I have included the upgrades and breakfasts) were valued on booking.com as £911. Plus the two dinners at chez Norbert, say £100, then £1011. This means we have paid £1071 for transfers of baggage (we only paid 80 euros for a taxi from Turkheim to Basel), two maps and appalling route notes. Assuming you had a commission from the hotels based on your bulk buying power then you are rip off merchants. Why the dinner at Chez Norbert included? The choice was a not written but only a verbal one choice (pretty appalling option). We paid almost as much just upgrading to the normal menu as we could have eaten out at a local restaurant without . Is this philosophy to make you look generous because I can assure you it didn't work with us. The restaurant was closed on Tuesdays but no-one told us reception was also closed. They only gave us wifi codes for 24 hours, so we were without internet access for a day. My husband still works and needs internet access at all times. I realise I should have cross checked prices before booking and therefore blame myself for being ripped off, however this will most certainly not happen again. When the rep picked us up in Chatenois, he asked about our arrangements for onward travel - we told him we were intending to get train from Colmar to Basel late in
the day. He failed to tell us trains were on strike - left us to find out for ourselves and book a taxi to airport. What is the point of a rep who cannot give the most
simple advice. My advice to your future clients is 'don't be gullible -you can do better yourselves'
Dear Mrs Taylor,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our online questionnaire following your recent holiday to Alsace. Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future and is always well received.
We were sorry to read that your holiday did not meet with your expectations; this was disappointing to hear as this holiday is normally a firm favourite with our customers. However, please be assured that we realise how important it is to maintain our high standards of accommodation and service, and we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip. Therefore all of your feedback has been passed on to the relevant UK and overseas departments and steps will be taken to improve where necessary. In closing we would like to thank you for your constructive comments and hope that despite the issues you have reported you had an enjoyable holiday overall.
Headwater Customer Service
By Mis Elliott on 21/06/2014
brochure, doe's not do justice to the astonishing location and overal excellence of the hotel which is 4 star and not 3 star as printed.We have looked at this holiday for at least 10 years, and booked this time as we are running out of options in France.
By Dr Rose on 16/06/2014
This was a lovely walk in beautiful gentle countryside. For us the highlight was Vezelay which we might otherwise not have discovered .We used the wine service for the first time & found it really useful
By Mr Eyton-williams on 16/06/2014
The area was ideal for walking and very interesting. The hotels, service and locations chosen were good, but the route notes need updating as at times were confusing to the extent that all members of the group got lost at a couple of points during the week. Maps (IGN) supplied were excellent. It was the maps that enabled us to find our way. Suggested visits on rest days were most helpful and the Stork Center is well worth a visit
Overall we did enjoy our holiday and would happily visit the region again!
By Mr Williams on 12/06/2014
The Tarn area is an location for activity holidays and for seeing wildlife and flowers.
By Mr Brown on 07/06/2014
This holiday is to be recommended for those enjoying exercise and the wines of Alsace. The latter is important as much time is spent in and around the vineyards.
By Mr Fendall on 02/06/2014
This was a first time using Headwater.It was an 8 day 'walking' holiday but only 4 days of designated walking and therefore 4 days to 'do your own thing'. Suggestions were made in the guidebook but apart from more walkng or visiting vineyards the villages of Alsace offer little in the way of 'other' activites. I feel that at least 5 (or even 6) days of designated walking would be more appropriate.Overall I enjoyed the experience as Alsace is an area liken no other in France.
By Mrs Taylor on 02/06/2014
The holiday overall was well planned and the location was beautiful .The Alsace villages that we visited were most attractive with the old buildings and the history associated with them. As two fit octogenarians we were fully capable of managing the walks.
By Ms Mulholland on 01/06/2014
As a solo walker I felt a great sense of achievement
By Mr Hall on 27/05/2014
Wonderful countryside for walking and great walks - with a spectacular meal at the end of every day.
