__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

English Walking Trips Staycations


Hello, Welcome A warm welcome to Alison Howell’s Foot Trails. Being in the English countryside and walking through nature is a simple, calming and enriching adventure. What is a Foot Trail? A walking trip for time out, an indulgence of your senses, space and freedom, all to enjoy at an unhurried pace. Foot Trails is a small company with a big heart and an award winning, walking company celebrating South West England. This collection of inn to inn staycations are perfect for week long adventures in the countryside. Choose from the character villages & pubs of The Cotswolds, the wide open landscapes of Wessex or a seaside adventure in Devon. Ready to begin? Browse the itineraries here in the brochure, simply pick up the phone for a friendly but expert conversation or email us about your plans. With warm regards & happy trails, Alison Howell Founder & Director * Please see inside back cover for brochure index (page 37)

3


Why choose Foot Trails? So much tourism is mass produced. Ignoring the individual and focusing on what's easiest not necessarily best. Choose Foot Trails to walk the path less trodden. We avoid national trails and create our own, getting you off the beaten track, away from the crowds and coaches and out into a rural South West England that's genuine and real. Our team, drivers and country inns are local people. Our flexible, custom made approach will enable you to enjoy a special experience you won't find anywhere else. Three words describe Foot Trails values perfectly:

*Simple *Crafted *Authentic Our guests say - “My husband and I walked 11 days in the Cotswolds with Foot Trails. The trip was beyond our wildest expectations. We viewed each days trail guide as a treasure hunt. We would love to come back again.� Trip Advisor June 2019

4


Simple – Modern life can be busy and oh so complicated. Foot Trails favour simplicity. We work in partnership with you, to understand your needs and create a trip that meets your experience and wishes. We'll make things easy and take care of the details, so you can focus on making great memories.

Crafted – Through our deep, local knowledge we custom make your trip. We have a passion for experience excellence. Everything about your Foot Trail is deliberate, chosen with care and intent for you.

Authentic – Discover what's honest and authentic about rural England, allow us to take you off the beaten track. As a part of our local community, we use our immediate connections and knowledge to build and shape your choice of itinerary, trails, walking route and accommodations.

5


Somerset – Somerset Knights Quest


Diverse South West England Foot Trails know South West England inside out, upside down and back to front. We are expert here. This is our local patch. We can totally custom make your walking trip in the South West. The largest and most diverse of England's nine regions, The South West is well known for warm hospitality and delicious artisan produce which includes cheeses, apples, cider, meats, cream, cakes and real ales. It is very diverse. You can see everything from riverbanks, woodland, wild meadows, chalk downs, canals and villages to market towns, coast, beaches and castles. We offer trips in six different counties of South West England – Devon, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, The Cotswolds and Bath. You can choose to focus on visiting one of these, or we also offer trips designed to explore multiple areas. Most Foot Trails are within a 120 minute journey from London. We have an excellent choice of airports and train stations, and a trusted team of local drivers who can meet you at the airport and chauffeur you to where the trip begins.

7


Unique country inns & accommodation Every one of Foot Trails choice of country inns and accommodation is unique, characterful and charming, and personally chosen by our founder Alison. Expect a warm English country welcome. Often centuries old, each building provides a historical setting with modern comforts in which you can relax, eat and then sleep at the end of your day on the trail. Our guests love the peaceful locations and the opportunity to support our great British pubs by enjoying a pint of real ale or glass of wine at the bar before dinner. Our guests say -

“The inns were charming and quaint – just what we envisioned.” Trip Advisor May 2019 “Every inn was amazing and the food was excellent – breakfasts and dinners.” Trip Advisor June 2019

8


10


Food and drink with provenance When on a Foot Trail you will have the opportunity to try delicious local produced food and drink. Think artisan cheeses, local reared meats, handmade desserts and real ales and ciders as well as fine wines. Good quality food with a story of its own.

