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Customer reviews: France 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.

Mrs Grief
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
15/10/2019

This was our 7th headwater holiday but the first we had done on foot. Every holiday has been special in one way or another but this one certainly ranked among the best. The walks were excellent, carefully routed to avoid any distances on busy roads and include a lovely range of scenery. We enjoyed the sense of being right out in the countryside and away from the main tourist centres although there were several times when a café or bar along the way would have been welcome (We had to carry drink and snacks with us on each walk although we did find a bar open in Gargas on the first walk.) Coming from a particularly flat part of the UK we were worried about steep climbs but the inclines were generally quite gentle and we managed fine. The weather helped. At the start of October, it was warm and dry but with a cooling breeze. In the summer heat we could have found it more challenging! The route notes were very good, as long as we read the details carefully. We only lost our way once, adding a few extra kilometres to the walk into La Fontaine de Vaucluse.

The hotels were all of a high standard, Each had an individual character, all were very comfortable and the breakfasts were wonderful. We especially enjoyed the Hotel de Poete in Fontaine and the Hermitage at Pernes les Fontaines.

The Headwater rep, Joey, couldn't have been more welcoming or more helpful. He went out of his way to make sure we had the best holiday possible. He was always cheerful and fun to be with.





A great insight into this little bit of the Alsace and at a time when the grapes in the vineyards are almost ready for picking

Mr Chancellor
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
03/10/2019

Our walking holiday in the Luberon was an excellent way to experience the area and

We’ve been on 12 previous Headwater holidays, most of which we’ve enjoyed immensely. This Alsace Vosges holiday was probably the one we have enjoyed the most. The walking and countryside were fabulous, the hotels ranged between good and excellent and the food was always great.

Ms Field
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
24/09/2019

Really Happy with the overall experience - & would recommend Headwater to others

Mrs Guthrie
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
23/09/2019

A fine, challenging activity holiday with excellent back-up support re luggage forwarding, through-out the week. Idylic Provencal hotels and villages interspersed among vineyards and Olive groves galore. A region dominated by both limestone and sandstone cliffs clothed with dense forests and providing stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Mr Heald
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
10/09/2019

We had a lovely holiday in the Alsace. The villages and the scenery are beautiful. We coped well with all the level 2 walks despite extremely high temperatures. Walk three which included the steep path up to the three chateaux I would class as 2 boot plus! I don't have a head for heights and I found there was a lot of clambering on the way up. My husband had to give me a lot of encouragement! However I accept I am in the older age range now (67 years) so these things are only going to get more difficult! Once we reached the top the rest of the walk was straightforward. I miss the diagrams you used to have on each page of the Headwater brochure which indicated ascents, descents etc and whether a head for heights is needed.

We were very happy with all the hotels but we did think when we were on half board at Hotel la Cour de Bailli that an alternative choice to the set dinner menu would have been better. We simply ate what we were given though to be fair they did ask us if we were happy with the menu. Fortunately we are not fussy eaters. Overall though we had a great time.

Mr Stowell
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
04/09/2019

Hotels providing evening

The holiday really does offer a contrast of the Alsace with beautiful villages, some challenging forest walks, castles both ruins and preserved and a very helpful rep. Jude was always available and helped when needed. Would highly recommend this trip. The included meals were a highlight especially hotel les alisiers and at the aux armes hotel.

Mr Sykes
Dordogne River Walk
22/08/2019

This was our third walking holiday with Headwater and lived up to expectations. The walking was lovely, although the second one was quite challenging! All the hotels were comfortable and the last two were luxurious, but all had wonderful food. France is not an easy place to be if you are gluten free, as one of our party is, but the last two hotels were particularly good. Taxis too, are scarce and very expensive, if you wish to go out on your rest days. However, the reps (Janet and Andrew) were very helpful and we all had a lovely holiday, and would certainly use Headwater again.

Mrs Sodring
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
21/08/2019

Easy walking, mainly on tracks and country roads through the vines. Very pretty villages, some beautiful churches, Colmar well worth a visit on day off. Small restaurants provided good food and beer but also had wide ranging wine lists. At the height of the summer season, book ahead or be prepared to eat both lunch and dinner early or you might be disappointed. Small Boulanger that are in the villages provide basic foods for lunches. People are very friendly and the most used language is French though the hoteliers speak good English..