By Mrs Norris on 25/05/2014
Your questions are too black and white. Whilst we would use Headwater again we have serious reservations. Hotel rooms are almost always on the top floor. We pay you to carry our bags and carrying them down and sometimes up 3 flights is bad. Food was variable- certainly I would say we enjoyed the history and prehistory much more than the food. Before leaving your office staff wanted us to pay locally for a taxi at Sarlat to take us to the station. In fact Claire took us and it was very easy for her to do so. I do not understand why this should ever have been a problem. I felt that the 4 Canadians who perhaps booked before us were considered first in terms of transport arrangements. Inntravel never charges extra once an arrangement is made.
By Mrs Cornelissen on 08/10/2013
There should be more information on the routes available early in the process. We had a 23 km walk, which was fine for us but it was not clear that there were any walks of this length and it could cause problems for some guests.
By Mrs Rees jones on 01/10/2013
Excellent and very helpful local rep, Steve. The walks were quite long and the day walk from Dinard and Dinan had no places to stop en route for coffee or even to picnic apart from stopping beside the path/road.
By Mr Ingram on 28/09/2013
The Dordogne is a very good area for a holiday, with plenty to see and do in all weathers. The Headwater walking holiday is a very good introduction to the many varied facets of the region - geography, towns and villages, food and places of interest. We enjoyed experiencing different styles of hotel - they all have their own individuality - and all looked after us extremely well. The walking notes were faultless and the maps some of the best I've encountered on the nine Headwater holidays I've taken. The rep was very informative and helpful and although we required only the routine service we were confident that if exceptional circumstances arose they would be dealt with professionally.
By Mr Stokes on 28/09/2013
A week that was both invigorating and relaxing in good walking country in the Vosges mountains - with pretty but touristy villages offering a good variety of places to sleep, eat and drink.
By Mr Stebbing on 27/09/2013
The Dordogne is a great area for walking with fantastic views and places to visit such as Chateau and cave/rock attractions. Mostly small hamlets along the route and limited facilities for refreshments so a picnic was essential. The walks were very strenuous in places with steep climbs and descents along stony paths. It was the toughest series of walks that we had undertaken (we live in Norfolk but have walked up Snowdon and other hills!) but we did it. Food at hotels in Beynac and Tamnies in particular was substantial and excellent but the walking helped burn off the calories. We flew from Norwich to Toulouse via Amsterdam and it was nice to be home within 40 mins of touching down in Norwich. Headwater helped us find a route to the Dordogne which didn't involve a long trip to and from London and didn't break the bank either.
By Mr Asteriades on 24/09/2013
The toughest Headwater walking holiday we have been on - particularly the first few days.
Great walking routes, stunning views, good hotels. We particularly liked Le Renard with enormous portions of great food.
By Mrs Anzarut on 21/09/2013
We found the towns visited quite charming and the accommodation was good. This is a very leisurely and easy walking holiday.
By Mr Davies on 19/09/2013
The Emerald coast walks are some of the best I have done. Your local rep. Steve Cunningham is excellent. Hotel at Lamballe has very good food and service, but the two rooms I had were fairly basic. The hotel Diane has good decor and service, but the food was a little disappointing. I did not much care for the Hotel Printannia, either the decor or the food. I had one good dinner and one rather mediocre one. The hotel D`Avaugour was excellent. In spite of my views about the hotels, I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday because of the lovely walks and gorgeous scenery.
By Mrs Wellings on 18/09/2013
The walking on this particular holiday was not very varied and was harder than we had anticipated a Leisurely/Moderate holiday to be. The long distances involved meant that there was not time to take in the suggested visits. It is confusing/misleading to have multiple walking gradings on the walk descriptions in the brochure, unless there are different options for each rating.
By Ms Tyler on 18/09/2013
Holiday generally let down by Beynac hotel. Standard of service to book holiday was poor. Notes were poor photocopies. When further ones were requested, the wrong notes were sent. Despite confirming we did not need a transfer, I was contacted to give transfer arrangements.
