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 all 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 all 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 all 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 Turner on 14/10/2016
Ideal combination of a cycling holiday with time to explore and staying in nice hotels
By Mr Black on 13/10/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed cycling the canal du midi.the surroundings were splendid;the towns visited steeped in history and the hotels chosen in almost all senses excellent.However in places the canal paths were poor especially after heavy rain and could do with some investment by the local authorities. the routes chosen were carefully chosen to enable us to see the French countryside at its best ,particularly the Vineyards. we would highly recommend this holiday. victor and Maureen,Dublin,Ireland.
By Mrs MacDonald on 13/10/2016
Really enjoyed the holiday, and all the arrangements were excellent, without being intrusive. Although we are both pretty fit, some of the distances were challenging for us, even in ideal conditions, leaving us little time to birdwatch and enjoy the wineries. Delightful part of the country, and well chosen hotels, especially the Jardin d'Homps and Hotel Particulier. Some of the notes were difficult to follow, especially around/through some of the villages, and with the mixed use of the 'canal on the right', and 'the right bank of the canal'.
By Mr McIntosh on 04/10/2016
By Mr Gray on 12/09/2016
This was an interesting holiday because of the towns visited and their differing charactters - also the passage along the Canal du Midi. Food was always available of varying type. Carcassonne CitÃ© was a historic experience, as was Narbonne and BÃ©ziers. Sete unusual because of canals and maritime background. Cycling was not hard, except that the weather was unusually hot for the time of year (September) (even to locals). Having days off cycling in Carcassonne, Narbonne, BÃ©ziers and Sete was extremely helpful. Allowed some rest and catch up if there were problems.
By Mr Hughes on 17/08/2016
This was a really lovely holiday with beautiful scenery in a picturesque area.
By Mr Baynton on 19/07/2016
Good weeks cycling in France following the canal du midi. Headwater rep Greg was very helpful and provided us with useful tips. Standard of hotel good especially hotel in Beziers (Hotel Particulier) which was a gem. Cycling enjoyable challenging at times due to the wind and heat. Bikes supplied were of a good standard. Would definitely book another cycling holiday after this experience.
By Dr Dixon on 16/06/2016
Considering the heat, up to 36 degrees C, we found the cycling distances quite demanding in the time available.
We found cycling between 12 and 2pm too much in the heat, Certainly we had no time to linger and do wine tasting!
The route directions, while mostly good, did include some significant errors - we left details of these with our Rep so that corrections could be made.
A more detailed street map of the route into Beziers would have saved us a lot of confusion.
We loved the hotels, particularly the welcome. All the hotels had very good restaurants close by.
By Mr Allan on 12/10/2015
Excellent - easy cycling - interesting route
By Mr Mitchell on 29/09/2015
Excellent scenery, route notes, bikes, food, and winetasting. The cycling was fine (don't understand why others have complained about tree roots, the paths were fine). But, no Headwater rep, no Day one talk about the route and dining suggestions. Bikes arrived on Day 2 and that was the only contact with a Headwater Representative. Why not at least collect us from the train in Carcassone? It all worked, but you have lost the personal touch that Headwater used to have. Also, the standard of the hotels was poor, the Beziers one in particular and only including one meal for the price was viewed as you being cheapskates, rather than of benefit. I like Headwater and this was our 7th trip and won't be our last. It was a great holiday, but watch out, you are too remote and are letting standards slip. If you don't improve hotels, value for money and on the ground Reps, you will start to lose support.
Dear Mr Mitchell, Thank you for taking the time to complete your post-holiday feedback questionnaire.
We were pleased to read you enjoyed the scenery, food and wine this region has to offer. Although were sorry to see you were disappointed with the service you received. As we continually strive to improve our holidays, we have made some improvements for the 2016 season. Firstly, we have made this area a Headwater rep region and because of this will be using our own bikes and transportation service. We have also changed the hotel in Bezier. We hope you will agree these changes will continue to improve this holiday for future customers. We would like to thank you for continued loyalty and look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Headwater customer service team
By Mr Barnett on 29/09/2015
For people of our age and cycling experience the condition of much of the canal side paths were very difficult at times. We were advised that there are problems regarding the removal of trees at present and that diversions were likely. However I am not convinced that that is the main cause. Having cycled on similar routes in the UK, Germany, Austria and Italy I suspect that the standards in France are different. I think you should make this more clear in your literature. One other thing that would be appreciated is if you could arrange for the hotels to have our luggage in the room on arrival or at least to offer to take it to our room. On most occasions in the past this has happened. Only on one occasion (Homps) did this happen. On this subject we personally would have appreciated not being on an upper floor as my wife does not like using lifts (I will make a point of asking for this in the future).
