Contours Walking Holidays Reviews - www.contours.co.uk

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Latest Reviews

★★★★★

“The Forgotten Part of England.........”

written by Jenff on 11/09/2019

.....as described by one of our hosts. We have just finished walking the Northumberland Coastal Path over 6 days and this will remain one of the most unforgettable walks of my life. We had underestimated the beauty of this area as well as the colours, even cold, grey, windy days presented us with every shade of blue and grey we could imagine. The accommodation was also beyond our expectations- we were a Swiss group so standards were high. We had a mixture of B&Bs and small hotels, which varied slightly in standard but none enough to warrant any complaints. They all had extremely comfortable beds , were beautifully furnished (very English, which the Swiss liked) and had everything we needed. In some cases more than we needed. . The breakfasts with the exception of one place were magnificent. Kippers became a firm favourite of our oldest member. The night on Holy Island was remarkable .Having the run of the island after the day tourists have left and before they arrive was very special and getting up early to see the sunrise can be strongly recommended. All transfers we needed from the path worked well and the taxi firms used were flexible enough to accommodate any slight changes. The friendliness of everyone we encountered will also not be forgotten. Our luggage was also waiting for us each evening, in some cases already in our rooms. We can only say ‘Well done and thank you’ to the Contours team for the excellent organisation.

Contourswalkingholidays's Response to Jenff's Review

Written on: 13/09/2019

Dear Jenff, thanks for your lovely review and great to hear you enjoyed hiking the Northumberland Coast. We are pleased to hear the accommodations booked for you met your high standards, and we are delighted to have helped you discover this lovely corner of North England (and the wonderful people there). We hope to hear from you and your companions again in the future, to help in discovering another hidden corner of the UK. Best wishes, Contours Holidays.

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★★☆☆☆

“John Muir Way accommodations ”

written by dougedin on 22/05/2019

I recently walked John Muir Way with Contours and they are well named. The walk was fantastic but the accommodations were on the whole, cheap and of an embarrassingly low standard. One place had mold, wallpaper hanging off the walls, a ceiling coming down and old lumpy mattresses. The lodgings were mainly in the worst parts of each town and I'm furious and as a Scot, mortified that tourists are being treated this way. This vacation was very expensive and the cost was not reflected in the standard of the lodgings. I called the company en route and they did attempt to improve the rest of the lodgings which I appreciate. I strongly recommend that anyone planning to do a walking vacation does not use this particular company. It would be cheaper to arrange your own guest houses and you would have decent places to stay. I'm giving 2 stars only because they tried to rectify the problem but honestly, the problem should never have existed. I know some of these areas and there are very nice guest houses that should have been used by Contours.

Contourswalkingholidays's Response to dougedin's Review

Written on: 23/05/2019

Dear dougedin. Thank you for your review, and we regret to hear that you felt some of the accommodations booked for you were of a poor standard. We always strive to secure the best accommodation available on our routes, and it is never our intention to secure low quality B&Bs for you. We will investigate the places you have mentioned, and we are glad you found our service prompt in rectifying the night in question at the time. We have been in touch with you separately with regards to feedback for all accommodations. Unfortunately we were not made aware of the other issues therefore were unable to rectify these for you at the time. We look forward to hearing from you again soon. Contours Holidays.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Beware! Full payment needed before itinerary supplied!”