By Mr Greenbank on 16/09/2013
Overall a good holiday in a pleasant region of France - thanks
By Mr Jackson on 16/09/2013
We chose this holiday because it was advertised as the easiest grade of walking in an area that looked very attractive in the brochure. We suspected, from looking at the altitude chart, that the second walking day might be more challenging than the grade implied, and we were right!
The shorter walk distances were fine for us, the directions were clear and the maps helpful, although we could have managed without them, as the walking notes were so good. We did have occasional problems finding the waymarks, particularly on Day 2, when we assume they had been on trees which had fallen. The villages we stayed in were very picturesque, the hotels were welcoming and the arrangements all worked very efficiently.
We have been on many Headwater holidays over the past 30 years and always enjoyed them, although we are choosing the easier grades nowadays. I would recommend this holiday, with the proviso that it is definitely NOT flat walking. Most days had a fair number of uphill and downhill stretches, and the second day in particular was a very lengthy uphill effort, with a couple of steep pulls, followed by some fairly tricky downhill walking through forests with fallen trees in places. We found our walking poles very useful, particularly on Day 2.
Dear Ms Thompson,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our on line questionnaire and for your feedback regrading the grading of the walks , please be assured that all of the feedback we receive is valued by us and is used to help improve and develop our holidays for the future.
It was great to read that you enjoyed your holiday to France. Although, I am sorry that you found some of the walks more challenging than you expected.
This year we introduced a new grading system of soft/leisurely/moderate/challenging. In previous years we have used a ‘boot’ rating. However, we have received mixed feedback regarding this new grading system and a number of people have told us they feel the old boot ratings gave a clearer indication of what was involved. We have therefore decided that from Nov 2013, we will be reinstating our previous system, in order to avoid any future problems. We will therefore be rating this holiday as a 1 boot which I hope you will agree is a suitable rating.
I am also sorry that you found discrepancies with some of our waymaking points, this is checked at the beginning of the season and then throughout as necessary, I have passed your comments on to our local rep, he will be re checking the routes before the start of the new season and will check out your feedback to ensure it is corrected.
Thank you once again for your constructive comments and for your loyalty over the years, we do hope to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future.
By Mr Fraser on 03/09/2013
Our second Headwater holiday. Once again faultless arrangements for accomodation and transfers taking the pressure off sorting it out yourself. Friendly and enjoyable hotels with really good meals.
By Mr Smith on 28/08/2013
This hotel is really a 3 star hotel tying to live up to 4 star standards. the food selecting for dinner was quite limited and did not offer the range and quality that was expected. Cost of drinksat both the bar and the wine list prices where far too expensive andf put us off drinking.
It would help walkers if the maps were actually marked up with the routes as this would only take minutes and would help to cross refer to the headwater maps.
Even better would be down loads for walkers to use their own GPS devices whilst walking.
By Mr Petch on 24/08/2013
The accommodation was excellent, it was great having meals already arranged so no need to go in search after a long walk. Walking was as described in the brochure and route notes very good with a couple of minor hiccups. Our rep Claire was 1st class and made some helpful suggestions which added to the enjoyment of the holiday. All in all we had a great holiday and would definitely recommend it.
By Ms Barton on 23/08/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our walking holiday in the Dordogne. Accommodation and food were for the most part excellent. Walking notes were detailed and accurate. Our rep. was helpful and very informative.
By Dr Paget on 18/08/2013
Headwater are a reliable and efficient firm to book your walking holiday with. The travel arrangements went like clockwork and we had an excellent time walking through the Heart of the Pyrenees.
By Mrs Bale on 14/08/2013
We really enjoyed our holiday. It was a lovely area with some hearty food but fabulous wine. It was great to be able to taste the wine and then for Chris to transport it for us. I would have been happy to walk every day as the walks were not strenuous and we were at the next place by lunch time giving time to explore in the afternoon. We felt that it would have been useful to have known beforehand that each hotel had free wifi and also to have known that shampoo was not provided.
By Mr Webb on 12/08/2013
Beautiful small towns and villages, beautiful scenery and captivating history. Hotel accommodation was generally good and Chez Norbert's air conditioning was most welcome with temperatures in the mid to high 30's.
