15th May, 2020
As the UK begins tentative steps to relax the lockdown we are starting to think about how we will move forward in a responsible way that protects our clients, our partners, our environment and our business and still allows us to organise exciting and authentic holidays which introduce our clients to the hidden gems and local secrets that even the locals may not know are on their doorstep.
We will miss many of our international friends this summer – but as they say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ – and we will have a very warm welcome waiting for you next spring!
And while we trust that our fellow Brits will remain aware and alert and take steps to avoid a second wave of the pandemic, we recognise that many are in need of something to look forward to, and a much needed holiday as soon as it is sensible to do so – and we think we have just the thing! Our holidays, by their very nature are a chance to get away from it all – cycling or walking off the beaten track, discovering quiet routes and tiny villages, boutique accommodation and special foodie stops, avoiding the crowds and popular honeypots in favour of the lesser known and unspoilt treasures. But we have also put our heads together to tweak some of our trips to make them even more ideal getaways for the ‘new normal’
Skip the Cities
While Oxford is one of our favourite places and the hub for many of our walking and cycling tours, we are relocating our starting point to a lovely hotel on the river outside the city. Anyone who still wishes to visit the wonders that Oxford has to offer can still do so with a short walk or cycle along a quiet stretch of the river without being based ‘in the thick of it’. Similarly on our Lochs and Glens to Edinburgh tour, we are now offering the option to skip taking the train to Edinburgh and adding an extra day’s cycling along the river and through the Pass of Killiecrankie to Blair Atholl Castle. (If you follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook you will have seen some of our experiences from a brilliant trip in May 2019). We are looking at all our holidays to see where it may be appropriate to re route around busier areas – but as ever if you have any questions, please ask.
Arrive by car
We are also aware that our guests may be more likely to be arriving by car than train or plane for a while so we are making arrangements for guests to park their cars for the duration of the trip and transferring passengers either to the start of their adventure or back to their cars at the end. For example our Devon Coast to Coast is an essentially rural and traffic free cycle from the north coast of Devon down to Plymouth and we will meet you at the end to take you back to your starting point near Barnstaple and your car or onward journey. As ever we will be asking how you plan to arrive for your holiday so we can make the best arrangements for you.
Family Friendly Holidays
We have a selection of Family Friendly Holidays which generally have shorter distances and very traffic free routes and are ideal for children (and parents!). We have also put together a new ‘Chiltern Traffic Free Jolly’ which we think is a perfect short break for seven year olds and up, with glorious cycling along canals and woodland trails with exciting stops at 2 very special museums and a chocolate shop! Have a look at our ‘Inspire Me’ section which features some of our favourite family holidays for more ideas or ask us – we can often adapt other trips to suit your requirements.
Terms and Conditions
Please continue to look at our website and dream of better times and if you would like us to prepare you an itinerary, do get in touch. We have amended our Terms and Conditions in this unique period so that when you book, your deposit is fully refundable if the government advice is that it’s not safe or possible to travel. We will request the balance payment just 30 days before your trip and again if government advice changes between then and the start of your trip, this will be refundable. We do recommend you take out travel insurance to cover any other circumstances.
At this point we are unsure when hotels and other hospitality venues will be available but we are hoping that the phased opening through July will mean we can operate from August – and we are also unsure whether at that point demand will exceed supply so if you are seriously considering a getaway later this summer we would love to hear from you.
We look forward to the day when we have lots of explorers ‘out on the road’ but in the meantime we’ll keep planning ahead! Stay safe and keep well!