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Customer reviews: Great Britain walking holidays

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

A lovely taste of different low level walks available in the area which makes us want to go back and do more on our own. Walking notes were excellent and easy to follow despite being discouraged from doing so and lack of confidence in them provided at the briefing. Given how often it rains and n the Lakes some walks are a little unsuitable after seriously heavy prolonged rain and alternatives would be useful. But all in all a great trip with delightful views and interesting history.

Mrs Hayashida
Literary Walking in the Lake District
21/08/2019

We generally enjoyed good walking without any major issues. Our initial transfer to the hotel was not booked but we had a very good follow up from your local representative and staff. Also, one of the hotels was trying to charge room cost directly to us, but eventually they understood.

Good value for money

Overall the holiday was good however it is a pity that you cannot leave your hotel for the next days walk without getting a lift to the starting point. Inverness and Fort Augustus were great and the Hotel Lovat was first class in all respects. Ticket to Ride were brilliant and supplied us with further maps and info and were always ready to pick us up at the agreed time. Have spent many better holidays with Headwater, at least 7 I would think, but having said that visiting Inverness for the first time was a treat and Fort Augustus with its 4 Lochs always provided much interest. Good to have a very informative boat trip on the Ness from Fort Augustus. The walk from Loch Tarff was the Highlands as we expected to see.

As a Literary Tour it was thoughtfully planned, apart from Day 6 when your Highlights suggests alternatives, but the walk sheet offers only a rather unneccesary trip to Wray Castle. Surely the walk to Beatrix Potter's High Top (returning via Moss Eccles Tarn) should have been the first choice. The National Trust is establishing an off-road path from Hawkeshead, which we took to Near Sawrey. And the extension to Day 7/Bowness was a downer. Being thrust into such a touristy place took us away from the empty countryside world of our walk.

A very pleasant way to spend a quiet but active week

We are very long term Headware holiday customers but this was our first holiday in the UK. The walk was really excellent with a sufficient variety of scenery. The places to stay were in general well chosen by the company.There was a slight hiccup on moving our baggage to the second hotel which we have never experienced before but both Headwater and the local links sorted it.After that everything was fine and we really enjoyed the experience. Swanage is a lovely place and on our stay put day even the rain did not stop us finding plenty to do.

Ms Willoughby
Literary Walking in the Lake District
10/06/2019

Morgan did a wonderful job looking after us! And headwater was so well organised-we really loved our holiday Thankyou; will definitely travel again with you!

Superb locations, superb hotels and even better food. We will certainly return.

An excellent walking holiday in very fine scenery staying in top-of-the-range accommodation.

An interesting programme with generally good accommodation. Service at hotels mostly good except for overcharging at Grasmere.

The Craigdarroch Inn is sadly in need of an upgrade and getting a meal is a chore. Unfortunately on a walking holiday you are a captive audience as there is nothing else in the vicinity. Give consideration to missing this hotel if possible until it improves.

headwater is a very professional company, everything worked out well regarding accommodation and the transporting of our luggage. We did not have any worries at all as the transport was on time and in most cases earlier than the stated pick up time.

Very tiring but very rewarding and challenging in parts!

An all-around enjoyable experience. Rep, Karen, was really welcoming, helpful and knowledgeable which was a great start. The Wordsworth Hotel was comfortable and spacious,with great facilities, food and service - a great start to our holiday. The Queens Head Inn was a great choice of accommodation and the room was perfect - a fabulous place to end our holiday as the upgrade was great. However The Lakeland was a disappointment as the room was supposed to be an upgrade but fell very short. No space or facilities. It was incredibly impersonal with poor service. The staff were more interested in their shop customers. We are still waiting on the toast!

The walks were well graded, with excellently detailed guidance notes. There was room for subjectivity at times but back up maps sorted that.

Transfers and parking was straightforward too.

Booking staff were very helpful, pleasant and patient. I would recommend Headwater Holidays as everything went so smoothly, the walks were most enjoyable with beautiful, not too remote routes that were also not too inhabited.

