FAQ Banner

FAQ

PLANNING YOUR HOLIDAY:

Which areas do your walks cover?

We currently offer tailor made walking holidays in 3 beautiful regions of southern rural England: the Cotswolds, Purbeck Dorset, and Hardy’s Wessex.

Which route should I choose?

We do not offer standard holidays and try to fit our clients into them. Having first discussed your aims and ambitions, we would offer a personalised route from our collection. By concentrating on numerous alternative routes in limited areas, many of which can have common starting or finishing points, we are able to provide what we trust is the appropriate choice for you.

We consider that all of our routes will provide interesting and enjoyable walking. Inevitably they offer differing aspects of hills, coast, villages and glorious countryside. They are planned to suit anyone who has a love of the open air and getting away from the crowds. Our routes are designed for an average walker - not a Sunday afternoon stroll but, on the other hand, not an endurance test. Rather than just sending you on well known way marked routes, our choices reflect what we think are the best paths. We would like to ensure that your chosen route is one that most suits you and and so we do offer a bespoke service by finding out your requirement and suggesting the most appropriate selection.

Our routes vary in daily distance and likely time taken. The shortest is 7 miles and the longest is 14 miles, with an average around 11 miles. For an average walker this would give actual walking time of between 3 and 5½ hours. This means that you do not have to hurry. A leisurely breakfast can be followed by suggested refreshment stops on many of our routes and you will have time to enjoy your walking, stop and look around and take pleasure from the beauty of the countryside. We want you to be on holiday and not on a route march.

The duration of your holiday can be organised to meet your needs. A typical time might be anywhere between 4 and 7 days but longer or shorter periods are possible.

If you want to build in a rest day or stay more than one night in a particular location by walking a circular path, just let us know when we are planning your customised route. We can even try and build your route around other needs, such as avoiding too much climbing, or to meet your specific accommodation needs.

We pride ourselves in offering tailored walks from our considerable number of routes in the Cotswolds, Purbeck Dorset and Hardy's Wessex. Our library of routes is continually being increased to ensure that we bring the very best of walking to our clients.

Are your walks suitable for me?

Our routes are based around the "average walker”. Someone who enjoys exploring beautiful countryside and is comfortable with the thought of more than one day of exercise. You do not need to be super fit but a reasonable level of fitness would make your holiday that much more enjoyable. We should be pleased to provide further advice on the suitability of a particular choice.

There are no age limits for our walkers but you must be the best judge of your own capabilities.

Children are welcome, but again you must be happy with their walking ability.

When is the best time for walking?

Walking is for any time of the year. Each season has its merits. Spring is all about fresh green, wild flowers and pleasant temperatures. Summer brings the long days and warmer weather. Autumn is the season of "mellow fruitfulness” with golden colours. Winter, despite the shorter days, has a charm of its own - open fires and, if you get clear days, the visibility can be far superior to other seasons. Many people, if asked, would say that May and September are the best walking months, but there is no bad time to be out walking.

Another tip is not to think that your walk has to start from a weekend. We can arrange a start on any day of the week. An added benefit of avoiding weekend starts can be a better choice of accommodation.

Are your walks available to overseas visitors?

There are very many overseas visitors who have already discovered the excellent nature of England's network of walking paths. If you are uncertain about how such holidays work, just email or phone us.

Do I need to consider my fitness levels and health?

We grade all our walks from Easy through to Challenging (but bear in mind that our walks are in areas of England with rolling hills rather than mountains!). A challenging walk might be due to it being of a longer duration, or because it includes steeper ascents. It is best to discuss any concerns you may have about your fitness to walk with us. We can discuss how many miles or hours of walking you are happy to do each day, and can arrange rest days if you feel they are required.

What sort of accommodation will I stay in?

Our intention is to let you stay in the best accommodation possible, where your needs can be looked after. Not large impersonal hotels, but quality bed and breakfasts, up-market pubs, or small and carefully chosen hotels. The charm of Bed and Breakfast or historic pubs is that no two stops are the same. All of the accommodation we use has been personally visited to ensure they meet our standards.

With using such overnight stays where the rooms are often limited, we do try to fit a route to match availability. The earlier you book, the better will be the choice of accommodation available to you.

Do let us know exactly what your needs are, be it double, twin or single, and we will try our best to obtain them. Single occupancy will often involve a supplement.

The great majority of the accommodation we use would be rooms with en suite facilities. If this is not possible, the alternative arrangements would be advised to you before your booking.

If you would like to have extra days at either the start or end of your holiday to explore further , we would be pleased to arrange this for you.

What meals are included?

Breakfast is a most important meal when you are off for a days walking. All of our accommodation includes a hearty breakfast. Inevitably the choice will vary from place to place, but it will all be good and no doubt there will be local specialities available.

Lunch is not included but on many of our routes we will be able to provide you with details of suitable pubs or cafes where refreshment can be obtained. On some days packed lunches may be required, either available from your host (let them know the night before), or purchased locally before you start walking.

