Footpath Holidays v HF Holidays

Jan 8th, 2005, 06:58 PM
  #1  
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Footpath Holidays v HF Holidays

Thank you to the lovely people who responded to my last post re guided walking tours. I have had an explore of the sites and it seems that Footpath Holidays and HF offer walks in the places I would like to go, with Footpaths being a little more expensive.

I am thinking now that I will walk in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.

Can anyone advise on the pros and cons of these 2 companies? Any experiences or suggestions would be great and much appreciated. I am travelling alone and am not comfortable hiking by myself.

I know it is often said, but this website is amazing. I am looking forward to the time I will be able to help others out, and not just ask questions all the time!!

Cheers

Cathy
LakesideChick is offline  
Jan 8th, 2005, 08:55 PM
  #2  
ron
 
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Cathy, as I mentioned in my response to your other post, I have done a number of guided walks with HF Holidays. That includes Malhamdale in the Yorkshire Dales and Coniston in the Lake District. Both are good properties with excellent walking. You need to be a bit fitter for Coniston walking than you would for Malhamdale.

I did one walk with Footpath Holidays, in the south Cotswolds. I don't believe they offer that walk anymore. It is dangerous to generalize from one experience but, frankly, I was disappointed with Footpath relative to HF. Part of it was the extra cost which added no extra value to me. Beyond that, the issue was that Footpath had 16 walkers, and one leader, which led to a lowest common denominator situation. We had weak walkers who whined about the hills and fussy walkers who whined about the mud. Thus, the leader trying to please, we ended up doing a lot of boring flat road walking. HF generally has three walking leaders and a choice of 3 walks each day, which makes it much more likely that you will get the kind of walk you want with the kind of people you want to walk with.

You can e-mail me at [email protected] if you have specific questions about HF.
ron is offline  
Jan 9th, 2005, 02:01 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Ron - good point re 3 walks versus one.. but why would people go on a walking holiday who dont like walking? Doesnt make sense does it!!
LakesideChick is offline  
Jan 9th, 2005, 04:51 AM
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Becasue there's walking and then there's walking. I work with a bunch of people who think from one end of the mall to another is a walk.

And have a friend who has trouble making it to the farthest gates at the aiport - who was asking me about doing a walking or biking tour in europe. She couldn;t believe the walks were measured in miles rather than blocks.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 9th, 2005, 10:31 AM
  #5  
jan
 
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I'll speak a little to the Footpath Holidays part of the question, as I have done a number of walks with them over the past seven years in different parts of Cornwall, Exmoor, Snowdonia and Shropshire.

I have found the Footpath walking weeks to be well designed and well run. I have overall had very good leaders who had good technical as well as people skills. The hotel bases are at a very high standard, but comfortable and friendly - no snooty staff or dirty looks at the boots. I have been fortunate to have had only a few encounters with the unpleasant extremes of fellow walkers - excessive whiners or overzealous hardcore types - who can, I very much agree with Ron, influence the tenor of the walks. I think especially with a company like Footpath where there is one level of walk for the entire group, that it's important to choose carefully the grade of the tour (easy, moderate, energetic).

Speaking to the Yorkshire Dales part of the equation, I have stayed at and walked from the hotel that Footpath uses for that area, the Stone House which is located right outside of Hawes. It is a lovely property set up high with stunning views across the hills with Hawes below. The staff and proprietors (son and son-in-law of the owners) are very friendly and welcoming, helpful with the little things. They have a pretty front garden
which was perfect for a post-walk or pre-dinner drink with that fantastic view in front of you. I would go back in a heartbeat, it's a lovely place to spend a walking week.

I have not walked with HF and so I enjoyed reading about Ron's experiences with them. I have heard positive things about them over the years from walkers who use both Footpaths and HP.

One final thing, I have most of the time headed into these weeks alone, which you mention as part of your brief. I'm not sure how important a factor it is for you, but I have never been the only single on a Footpath holiday. Often as not, the numbers were comprised of at least half of the folks travelling as singles (either they really were single, or their partners didn't come along for whatever reason). In any case, I have experienced a good mix of singles and couples of folks ages 30 to 70 from a number of different countries.

I am happy to discuss further with you as well if you have any more questions
([email protected]). I am feel pretty confident that you cannot go wrong with either company.

Good luck!
Jan
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Jan 9th, 2005, 11:24 AM
  #6  
ron
 
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I'm glad for Jan's contribution about Footpath, to balance my obviously atypical experience. What she says about single walkers applies equally to HF.

The whiners on the Footpath holiday I was on were Americans, used in the continental sense, since one was a Canadian. In one case, it was a husband who had misrepresented the experience to his wife. If she had known we were going hiking, she wouldn't have agreed to the holiday. The others were ex-pats living in England, doing it because it was an English thing to do. The husbands totally didn't get the point, "why walk someplace when you can drive?"

What was surprising was that the whining became contagious, and some of the English walkers started doing it, something I had never seen before.

Having whined here enough myself, I still look at the Footpath brochure each year, and wish the timing of their Pembrokeshire Coast Path walks would fit with my vacation schedule. I am also intrigued by their day pack holidays, which would negate my concerns with the value for money of their accommodations and meals.
ron is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 02:01 AM
  #7  
jan
 
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Ron, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path walk is at the very top of my wish list as well. I have heard it's best in spring with the wildflowers, but unfortunately the nature of my work right now does not allow for extended time away in April, May or June.

I am considering my first Daypack walk this year, the 1066 walk based in Rye, so I will report back if I decide to do it. I am interested in walking in that area as well as curious about the differences between a residential week and a Daypack week.

My other choice on the "final list" is the Northumberland Coast walk, based in Bamburgh. I love coastal walking, and I am interested in early church history (Holy Isle nearby, etc.), so it seems like a match. If you have ever walked in this area, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks
Jan
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Jun 10th, 2012, 11:56 AM
  #8  
 
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Just a quick comment, I did two FP holidays with my husband - Pembrokeshire Coast and Quantock Hills in Somerset. I think that trip has been removed from the program. The Pembrokshire Coast was wonderful. We had a perfect guide and our group was small. Some of the walking was challenging but so worth it. No one complained; there were two singles in the group. Our hotel in St David's was wonderful - truly a country house hotel and terrific food. I am now wanting to go to the Northumberland Coast as well. I have never done Daypack...if you do so, let us know how it goes.
MaryHat is offline  
Jun 10th, 2012, 12:11 PM
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MaryHat - you registered to respond to a 7.5 year old post? Perhaps you're advertising for FP holidays?
adrienne is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 12:40 AM
  #10  
 
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Good heavens! I did not see the date - thought it was recent.
My input is still quite valid and fully sincere. Take it for what it is.
MaryHat is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 10:10 PM
  #11  
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Hello I am the OP Good to hear the holidays are great!
LakesideChick is offline  

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