Mrs Tokumasukendri
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
05/08/2019

Good and varied itinerary. Some delightful villages and the option 2 walks specifically were satisfying, and even in the exceptional heat were manageable. Our only reservation was that our room at Hotel a L'Oriel Riiguewihr was at the lower end of expectations; very small and stuffy; even making allowance for the heat, this being a standard room, and this an old building in an excellent location in the middle of the village . Jude our Rep was excellent.

A wonderful way to explore a beautiful and peaceful region of France. Interesting walks take you through forests and meadows. Beautiful towns and villages and nesting storks on buildings. Good food and local wine. The visit to Tete des Faux was a highlight - very beautiful and moving. Would recommend visiting Colmar by bus on the free day, it's a real gem with lots to see. We enjoyed an excellent lunch al fresco at Palmyre Syrian/Lebanese restaurant on rue de Canard.

Mr Henderson
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
26/07/2019

Beautiful part of Provence to walk in despite it being atypically hot. In view of the high temps, not many hotels offered an early breakfast (07:30) to allow us an early start. If I was to do again then out of main season would be sensible.

Also some popular village restaurants get booked up quickly so having some contact details at the hotels could help smooth these difficulties

Mrs Veal
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
24/07/2019

An enjoyable, stress free way to explore an area we did not know; enjoying food, wine and scenery while getting some exercise!

Mr Allen
Dordogne River Walk
19/07/2019

Very enjoyable walks with excellent notes. We are experienced walkers but even we struggled with very high temperatures on Day 4. We were offered the opportunity to swap one day’s walk to canoeing; this is an example of Janet and Andrew ( the reps) going out of their way to tailor our holiday to suit both us and the weather conditions. We thoroughly enjoyed the canoeing and it added a new dimension to our holiday! The hotels were very high quality as we have come to expect with Headwater ( our ninth holiday with you). The only exception was La Terrace in Meyronne where the menu was limited and was the same on both evenings. It gave the impression that we were less important guests and didn’t add to the ambience.

Headwater response:
Thank you for leaving a lovely review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed the canoeing a great alternative to walking in the extreme heat that you were experiencing. Janet and Andrew will be really pleased to read what you have written. I am sorry that the menu in La Terrace was limited and would like to assure you that your comments have been fed back to them.
Kind regards
Customer Services

We have done more than a dozen hotel to hotel walks, mainly in France, & this was certainly the best. The countryside was wonderful, the walks were varied, the Headwater Rep was very helpful without being intrusive & the hotels couldn't be faulted - even the breakfasts were excellent, which, in our experience of French hotels, is not always the case.

Mrs Backhouse
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
09/07/2019

A very well organised trip in lovely countryside with characterful hotels and a variety of interesting and scenic walks. It did what it said on the tin!

Mr Rainbow
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
21/06/2019

Really helpful at organising an easy walking holiday with no worries about hotel bookings, routes, moving luggage,...

Mr Buckland
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
21/06/2019

This was one of the best holiday we've ever had, Provence is amazing, really beautiful and stunning. The hotels were wonderful, as were the walks, really enjoyed them. We would recommend everyone to visit this fantastic region of France and travel with a fantastic holiday company Headwater, as they really have it all so well organised and take good care of you. Thank you to all at Headwater, we shall be planning next summer's walking holiday soon.

Mr Newman
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
12/06/2019

We were lucky with the weather and the time of year (early June): the flowers were wonderful. The landscape is impressive and continuously interesting. The hotel situation - right beside the river - could not be better; staff and food were excellent. We enjoyed all the walks, and saw lots of wildlife - vultures, eagles, peregrines and many smaller birds as well as an otter (seen from the hotel!). We would go back tomorrow....

We had a great time. The choice of route was excellent and the hotel food superb. This is why we shall stick with Headwater. However we could have been badly let down by multiple errors in the route description, and wasted a lot of time, if we hadn't been closely following the map at every stage to ensure we stayed on track. We notified the route corrections to the local reps, and will send your central office an email giving further details on these problems and on the unavailability of baths.

