Walking Holidays FAQs

This page is designed to answer any questions you may have about our self-guided walking holidays. If you cannot find the information you are looking for then please call our office on +44 (0) 131 610 1210 or email us at info@absoluteescapes.com and we will be happy to help.

Choosing your Walking Holiday

When are your self-guided walking holidays available?

You can usually begin a self-guided walking holiday on any date between March and October, while some of our walks are available year-round. Simply tell us the date you would like to arrive and you can begin your walk the next day. Some exceptions may apply, especially on busier walks during the summer months, so booking well in advance is essential if you wish to walk during specific dates.

How long are your self-guided walking holidays?

Our walking holidays are usually a minimum of 5 nights. Additional days can be booked at the start, during, and at the end of your walk.

Where will I stay?

Where you stay will depend on the package you choose. On some of our walking trails a budget, standard and premium option is available. We use carefully selected, hand-picked hostels, B&Bs, guest houses, inns and hotels.

Your accommodation will be located as close to the trail as possible, and your room will be en-suite or has a private bathroom wherever possible. In remote areas where accommodation is limited, your room may not have private facilities. Occasionally your accommodation may be situated a distance from the trail or you may have to spend more than one night in the same place. Where this is the case we provide transfers between your accommodation and the trail.

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag with me if I book a Budget walking package?

It is not necessary to bring a sleeping bag. When you are staying in hostels sleeping bags and duvets are provided. In most hostels you will not be permitted to use your own sleeping bag.

What meals are provided? 

Our Standard and Premium packages include a full breakfast each morning. The Budget package includes breakfast on the nights you stay in B&B or guest house accommodation.

Breakfast will generally consist of sausage, bacon, eggs etc, cereals, fruit, toast, and tea or coffee will also be available. Lunch and dinner are not included however we recommend the options available in your Information Pack.

Lunches can usually be bought along the route but we will advise you of the days when this is not possible. On these days you can book a packed lunch from your accommodation on arrival which will cost around £7.00. Most towns and villages in which you stay have shops where you can buy items to make up your own packed lunch.

You will normally be staying in a town or village where there is at least one pub or restaurant to enjoy an evening meal. On the rare occasion that this is not possible then we will book you into accommodation which provides an evening meal.

I'm a vegetarian / have a special diet, can you cater for this?

Please tell us of your requirements when booking. A vegetarian breakfast option is usually available. More restricted diets may be catered for but please check with us first before booking.

Do you arrange luggage transfers along the trail?

On all our walking tours we transfer your luggage (one bag per person of no more than 20 kg) between your accommodations along the trail.

What do I have to carry each day?

All you need to carry is a daypack containing your lunch, water bottle, waterproofs, first-aid kit and any other personal items you might want during the day. 

Do you provide a guidebook and maps for the trail?

The holiday price includes a set of maps and the latest guidebook to the trail.

What's included in the walking package price?

•   Accommodation in carefully-selected, hand-picked B&Bs, guest houses, inns and hotels
•   A choice of a continental or traditional cooked breakfast each day
•   Luggage transfer between overnight stops along the trail (one bag of no more than 20 kg per person).
•   Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook describing the trail (one set per party)
•   An Information Pack containing travel information to the start and from the end of the walk, a day-to-day itinerary, information on facilities and points of interest along the trail, an equipment checklist and our 24-hour contact number in case you require any assistance.

What's not included in the walking package price?

•   Travel insurance
•   Transport to the start and from the finish of the walk
•   Lunches and evening meals

I'm travelling on my own. Can I go on one of your holidays?

All of our walks are available to solo walkers. To enjoy one of our walks by yourself, you must be a confident walker with reasonable map reading skills. We ask you to take sensible precautions and also to inform the accommodation providers if you expect to arrive late. You should also walk with a mobile phone, though of course in mountainous regions reception is not universal.

Are your walking holidays suitable for families?

We do not generally recommend our long distance walking holidays for children under 14, although we do offer centre-based walking holidays which are more suitable.

How do I get to the start and from the end of my walking holiday?

We provide information on how to get to and from your holiday by public transport in your Information Pack. If you plan to travel by car it is sometimes possible to leave it at your accommodation at the start or at the end of the route for the duration of your holiday. We can check this for you once your booking is confirmed.

When is the best time to walk in the UK and Ireland?

During spring and early summer is a great time to experience the UK and Ireland. May and June are beautiful and are usually the driest and sunniest months and a recommended time to visit.

July and August are the warmest months, and this is a very popular time to visit due to the school holidays, although our walks are usually based in areas far from the crowds. Late summer brings generally settled weather during the months of September and October. The Autumnal colours in September can be quite spectacular.

