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Cycling Holidays

Headwater navigation app

Headwater navigation app

We offer GPS route navigation on the majority of our cycling holidays so even if you have no map reading skills whatsoever and have difficulty following directions to the end of the street - you won't get lost with Headwater!

The Headwater Navigation App provides our comprehensively researched and carefully checked routes in an easy to use and convenient format, similar to a car satnav, with easy to follow turn-by-turn instructions all along your route.

  • Free app for iPhone and Android
  • Full turn-by-turn audio instructions
  • Live GPS mapping
  • Interactive 'point of interest' information
  • No wifi needed and no data charges
  • Easy to use
  • Regularly checked and updated routes

What you get

Before you travel we'll send you everything you need to download your route notes and the free Headwater Navigation App which is available for both iPhone and Android.

Your route notes include everything you need for your holiday including details of where you stay, what you'll see along the way, contact details and (of course) instructions on how to follow our routes. You have the option to download all this information in PDF format, or print a hard copy if you prefer. You'll also be able to view your route on-screen prior to your holiday - zoom in and out, highlight particular days, see an overview of the tour, pick out where you'd like to stop each day, choose the places you'd like to visit along the way, and much more!

You won't need a data connection or wifi signal so, unlike Google Maps for example, you won't pay roaming charges or have to worry about loss of signal. You'll also enjoy our easy to follow turn-by-turn audio instructions, so you can turn off your display to minimise battery drain.

How it works

The app works in a similar way to a car satnav system - tracking your position along the route and providing clear spoken directions when necessary. There are lots of options to personalise it to suit your preferences and our local agents will go through these with you at the start of your holiday to ensure you're totally comfortable before you set off.

Our bikes are fitted with a handlebar mounted smartphone holder, so you don't need to worry about holding your phone (or keeping it clean and dry) whilst you're riding and, because the directions are spoken as you travel, you don't need to stop to check a map at every junction. If you do go wrong at any point the app will inform you that you've gone off route, so you can quickly backtrack and pick up where you left off; the only thing it won't do is re-route you.

With less need to stop and start whilst pedalling, you are left with more freedom to soak up your surroundings and enjoy the ride. We've included 'points of interest' along the routes to highlight the amazing scenery, fascinating architecture and quaint little villages that make Headwater cycling holidays so special.



If you'd rather use conventional maps

We think that the Headwater Navigationn App and our carefully created routes are the perfect combination for a relaxed cycling holiday - and much better than struggling with a conventional map. No need to stop at every junction to check where you're heading, always up-to-date, no folding and unfolding of maps and no tatty bits of paper to lose!

If you're still not convinced then we can supply you with printed maps and detailed step-by-step route notes. They follow the same routes and have all the information you will need to get from A-to-B and we'll even fit an odometer to your bike so you can keep track of your position on the route. Find out about our maps & notes here.

Frequently asked questions

Is it like Sat Nav?

It's similar, in as much as it will track your position along the route and you will receive both visual and audible route instructions along the way. It will also tell you very quickly if you have taken a wrong turn, but it won't re-route you.

How much storage will the routes occupy on my phone?

As an approximate guide, we estimate that a typical 8-day Headwater holiday might occupy around 120MB of storage, so you'll need to make sure you have enough storage capacity.

Should I download my notes before travel?

We strongly recommend that you download the routes before travelling as it's more likely that you will have a reliable and fast WiFi connection. It also gives you the opportunity to check you've got the required storage capacity on your phone.

Will I need a data connection to follow the routes?

No, once the routes are downloaded to your smartphone you don't need a telephone or data connection to follow the audio 'turn-by-turn' cues. Your phone just needs to be able to receive a GPS signal, which it will be able to do with mobile data disabled.

What if I lose signal or have technical difficulties en route?

We have thoroughly tested all our routes and have not experienced any satellite 'blackspots', so we are very confident that you won't experience interference with the GPS signal whilst you are cycling. However, your agent will provide you with a hard copy of your routes at your briefing just as a back-up in case of any technical difficulties en-route.

How much battery power will I use?

We recommend that you disable all unwanted wireless connections, for example, Bluetooth, WiFi and mobile data, or switch your phone to 'Flight Mode' whilst you are navigating. We also suggest that you allow your screen to go to screensave mode (the audio will still continue). These actions will preserve battery life and ensure that you have plenty of power to run on throughout the day. In our testing, we've found that the app is very battery-efficient - but you should start the day with a fully charged battery.

Do you provide a phone holder for my bike?

Yes, we provide a 'Universal' Weatherproof Phone Mount that attaches securely to your handlebars. It can be angled to suit your preferred view and has a plastic window so you can take photos along the way if you wish. The holder is suitable for all standard size phones up to the dimensions of a Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7. If you have a 'plus' size phone, you will need to bring your own holder with you.

Where will I find out about places of interest along the route?

We have marked places/sights of significant historical or cultural interest along the route and these are embedded in the route map as 'POIs' or 'Points of Interest'. You just need to click on the little information icon on the map (this is the same whether you are viewing through the website or the app). We have given additional audio 'cues' to tell you about POIs if they are off-route, should you choose to take a detour and visit them. Where possible, we have also embedded a link to the relevant website so that you can find out more and can pre-plan things like visits to museums, which might have limited opening hours or need to be booked in advance.

Do you recommend lunch stops?

We identify in the route description for each day where there are particularly nice places to stop for a lunch or refreshments.

The volume on my phone isn't that loud - will I be able to hear the audio instructions outdoors?

With your phone mounted on your handlebars we have found that most of our customers have had no difficulty hearing the audio cues and if you should miss one, it is very simple to review the cues to clarify what the instruction was. If you want absolute certainty that you won't miss a cue however, or, if you have hearing difficulties, you might want to consider bringing a Bluetooth earpiece with you.