Another great Headwater walking holiday in an area of France we did not know. The walks were excellent, the hotels superb and the whole experience was terrific.

Mr Stott
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
28/05/2019

Excellent organisation, accommodation, enjoyable walks and fantastic local rep. Would not hesitate to use Headwater again.

Mrs Kiernan
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
24/05/2019

Holiday itself was excellent, hotel especially so, the problem was the car rental (see next box).

Mr Raybould
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
23/05/2019

Headwater do the work so you enjoy your holiday

This was my second Headwater holiday and once again it was fantastic. We loved the variety of hotels - each one unique but very high quality and comfortable. Hannah was extremely welcoming and friendly and always on hand if needed. The walks were a lovely mix and would definitely recommend doing the two extra walks on rest days as the Château Haut-Kœnigsbourg and particularly the Tete des Faux were highlights for us. Some of the climbs were a little challenging in the heat but nothing more than expected for the level of holiday. Would definitely recommend this holiday!

Mr Hewson
Dordogne River Walk
26/11/2018

Wonderful walking in picturesque varied countryside with many historical features. Ample shade. Hotels luxurious and/or extremely comfortable with delicious food.

Alsace was beautiful with well chosen walks. The local rep, Hannah, was very helpful, enthusiastic and attentive.

We couldn't fault any aspect of the accommodation. The overall housekeeping arrangements were excellent, and the catering was superb throughout. Hannah's positive approach and organisational skills made for a carefree holiday. The routes were challenging, but we were made aware of this when we booked, so it didn't come as a surprise. Alsace is a beautiful and unspoilt part of France, and the perfect destination for a walking holiday of this nature.

Mrs Choi
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
06/11/2018

If you just want to hike / trek without driving, this is definitely a good choice. However, it would be nice for Headwater to pick a hotel close to the village such that guests can easily stroll around on the rest day rather than book a taxi in order to go some places.

Mr Joyce
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
06/11/2018

Our first Headwater holiday: beautiful, fascinating countryside, and comfortable, friendly hotels with superb pools to relax in at the end of a day's walking.

Mrs Greenbank
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
10/10/2018

Wonderful area, ideal for walking with hotels of character and many places to visit.

Mr Good
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
12/09/2018

Great location on the river for hill walking and kayaking. Hotel fab and food top class.

Mrs Hemsley
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
12/09/2018

Delighted with it. Very smooth, efficient organisation, easy to choose and book, a great location, friendly and cheerful rep.

Mr Fuller
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
12/09/2018

The Alsace offers beautifully preserved medieval villages and wonderful views and Headwater's itinerary is well chosen to offer the best of both. Our lovely, bubbly rep, Hannah, went out of her way to fill in additional information and even phoned, as a thunderstorm was breaking, to check that we were safe and well.

Mr Smith
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
12/09/2018

A picturesque part of France, with vineyards and Lavender fields, Ochre coloured soil, and Rose wines to complement flavourful food. Heaven.

A challenging walk but extremely interesting variety of scenery, history, culture and terrain. Hannah is full of enthusiasm and was very helpful in her suggestions for the "off days". she had researched the options thoroughly and we really enjoyed the visits we made on those days. We will be back with you again.

A very interesting place to visit. Border country is always interesting and this one particularly so in view of the history. An added interest was being in an area where growing grapes was so important. The walks had plenty of variety and we saw what made this part of France very different. An added bonus was great weather.

Mrs Hansen
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
11/09/2018

The holiday exceeded all our expectations! Headwater had organised everything perfectly and there were no problems at all. The hotels were all extremely comfortable, most had large grounds for you to spend time in. The swimming pools were a welcome treat after a day of walking. Breakfasts were all delicious, with a large variety of food to choose from. The instructions for the walks were well explained and my daughter and I had no problems following them. We walked through magnificent scenery, and visited beautiful old towns. I would highly recommend this walk and Headwater. I will definitely be travelling with Headwater again in the future.

Excellent holiday with superb support from our Rep, Hannah. Walks varied although quite a lot of forest walks.nHotels excellent.