written by on 01/10/2017

We paid over £2.5k for a family holiday this year on Contours' 'Hadrian's Wall with a dog' holiday. What we got, with many duplicate nights and taxis ferrying us to and fro to accommodation off the trail (or back where we started that day's walk), was wholly different to what I was led to believe I was paying for. The standard of most of the accommodation - one notable exceptional which was lovely - could best be described as 'cheap and cheerful' (fine by us!) - but it does mean a significant amount of that £2.5k must have gone on 'organisation' so I would have expected to be significantly better. We agreed the itinerary with Contours in advance which included one rest day where we would stay in the same accommodation for two nights. At no point was there any suggestion that there might be a significant problem with bringing a dog (and given the name of the tour (ie 'with a dog') we assumed the company would have experience and expertise in this regard . The confirmation letter said they would be in contact if there was a problem. Only after paying the full balance was paid were we able to see where we were staying which did not correlate to where we were walking to and from on the itinerary! On three occasions (one expected) we were ferried bank to a place we'd stayed the previous night. Our rest day lodge was very inconveniently located - despite specifically negotiating a rest day that would be best placed for the famous sites of Vindolanda and the Roman Army museum. It took 40 minutes to walk to the nearest AD122 bus stop (taxis were an option but there aren't that many - we did use one). Very frustrating when we could see other charming and well placed accommodation nearer the route AND having paid handsomely for someone to organise in the back of 'expertise'. Contours rely on the small print and that they find it difficult to find dog friendly accommodation. To this I say (1) why run a tour called 'Hadrian's wall with a dog' if you struggle to fulfil the most basic requirements and (2) why not call us - as you promised - and check at a time where we would have options (ie to decide not to proceed with the holiday or decide not to take the dog!) rather than taking our money and giving us a disappointing holiday that was much anticipated. I have been sent £100 in compensation. In my view this is woefully inadequate given the scale of the way we were misled about the holiday. I'm not seeking anything further but do want to forewarn others if they too would have an issue with multiple duplication of nights on trail walking and a reliance on taxis at the beginning and end of walks. Hadrians Wall itself is sublime! Especially middle 3/4 days :)

Keithmillar's Comment

Written on: 04/10/2017

I agree and commiserate with you. I had the same experience with Contours. They take your money in full and supply you with a final itinerary that is vastly different to the one you originally contracted with them to provide without discussing with you any options, which they state they will do if there are to be any changes. Then, they provide this "new" itinerary only 4 weeks prior to commencement which means if you cancel you will lose 75% of your money paid to them. Almost like blackmail. Leaves you like feeling you have to accept and just put up with it because short of complaining to the Independent Advertising Standards Authority, there is little that you can do to change the immediate situation. Not a great way to start your holiday. I no longer trust them.

However, I have found a much more reputable company offering much the same holidays as Contours.

Absolute Escapes is their name. I have already booked my next holiday with them and how different they are compared to Contours. Excellent customer service and great communications even though I live in New Zealand. Check them out.

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Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 25/10/2017

We clearly explain on our website how our holidays work, and that to secure dog friendly accommodations it may be necessary to transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back to the trail again the following morning to resume your walk.
Once again we regret that you were disappointed with our service. We have offered our sincerest apologies a number of times to you already via email and also in reply to reviews you have posted.

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Keithmillar's Comment

Written on: 29/11/2017

Yes, you clearly explain how your holidays work. But you don't adhere to your own conditions. You state that you will contact the client as soon as possible to discuss options when you have to make a significant change to a booked holiday with the option of cancelling with a full refund. You DO NOT do this. Instead you proceed regardless of these significant changes and only inform the client when it is too late to cancel. It's like paying someone to paint your house white and he says if he can't get the shade you require, he will discuss your options before starting. He wants payment first. After paying him he then paints your house black because he couldn't get white paint. Of course, he won't refund your money as the work has been done and you should be satisfied. Why aren't you? It's painted isn't it?

This is like how Contours Walking Holidays treated me and it seems that I am not the only hard done by client.

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★★☆☆☆

“West Highland Way sort of.”

written by keithmillar on 16/09/2017

I booked and paid for a 9 day West Highland Way holiday staying at a different location each night with 2 rest days, one at Rowardennan to climb Ben Lomand and the other rest day at Kingshouse in order to climb another Munro. The daily stop overs were clearly laid out in the booking form and I expected the holiday to adhere to that plan. The holiday was scheduled for August 2017 and I had paid in February 2017 stating then that I was aware of the accommodation shortage at Kingshouse and requested they book early to avoid missing out. I live in New Zealand and can only communicate via email due to time differences. They responded saying they had made all the arrangements. They didn't say anything concerning difficulty arranging accommodation so I assumed everything was in place. 4 weeks prior to my holiday starting I received my itinerary via email. Contours had booked me 3 nights in Drymen, 2 nights in Tyndrum and 3 nights in Kinlochleven with my rest days shifted to an alternative location. I contacted the Rowardennan and Inveroran hotels where I should have been booked and they both said they had rooms available on my required date. Contours said both of those hotels had been booked out when they made inquiries and must have had a cancellation since then. I asked them to book me into those hotels which they charged me an extra 90 pounds to do so. They also made me pay 33 pounds for a half share of a taxi from Kinlochleven to Kingshouse. Of course, I couldn't cancel as I would have lost my entire cost due to the lateness of cancellation which was due to the itinerary only being sent 4 weeks prior to the starting date. All very convenient for Contours. Contours only seem concerned about money , not customer satisfaction. I have used them twice with a small issue in the first trip but I will never use them again. Their shoddiness detracted greatly from my enjoyment. I no longer trust them.

