This page is designed to answer any questions you may have about our 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 email@example.com and we will be more than happy to assist you.
A self-guided (also called ‘independent’) walking holiday means walking without a guide or joining a large group. You choose the start date, the number of days you’d like to walk, your preferred daily distances, and any additional days you’d like to add. You can walk at your own pace, carrying only what you need for the day. We provide you with a guidebook and map and 24/7 support from our dedicated team. We offer two styles of walking holidays; long-distance walking trails and multi-centre walking holidays.
A walking holiday on a long-distance trail means that you’ll walk along a designated route, such as the West Highland Way or the South West Coast Path. On these self-guided holidays, you’ll walk from one overnight stop to the next and experience a real sense of journey and personal achievement along the way. We arrange accommodation, daily baggage transfers, and provide you with a guidebook and map.
This relaxed style of self-guided walking holiday involves staying in two (or more) locations and getting to know the areas in depth. We provide you with a variety of suggested walking routes, but you are free to walk as little, or as often, as you would like.
A car is required for our multi-centre walking holidays as many of the suggested walks are in remote areas without access to public transport. You can cover a wider area with access to a car, experience a greater variety of terrain and scenery, and really get to know the region you are visiting. Once again, we will provide you with guidebooks, maps, and 24/7 support.
We grade all of our long-distance trails from easy to strenuous. You’ll find definitions of our grades on the individual walking holiday pages. Our multi-centre walking holidays provide a range of easy to strenuous walking suggestions, which you can choose from.
Much depends on how much walking you are used to doing. A good first choice would be the Thames Path, with easy terrain and straightforward navigation. The Norfolk Coast Path is a pleasant coastal walk, and further north, the Dales Way is a gentle trail through the scenic Yorkshire Dales.
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. The availability date range shown at the top of each walking holiday shows the full operating season of the holiday.
Simply tell us the date you would like to arrive and we will take it from there. 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.
You can walk any of our long-distance trails between March and October, and each part of the season comes with its own advantages. March and April are best for spring flowers, and views of snow-topped mountains. May and June are usually the driest and sunniest months. The days are at their longest towards mid-summer so you can make the most of long, bright evenings to explore. July and August are the warmest months, though usually wetter. September often brings a period of settled weather, and the autumnal colours in September and October can be quite spectacular.
July and August are when UK school summer holidays take place, which in many locations makes them the busiest months. However, in recent years May has been by far the busiest period on many walking trails.
We don’t count the days of travel as part of your holiday, just the number of days you spend walking.
We would be delighted to arrange a bespoke walking holiday for you. Absolute Escapes have almost two decades of experience arranging tailored itineraries to suit individual needs.
Yes, you can book as many additional nights as you wish, or combine different long-distance trails. Many of our clients also combine a walking holiday with a self-drive holiday for a longer adventure.
We are more than happy to advise you of the best routes, however, we do not arrange flights or train travel.
We recommend that you travel by public transport to get to the start of your long-distance trail walking holiday, and we will provide you with this information 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. Please let us know when enquiring if you would like to do so.
A car is necessary for our multi-centre walking holidays, and we would be delighted to include car rental in your package. If you are travelling with your own car or would prefer to make your own arrangements, please let us know when you enquire.
We heartily welcome solo walkers. To enjoy one of our walks by yourself, you should 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, wear suitable clothing, and be prepared to turn back if the weather turns foul.
Our usual package prices are calculated based on two people sharing the cost of the accommodation, map, guidebook and luggage transfers and car hire if applicable. We, therefore, have to add a single supplement for most of our packages to cover the increased cost for a solo traveller.
At some accommodations, you’ll have a true single room, but at most you’ll be given a double room for single occupancy. Single supplements can be found on each walking holiday page.
Unfortunately not. All of 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 confirmed your booking and provided the deposit for your holiday.
In the very rare circumstance that a lack of availability means we are unable to complete your bookings, we will, of course, refund your deposit.
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.
Once you have sent us an enquiry you will receive a personalised proposal by email. This will contain the price, inclusions, and full details on how to confirm your booking. We usually require a deposit of 20% of the total cost of your holiday to secure a booking, with the remaining balance due 8 weeks in advance.
Once you have sent us an enquiry you will receive a full proposal by email. This will contain the price, inclusions, and full details on how to pay for your booking. We accept the following payment methods:
1. Bank Transfer – Our account details will be included in your proposal. We ask you to make payment 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.
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. Cheque – Please make cheques payable to “Absolute Escapes Ltd.” Cheques must be made in British pounds sterling (£).
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 can be found on the ABTOT website.
Although it is not a requirement, we do strongly recommend that you take out holiday insurance to cover cancellation, personal accident, illness and loss or theft of personal possessions and/or money.