Breakfast will set you up for your day on the trail. Freshly laid country eggs, hot coffee, an English breakfast or something lighter such as fruits, breads or toast.

Lunch is taken mid-trail. Always at a country pub or farm café (so no squashed packed lunch to carry). Choose something light or more substantial.

Dinner is the anticipated treat. A reward for your efforts, at the end of your day. You will be spoilt for choice because many of our country inns have won well deserved awards for their food. Our guests say - “My over-riding memory of my hike in England was of an overwhelming prettiness, as well as a calibre of food that was far more local, whole and mindful than I had expected. I really wasn't expecting the South West of England to have such an informed foodie focus.” Sarah Wilson, Australian food author, Masterchef judge & TV presenter

11


Self-guided (independent) walking Self guided - you walk independently but benefit from the expert planning, pre and mid trip support and specialist materials we provide at Foot Trails. Our local know how, earned out on the trails themselves, means you can walk with confidence, and relax and enjoy your adventure, knowing you are exploring the best of the area which we have mapped. We have thought through each aspect of your day including where you can have lunch and taken care of these details for you. This brochure feature a choice of three inn to inn walking trips. These amazing little adventures give you a real sense of journey as you walk from place to place, village to village, enjoying stories and histories on the way. Your luggage is transferred ahead for you with our trusted team of drivers meaning you can walk with a simple light day sac. And you'll stay for two nights at each country inn on route, giving you the opportunity to explore more deeply and avoid having to pack and unpack every single day.

12


How will I find my way? Foot Trails has dedicated a lifetime to walking the region's lesser known paths and we've crafted over 1000 miles of trails across South West England. This is our patch. We are experts in the South West. Our unique combination of innovative Trail Cards, with easy to follow word directions, plus the option of detailed local maps with your routes annotated, give you confidence you know where you are going. Naturally there is also an element of good adventure. Our team of trail experts and amazing trail volunteers keep things up to date though it's worth acknowledging that we work with a living, working landscape. Give technology a break. Foot Trails Trail Cards & maps are fully waterproof for peace of mind and wonderfully tactile to hold. Learn lots about histories, stories and the area as you walk with our foot notes and take advantage of our expert suggested departure times, recommended lunch stops and other useful guidance. Our guests say - “The trail information was extremely detailed and accurate which was much appreciated. We felt quite happy and fortunate to be the beneficiaries of the Foot Trails efforts to provide a safe and scenic walking holiday.� Trip Advisor February 2019

15


A typical day? A Foot Trail is a complete experience, planned and organised for you. It includes your accommodation, your day by day itinerary, a Walk and Explore Box with everything you need including; fully waterproof local maps and trails cards, nature guides and Foot Trails' famous fortifying sweets. Some trails also include luggage transfers and transport drop off services if you need them to provide the best experience. No two days are the same, but they do form a soothing pattern * Begin with a delicious country breakfast (yum). * Step out on your trail. (exciting and relaxing) * Lunch, enjoy it on route, no need to carry it before setting out on your afternoon walk. * In the evening, back at your country inn, have fun talking about your adventures in the bar with a drink. Over dinner read through your notes ready for your adventures the next day. * Sleep well!

16


Inn to Inn Trail

To book - get in touch 01747 820 626 Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk

“Trio of Shires” Style? Inn to inn (village to village) Where? Wiltshire, Dorset & Somerset Duration? 6 nights Cost? From £705 p/person Miles? 40½ miles / 64 km As featured in 'The Telegraph' - Foot Trails™ signature inn to inn experience – it is historic and breath-taking in a region that was the centuries old Saxon Kingdom of Wessex. Defined by tales of kings, castles and ancient battles. The trail takes you deep into rural England giving s you a mix of green beauty, nature and history with wide appeal. Once in a lifetime. Trail overview 'Wessex' is the spiritual home of Foot Trails. Alison and David spent a decade living in this area and exploring all the paths and places to see. It's a good place for getting away from the crowds and bustle of life. Your trail starts up onto the chalk downs of the Cranborne Chase on the edge of Wiltshire. Onward you descend to the Blackmore Vale (Dorsetshire) with its rich grazing grounds and patchwork of fields and hedgerows. This is Hardy Country, the Vale of the little dairies, its little changed and you still get that sense of the small world. One more step down as you descend into Somerset not far from the ancient country town of Sherborne. Somerset, land of the Summer people, steeped in history and a little legendary mystique.