Contourswalkingholidays's Response to keithmillar's Review

Written on: 26/09/2017

Hi,

Thank you for your review following your West Highland Way walking holiday.
We take all feedback and reviews very seriously and can only express our regret that you were disappointed with our service and acknowledge that that you did not have accommodations booked for you as expected in some locations along the trail. We do state clearly on our website that the itinerary you are booking shows our preferred overnight stops, but if accommodation is not available at any one of these locations, we may alter the itinerary slightly. We acknowledge that this statement is quite vague and have plans to improve the information we provide on our website over this winter, especially with regard to itineraries whereby transfers are required from the trail to your accommodations . This should alleviate any surprises when holiday packs are received.

The West Highland Way is a very popular trail and the limited rooms available at some of the remoter accommodations/hotels do get booked up very quickly and far in advance. When you booked your holiday back in January and we enquired at Rowardennan Hotel and Inveroran Hotel for availability for you, they unfortunately did not have any single occupancy rooms available. After investigation by yourself the Inveroran Hotel advised they had received a room cancellation and the Rowardennan Hotel also had a triple bedded superior room available for your holidays dates. We booked these for you as requested and cancelled the other accommodations we had originally booked for you. The single occupancy triple room at Rowardennan however, for two nights, did incur an upgrade supplement which was the agreed £90 charge passed on to yourself.

You advised you were aware that there was no accommodation at Kingshouse. Booking an extra night at this location therefore meant you would not actually be staying at Kingshouse for your planned additional Munro climb on your rest day, but at accommodation nearby that required a transfer to and from the trail, due to the Kingshouse Hotel being closed for refurbishment for the foreseeable future. As a gesture of goodwill however we agreed to pay half of the cost of a taxi for you so that you could return to Kingshouse from Kinlochleven on your rest day for your additional Munro climb. Travel costs for rest days would normally be at customers own expense.

Once again we regret that you were disappointed with our service. We take feedback – both positive and negative – very seriously and we want to ensure that every customer enjoys their walking holiday with us and receives the best service that we can offer.

Contours Walking Holidays

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Keithmillar's reply to Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 27/09/2017

This is not correct. You are trying to apportion responsibility to me for this mess.

You acknowledged my deposit and provided my itinerary which laid out the proposed nightly stop overs. This was acceptable and I paid the full amount owing early as I wished to finalise arrangements. I raised the point of the Kinghouse Hotel being closed but there is alternative accommodation there and assumed that you would act promptly to secure this.

Your booking conditions clearly state that if you encounter problems finding availability for my chosen dates you will contact me as soon as possible to discuss my options.

You did NOT contact me at all even though you had altered my selected itinerary almost beyond recognition and becoming unacceptable to me. I had even emailed you on the 14th of February asking for some re-assurance that there were no problems and you replied stating that all the arrangements have now been made. Nothing mentioned then about the drastically altered itinerary. I only discovered this when you emailed my finalised itinerary 4 weeks prior to my holiday commencing. Too late to cancel without losing all my already paid money and very difficult to arrange acceptable alternative accommodation.

However, I did make suitable alternative arrangements. The upgraded room at Rowardennan cost 50 pounds not 90 pounds as you state. You failed to mention that you also charged me a 40 pound administration fee to secure a booking at the Inveroran Hotel (which I arranged myself). This then totaled 90 pounds extra. I had also initially paid extra as a solo traveler.

Your conditions also state that if I was required to stay in accommodation off the trail then I would be taxied back to the trail at your expense. You charged me extra to have a rest day at both Rowardennan and Kingshouse and then refused to pay for the taxi back to those rest day locations. You should have informed me much earlier that my rest day locations were changed without my consent. As it was I had to pay 33 pounds for a half share of the taxi which you should have paid in it's entirety. I only did so as I was concerned that you would cancel my holiday and I would forfeit my money.

You were very difficult to deal with, frequently becoming confused with what had already been agreed upon and slow at responding to my emails. You seem to be more interested in extracting money than honouring your contracted obligations.