It is usually possible to change your start date up to 8 weeks before the start of your walking holiday although it is not advisable. We charge an administration fee of £50.00 to cover the work involved in cancelling and re-booking your accommodation. Requests for changes made less than 8 weeks before the start of your walking holiday will be treated as a cancellation of your original booking, and our usual booking conditions will apply.
If you have to cancel your walking holiday please inform us by email or letter. The date from which we receive your email or letter is the date from which cancellation fees will be calculated. You can find our cancellation policy on our Booking Conditions page.
Where you will stay depends on which accommodation package you book:
For our long-distance walking trails, the following categories are available:
We offer a Standard accommodation package for all of our walking holidays. Whether we also offer a Premium or Budget package depends on the range of accommodation available along the trail.
Occasionally your accommodation may be situated a distance from one of our long-distance trails, 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, and this cost will be included in your package.
For our multi-centre walking holidays, the following categories are available:
All of the accommodation that we book for our clients has been personally selected by our expert team to ensure it meets our exacting standards. We regularly review our extensive accommodation database and maintain excellent relationships with our accommodation providers.
It is not necessary to bring a sleeping bag on any of our walking holidays. If you are staying in a hostel on one of our long-distance trails, sleeping bags and duvets are provided. In most hostels, you will not be permitted to use your own sleeping bag.
You will almost always have a bedroom with en-suite facilities that include a toilet, sink and bath and/or shower. Of the hundreds of hotels and guesthouses we work with, only a handful have shared facilities, and we indicate these rare exceptions on the relevant holiday page and/or when you book.
The exception to this is our Budget long-distance walking trail packages, where you may have a shared bathroom at some accommodation during your walk.
Our Standard and Premium long-distance trail packages include a full breakfast each morning. Our Budget package includes breakfast on the nights you stay in B&B or guest house accommodation.
All of our multi-centre walking holidays include breakfast 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 usually not included however there are a number of itineraries where dinners are also included. Your Information Pack will include recommendations on the best pubs and restaurants to eat and drink in each evening.
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 usually book a packed lunch from your accommodation on arrival, at a small additional cost. 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.
It is usually possible to accommodate dietary requirements, but please check with us first before booking your holiday. Please only tell us about your requirements and not preferences – smaller establishments can only cater for essential requests.
Our walking packages usually include:
Our long-distance trail packages include daily transfer of your luggage from one accommodation to the next. Our packages include one piece of luggage per person, though if you require more than this please let us know and we can certainly include additional luggage in your package. Weight restrictions vary between walking trails. Unfortunately, we cannot offer luggage transfers as a stand-alone service.
Our multi-centre walking holidays do not require luggage transfers.
We will typically send your Information Pack to you by post, 2 – 3 weeks after you have made your final payment. We will also email you a copy of all the essential documents for your holiday. If your booking with us is part of a larger holiday and you will leave home before this date, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate. We can also arrange for your pack to be sent to your first night’s accommodation.
We are always available on our 24-hour emergency number should you encounter any difficulties during our out-of-office hours.
All National Trails and Long-Distance Paths (LDP’s) are well way-marked. You will also have detailed maps and route notes in your Information Pack.
In the event of straying off the path, don’t panic! With a little patience, you should soon pick up the path again. But this is where we cannot stress highly enough the value of devoting a little time to studying your map in detail before you set off.
We emphasise that to get the maximum enjoyment out of your walking holiday you must be in reasonable physical shape and both your feet and your footwear must be accustomed to walking the distances you intend to walk. Generally, some regular walking ahead of the start of the holiday, 6-8 miles preferably over rolling terrain, will make it all the more enjoyable; and you’ll find the initial walking day less of an uphill challenge!
Never skimp on footwear. Trainers will not work! Good quality waterproof walking boots or sturdy walking shoes (fabric/leather with a firm grip) are essential to the success of a walking trip.
Wear in your new footwear well in advance of your holiday, as it’s best to discover any potential rubbing spots before the walk – nothing spoils a walking holiday more than blisters.
A recommended kit list will be included in your Information Pack.
Yes, the holiday price includes a map and guidebook for your walking holiday.
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. We provide a full recommended kit list in our Information Pack.
We recommend that you call your phone provider in advance of your walk to arrange a suitable call and data package.
Alternatively, you can buy a UK SIM card on arrival to use with your existing handset. Please ensure that your phone is unlocked if you pursue this method.
SIM cards are available to purchase at phone shops in most major airports and train stations, as well as supermarkets and large newsagents.
We do not generally recommend our long-distance walking holidays for children under 14, but instead would recommend our multi-centre walking holidays.
Some of our walking holidays are available for dogs. Please contact us for more information, or read our blog on Britain’s Best Dog-Friendly Walking Trails.
Experience has shown us that the choice of places to stay is restricted with a dog, as not all accommodations along a long-distance route will accept dogs. Some sections are more dog-friendly than others, yet en-suite facilities cannot be guaranteed every night.