Mr Soutar
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
07/09/2018

The Alsace walk took us through beautiful countryside, quaint villages and comfortable traditional hotels. A memorable holiday!

Mrs Loaring
Dordogne River Walk
07/09/2018

Very well planned and organised by knowledgable and helpful staff. Route notes generally accurate and helpful, although the wording can at times be confusing and imprecise as can some of the distances between way marks. The degree of difficulty on some days is under estimated and had we not been as fit as we are,we may have struggled with some of the climbs.. The local reps were superb, always charming, helpful, patient and totally reliable. Nothing was ever too much trouble for them. All of the hotels were excellent and two in particular were superb, both in terms of the cuisine and the rooms that we were accommodated in. However, in two hotels the menu did not change from day to day, and therefore, as non meat eaters we were limited to having the same meals on consecutive evenings; particularly as there were no vegetarian options and only one type of fish (which my wife does not like) available. The walk routes were glorious, beautiful scenery, varied terrain, and wonderful spring flowers (particularly many and varied orchids).

Mrs Hartley
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
07/09/2018

Enjoyable walking with impeccable backup. The icing on the cake for us was exploring fascinating villages on the non-walking days.

Mrs Broadhead
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
07/09/2018

Excellent - well organised - good hotels

We really enjoyed this region - a part of France that we hadn't been to and offered excellent range of walking environments. Hannah was a fantastic guide and went over and above to help make our stay enjoyable



This was our first holiday with headwater and we were impressed from start to finish. Joanne was very helpful and professional when we booked, as were the other staff in the UK in your accounts department, etc.

Our rep, Hannah, was exceptional and exuded an infectious passion and enthusiasm for Alsace. She was very amiable, professional and went the extra mile to ensure our holiday was a success. She really couldn’t have been nicer and is a real asset to Headwater.

We were pleased with the hotel arrangements- all the hotels were charming and the staff friendly and helpful. We found the walking notes excellent. We opted for the level 2 walks, but also did some of the level 1 walks on the rest days. The holiday exceeded our expectations and we will certainly consider another walking/cycling holiday with Headwater.

Mr Ekers
Dordogne River Walk
06/09/2018

Wonderful trip! Everything was so well set up for- transfers, trip notes etc. The walks themselves were stunning, and it was amazing to jump into the pool at the end of the day. A great way to see the Dordogne and experience a different part of France.

Mrs Toward
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
13/08/2018

Area and scenery stunning. Walking some of the best and hardest we’ve done recently. Description of walks word perfect and gave us confidence to try harder walks as we could trust the notes were accurate. Hotel and setting stunning. Staff helpful and spoke good English. Food good - i’m Vegetarian and they cooked something every night. This can sometimes be difficult in France but not here. We were nearly put off by some of the lukewarm reviews about the hotel and food. Don’t be - we would recommend. As one of the other reviews said - we had looked at this holiday for a long time and been out off by mixed reviews. In fact this was our best headwater holiday so far. Thank you.

A good walking holiday for the older person with options for the 'rest days' which were helpful. Hannah, the Headwater rep was outstanding, always available and ready to help. She kept in touch with us everyday to ensure that all was well, and we were confident that if there was a problem she would be able to sort it for us,

Mr Easingwood
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
02/08/2018

Beautiful walks through some of the best wine scenery in the world, staying in some of the top wine villages in Alsace. Rest days are a great idea, but if you wish there are lots of shorter local walks to keep you fit.

Mr Mcmahon
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
02/08/2018

Pleasurable. Decent walking , food, accommodation. An overall pleasant experience, again.

Mrs Wilde
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
31/07/2018

Firstly, I cannot comment on value for money re the hotel - I do not have a cost split for the accommodation. The drinks seemed quite expensive.

The room did not have air conditioning. Temperatures in June / July (34C one day and in the very high 20'sC the rest) would make this very welcome. Several nights were extremely hot.

We were very unhappy with the taxi booked for us by the hotel which charged us 20 Euros for approximately 10kms. (From the hotel to Les Vignes). Whilst not the hotel's fault, they had made the booking and also claimed no knowledge of how much such a journey should cost when asked before the booking was made. I found this hard to believe. It just leaves a poor taste.