Your customer service is abysmal and, even now, you don't apologise for your failure to uphold your own booking conditions. Instead you only express regret at my disappointment with your service. I no longer trust you and will not have anything further to do with you. The best service you can offer falls very short of pleasing.

But every cloud has a sliver lining and for my next U.K. walking holiday I have found.a marvelous, competent company offering a professional service. ABSOLUTE ESCAPES. I highly recommend them. Check them out.

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★★★★★

“Contours were professional all the way”

written by Smoothytrain on 03/09/2017

The trip was very important to us . Comming from Australia everything had to come together and it did thanks to this company. Every correspondence was quickly answered. Our accomadation was perfect and they had selected a good range along the path.Our bags were in our rooms when we arrived. I found it value for money and will go back to them again. They obviously have good a good repour with the accomadation as they all spoke well of the firm. I have confidence in what they say in their documentation is correct and they were very detailed on what to see along the way. Thanks

Contourswalkingholidays's Response to Smoothytrain's Review

Written on: 26/09/2017

Thank you for your review, we are delighted to hear that you had a wonderful holiday and look forward to being able to book another holiday for you in the future.

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★★☆☆☆

“Very unhelpful when it comes to cancellation”

written by Thurstan345 on 05/06/2017

I needed to call off the holiday after the first day because of a serious family illness. I wasn't asking for any money back so you'd think there wouldn't be a problem, but the staff were really unhelpful. They might have expressed some concern for my plight but there was none. They only did the minimum to help and were not prepared to contact just one hotel on my behalf. Quite annoying really, sympathetic and helpful customer service costs nothing and wouldn't have left me with a bad taste in my mouth. They seem to employ dry administrators rather than customer service orientated people. If they respond to this no doubt they will quote "t&c", but they weren't prepared to help establish the facts for me so regardless of what they say, my comments stand. The one night I had was fine and the walk was great.

Contourswalkingholidays's Response to Thurstan345's Review

Written on: 10/06/2017

Dear reviewer, We are very sorry to hear that you had to return home after just one day of your holiday due to a serious family illness. For all cancellations we would not expect you to inform any of your accommodations of your cancellation, we will always do this for you on your behalf. We are unable to locate your booking on our database, please could you kindly contact us at your earliest convenience by phone or email with your booking reference so that we can investigate what happened. Contours Walking Holidays.

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Thurstan345's reply to Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 23/06/2017

I wasn't getting any refund and as I was sharing a room there was no need to let the hotels know.

My issue was that I needed to make an insurance claim and whilst I entirely understand that you cannot issue a backdated cancellation invoice, it was not a lot to ask for you to confirm with your accommodation that I had indeed not continued after the first night, but you were very clearly not prepared to do this for me.

Clearly you thought it more important to tell the accommodation one breakfast less was needed, than to help me provide accurate factual evidence to support a claim.

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★★★★★

“Excellent Walking Holiday Company”

written by DaveH1954 on 24/05/2016

My friend and I walked the Bob Graham Round, organised through Contours. Absolutely Excellent. Initial contact via website/email and phone - 10/10 Quality of information provided - 10/10 Maps provided (including hoghlighted route + wet-eather alternative) - 10/10 Accommodation - 10/10 Bag transport - 10/10 Many thanks

Contourswalkingholidays's Response to DaveH1954's Review

Written on: 27/05/2016

Hi,
Thank you very much for your lovely review following your recent Bob Graham Round Walk, we are delighted that yourself and your friend had an excellent walking holiday. We look forward to organising another walk for you both again.

Contours Walking Holidays.

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★★★★☆

“Dales Way”

written by 177Hay on 11/10/2015

Myself and three friends completed the Dales Way in September 2015. It was a great experience and very enjoyable. Everything went very well and the accommodation was great. We will be booking another holiday with Contours.

Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 15/10/2015

Dear 177Hay

Thank you for your lovely feedback. We are delighted to hear that yourself and your three friends had a very enjoyable experience walking the Dales Way and we look forward to booking another holiday for you all in the future.

Contours Walking Holidays

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★★★★★

“Once more great service”

written by Silvarq9 on 22/09/2015

For the 6 th time we made use of the services of Contours. And again we were very satisfied with their handling . Excellent accomodation and good handling of our luggage. In remote areas punctual ( and often welcome) pick ups by the hosts of the accomodation or taxi's . And if you have special requests for instantie as to an adjustment of the program they always try to accomodate us. Next time we will again book with Contours

Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 23/09/2015

Dear Silvarq9

Thank you for your lovely feedback following your recent holiday with Contours, we are delighted to hear that you had a lovely time and our services met all your expectations. We look forward to organising your 7th holiday with us, don't forget to claim your loyalty discount when booking.

