The North West Highlands

North West Highlands 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) 131 240 1210 or email us at info@absoluteescapes.com and we will be happy to help.

Choosing your Walking Holiday

Why choose an independent walking holiday?

With independent walking holidays, you choose when to travel and how long to take as additional days can be added to all of our walking routes.

When are your self-guided walking holidays available?

You can begin a self-guided walking holiday on any date during the year. Simply tell us the date you would like to arrive and you can begin your walk the next day. During the summer months 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 4 nights in duration. Additional days can be booked at the end of your walking holiday.

Where will I stay?

Where you stay will depend on the package you choose. We use carefully selected, hand-picked B&Bs, Guest Houses, Inns and Hotels.

What meals are provided?

A full Scottish breakfast is included each morning. 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.

A packed lunch is usually available from your accommodation which will cost from around £5.00. 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.

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

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

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 to the trail?

The holiday price includes a set of maps and the latest guidebook to the area in which you are walking.

What's included in the walking package price?
  • Accommodation in carefully selected, hand-picked accommodation.
  • A choice of a continental or traditional Scottish cooked breakfast each day.
  • A Guidebook and Maps covering the routes described (one per party).
  • An Information Pack containing full details of your accommodation and route notes, travel information, information on facilities and points of interest in the area, an equipment checklist and a contact telephone number in case you require any assistance.
  • A driving map of Scotland with our recommended route.
What's not included in the walking package price?

- Travel insurance
- Transport to and from your holiday
- Lunches and evening meals

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

Our centre-based walking holidays are available to solo walkers. To enjoy one of our walking holidays by yourself, you must be a confident walker with reasonable map reading skills. We ask you to take sensible precautions and also to inform your accommodation provider 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?

Our centre-based walking holidays are suitable for families as you choose which route and duration you wish to walk each day.

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

Please note that a car is necessary for this itinerary as local public transport is unsuitable for reaching the start points of many walking routes. We can arrange this for you on request, with collection from any Scottish city or airport.

When is the best time to visit Scotland?

During spring and early summer is a great time to experience Scotland. May and June are beautiful and are the driest and sunniest months and a recommended time to visit Scotland, with normal daytime temperatures of 15 - 18°C. The northerly latitude also means that Scotland enjoys 4 hours more daylight than London, with the most northerly regions barely getting dark during midsummer.

July and August are the warmest months with normal daytime temperatures of 18 - 22°C. This is a very popular time to visit Scotland with the School Holidays, although our walks are based in areas far from the crowds. Late summer brings generally settled weather with normal daytime temperatures of 14 - 18°C during the months of September and October. The Autumnal colours in September can be quite spectacular.

Can I bring my dog with me?

Please contact us by telephone on +44 (0) 131 240 1210or by email at info@absoluteescapes.com for more information.


Booking

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 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.

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 and where you will also find our booking terms and conditions.

2. You can print a copy of the Booking Form and return it to us by fax on +44 (0) 131 226 5490 or post to Absolute Escapes Ltd, Forsyth House, 93 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3ES, Scotland, UK.

3. Alternatively, you can telephone us on +44 (0) 131 240 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 regret that due to the level of bank charges for such transactions, we are forced to add a 2% surcharge for payments by credit card. Payments by UK debit cards do not incur any surcharge. Unfortunately 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 the UK Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992 your financial security is guaranteed when you book with Absolute Escapes Ltd. As a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) your holiday and your money are protected by the highest standards of consumer protection. AITO is an organisation representing over 140 of Britain's best specialist tour operators, and all members aim to provide the highest level of customer satisfaction in terms of Choice, Quality and Service. Every AITO holiday is backed not only by AITO's Quality Charter but also by full financial protection. Further details of AITO can be found at www.aito.co.uk or on our website along with our full booking terms and conditions.

Your financial protection is insured by International Passenger Protection Ltd (IPP) and is underwritten by insurers who are members of the Association of British Insurers & Lloyds Syndicates. Further details of this insurance policy can be found at www.ipplondon.co.uk.

Can I extend my holiday by booking additional nights?

You can book as many additional nights as you wish.

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 despatch 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 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 then 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 mail, fax or email. The date from which we receive your cancellation is the date from which cancellation fees will be calculated.

Preparing for my 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?

An equipment list is included in your Information Pack.