No account had been made for the requirement not to be offered food with nuts in. The bread had nuts in every night. Alternative desserts were offered if asked for. We only found this out part way through the week. The menu was very limited. Clearly we were on a package deal for the food.

The area is absolutely lovely and the hotel is decent. Not quite 4 star though. We had a good week.

Headwater response:
We would like to thank you for taking the time to provide your post-holiday feedback. Although, we were sorry to read of your disappointment with the standard of food at the hotel. Headwater customers are served a set menu, however should they prefer an alternative, the hotelier can provide this. We were also sorry to read that your requirement for no nuts wasn't understood by the restaurant team, we will of course work with them, to ensure that when our customers have dietary requirements, they are met.
Many thanks for sharing your holiday experience, we look forward to welcoming you on another of our holidays in the future.
Kind regards,
Headwater customer service team

Mrs Pursey
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
31/07/2018

Our representative was excellent; pleasant, welcoming, made useful suggestions/amendments to our travel arrangements and was concerned about our progress during the week. The hotels were varied and interesting. The little towns and villages a revelation.

Mr Shapland
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
31/07/2018

Both the overall route and the walks were extremely well thought out, well spaced and included interesting and varied options to see along the way.

The efficiency of the organisation and the professionalism of the staff was evident right from the start of the booking process, making this one of the easiest and least stressful holidays we have ever planned. The walking itself provided a constantly-changing set of scenery and the notes were absolutely spot-on; in particular, this was due to the efforts of our rep, who went through the notes with us on arrival and highlighted any sections of particular importance to make sure we did not go wrong. The hotels were all of high standard, although Les Alisiers and Hotel Mouton were particular highlights for us due to the friendliness of the staff and the exceptional quality of the food. The view from Les Alisiers were outstanding, and really added to the experience when enjoyed over mealtimes.



Our rep, Hannah Godwin, was hugely enthusiastic from the start, and exuded the genuine love she has for the region in an infectious manner - we couldn't have asked fora better introduction to the holiday than the one she provided. Her introductary talk was incredibly helpful, not only regarding routes, but also in terms of the additional suggestions she made that allowed us to experience elements that we would otherwise have missed. She was unfailingly prompt and extremely professional, making it very clear that she was always available if we encountered any problems whatsoever; this left us free to relax and enjoy ourseleves. We believe that she is a genuine asset to your company and a fantastic ambassador for the region.



We would also like to mention Dionne Sidlauskas, who was extremely helpful during our selection of the holiday and made the booking process very smooth and easy indeed.

Mr Kendrick
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
09/07/2018

Very enjoyable holiday in a beautiful part of France. The local representative was excellent.

Mrs Attwood
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
09/07/2018

Our first trip to Provence. Lovely walking, hotels and food. It was hot!

Mrs Yarrow
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
03/07/2018

Excellent area for walking with comprehensive notes easily followed.

Mrs Marsh
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
19/06/2018

From the start to the end this was a very relaxing holiday, every day somewhere new to visit, great hotels and swimming pools, and lovely food.

Enjoyed it very much. Walking quite hard

Mr Mepham
Dordogne River Walk
02/02/2018

The holiday is an excellent combination of interesting, good length walks, fine hotels and great food. The lack of restaurant facilities at the Renoir was more than made up for by the quality of the food at the nearby Bistro L'Octroi. The finest food was undoubtedly at the Hotel Les Glycines but all were very satisfactory. There was plenty to do on all the rest days and we would particularly recommend visiting to Marqueyssac Gardens in Beynac, the museums dedicated to the amazing pre-historic finds around Les Eyzies, and lounging by the pool at the Laborderie.

Mr Kennedy
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
01/02/2018

Overall holiday was superb, great walking and super location.

Mr Longbotham
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
01/02/2018

Pleasant walking through vineyards to picture-postcard villages.

Hannah was excellent in both her support and recommending alternative routes and destinations

Mr Maxwell-Jackso
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
29/01/2018

A very enjoyable, relaxing holiday in a beautiful part of France. The level 1 walks were easy walking, with a bit more challenge offered by the level 2 optional walks in the forest. Walking notes were very clear and easy to follow. We were impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of Hannah, the local rep, who was excellent.