Contours Walking Holidays

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★☆☆☆☆

“Extremely rude and unhelpful”

written by 314Crowley on 17/09/2015

I am in the process of organising a fund raising walk and rang Contours, simply to ask a couple of questions concerning the route I would be walking. I have to say I was quite shocked and disgusted by the response I got. I politely explained what I was doing and asked if she minded if I asked her advice on a couple of things relating to the walk. The woman I spoke to was extremely reluctant to give me any information, her tone of voice was belligerent and she was rude and very unhelpful, quickly ending the conversation by saying that she was not prepared to tell me anything because it was their business and then cutting me off. I can honestly say that I have never been been spoken to like that before and it left me feeling quite stunned, especially as everyone else I'd spoken to concerning the walk had been so kind, helpful and supportive in a variety of ways. After that experience with them I have to say that I would never consider using their services and would suggest to others that they likewise steer clear.

Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 28/09/2015

Dear 314Crowley

I am really very sorry for the rude way I spoke to you. Having built up the company over many years, I am very protective of giving out sensitive information as we often have competitors phoning. I sincerely apologise that I was very short with you at the time, however that is no excuse I should have explained this to you in a more polite manner at the time.

Contours Walking Holidays

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★★☆☆☆

“Terrible and inconsistent signage”

written by AydenKennedy400 on 10/09/2015

Highlights of the Cotswalds tour chipping Campden to Blockley. - we met up with other members on the same tour, we were all lost. Blockley to Morton on Marsh was delightful. Good signage.. Day 2 Stow to Ploughmans Inn was ok, we were happy, only 4 1/2 miles to go. All went well until we got to the pig farm. We retraced our steps, tried every alternative and finally climbed over a locked gate onto a road. There we walked into town amid fast cars that are not respectful of walkers. Total miles for a 13 mile trip - 21 miles.one of the Contours walkers was a Cartographer and even he had problems. Contours needs to check these routes regularly with someone who does not know the route to ensure quality of signage and agreement of farmers. Day 3 taking a bus to next town.

Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 11/09/2015

Dear AydenKennedy400

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent Cotswold Highlights holiday. We are very sorry to hear that you had problems navigating the section from The Ploughman’s Inn to Winchcombe and thank you for pointing out that the signage was poor for this section of trail. Unfortunately we have no control over the signage placement on trails, this is the responsibility of the local councils, but we will certainly review this trails trip notes following your comments.

Contours Walking Holidays

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Walkintime's Comment

Written on: 20/04/2016

Whilst it is accepted that you are not responsible for the signage - one would expect your company would periodically check the trails that they are selling to ensure that information regarding the route is up to date.

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Walkintime's Comment

Written on: 20/04/2016

Whilst it is accepted that you are not responsible for the signage - one would expect your company would periodically check the trails that they are selling to ensure that information regarding the route is up to date.

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★★☆☆☆

“Do they really care of your experience? ”

written by Emmanuellepr on 06/09/2015

I used Contours for a self guided trip in Scotland this summer. The arrangements were fine, but I had a terrible experience in one of the Bed and Breakfast they sent me to: terrible food, hospitality and confort. I sent a feedback just after my trip, more than one month ago, but never heard of Contours! This is a company that praise itself to care for their customers; I doubt it! Emmanuelle Pradere

Contourswalkingholidays's Response to Emmanuellepr's Review

Written on: 09/09/2015

Hi,

We acknowledge that we received your email dated 6th August whereby you provided us with quick feedback of your Great Glen Way holiday advising that all was fine with the exception of one B&B. We replied on the 7th August asking you to complete our feedback form with more details so that we could review your complaint. We never received a feedback form from you. Having investigated, it would appear that your feedback form is still in ‘draft’ form and was never actually submitted to us which is why you have never heard anything further from us. Your feedback is valuable to us and we actively use customers comments to improve our service. If you would kindly submit your feedback form this can be reviewed and we can investigate your complaint for you.