We did have occasion to call out the cycle company and due to an initial doubt as to whether our message would be heard and dealt with for the next day I called your UK office and was pleased with the response and assurances received. We received a replacement bike by 10.30 the next day.
By Ms Brandao on 29/09/2015
Fantastic service. You fulfill your promises, which is very much appreciated. Your staff is very good. Would suggest to review the instruction on your guide on the path from the Abbaye the Fontacalvy to Capestang: we got lost after descending the hill from Ouveillan to catch the D418 and eventually got into a very busy and so dangerous road . Not clear how to get the D418 road.
Fantastic end with a room with a great view to the canal in the hotel in Sete.
Hotels in Narbonne and Beziers have a great location, but are not so good.
Overall a great vacation. Thank you, guys.
By Mrs Eatwell on 21/09/2015
Cycling was very easy, although the maps provided were not good. The IGN Carte De promenade 65 and 72 1:100,000 show the Canal Du Midi clearly - fortunately we already had these maps. On the whole, the notes were good, but a bit too detailed in some bits - we found entering Beziers very confusing and ended up on a busy road. Along the canal, infected trees are currently being cut down and burnt, so parts of the route were barracaded off, and we had to use our maps and go onto local roads. Hotels are good, apart from the Imperator in Beziers, which is average, but it is in a good location for getting around and in and out of Beziers. We're glad we booked an extra night at the end in Sete - the Grand Hotel is lovely (we got a canal view room as requested) and Sete is really interesting. Throughout the holiday, we had lovely food and great wine. So with the cycling being easy, we've not lost any weight !!!!
By Mrs Burnett on 01/09/2015
A lovely experience in a nice part of France where the people are very welcoming
By Mr Windwood on 01/09/2015
This is a great holiday though not really for inexperienced cyclists due to the surface of the paths and roads in some places as well as the need to cycle on roads with some traffic. The distances and lack of hills make it an easy route but some degree of competance is needed. Hotels were good and we enjoyed the riding.
By Mr Evans on 03/08/2015
At heart it is a great holiday concept but we question whether Headwater any longer deserve to be the market leader.
By Mrs Kimber on 17/07/2015
It was a super holiday cycling through beautiful Canal du Midi but there were a few minor clitches that could have spoilt the holiday if we had let it. We stayed in some lovely locations at a range of hotels. Despite no Rep being seen all our luggage got to where it needed to be on time and safely.
By Mr Dunbar on 02/07/2015
Enjoyed the cycling alot, lovely countryside, great food. Expensive for what you get, considering only on e evening meal included.
By Mrs Boulton-jones on 25/06/2015
Holiday was expensive for what we received.
Lovely region of France.
By Mr Goss on 24/06/2015
This was our first trip with Headwater, having had good recommendations from friends (hikers). We have done many cycling trips with other companies. Organisation and information from Headwater was copious and helpful, EXCEPT:
We want to have large scale maps with the route marked (like other companies do). 1:100,000 maps are fine for driving, but not for cycling. I spent several hours before we traveled printing maps and trying to mark the route from the route description. Despite this we made some errors in navigation; annoying. The A4 description sheets are awkwardly big to mount on a handlebar rack.
By Mr Godfree on 17/06/2015
All arrangements worked perfectly. Bikes were excellent with comfortable saddles and springing - vital for bumpy towpaths. Luggage was always waiting for us at the next hotel. Fascinating canal architecture with plenty to see (watching boats going through the locks is entertaining). The prevailing wind (Tramontane) is generally behind apart from the out and back at Narbonne. Shade is provided along the towpath sections by plane trees. Hotel L'Octroi in Carcassone is well placed for visiting La Cite on foot and the airport shuttle bus actually passes the hotel just before the final stop (there even appears to be a stop outside which I guess the driver would drop you at if asked). Le Jardin d'Homps is a real French experience, as it was wet we were not tempted to use the garden and pool. Hotel le Residence is very convenient for the canal. Hotel Imperator seems a long intricate slog uphill on arrival but was worth it. Hotel le Grand is indeed 'grand'. We had an excellent room overlooking the canals but with triple glazing so no noise from the street below.
By Mr Christian on 08/06/2015
The cycling guide notes were excellent up to the section between Beziers to Sete. This section was quite vague in places and we got lost twice. The maps were of little use due to their large scale on the one occasion that we really needed them due to a diversion, they were no help at all. Other than that the accommodation was really good.