Mrs Preece
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
15/01/2018

Wonderful,would highly recommend.

Mrs Macleod
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
15/01/2018

Easy walking in an attractive area. First class hotels, all with pools.Standard of food in the local restaurants was high. Good to be able to visit Avignon and Marseille as add ons to the holiday. Very hot, even in June this year.

Mr Wallis
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
09/01/2018

Beautiful hotel in idyllic location, accommodation, food and wine all excellent. Staff welcoming, friendly and always helpful with any queries.

An excellent way to experience France, with beautiful views, comfortable hotels and good food.

Mr Curry
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
02/01/2018

Best walks we've done - amazing views. Guidance detail excellent. Hotel would have been a lot more comfortable with air conditioning. Some choice on the menu would have been nice although if there was something we didn't want they gave an alternative. Staff at Hotel excellent. Beware Toulouse ring road - very snarled up on our return. We canoed one day and although we hadn't done it before we can recommend it as a break from walking. We started in La Malene (hotel arranged it for us)

Mr Clarke
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
02/01/2018

Excellent walking holiday - distances between locations were very good for people of our age, and rest days were welcome but with plenty of options for further walking or sightseeing. Information provided allowed us to be independent but in addition our rep was very supportive when needed.

Mrs Brockman
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
02/01/2018

I initially had some problems getting the info I needed to book the holiday but once Joanne took over everything went smoothly. The holiday itself was great, Alsace is a beautiful region, the walks were proper walks with good guide notes and options for the rest days. All the hotels were great, especially the locations. Our rep Hannah was exceptional and on hand all the time and always offering to provide help & assistance if needed. I think that NE region of France is a hidden gem, we thought the villages were picturesque, the food was great and we loved tasting wines we had very little experience of (luckily we had the car, as we bought quite a lot home!). Overall we loved our trip.

Mr Lockwood
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
02/01/2018

Walking the Alsace Wine Trail proved to be a great success. The area really is a hidden gem and we were constantly surprised by the beauty of the villages - mediaeval fortified towns, each with their own character - and the peace and tranquillity of walking through the vines. The walks were just the right length and because of the very high temperatures we stuck to the level 1 walks. Hannah, our rep., was delightful, texted us from time to time to see that we were OK and could not have been more helpful. She really helped to make our trip a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Why do not more people choose this walk? - it was wonderful!

Mr Duggleby
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
02/01/2018

This was our fifth holiday with Headwater - four of them walking holidays. All have been absolutely excellent but this Provence holiday was probably the best of all. The area was spectacularly beautiful and the walks testing enough but not too testing in view of the hot weather we experienced. As ever, the arrangements were superb and the choice of hotels excellent. All of a very high standard with lovely staff, good breakfasts and great swimming pools. Evening restaurants were a mix of Headwater selected and our own choices. We ate and drank well throughout the week. The reps James and Beckie were delightful and helped us whenever necessary. My wife and I were sad to be coming home and will be with Headwater again next year. No better compliment.

Mrs Riley
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
29/12/2017

The Tarn Gorges was an extremely interesting area geographically and biologically. I have never seen such a wide variety of orchids and some quite rare varieties growing in abundance. The walks however are not easy especially if you don't like looking down shear drops and we did wonder whether some of the paths will actually be there in few years time as the rain was washing them away.

We have now done 8 walking holidays with Headwater and we have never been disappointed. This was no exception. There were some niggles more to do with the French footpath designations and markers than walking notes, but the region is awesome, the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse stunning. We would return to this region but would come by car as there is so much to see. Having a car means on stay put or rainy days exploration is possible.

There needs to be some more communication with hotels as to willingness to make picnics. It is fine for the notes to say ask them to provide a picnic but if they they don,t and you have not been able to buy food because village has no shop ie Les Imberts then you have a 8 to 9 mile walk with no food!!

Though it is occasionally nice to visit other restaurants we felt having to pay for 4 evening meals with what we have paid for the holiday seems a bit steep certainly compared to some of our previous experiences

Overall we still love the Headwater experience

Mr Kershaw
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
29/12/2017

Excellent holiday overall. Well organised with great staff. Many thanks.