18


Your daily itinerary Day 1 - Arrive, Explore and Relax Arrive today, it's an easy journey. Then then take time to do a short walk, enjoy some fresh air, and discover the village around you. Return to the inn for dinner (not included) and enjoy looking over your itinerary and box at the days coming adventures. Day 2 - Out on the Chase! The Chalk downs provide some sensational walking. You are surrounded by sweeping views and curving downs where the sheep graze. You will pass through a string of medieval villages, picturesque with their flint cottages and fascinating stories. High on the chase, a former hunting ground of King John, once notorious for smugglers and poachers you can enjoy the far reaching views across Wiltshire & Dorset. Day 3 - A poets Inspiration (Luggage transfer included) This walk gives you a good flavour of the beautiful Dorset that inspired English author Thomas Hardy to write. From the top (optional) the views become 360 degrees, you will feel like you are on top of the world! Charming thatched cottages, ruined churches and rolling green fields complete the scene. Day 4 - A slow day on a hill top! Enjoy a slow start to the day then set out to explore the town of Shaftesbury. Saxon in origins, from the town the views across and over the Cranborne Chase are simply astounding. Together with the old abbey ruins, the much famed Gold Hill with its cobbled street and cottages and not forgetting the cake shops and cafĂŠs!

19


Day 5 - To the heart of Wessex (Luggage transfer included) There are great views, rolling hills and tales of two castles on this trail. Arrive into the old market town of Sherborne, the abbey is world renowned and another place well worth a visit. Across the countryside, curving hills and gorgeous views before plunging into the valley to your next inn. Day 6 - On a quest! Today's trail offers inspiring walking filled with pastoral views of rural England. Up on the ridge the vistas stretch dreamily for miles across the Yeo valley, a rich agricultural area. Charming ham stone Somerset villages with their gorgeous cottages. At the hill fort of Cadbury the views extend across Somerset to a distant Glastonbury. Is this Camelot? Day 7 - Depart at your leisure At the end of your Foot Trail it's time for your onward travel, full of memories and tales of your adventures. Price & trail detail Start day: Sunday Daily miles: 2.5 – 8 – 8 – 6 – 8.5 – 9 – depart Grade: Easy to moderate, walking with some ascents & descents Arrival train station: Tisbury, Wiltshire August – standard - £785 p/p // superior - £895 p/p September – standard - £785 p/p // superior - £895 p/p October – standard - £705 p/p // superior - £815 p/p Prices based on two persons sharing a bedroom, see 'what's included?'

20


Celebrating the creation of 1000 miles!

NEW for 2018


Inn to Inn Trail

To book - get in touch 01747 820 626 Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk

“Journey Across the Cotswolds” Style? Inn to inn (village to village) Where? Central Cotswolds, South West England Duration? 6 nights Cost? From £795 p/person Miles? 56 miles / 90 km Trail overview Foot Trails has a special bond with the Cotswolds. Alison & David's families have a history with this wonderful area of England. Several of Alison's family still farm in the area today. With local knowledge we hope to take you away from the crowds and show you something a little more unique and special. All the special Cotswolds ingredients, rolling green countryside, pretty villages and stone cottages. It is after all a quintessential view of England! Your trail starts in the countryside around the spiritual heart of the Cotswolds. In the 12th and 13th centuries Cotswolds wool was famed for its quality but the best wool, that came from town of Northleach. From the medieval market square you can also cross the Roman side, the ancient Roman road passing the town. Leading into the Evenlode valley, this is classic Cotswolds country. Stow on the Hill sits above the vale, the countryside around undulates with farms and old villages dot the landscape. Onward and you are reaching the eastern edge of the Cotswold's, a land of village greens, brooks and sheep. The market town of Burford is called by many the 'gateway to the Cotswolds'. It's where the Cotswolds meets Oxfordshire.