At Bergheim on chef's night off we were relocated for dinner to the Weinstub up the street. The lady in charge was most reluctant to provide a menu at the sum Headwater had allowed. Two of our party accepted the 'no choice' modest three course meal and we chose a'la carte. Food was indifferent and the wine overpriced.
At Turkheim food was not offered in Hotel des Deux Clefs, we enjoyed good food in town where there's plenty of choice. (so please disregard the 'poor' rating in questionnaire)
Apart from Chez Norbert, ventilation was inadequate in the hotels, fans were not always available and other clients complained that Headwater guest's rooms were usually located in the roof and were in consequence, unbearably hot. Our upgraded room in Turkheim was fine!
We missed the initial briefing which was a pity. Although our expected arrival time was late afternoon, we were actually in the hotel when Chris arrived with his clients from Colmar. A shame he didn't check.
This oversight did not detract from our holiday experience as our friends briefed us. When we eventually met Chris he impressed us as helpful, efficient, and friendly.
By Ms Cole on 12/08/2013
The Alsace Wine Trail was one of the very best holidays I have ever taken. The region was unknown to me and was delightful in all ways. The wine was excellent, my only regret is that it wasn't longer.
By Mrs Paterson on 07/08/2013
This is a lovely holiday It was very well organised and all the hotels were most welcoming. The challenging walks were only challenging in terms of length not in terms of terrain and they took in some delightful countryside.
By Mr Christley on 05/08/2013
Excellent experience. Able to walk at our own pace. Very intersting area to travel in.
By Mrs Wilson on 03/08/2013
Overall it was a very enjoyable holiday made the more so by our excellent rep. It is an excellent way of seeing in detail a small part of, in our case, France.
By Mrs Campbell on 03/08/2013
We totally enjoyed this holiday. Excellent food and comfortable hotels set in magnificent scenery. The walks are graded correctly and provided the opportunity to see parts of France we would not have explored alone.
By Ms Cutts on 02/08/2013
Fabulous walking in amazing landscapes along the gorges, along with a very comfortable hotel with delicious food and excellent service, made this a great holiday!
By Mrs Jones on 30/07/2013
The scenery along the Tarn was sublime - like a cross between the Lake District and the Grand Canyon but with more trees. Would recommend bringing small binoculars to watch the vultures (walks 2,3, and 5), and a small torch for shining in the caves (walk 6). Start early to avoid heat of midday sun. Fantastic variety of beautiful butterflies especially at the start of walk 5 (in late July). Absolutely charming staff at the hotel.
By Mr Drea on 24/07/2013
This is a self-guided walking holiday staying in small hotels in small towns or villages and requires a certain amount of tolerance, flexibility and common sense particularly when routes don't work out as they seem.
We were disappointed to have two of our hotel/restaurant meals deleted (we were provided with cash to fend for ourselves!). This meant that we had only two meals during the holiday arranged for us by Headwater instead of four as noted in the guidance.
This and some missing or bad forest signage were the only miner blips in an otherwise excellent and enjoyable holiday.
By Mr Boyd on 23/07/2013
This was our 10th French walk with Headwater. We had been putting off trying the Britanny coastal walk due to concerns about the possibility of bad weather but our fears were unfounded. In the event the weather was perfect for walking, the scenery was spectacular, there were lots of interesting places to see and visit, and we particularly loved our balcony overlooking the estuary at Dinard. Your local rep Steve could not have been more helpful. This was one of our favourite French walks and we would highly recommend it.
By Mrs Barber on 23/07/2013
A lovely part of France to exlore and based in an excellent hotel
By Mrs Davies on 21/07/2013
Superb location with great walking.Notes provided were fair but only worked because there were not too many paths to choose from so you just stayed on one path for most of the walk (unlike England where far more detail would have been necessary to choose the correct path). I feel the grading of the walks we did was rather misleading as a lot of them involved narrow cliff edges and steep scrambles which I would say were at least 'moderate'. The scenery was magnificent and the hotel was excellent. I liked the bedroom (light, modern and airy with a large comfortable bed) and the food was very good indeed (especially the nights when we could choose from the a la carte menu). The main problems included a lack of a booking for our dog despite having paid extra for this facility. However, Headwater has recompensed us for the money spent so we now are satisfied overall.