Can I bring my dog with me?

Some of our walks are available for dogs. Please contact us for more information, or read our blog on Britain's Best Dog-Friendly Walking Trails.

Booking your Walking Holiday

Can you check availability for me before I make a booking?

Unfortunately not. All our self-guided walking holidays are booked on a request basis to suit your individual requirements. Providing this level of tailor-made service means we are only able to check availability once you have completed the booking form and provided the deposit for your holiday.

We do not however bank your cheque or deduct money from your credit/debit card until all the booking arrangements have been made for your holiday.

How far ahead do I need to book my holiday?

The earlier you book your holiday the easier it will be for us to ensure that we can book accommodation for your preferred dates. Some holiday periods (Easter and school half term weeks, public holidays and the peak Summer months) can get booked up very quickly, therefore if you know you want to travel at this time it is a good idea to contact us as soon as possible.

The West Highland Way is very busy during May and early June and begins to book up a year in advance. Please book well in advance if you wish to walk this route during this time.

How do I book my walking holiday?

Once you have chosen your walk, your starting date and whether you require any additional nights, there are three ways you can book your holiday:

1. You can complete the secure online Booking Form on our website.

2. You can complete a copy of the Booking Form and return it to us by email at info@absoluteescapes.com, or post to: Absolute Escapes Ltd, Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT.

3. Alternatively, you can telephone us on +44 (0) 131 610 1210 with your credit or debit card details.

How do I pay for my walking holiday?

You can pay the deposit and balance for your holiday in any of the following ways:

1. Cheque - Please make cheques payable to "Absolute Escapes Ltd". Cheques must be made in British pounds sterling (£).

2. Credit or Debit Card  - We accept the following credit or debit cards: Switch/Maestro; Visa; Master/Eurocard. We do not accept payment by Amex.

3. Bank Transfer - If you wish to pay by bank transfer our account details will appear on your proposal and quotation. You must pay in British pounds sterling (£). If your bank charges you for this service we do ask you to ensure that you settle these charges directly with them.

Is my money safe?

In accordance with UK Government regulations your financial security is guaranteed when you book with Absolute Escapes Ltd. The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Absolute Escapes Ltd (membership number 5443). In the unlikely event of our insolvency protection is provided for all money that has been paid for non-flight packages.

ABTOT cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made outside the EEA are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Absolute Escapes Ltd.

In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call the ABTOT 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company. Further details of ABTOT can be found at www.abtot.com.

Can I extend my holiday by booking additional nights?

You can book as many additional nights as you wish. To assist you in choosing where to spend an additional night we have made some suggestions for each walk.

When will I receive my Information Pack?

We will send your Information Pack which will include a guidebook, map, route notes and details of your accommodation to you by post 2 - 3 weeks before your holiday. If you live abroad we will, of course, send your documentation sooner. It is very important that you let us know if your walking holiday is part of a longer holiday and you will be leaving home in advance of the start of the walking holiday so that we can dispatch your documentation in good time.

What is the single supplement?

The single supplement covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of twin or double rooms, baggage transfers for one rather than two people, and of providing a set of maps and a guidebook for one rather than two people.

Do you offer group discounts?

We are able to offer reduced rates for groups of 10 or more people booking a walking holiday together. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your ideas or requirements.

Do I require travel insurance?

Although it is not essential, we do recommend that you take out holiday insurance to cover cancellation, personal accident, illness and loss or theft of personal possessions and/or money.

Can I change the dates of my walking holiday after I have booked?

It is usually possible to change your start date up to 6 weeks before the start of your walking holiday although it is not advisable. We charge an administration fee of £50.00 to cover the considerable amount of work involved in cancelling and re-booking your accommodation. Requests for changes made less than 6 weeks before the start of your walking holiday will be treated as a cancellation of your original booking.

What happens if I have to cancel my holiday?

If you have to cancel your walking holiday please inform us in writing. You can send it to us by email or post. The date from which we receive your cancellation is the date from which cancellation fees will be calculated. You can find our cancellation policy on our Terms & Conditions page. 

Preparing for your Walking Holiday

How should I prepare for my trip?

We emphasise that to get the maximum enjoyment out of your walking holiday you must be in good physical shape and both your feet and your footwear must be accustomed to walking the distances indicated for your particular tour. The best way to ensure this is to go for a number of walks during the weeks immediately preceding your departure, wearing the boots that you will wear during the trip - nothing spoils a walking holiday more than blisters.

What do I need to bring?

A recommended kit list will be included in your Information Pack.