22


Your daily itinerary Day 1 - Arrive, short explore & relax Arrive today. Settle in and enjoy the atmosphere of the setting. We'll include a short walk so you can get to know the area. Enjoy your evening with a drink whilst browsing through your 'Walk & Explore' box and getting to know your itinerary for the coming days. Dinner is served by the inn (not included). Day 2 - On the trail of The Romans An historic hike that will connect you with the Romans and enable you to tread in their footsteps. Your trail also includes little Cotswolds stone villages, tumbling streams, cottage gardens, this is what the Cotswolds is all about! And time too to explore one of the county's best loved Roman villas, Chedworth, built over 2000 years ago. Day 3 - Wanders in the Meadow (Luggage transfer included) Full of contrast and diversity this trail is a real treat. There are views, and views! And charming villages. Find yourself amongst some wonderful Hay Meadows, being restored and full of wild flowers (especially in May). A little tale about the composer Holst and then more of those views! Day 4 - A little Jacobean Splendour Picking up an ancient track way you will notice the wonderful atmosphere of this corner of the Cotswolds. Little known, and blissfully crowd free, you are in an area once inhabited by our bronze age ancestors thousands of years ago. On to England's finest Jacobean house, built by a wealthy wool merchant. Admire the house, its setting, the 12th century church and Cotswolds farmhouses.

23


Day 5 - Onward to your next country inn (Luggage transfer included) Views, quiet valleys and a picture perfect Cotswolds village. Besides its two mills this village was known for its stone, quarried for some very famous English buildings. On to the banks of the River Windrush, great views of Burford spire. Time to explore the shops & cafes. Day 6 - Drama at the edge of the Cotswolds Historical tales on today's walk. "Make Room, Make Room!". The order would be given by the king's usher as he entered the room and so the family surname came about - 'Faites Place', or the 'Fettiplace' family. Humble Cotswolds stone cottages, the meandering river and reminders of history make this a joyous little ramble in Old England. Day 7 - Time to depart At the end of your trail, it's time to travel onward to the next part of your adventure, full of memories and tales from your trails. Price & trail detail Start day: Monday Daily miles: 2 – 11 – 12 – 12 – 12 – 7 – depart Grade: Easy to moderate, walking with some ascents & descents Arrival train station: Kemble, Gloucestershire (or Cheltenham Spa from the north) August – standard - £875 p/p // superior - £995 p/p September – standard - £875 p/p // superior - £995 p/p October – standard - £795 p/p // superior - £915 p/p

24

Prices based on two persons sharing a bedroom, see 'what's included?'


25


Inn to Inn Trail

To book - get in touch 01747 820 626 Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk

“Devon Creek to Coast” Style? Inn to inn (village to village) Where? South Devon Duration? 7 nights Cost? From £955 p/p Miles? 56.5 miles / 90 km NEW for 2020! A landscape of rolling green hills dotted with small towns & villages, the South Hams also includes some of the most unspoilt coastline on the South Coast of England. This inn to inn trail does not simply follow the coast path but leads on a journey from the upper part of the River Dart to the cliffs & coves of the coast. Trail overview Devon is a delight with its creeks, coves, rivers, coastal views, beaches and views. Take the time to reconnect with the Devon countryside. Devon has been a popular family holiday destination for generations and with our Foot Trails trip we hope to capture some of the essence of this English tradition. Your trail starts in Totnes, an historic town that straddles the River Dart. There's the fort, old quay and legend of Brutus to discover. From here you can discover the side creeks, old mills and beautiful river scenery. Your journey leads to Dartmouth, a town with a seafaring soul. From here you will explore along the coast to Start Point, a journey with all you could wish for, coves, sandy beaches, cliffs and views.