By Mrs Hill on 17/07/2013
Excellent holiday that delivered exactly what was described - we had a wonderful time . Faultless organization with consistently high standards. Well worth the money
By Mr Kennedy on 16/07/2013
The flexibility of start date, route and accommodation type with planned rest days between walking days suited us very well. The wine pick-up service is brilliant!
By Mrs Frechette on 12/07/2013
We all had a great holiday. Having the extra day at each hotel gave us a chance to settle in and get a feel for the local area as well as relaxing if we wanted to.
By Mrs Baser on 09/07/2013
We had a fabulous time, thoroughly enjoyed the walks, though did find the route notes needed updating and clarifying in places - they're probably OK for very experienced walkers/mapreaders, but we're still relatively new to all this, and need things spelt out clearly, specifically and unambiguously! Steve the rep was brilliant, very informative and helpful. Food very good, hotels mostly fine, though our room in the Printania was a bit snug (but we did love their waitresses in full Breton outfits, set off perfectly by a lovely modern nose-stud!). Another excellent Headwater holiday - thanks!
By Mrs Peate on 09/07/2013
The holiday surpassed our expectations! We feel as though we have experienced France at its best, able to take time to enjoy the important things in life. The walks were long enough to provide a sense of achievement at the end of each day but left us looking forward to the next one. Each of the villages where we stopped were packed with culture and history. The food and wine were excellent and guilt free due to the miles walked. We have often passed by this area of France within a matter of minutes on the motorway but in future we will definitely be making it a stopping off point. Thank you Headwater for organising a great holiday.
By Mr Hardy on 03/07/2013
The walking experience was excellent and the area quite dramatic and well worth the visit.
We have sent a letter (via email) to you concerning our dining experience which we hope you will take note of.
By Mr Branch on 26/06/2013
A very enjoyable walking holiday in some beautiful countryside. Hotel was good but we felt the wine prices were unreasonably high and we went out for pre- and post- dinner drinks. Your explanation of the mealplan was unclear and you did not respond to an email query on this subject. On 4 nights there was no choice at all on the mealplan The walks were outstanding and we did 4 of them (1,3,4,10). Fellow guests (especially Headwater) very compatible. Hotel staff outstanding (except for one apparently new and untrained barman.
By Mr Berry on 24/06/2013
Our holiday experience was let down by one very poor hotel (Hotel du Chateau at Beynac). The service was poor, the food less than average (nowhere near Gastronomic !), and resulted in one day of an upset stomach. The hotel swimming pool was an absolute disgrace, not at all fit for purpose. Service was hard to come by and there were aspects of the hotel room that were frankly dangerous and could have resulted in injury. In all conscience I could not recommend this holiday to anyone else while this hotel remains on your itinerary. We have had some 3 or 4 Headwater holidays and this has been the least successful by a wide margin due to this one hotel. I have answered
'No' to the last two questions because as things stand today that is how we feel. The other three hotels met expectations (why isn't Laborderie at Tamnies on your feedback form by the way ?) but the Beynac hotel, representing 25% of the holiday is a serious drawback. We gave our feedback to your reps at the end of the holiday along with another couple who were likewise very unhappy (The Sumners from Australia). I would like you to call us so that we can give your more detail on the problems we experienced.
By Mr Cooper on 24/06/2013
An excellent trip in a great location. However, having spent a day walking high in the heat we expected to relax by the swimming pool and cool off. We were very disappointed to find on arrival that the hotel did not intend to fill and clean the pool until the day we left (June 15th). An empty swimming pool is not attractive and very frustrating, and to a small degree took the edge of an otherwise great trip. Indeed it had been part of the promise in the Brochure and the hotel website. We would not have booked this week if we had been given this information by yourselves beforehand as we were flexible on dates.