Dinners are similarly down to your own choice and cost. We will advise suitable places that we are aware of but your hosts will be able to provide you with recommendations based on their local knowledge. Sometimes it may be possible for your host to provide dinner and at other times, when there is no suitable eating places within easy walking distance, a short taxi ride might be needed. We will let you know your options with your booking details.

If you have specific dietary requirements, do let us know and then we will pass them on to your hosts.

How will my luggage be moved?

Every day that you are walking we will arrange for your luggage (1 bag per person, maximum 25kg) to be transferred to your next place of accommodation. There is no need for you to be present. It will be picked up from 10am onwards and be ready for you at the end of day for no later than 4pm. Luggage labels will be provided to ensure that nothing gets lost.

Can I bring my car?

We do encourage you to leave your car at home and use public transport to get to the start and return from the end of your holiday. However, if you want to bring your car, we can accommodate this at certain starting points of a linear walk, or by using circular routes form a base. Please speak to us about this.

Can I take my dog?

Whilst it is possible to bring your dog, we do encourage you to book as early as possible so that we can source accommodation that has dog friendly rooms. We also want to make you aware of the countryside code and the fact that dogs must always be on leads whilst passing through fields where livestock are present. Reaction of livestock, especially when they have their young with them, can be unpredictable with dogs.

How much will my holiday cost?

As we always offer personalised routes, there is no standard cost. The price will vary to reflect the cost of the accommodation and the number of days walking. To give you a guide, a typical price per day per person for 2 people sharing a room is likely to be in the range of £80-£100. If you are walking on your own, a supplement is likely to be required to cover individual room and baggage transfer costs.

The actual cost of your holiday will be advised in the documentation sent to you before you pay any deposit or commit yourself.

How do I book a holiday?

Having looked at our website for ideas, we suggest that you either phone us or send an email so that we can then discuss your needs, give friendly advice and so plan a bespoke holiday for you.

We would then make contact with the accommodation providers for your chosen route and room types to check availability. Then we would send you an itinerary covering dates and route. The total cost to include luggage transfers and accommodation would be shown. Having carefully checked all details, a copy of this form would then be signed by you to confirm the accuracy and then returned together with a deposit to cover the cost of us holding the accommodation reservations for you. This would include a signed acceptance by you, and on behalf of others in your party, that you agree to our terms of business as set out on these web pages and covered in 'Frequently Asked Questions'.

We would then go ahead and make confirmed reservations for all of your accommodation.

Is there a booking form to complete?

With the suggested itinerary sent out to you, we would include a form so that you can supply personal details for all the people in your party and any other relevant information.

Is my personal information safe with you?

The personal information you provide is used by us solely to arrange your requested holiday and will be securely stored by us.

Your name and mobile telephone number only will be sent to your accommodation providers and luggage carriers so that they can deliver your holiday services and make contact with you in case of any difficulties. No other information will be released to third parties.

Unless you advise us that you would like to receive information from us about future possible holidays, we will not use your details for marketing purposes.

Can you help with travel to the start and from the end of my holiday?

If you need assistance on getting to the starting point or returning from the finishing point, we should be pleased to help. Details of how to get to and from the railway or bus stations to your first and last places of accommodation can be provided.

What details will I receive and when about my holiday?

Once you have paid your deposit you will be sent full details of your route and of the accommodation we have booked for you.

After payment of the final balance, your personalised walking wallet will be dispatched which will include:

- Our unique laminated route cards for your chosen walk to guide you on your way.
- Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 Explorer maps that will cover all of your route. This type of map is fully waterproof.
- Notes on the use of maps and our routes
- Instructions on how to find each of your places to stay
- Prepared luggage labels and instructions for transfer of your luggage
- Advice on what to carry with you whilst you walk, choice of walking boots, and how to avoid blisters
- Background notes on points of interest on your walk
- Suggestions for refreshment stops and evening meals, including options where any overnight stops do not enable you to reach a restaurant/pub within easy walking distance.
- a complimentary compass for those who might like to try their hand at navigation, For those who would rather not use a compass, our route cards can easily be used on their own to find your way.
- Upon request, we can supply .gpx files for GPS or smart phone users so that they can see the route on your device.
- A list of local taxi telephone numbers just in case you need to stop short of the day's finish.
- Our emergency telephone number so that if you have any problems on your holiday you can seek our help.

What should I take on my walk?

This is obviously a personal decision but we would recommend certain key items to make your holiday more enjoyable. Aim to keep your day pack as light as possible.

We will give you a list of suggested items to carry with you in your personalised walking wallet.

Do you have to be good at reading and understanding maps?

For all of our routes, experienced walkers have carefully researched and then undertaken the preparation of our own waterproof route cards, based on their own findings on walking the routes. It is intended that these cards should enable you to follow the route without reference to any other maps or compass and so make your day as trouble free as possible to enjoy the real beauty of the countryside. Only occasionally do we include map references so that you can check your location or to identify some point of interest along the way.