26


Your daily itinerary Day 1 - Arrive to the South Hams Arrive in the picturesque region of the South Hams, Devon. Settle in at your riverside inn and then enjoy a short trail to get to know this historic town. Day 2 - Creeks & Rivers Explore some charming Devon villages, with their solid stone walls and mossy roofs. Jump across the creek by stepping stones, but watch the middle one! And call by the winery & cheese shop for some sampling. Day 3 - Dart the Dart (Luggage transfer included) The River Dart is the star on your walk today. Its flowing water has shaped the landscapes you will walk and the villages. Options to visit Greenway, summer home of murder mystery author Agatha Christie. Descending the hill through the old town of Dartmouth is a joy, then stand and gaze at the river and the mouth to the sea. Day 4 - The Sea! Enjoy a wander in Dartmouth's historic streets this morning. Buy a picnic from the Deli and then set out to find the sea! As you crest the hill the sea is before you. Enjoy 'turtle rock', find tucked away coves and as you make your way back towards Dartmouth call in at its Tudor castle. Aha me hearties! Day 5 - By the Ley (Luggage transfer included) 'She sells sea shells' goes the tongue twister and on this trail you will wander along the coast, from cove to cove and then along the barrier beach at Slapton with its lagoon nature reserve.

27


Day 6 - All the joys of the Coast Be intrigued by the story of the "lost village", with both sad and inspiring elements. Walk this sea filled landscape, there are cliffs, lighthouse, the sounds of waves and sandy coves. At the village of Beesands, linger and take supper from the freshly caught fish 'shack'. Day 7 - Charming Salcombe Take the ferry this morning, ride over the estuary giving you great views from the boat and enjoy Salcombe. After exploring the town follow the coast path with sensational views then turn inland to find creeks and green meadows and delightful villages and rural scenes. Day 8 - Depart Check out from your hotel, time to make your onward travels refreshed by your time beside the sea. Price & trail detail Start day: Sunday Daily miles: 2.5 – 8.5 – 8 – 6.5 – 9 – 12 – 9.5 - depart Grade: Moderate, walking with some ascents & descents, at times can be strenuous Arrival train station: Totnes, Devon September – £1050 p/p October – £955 p/p Prices based on two persons sharing a bedroom, see 'what's included?'

28


NEW for 2018


Booking your trail If you would like help choosing the best trail for you then call us on +44 (0) 1747 820626 or email us at Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk. We plan, write and create all our own walking trails and are here to offer you our expert advice. If the trails featured, arrival days or lengths of stay are not right, you can choose your preferred dates and start on any day of the week. We will create an itinerary for you based on on your preferences. Prices for custom trips are quoted per trip and vary from the prices quoted in the brochure. You can make your booking by calling us on +44 (0) 1747 820626 or if you prefer you can email us at Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk. We will ask you a few details to enable is to make a reservation for you. We will then be able to confirm the availability of your trail. Due to the crafted nature of our trails there may be a day or two's wait while we contact our inns and hosts. We will email you with confirmation of your itinerary, accommodations and details for your deposit of ÂŁ125 per person. Payment of your deposit will confirm your booking. Balances are due 8 weeks before arrival. We accept all major credit cards, PayPal and bank transfers.

30


What is included? * Our services in creating and arranging your itinerary * Our guest support in preparing for your trip and on call support during your trip * Accommodation for 6 nights (7 nights Devon), double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms * Country breakfast to set you up each day * 5 days (6 days Devon) of independent walking with a tailored itinerary to suit you and the season * Transport drop off services if required for your itinerary * Luggage transfers between your country inns * A comprehensive Walk and Explore box, posted to your home address) Including: * Local maps with your trails clearly marked (on our fully waterproof paper) * Innovative trail cards, one for each day, with clear easy to follow directions in word (on waterproof paper) * Trail cards also include local histories and stories to enjoy and read as you explore * Suggested departure times so that you don't miss lunch, recommended lunchtime stops at handpicked country pubs or cafes (lunch not included) * Foot Trail’s famous fortifying sweets, nature guide, guest booklet, local information and more Prices based on 2 persons sharing a bedrooms. Twin (2 x single bed) bedroom options available. Solo's welcome, solo supplements for your own double bedroom. Group discounts and returning guests thank you discounts offered.