Great holiday , very relaxing , walks well written and organised , made our first trip to the Lake district memorable and we will be back.

We spent a really good week in the Lake District walking from village to village. Having our luggage transported from place to place was a real luxury. We were a bit unsure about how our children would cope with the walking. But this proved to be no problem at all, and they were ahead of us most of the time. The one day that we hadn't done our studying of maps and walking instructions properly, we managed to get lost. So, do your homework before leaving the house! We all really loved the last stop on our trip: The Queen's Head Inn, Hawkshead. Great team running the place and the food was amazing! Would travel with Headwater again if we have the chance to do so.

The actual walk was perfect but the boot rating needs looking at because of the climbs and descents which are tough in some areas, possibly the routes can be written by a walker with distances give between each marker, in the event of an accident etc. location positions not possible in terms of distance travelled and

unknown distance to next marker location.

Headwater have always provided very, very detailed walking guides and we can always rely on those notes - never a tree, a gate, or a stone out of place!

My friend and I booked our Literary Walking in the Lake District Holiday as a celebration of our 50th birthdays. From the moment I began inquiring via email to the moment we left on the train out of Windermere, we felt valued and respected. Our booking experience was great - Joanne answered all my questions clearly and patiently. Transfers from the train station went smoothly and our taxi drivers were great. Every accommodation was clean, comfortable and unique and all the food was wonderful. Our printed directions were amazingly detailed and accurate - we had no issues finding our way around and the maps were very helpful too. Karen Wigglesworth was very friendly and genuine. She gave us plenty of information and suggestions to make our holiday the best it could be. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would do it again in a heartbeat! If only we could book every year! We were also extraordinarily lucky with the weather - a heat wave the Lake District hadn't experienced in years! Beautiful scenery, uncrowded trails, varied terrain - it was all wonderful! Thank you for helping make our birthday celebration unforgettable!

The countryside and views were like out of a fairytale. Sheep grazing on the hills, beautiful cottages along the way and fragrant woods to walk through. This holiday is for anyone who needs to slow down and forget modern life. The quality of the food and beer offered at various pubs along the way made it even better!

Mrs Harrison
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
15/06/2018

Excellent coastal scenery. Be wary of ticks especially if taking the upper path on the day to Lulworth cove. It is worth having an extra night in Weymouth as there are lots of things to do such as visiting Chesil Beach, Portland Castle and exploring Portland.

Walking enabled us to see parts of the Lake District we would never have seen in a car and the literary connections gave much added interest.

Mr Ballinger
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
02/01/2018

A delightful area, very pleasant walking, just the right degree of challenge for us.

Some slight errors in the notes which caused a little confusion but did not lead us astray.

Mr Goodman
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
02/01/2018

Excellent. Memorable scenery, well planned itinerary and routes, good accommodation and an excellent support available during the walk.

A challenging and interesting experience. It was good to know there was back up if needed, which in our case proved indispensable as we had to alter our arrangements.

A lovely way to see Loch Ness and parts of the Caledonian canal.

Mrs Stansfield
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
12/12/2017

Thoroughly enjoyed this holiday. There was a good variety of walks including the coastal path and an inland ridge walk. The views were very beautiful and often spectacular and we were lucky with the weather. The gentleman rep who met us at Weymouth was very helpful and friendly which made for a good start. All the luggage transfers worked and the one taxi ride we needed went according to plan. The accommodation was interestingly varied but all very good or excellent. Only minor criticisms really were the cooked breakfasts at Purbeck House and Haven Hotel were cold but that can happen with buffet style breakfasts and Purbeck House needs to update the mattress on the single bed in the room we had. Other than that we liked everything about the accommodation we stayed in. The best breakfast was at Olivers and the room with the best view was at B&B Weymouth. The first day of this walk is quite challenging - the coastal path in the Durdle Door area is very steep up and down but we took it slowly and managed OK (and we did walk the first 2 miles instead of taking the bus - but that was worth it as the flat walk along Weymouth prom was beautiful in the early morning sunshine that day). We are glad we went!