I have therefore answered no above as what was promised was not delivered and in future would need reassurance.
Otherwise the scenery and floors/birds were stunning and the hotel good. Food excellent, wine expensive and some service erratic, but entertaining.
By Mr Peacock on 23/06/2013
Overall a very enjoyable holiday. Particularly enjoyed the coastal walking. For us more time on the coast and miss out the trudge through the forest on the last day.
By Mr Ormiston on 22/06/2013
Very enjoyable holiday walking through Burgundy in early summer. Glorious views, mainly clear tracks/paths. Good background information in booklet. Precise and easy to follow route instructions [in conjunction with maps and compass.] Generally high standard of accommodation and meals, especially Hostellerie des Clos in Chablis, where the hotel staff were particularly helpful in finding a dentist. Very useful to have a pleasant and helpful English speaking rep on the ground.
By Mr Owers on 20/06/2013
Thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring walks, excellent food and accommodation .
By Mr Barrett on 12/06/2013
Very relaxing holiday as able to walk at own pace and stop for wine tastings along the way. Independant walking was very easy as the directions and maps provided were excellent and the paths well signed to match the maps. A beautiful area to explore.
By Mr Nickson on 04/06/2013
We went in May: the weather was poor. We had two good days, two days of rain & sun and two days of steady rain. And it was cold (one day scraped up to a maximum of 8 deg C).
The area is great for walking and the Headwater walking guides were excellent.
The hotel was comfortable and the staff were helpful and friendly. The common areas of the hotel were well laid out and on one night the log fire was lit. But our first bedroom (room 14) was directly over the kitchen. The kitchen equipment was so noisy at night that we had to move after two nights. The next room (room 32) was disappointing: no shower curtain or screen; no balcony; a small window made the room dark; and no fridge. But it was quiet.
The hotel was expensive: 9.50 euros for two cups of tea (two tea bags). There was no house wine and the lowest price for a bottle of wine was 23 Euros - and this is France!
The food was disappointing. On four nights we were given a table d'Hote menu with no choice, even for the main course. Considering that this holiday is billed as a gastronomic experience, the Table d'Hote meal was very limited and underwhelming. We had to send a fish course back because it was under cooked and we had a duck course which was very tough. I have eaten at Auberges in France and the Table d'Hote meals have been much better. On three nights we had the A la Carte menu which was a distinct step up, but still nowhere nearly as good as I have had in French restaurants at considerable less cost.
To sum up, the Tarn is an excellent area for walking, Headwater's arrangements were first rate, but the hotel and the food were disappointing.
By Ms Loly on 30/10/2012
Headwater reps are always so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Steve provided lots of local information not otherwise available, as well as tips for the walking route. He went above and beyond our expectations, and added so much to our enjoyment of the area and to our trip.
Although we have sometimes used other companies, Headwater stands out in the service it provides, an the quality of food and accommodation.
Kudos to staff at Hotel de Diane in Sables d'Or les Pins who accommodated us beautifully in the midst of a very large conference group using the hotel too.
By Mr Mellish on 30/10/2012
An excellent week of walking, wine drinking and beautiful scenery in the Alsace, staying in wonderful little villages. A great week to choose if you enjoy wine and walking, but don't want to walk everyday and do long tiring walks.
By Mr Britton on 01/10/2012
We really enjoyed the week - a varied selection of walking routes, no difficulties navigating, four quite different places to stay and good weather. Congratulations on putting it all together and thanks for the effort you put in on our behalf - we will certainly be recommending the tour to our friends.
By Mrs Owens on 29/09/2012
A thoroughly enjoyable 8 days. Lovely walks, interesting places to stay and a warm welcome everywhere.