32


Guest testimonials “From the moment I spoke to them I felt welcome, cared for. And well informed. Communications about transportation, accommodations, appropriate clothing were timely and thorough.” Trip Advisor May 2019 “We've been on many walking holidays over the past 20 years and the one we recently took in The Cotswolds was the best! Foot Trails was extremely easy to work with.” Trip Advisor February 2019 " My adult son and I took a 9 day walking holiday in The Cotswolds with Foot Trails/ I can't express how good the experience was. The team at Foot Trails were greatthey listened to what we wanted to do and the sort of places we'd like to stay and the planned the perfect trip for us." Trip Advisor May 2019

Read more guest comments & reviews on our trip advisor page

www.tripadvisor.com/foottrails

33


Alison Howell’s story

New

Alison enjoyed a simple start to life, with self sufficient parents on the farm in Wiltshire before leaving at 18 to study business. But it was after being called a “maverick” at IBM that she realised big corporate life didn’t suit her and spent 3 months walking 680 miles across France with David in a 2 man tent called Therese. An adventure that was to change her life forever. She adored living with the rhythm of nature and returning home to England spotted a gap in the adventure tourism industry and started Foot Trails ™. From humble beginnings, guests now travel from around the world to walk Foot Trails award winning experiences. Alison has led the company to win a string of both business, sustainabily and travel awards. In 2014 she herself won one of only 20 scholarships awarded by the Department of International Trade to study at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA. Alison believes travel gives us new perspective. Adventure is one of our greatest joys. That life is a continual journey of learning and that we would all benefit from spending more time outdoors in nature.

35


News headlines around the world Foot Trails is regularly invited to talk to press and contribute to journalists, within travel, the rural economy and more widely. Articles about Foot Trails have featured in well respected publications world wide such as National Geographic Traveller, The Los Angeles Times, BBC TV, BBC radio, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Jet Setter and The Telegraph.

36


Brochure index

As featured in

The Independent

Front Cover

Alison Howell on 'Trio of Shires'

P3 P4 to 5 P8 to 11 P15 P16

Welcome from Alison Howell Why Foot Trails? Unique country inns & accommodations How will I find my way? A typical day

P18 to 21 P22 to 25 P26 to 29

Itinerary & description for 'Trio of Shires' Itinerary & description for 'Journey Across The Cotswolds' Itinerary & description for 'Devon, Creek to Coast'

P30 P32

Booking your trail What's included?

Back cover

Contact details

37


Bookings & contacts We are here to help! If you would like help to choose the best trail for you then please just get in touch for a friendly consultation, either by phone or email. And if you are ready to book, thank you. Bookings can be made by phone or email too.  +44 (0) 1747 820 626 (landline)  Enquire@FootTrails.co.uk W www.FootTrails.co.uk www.facebook.com/FootTrails www.instagram.com/FootTrailsUK www.twitter.com/FootTrailsUK

Foot Trails Ltd 9 Berwick Courtyard Berwick St Leonard Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 5UA

© Foot Trails 2020 ® ™. Foot Trails is a registered Trade Mark

Profile for Foot Trails

English Walking Trips Staycations  

A collection of inn to inn walking trails to enjoy here in England when thing allow. Take time to enjoy natures tonic, and that sense of fr...

English Walking Trips Staycations  

A collection of inn to inn walking trails to enjoy here in England when thing allow. Take time to enjoy natures tonic, and that sense of fr...