Mrs Jefferies
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
12/12/2017

It was very easy to book this holiday and follow up with invoicing, final itinerary, final documents, etc. The local agents Roy and Jackie were fabulous and very welcoming and helpful. The route notes and maps were very accurate. I would do this again, just maybe do some more days !

Ideal location for walking. Beautiful scenery and excellent accommodation

Miss Smith
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
16/05/2017

Beautiful coastline ,lovely walks

Mrs Rarick
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
29/11/2016

These trips are like a treasure hunt. Each day you wake up and embark on a new adventure following detailed notes/maps not knowing what you will see or encounter around the next bend. The scenery on our Jurassic coast walk was just spectacular.

We were warmly welcomed by the local agent who advised us and made sure collections of us and our luggage happened on time. This generally worked well, with only one slight mishap. Whilst a couple of the hotels on our walking holiday wouldn't necessarily have been our personal choice, all of them were clean and comfortable. Locally sourced food was available in most of them.

The daily walking routes were very well written and only occasionally did we refer to the thoughtfully provided OS map. Going off piste was minimal. The Jurassic coastal path walking was magnificent.

In summary, considering the late time of year, travel to and from the West Country was not included and the fact that the accommodation was only half board, on reflection we felt the holiday was quite expensive. However it was good to have somebody else resolve the logistics so we could focus on enjoying the walking. Thank you to the Headwater team.

Mrs Currie
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
11/11/2016

Good walking with fantastic scenery.

Mr Schafer
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
27/09/2016

Overview

Wonderful trip with nice lodging and wonderful varied hikes.



Detailed Review

Arrival and Transfers:

This was our 6th Headwater trip and we were joined by another couple on their first trip with Headwater. We flew into Heathrow a day prior to the start of the trip and proceeded to make our way to Weymouth. We had considered using a coach/rail transfer but ultimately decided on a private transfer as it was less expensive for a party of four. We used Thompson Airport Cars (£145.00 for a private minibus). The driver met us at the terminal, was very professional, gave us some ideas for our time in Weymouth and drove us to the front of the Weymouth B+B. This was a very relaxing, efficient, and stress-free way to get from Heathrow to Weymouth for the start of the walk. While in Weymouth we purchased our return train tickets from Poole to Waterloo Station, taking advantage of a £16 off peak, advance purchase rate on

Southwest Trains.

We had arranged to meet with the local agent (Roy) shortly after our arrival and he went over the particulars of each day and gave us a great overview of the hiking, lodging, logistics and some restaurant and activity recommendations. He was very friendly and has a great sense of humor.

Lodging:

Weymouth B+B: Excellent central location across from the waterfront and bus stops. Very plain but comfortable rooms. Our room faced a courtyard and was quiet. Our travel companions room faced the side street and, maybe because of the bank holiday, they encountered a lot of street noise late into the night. The breakfast consisted of a small buffet and cooked to order eggs, sausage, mushrooms etc.

Alford House (Corfe Castle): Very Nice B&B on the main street about a five minute walk from the center of Corfe Castle. Our host, Suzie offered us refreshments upon our arrival, dinner recommendations and a cooked to order breakfast. The room was large, nicely furnished, quiet and very comfortable.

Purbeck House (Swanage): A beautiful hotel about a 5 minute walk uphill from the center of town. Our room was a nice size room up several flights of stairs facing a courtyard. The room was fairly quiet, but as it faced south west tended to be a little warm. Breakfast was a combination of a buffet/cooked to order.

Harbor Heights (Poole): A modern, comfortable, air conditioned hotel that was about a 25-30 min walk from the ferry dock. Great views of the harbor. Two strong ecommendations if you stay in this hotel. Ask the local rep/headwater about taking the local bus from the ferry to the hotel. After the wonderful hike from Swanage to the Poole Chain ferry, the walk to the hotel was along a road and not particularly scenic. Also, the hotel is not very close to other restaurants and while the on-site restaurant was good, the available dining times were somewhat limited the night of our stay. It might be worthwhile to ask the rep (or call ahead) to secure a reservation at the time you want

The Hikes:

The hikes were accurately described in the program and the the directions were clear and easy to follow. The 1+ boot description was accurate. Three of the hikes had wonderful coastal views , while the the hike from Corfe Castle to Swanage provided expansive

views across the countryside.