By Mrs Owen-jones on 29/09/2012
Delightful location. Excellent food and walking
By Mrs Love-fordham on 24/09/2012
The holiday was amazing! The countryside is pristine and absolutely beautiful! The walks were well planned to great destinations. We went at the end of the season which was good in that we rarely saw other hikers and no mountain bikers. BUT there were no ski lifts in operation and most restaurants and stores were closed. The closed businesses were not of concern to us since we don't shop for trinkets. BUT the closed ski lifts, in our opinion, makes this a much more difficult holiday than 3 boots because you start several mornings by climbing to the top of a ski lift for several hours. The Headwater notes suggest taking the ski lift cutting off hours of climbing - but this was not an option off season. It is doable (barely and you are exhausted by mid day). If the ski lifts had been operating, it would still have been a 3 boot holiday. Do not expect any flat walking paths. You are either ascending or descending. It is steep and often slippery. A great and fun challenge for those prepared. We would do it all again in an instant!!! Thank you Headwaters!!!
By Mrs Hurley on 24/09/2012
Easy walking with fantastic views . Learnt a lot about wine.
Surprises came every day from orchids,wild sweet peas black squirrel, donkeys in the forest, chatty locals ,auberges on the edge of the forest and amazing food in the hotels.
By Mr Rodger on 24/09/2012
I am aware that some people wish the freedom to choose where they eat but I prefer the system where the meal is provided in the hotel or associated restaurant as there is the excitement of not knowing what delicasies might be offered.
In the above part of the survey "Meals" are included in the Hotel surveys when, in fact, this only applied to one hotel.
(Hotel Chez Norbert)
By Mr Phillips on 13/09/2012
Excellent walking holiday with good accomodation in simple hotels.
By Mr Baker on 05/09/2012
Definitely a "3 booter"!! Hard work but so rewarding with fabulous views, beautiful surroundings and lovely food. We're in our late fifties and only of average fitness so were glad of the options to use chair lifts and have relaxing days off - we would recommend others not to be put off by the ranking though day 1 threw us into the deep end!
By Mrs Tulloch on 03/09/2012
good walking distances with alternatives to do extra if wanted.
pretty villages and lovely food.
By Mrs Champion on 29/08/2012
A wonderful hotel in the most beautiful setting you could hope for. Super staff, fantastic food, excellent walking and out door opportunities.
By Mr Drinkwater on 07/08/2012
Wonderful walking, but no choice of food at two out of three hotels.
By Mr Neville on 07/08/2012
The overall organisation of the holiday was extremely good from the moment we arrived in Geneva where Marc met us and took us to Les Gets. On the whole we were very impressed with the hotels and it was amazing how our luggage was moved on so efficiently from one hotel to the next.
The intinerary was excellent with only a few minor few errors due to local signs etc. changing and there was no problem route finding.
We were very impressed by the amount of research and time that must have gone in to produce such excellent route notes.
By Mr Suddaby on 23/07/2012
travel was problematic at times, see separate letter.Apart from that, very enjoyable.
By Mr Ball on 23/07/2012
Challenging, exhilarating, very enjoyable. Just such a shame that it is so far from home.
Hotel staff were excellent - very friendly and with a good standard of English. Food was superb.
As one previous contributor to the Headwater comment book put it, "if your idea of heaven is to be out all day burning off 2000 calories and then to put them back on again in the evening", then this is the holiday for you. We heartily agree.
By Mrs Jamieson on 23/07/2012
Challenging, but quite satisfying. We felt that the 10 days could have been shrunk into 8. Some places we did not want to stay that long in.
By Mr Belfield on 23/07/2012
Thoroughly enjoyable. Chris was very helpful.
By Dr Mooney on 11/07/2012
The Pyrenees region is really spectacular with rich opportunities for hiking. The group (10 of us) has a fabulous time. The weather was a bit on the (very) hot side for some of us, but no rain. The hotels varied. The hiking was quite challenging with quite steep (and sometimes) rocky trails. Overall a very memorable week.
By Mrs Johnson on 11/07/2012
It was an excellent holiday except for the issue below and the smallness of the rooms and proximity to town clock at Turkheim amd the smallnes of the room and heat in the room at Riquewhir, the room being located in the eaves.