However, we appreciate that many of our walkers do like to have an Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 map available as an extra source of information to gain a better idea of the countryside around the route. We therefore include in your pack free Explorer OS maps to cover your route (these are the waterproof variety‚ just in case you do not have the sun shining for all of your walk!.)

Even the most experienced of walkers will, if pressed, admit to very very infrequently not being quite certain of where they are (the term lost would never be used!). So if this were to happen to you, do not worry. Just try and take note of your surroundings and relate these to the information shown on your route card or OS map. In this way you should be able to either retrace your steps to a known point on the route, or make it an adventure and discover your own route to reconnect with the way as shown on the route card.

All of our routes involve lowland areas where you are not going to have difficulty with weather conditions associated with mountain walking. This is country walking and the correct gate to choose rather than which mountain to climb will be the order of the day.

For those who might not be familiar with using Ordnance Survey maps and compasses, we will include some simple instructions with your personalised walking wallet.

What should I do if I encounter any problems on my holiday?

We will supply you with an emergency telephone number that you can use to contact us if you encounter a problem. We would then attempt to overcome these to the best of our ability.

It might also be appropriate to seek help from your hosts, who would have a good local knowledge.

Are you interested in sustainable travel?

Yes, our aim is to promote walking in our beautiful landscape, whilst being aware that we have a duty to protect it.
We believe that small groups of self guided walkers have less adverse affect on the environment.
We try to encourage our clients to leave their cars at home, and use public transport to get to the start and end of their holidays.
We are committed to helping our local economies by using local businesses.
Our office policies include the use of recycled paper, recycling, and limiting the use of paper where possible.

Are you interested in feedback after our holiday?

Yes we are. We really want to hear from our customers after their walk, getting their opinions, whether they be hopefully good, or even not so good, on all aspects of their holiday. To demonstrate our commitment to this process, we will send a voucher towards another walking holiday with Inspired Walking for each response.

FURTHER INFORMATION ON YOUR BOOKING:

How do I pay?

BACS, Cards and cheques are all accepted.
Overseas customers are required to pay in sterling - if by cheque, then a sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank account must be used.

When do I pay?

After agreeing your holiday, a deposit is required when you return the booking and acceptance forms. This is so that we can secure your chosen accommodation, and the amount will reflect the deposit required by the accommodation providers.

The balance of the total cost of your holiday, as shown on your confirmation, would be due 6 weeks before your departure date. A reminder would be sent out for this payment.

If full payment is not received by the due date, unfortunately, we would have to treat your holiday as cancelled and the deposit paid would be forfeited.

If you book a holiday within 6 weeks before the start date, the full payment would be payable immediately.

Is my money protected?

Yes, any moneys paid to us are fully protected as required by The Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations 1992. All monies paid to us by you are kept in in a trust account until after your holiday has been taken.

Do I need travel insurance?

Even though your holiday is UK based, we strongly recommend that you arrange suitable insurance cover for cancellation, personal accident, illness and loss of personal belongings. We cannot accept any liability for such events.

Can I make changes once my holiday is booked?

If you need to make a change to your holiday after booking and paying your deposit (such as choosing to change your start date), we will try our best to amend your holiday. Such action would incur an administration charge and possibly the loss to you of any irrecoverable deposit monies already paid by us for your accommodation.

Once the final payment as been paid, any changes would need to be treated as a cancellation with a new holiday then to be booked.

What happens if I need to cancel my booking?

If unfortunately you need to cancel your holiday, advise us as quickly as possible and confirm this in writing. Prior to 6 weeks before your starting date you would incur the loss of your deposit. After 6 weeks (and up to 4 weeks) before your starting date the loss to you would be 30% of the total cost. After 4 weeks (and up to 2 weeks) before the starting date the loss to you would be 50% of the total cost, and and then 100% thereafter.

Can you make changes to my holiday after it is booked?

Such changes would be avoided by us if at all possible as we do appreciate that, once agreed, you will be looking forward to your walk. If circumstances outside of our control dictate that a change is unavoidable, we would advise you immediately and attempt to find a solution that is still acceptable to you.

If the changes were significant (such as a different start date) and unacceptable to you, we would return any monies already paid to you. In such circumstances we would not be able to accept any further liability.

What are we not able to do?

There are some events outside our control, such as a flood, that we cannot foresee at the time of booking and it is therefore impossible to plan, even after taking every care, on how to avoid them. The occurrence of such an event, called a Force Majeure, might affect your holiday but unfortunately we would not accept any liability or claim for compensation.

Whilst we take great care in organising your holiday, we cannot be held liable for any injury or ill health affecting any individual included in your party. Any acceptable claim against us for negligence or omission is limited to the amount paid for the holiday by that individual.

Walking in the countryside in the UK does not normally expose you to undue risk or injury. However, you are responsible for your own safety and we would encourage you to take all sensible precautions.

We do our very best to keep the information we provide about pubs/cafes up to date, but these services can change at very short notice and are obviously outside of our control.

Finally, I'm afraid that we cannot organise fantastic weather for your walking holiday, but we do hope that the sun shines on you all of the time. Very sorry!!