As I mentioned, we arrived a day early in Weymouth and took the local bus to the cliffs at West Bay and explored Abbotsbury. On our short day in Swanage, we finished up our hike by 2:30 and were able to take a tour boat along the coast from Swanage to Poole (and Return). This was a great, relaxing way to see the next day's coastal hike from the sea. I would highly recommend it.

Lovely route, fantastic scenery, quite challenging in some places and paths a little higher than expected for a person with vertigo.

A good holiday with manageable walks , nice weather and stunning coastal and countryside views . Best was Corfe Castle , a lovely little village overlooked by the impressive castle ruins.

Accommodation fine except for the B + B in Weymouth ; room cheerless and austere , and location rather noisy ; was woke twice in the night by people shouting and swearing in the street below.

Mrs Frames
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
30/08/2016

Overall had a fantastic holiday walking along the Jurassic coast. We were extremely lucky with the weather and pre-booked all but one of our evening meals (using Trip advisor) to ensure they too were of an excellent standard. The accommodation provided varied in style but all were scrupulously clean and offered an excellent selection of food at breakfast; the four star accommodation at the end of the holiday which included access to a heated outdoor pool and spa was especially welcome after all the walking. The route notes were excellent; very easy to follow.

we loved it. you make the right choices. you care for detail. you are committed and reliable. you do all the hard work. we just turned up and paid. great!

They were happy to wait unitl 10,00 a.m. to collect our luggage in the mornings, which was great,as we were on holiday and didn't want to rush our

breakfast, before walking. All the hotels were well chosen. The holiday was well thought out. We took the wrong route at Durdle Door and ended up on

an extremely steep area, so listen carefully to the Rep's instructions. Our rep recommended restaurants for us and booked them, so we had a nice

meal at Rick Steins in Poole, and several other nice places, that we might have missed otherwise. Make sure you take a sun hat, as there is not

alot of shade on the walks. Expect to feel quite tired, unless you walk 8 miles on a regular basis.

The holiday provided us with an opportunity to visit and explore an interesting part of England which was unknown to us and the walks were varied with some spectacular scenery. Apart from the walking itinerary itself, there were lots of places and sites to visit, including Portland Bill, Brownsea Island, Corfe Castle, the Swanage Railway, and by way of expedition from Weymouth, both of Thomas Hardy's houses near Dorchester. As usual with Headwater the accommodation was comfortable and thoughtfully chosen.

Mrs Fairhall
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
30/06/2016

If you enjoy being in the open air enjoying the country then this holiday is great with very comfortable rooms and great food and places to see, I would recommend this to anyone.

Mr Cheetham
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
26/05/2016

For keen walkers who want a holiday organised for them, including luggage-transfer, and are prepared to pay, this is an excellent holiday, but not for the faint-hearted or unfit, as although the distances seem short, the walks are often very strenuous, and there are frequent opportunities for stumbling over loose surfaces, especially on descents. The route descriptions are meticulous, and well-marked,and there is really no need for map-reading. The evening food is often expensive, especially at The Haven, where there is really no local alternative.

Beautiful region, fantastic scenery, good walks but not too strenuous.

Mr Whitehurst
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
15/09/2015

Great opportunity to visit famous sites in UK within a structured organised and well supported walk

Ms Waddington
Jewels of the Jurassic Coast Walk
24/06/2015

Wonderful walking trip - could definitely be done more challenging walking options outlined in route notes & more of the coatst covered. It really is a turquoise coast when the sun shines!

A unique experience that gave great opportunities to see parts of the country that we might not see if we were traveling independently. Following the route notes gives you the confidence to venture further, knowing that you could then get back to your route. Having a rep at the end of the phone just in case anything went wrong gave us a sense of safety and security and proved invaluable when I was unable to walk on the final day.