By Mr Bowden on 11/07/2012
Enjoyed a very different part of france. Eating out good and easy, but might be different in July/Augustesp in Riquwihr.
By Mr Pearson on 07/07/2012
Excellent walking and support from Steve whose local knowledge enriched the whole experience.
By Mr Dixon on 07/07/2012
Alace was a great location for a walking holiday.With lovely villages only 2 / 3 km apart we were able to stop for breaks and lunch in little cafes.The locals all friendly being still country peolpe seeing strangers as visitors to be made welcome.
All the hotels were good and we would consider staying in them agian particularly Chez Norbert in Bergheim.
It was a great holiday and we enjoyed it very much.
By Mr Wall on 30/06/2012
A lovely break, with excellent accommodation and meals, with superb walking along the coast in particular.
By Mr Stokes on 30/06/2012
A very pleasant week's walking, with Headwater taking care of all the hassle
By Mrs Bedford on 30/06/2012
This is the best (of 4 Headwater holidays) holiday we have had
By Mrs Anzarut on 23/06/2012
One of the best Headwater Holidays we have taken.
By Ms Butterworth on 23/06/2012
Very good, excellent organisation
By Mr Walmsley on 23/06/2012
interesting and relaxing in a new area of europe
By Mr Keenlyside on 16/06/2012
Fantastic - can't wait to do it again!
By Mrs Whitter on 16/06/2012
Extremely enjoyable holiday
By Mr McIntosh on 11/06/2012
We have been with headwater twice before, and on these occasions we realised that these types of holidays were rather expensive, but also felt we got value for money. On this occasion we felt corners had been cut. We got this impression because of the following -
1) On arrival at Turkheim we were taken aback to be told we were on the 3rd floor but there was no lift, nor offer of help with our cases. It was an attic room that was cramped and scarcely relaxing. Arriving a day early booked by yourselves, we spent 2 nights there. The food at the tied restaurant was excellent, and on the return to the same hotel at OUR REQUEST we were accommodated on the first floor of the new wing at no extra cost.
At Kaysersberg the room was clean but dark and of a minimum standard. The local restaurants were excellent.
At Riquewihr the bedroom was immaculate, and produced for the first time good towels, but the room was too warm, with no means of cooling it except by opening all windows. The restaurant in the same street La Grape d'Or was excellent.
At Bergheim, Chez Norbet produced an excellent breakfast, and nothing was too much bother. However the nearby by restaurant Sommelier - produced a cut price - cut value menu for Headwater clients - on their own admission as I overheard the waiter explaining in French to other clients - and that he wouldn't offer it to them! 'It was only for the English!' When we overheard this, and noted it was chicken, we chose from their normal a la carte menu - but the standard of the lamb of which we eat a lot in Scotland was abysmal. We would not recommend this restaurant to anyone, as even having complained that we could not eat it the bill was exorbitant. By that time in the holiday we had experienced far better quality for less. The following night we were offered the 'Headwater menu' at Hotel Norbet - but it was chicken again - and though it was nicely presented for those with a good appetite after significant exercise it would not have been enough.
Overall we didn't let these issues spoil the holiday, as we thoroughly enjoyed the variety of the locations, and the well planned walking through the ancient rural villages. Because we were on out own, we took the opportunity to communicate with the les indigenes.
Dear Mr McIntosh, thank you very much for taking the time to contact us following your holiday in the Alsace. Further to our conversation we can confirm that for future departures we will only book Headwater guests on to the lower floors in Hotel des Deux Clefs. We were appalled to hear about the restaurant 'Sommelier'. As we mentioned we have never had this feedback before, but this is now being monitored on every departure, and should we receive any further comments, we will not hesitate to look into an alternative restaurant. We genuinely value your feedback and hope to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future.
By Mr Sharma on 00/00/0000
Well planned walks with great backup from notes and rep.
By Ms Gane on 00/00/0000
Easy walking, lovely views and good food
By Mr Shoesmith on 00/00/0000
Loved the holiday. Challenging walking but great views . Good variety of hotels, all with own charm.