Mrs Clark
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
27/09/2017

Another wonderful holiday with Headwater and our first trip to Alsace- a real gem! The maps and detailed notes helped us to explore so many exquisite villages, to stop at will to admire the glorious scenery and to enjoy the stunning wine. A special thank you to Hannah, our rep, who was superb throughout. We cannot wait to return.

Living where we are we required information re which airport it landed in, could we do other things ie stay in city we landed for a night before travelling on to holiday etc. Having spoke to two of the reps, which did not come back to me I tried email. This led to corresponding with Megan Wyatt.

Told her the situation and thought it would be best to speak over the phone. This she did within five minutes. Having spoke to her about the queries she asked if she could call back the next day as she had to find out the answers to these questions

Came back next day with all the questions i ask about near enough sorted out. She told me what headwater could do for us, sorted out dates, which airport would be best, what they could not do for us.. Having now agreed a plan of the holiday with slight changes to first request she came back the next day with everything sorted out and prices. Signed there an then.

As for the time between signing and flying head office kept us up to date with everything.

Had one query before flying to Basel as they said that we should go into the French departure and not the Swiss however as we were staying the night in Basel. E- mailed them to see if they were correct. They came back within two days to advise me that it was the Swiss side i should be leaving on.

Having arrived in Colmar the next day, with train timetable on the ball met Hannah Goodwin. She could not do enough to help us, however stayed away when not required.

As for the accomadation i cannot say enough about the food and helpfulness of the staff in all hotels.

All in all a brilliant holiday

This was an excellent two boot walking holiday with really good walks with the additional benefit of places to see as well including chateaux, villages and WW1 historical sites plus excellent food and wine/beer. The local representative was extremely helpful.

Mrs Elliot
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
09/08/2017

This was a very enjoyable holiday, Alsace is particularly lovely and unspoiled and the people were very welcoming. This is also an easy walking holiday and is extremely relaxing with opportunity to do some slightly more energetic walks if you wanted.

Ms Andrews
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
03/08/2017

A wonderful and surprising holiday - a glimpse into a way of life in villages which are among the best conserved and most beautiful in France, and through vineyards and woodlands which have hardly changed in centuries. It is an area of stunning beauty and history - as well as wonderful food and wine.

Mr Catterall
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
03/08/2017

See the inside of the country without the hassle bussel of roads and busy towns plenty of fresh air and excellent hotels and refreshlng swim when you arrive

Mr Fraser
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
03/08/2017

An excellent experience in a lovely part of France.

Mr Redgrave
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
20/06/2017

Excellent holiday in very scenic area

Mrs Hewson
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
29/11/2016

We had another great holiday with Headwater. The walks and the scenery in the Tarn Gorge are stunning. I would class some of the walks as strenuous and adventurous , sometimes verging on being '3 boot'. The Hotel de la Muse enjoys a marvellous location overlooking the Tarn river and on occasion you can watch the vultures and herons fly whilst having dinner on the terrace. The hotel is excellent with spacious, clean, light rooms and large airy communal lounges/ spaces, great food and friendly staff.



Local village of Rozier is quaint. On Monday night the hotel arranges for guests to eat in a local restaurant in Rozier where we enjoyed gourmet food and very friendly staff. THe sandwich shop on the corner of the village also good.



We came by train from the UK to Avignon which is a very interesting city, well worth a visit. It is about a 4 to 5 hour drive from there to Rozier.



All in all another memorable holiday.



Dr Sterland
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
09/11/2016

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.

Mrs Gardner
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
09/11/2016

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.

Mr Normand
Dordogne River Walk
09/11/2016

Good varied walking, with clear directions. But we were pleased the weather was not hot because, aged about 70, we found the walking days quite full. Timing was as predicted though torrential rain had turned some of the tracks into an obstacle course.

Hotels were excellent, all very special in different ways. Chateau de Monrecours is magnificent, feels very expensive, with a talented chef and friendly helpful Maitre d'.

Monrecours and Les Glycines provided special menus for Headwater, Meysett and Laborderie scored by saying 'here are all our menus, have what you like'!

Nearly all staff spoke very good English.

Lovely area of France with variety of walks in differing landscapes.

Mr Lockley
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
13/10/2016

Another excellent Headwater holiday with a good variation of walks and the opportunity to view birdlife not seen in an English garden.

Mrs Bryan
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
13/10/2016

Wonderful dramatic scenery and fabulous walks. Take care with your choice of walks if you don't have a good head for heights. Some paths are narrow and very near the edges of huge vertical drops.

A great holiday if you like good food and wine but the walking was slightly disappointing. Although the views were sometimes good, there was too much walking on the roads.

Great contrasts in locations so holiday very accurately titled!

Mrs Clark
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Mr Wallis
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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!

Mr Forward
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
15/07/2016

we appreciate all the information and support provided and i look forward to travelling with headwater again.

Mrs Triger
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Mr Pearson
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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!

Mr Brady
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mr Salisbury
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
16/06/2016

Great holiday in beautiful location. Headwater team were excellent throughout.

The balance of vineyard and forest was good. The towns and villages and castle were varied and interesting.

Mr Buckham
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

Mrs Honey
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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..

Mrs Hartley
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mrs Preston
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mrs Sodring
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

Mr Hamilton-Viall
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Mrs Watson
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
14/10/2015

Great walking with an excellent meal to come back to

Mr Dentith
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

Mrs Guthrie
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mrs Everson-Davis
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
23/09/2015

Challenging and varied walking in spectacular surroundings, with the additional bonus of a comfortable and friendly hotel base providing excellent cuisine.

Mrs Daniels
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mr Blunt
Dordogne River Walk
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.



Mrs Carrington-Bro
Dordogne River Walk
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 gastronomic walking tour - the food was delicious throughout and all four hotels were very friendly.

The walking was pleasant but suffered a little 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.

Mrs Maddison
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
25/08/2015

Most enjoyable holiday, great walks, beautiful scenery and lots of wine tasting along the way.

Mr Powell
Dordogne River Walk
27/07/2015

Well organised and did what it said on the can!

Mr Buss
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

Mr Strong
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Mrs Maddison
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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

Dr Darke
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mrs Reeves
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
25/09/2014

Fantastic hotel with amazing food in great location. Very friendly staff who were always smiling!

Mrs Barker
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mr Mason
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
30/07/2014

Stunning scenery and brilliant walks.

Mrs Price
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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!

Mrs May
Dordogne River Walk
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!

Mr Sidey
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mrs Pritchett
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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!

Mrs Taylor
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
26/06/2014

Disappointing

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'

Headwater response:
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.
Yours sincerely,
Headwater Customer Service

Mis Elliott
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

Mr Eyton-Williams
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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!

Mr Williams
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
12/06/2014

The Tarn area is an location for activity holidays and for seeing wildlife and flowers.

Mr Brown
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mr Fendall
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mrs Taylor
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mr Hall
Dordogne River Walk
27/05/2014

Wonderful countryside for walking and great walks - with a spectacular meal at the end of every day.

Mrs Cornelissen
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Mr Stokes
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mr Ingram
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Mr Stebbing
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Mrs Anzarut
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
21/09/2013

We found the towns visited quite charming and the accommodation was good. This is a very leisurely and easy walking holiday.

Mr Jackson
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Headwater response:
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.
Yours sincerely,
Lisa

Mr Smith
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.



Mr Petch
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Ms Barton
Dordogne River Walk
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.

Mrs Bale
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

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.

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.

Mr Christley
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
05/08/2013

Excellent experience. Able to walk at our own pace. Very intersting area to travel in.

Ms Cutts
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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!

Mrs Jones
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

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.

Mrs Barber
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
23/07/2013

A lovely part of France to exlore and based in an excellent hotel

Mrs Davies
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

Mr Hardy
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

Mr Branch
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.

Mr Cooper
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.



Martin Cooper

Mr Owers
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
20/06/2013

Thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring walks, excellent food and accommodation .



Mr Barrett
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
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.

Mr Nickson
Dramatic Vistas of the Tarn
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.