Contours Walking Holidays

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★★★☆☆

“Contours walking holidays - OK, sort of”

written by on 31/07/2015

We booked the Saints Way with Contours after Encounters couldn't find us a room in Withiel. I wish I had read the fine print on the Contours site. AFTER we had paid for the trip, they told us that we had to call a car service in the morning of our first day and arrange a pickup time. We would be picked up in Withiel and driven to our second and third night's accomodation, then driven back to Withiel the next morning. When I got home I looked it up and, after some searching, found a small disclaimer buried in the details on their website that they might do that. I think they should state very clearly, before they take your money, that on the Saint's Way you will not actually be walking from point A to point B to point C, rather from point A to point B, then driven to Point C and back to point B in the morning. It sucked much of the fun out of the first walking day. We had to make a couple of detours (see below) and had to hurry towards the end of the day in order to make our connection. I could easily have stayed in one place and taken cabs to and from points along the walk and I would have saved a small fortune. They booked us into some slightly bizarre "B&Bs",one of which was clearly just a room in someone's house in Padstow, which is full of hotels. Our hosts were very kind and the room was nice, but it seemed slightly awkward. They also play a little game with foreign travellers where they try to avoid sending you the maps ahead of time. I suspect it is to avoid the postage fees. This time we left home 10 days before the start of our hike. They absolutely refused to send us the material in time to accomodate our schedule. We had hiked with them before in the Cotswolds, with only a three day interval. That time they claimed trouble with their printer. At the prices they charge, they should be able to assemble an envelope and put it in the mail a couple of days early. I agree with a previous poster about the quality of the information. On our Cotswold hike, there was a good guide. This time the guide was broad and extremely vague so we would up using only the map. There were a couple of times where the stile was extremely difficult to find and a guide would have saved us a lengthy detour. Complaints aside, our accomodations were always clean and pleasant and our luggage was always waiting for us. But I think I'll try a different agency next time.

Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 06/08/2015

Thank you for your feedback. We take all feedback very seriously and can only express our regret that you were disappointed with our service.
We acknowledge that your holiday itinerary did involve a couple of transfers to and from your accommodation and the trail at Withiel. This was necessary due to lack of accommodation in Withiel, as previously advised also by Encounters Holidays. Transfers to and from your accommodation are standard practice on our walking holidays. We clearly state on our website under the section ‘How Our Holidays Work’ that your accommodation may be located further from the trail than we consider being walkable, this is due to limited accommodation being available in some locations on many of our walks.

Sending our holiday packs out four weeks before the start date of your holiday is also our standard practice; our reasons for this are also clearly detailed on our website.
We appreciate the packs may take some time to reach our international customers via the postal service and for this reason we also send you an email copy of your itinerary at the same time so that you have all the information you need while awaiting the hard copy in the post. Depending on the country, international post can take up to 14 days for delivery. If our international customers are leaving their home country early to undertake additional travel elsewhere before starting our walking holidays we prefer to send the holiday packs to their first nights B&B instead to ensure they are received and do not turn up after their departure date.
The guide books we issue are the standard published guide books for the chosen trail and we acknowledge that some guide books are more detailed than others. The Saints Way guide issued to you was the official guide book for that trail.
We were however pleased to read that you did enjoy your holiday and that all the B&B’s booked for you were clean and pleasant and that your luggage was always waiting for you.

Contours Walking Holidays

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★☆☆☆☆

“misleading advertising”

written by Brieller100 on 24/05/2015

Recently did a north atlantic cornish coast walk, if you want a physically arduous workout, no time to stop and explore and love wasting your money this is the walk for you.... we have done numerous walks all over the world using walking companies as we appreciate the inside information they give you on the areas you walk through to get the most of your experience.... this was sadly lacking with contours. The guide book and maps they provided can be bought in bookshops or from Amazon. Nothing personal was offered. Very limited info and very small so make sure you take your reading glasses with you.. walk was unrated, contours claim because they offer multiple route opens...Not so....only one route along the cliffs.. difficult steep and uneven terrain, at times exceptionally dangerous because of the paths close proximity to cliff edge and high winds. Distance calculations stated on website incorrect, making walks a lot longer than stated.......When tried to discuss issues with company,( they should be thanking us so they can correct their website errors,) they just kept saying most of their customers loved them and 65% were repeat or referred customers instead of addressing our concerns. After initial reply they refused to answer further emails. In summary, accommodation ok but you could book yourself. You can arrange your own bag transfer through company they use. Can purchase your own maps and books. If you research much better ones available. If you are overseas visitor you would already have your own insurance. A very expensive walk for what you get.......Beautiful scenery, worth walking the cornish coast but not using 'Contours". To sum up, some swiss walkers doing the same sections claimed "beautiful walk, would love to come back and have time to take some photos."

Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 02/06/2015

Dear Brieller100

When booking a Contours self-guided Walking Holiday we arrange our customers accommodation, transport luggage between overnight stops and provide the relevant Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) or Harvey map(s) and a recognised guidebook or route notes describing the route. The service we offer appeals to many customers who do not wish to go to the time and trouble of organising their own walking holiday themselves. How our self-guided walking holidays work and what is included in the price is clearly stated on our website.

We offer an extensive range of walking holidays on Britain’s National Trails and recognised walking trails. Each walking trail has several itineraries so that customers can choose a trail and itinerary to suit their abilities and interests e.g. choice of daily mileage and/or number of days/nights. Customers have the option to add in additional rest days along the way to allow time to visit other places of interest.

In accordance with 'The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992', all passengers booking with Contours Walking Holidays Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Contours Walking Holidays Ltd. A certificate detailing this cover will be given to each and every passenger as evidence of cover. Normal travel insurance is not included in our holiday packages customers must protect themselves, equipment and luggage with a suitable holiday insurance policy.

We take all feedback very seriously and can only express our regret that you were so disappointed with our service.

Contours Walking Holidays

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Mp53's Comment

Written on: 25/10/2015

Oh Contours - you do a marvellous job!!
This person is just a whinger and probably not a walker - you have no need for regret with your wonderful service!!

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Mp53's Comment

Written on: 25/10/2015

I did this walk with Contours this September and my experience was the very opposite of yours - and it was my 3rd Walking Holiday with them!
I am just wondering what did you expect from an Atlantic Cornish Coast Walk - surely you knew it would involve walking along cliffs? It's a National Trail so you can hardly blame Contours for the cliff edges and strong winds!!
If you wanted more time to take some photos, perhaps you should have considered shorter distances each day - that's the beauty of Contours Planning - there are so many choices from long arduous days to shorter distances each day allowing time to take in the gorgeous scenery and photos! Perhaps a bus trip might suit you better!!

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★★★★★

“Brilliant walking from Coast to Coast”

written by speedgoat on 23/09/2014

Thank you Contours for a wonderful 13-day walk along Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk. Brilliant service, really lovely accommodation, flawless luggage delivery, great itinerary and excellent maps and guide books. I could not believe how beautiful and varied the countryside was. Even the weather was perfect. Now for the South West Coast Path!

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★★☆☆☆

“never again!”

written by BryantPrater303 on 20/08/2014

In july I booked a 5 day walking holiday in Derbyshire through Contours Walking holidays. The reason I use companies like this rather than researching and booking myself on line is to make use of local expertise and ensure a successful trip. I have done this successfully a number of times with companies like Headwater and Inntravel and this is the added value they offer. It clearly did not work on this occasion. The accommodation was basic and in some cases inadequate. The bedroom at Hilbre in Buxton was cramped and the ensuite comprised a shower and toilet in a cupboard with the basin in the room. Our landlady was very pleasant but that did not make up for the inadequate facilities. I know there were better choices in Buxton The 4 Seasons at Castleton, was by far the best accommodation of the 3 we stayed in, albeit at the top of the house and the bathroom was not ensuite as we had been led to believe. The Little John Hotel at Hathersage was basic - poor service, no hot water initially in the room. I would not have chosen to stay at any of these B & Bs had I done the research myself. The information provided for the walks was inadequate and, in some cases out of date. The photocopied pages of an out of print book (this should have given us a clue) did not match the maps. the walks were not dog friendly as requested and we regularly had to carry our dog over stiles (thank goodness he is still a puppy). The paths, particularly on day 1 were badly overgrown and we both ended up with badly scratched legs by the end of the day. In addition, after walking 4 hours we gave up and called a taxi which cost £40 to take us to Castleton! This is exactly what i expect to avoid by using 'so called experts' and paying the mark up we did. The process of requiring full payment up front before providing details of the accommodation provided could be construed as sharp practice; by then it is too late to pull out if you don't like the look of the accommodation booked and you have to hope for the best! I was travelling with a friend and fellow walker from New Zealand which was another reason I wanted to make sure we had a good experience which the tour failed to deliver.

Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 02/09/2014

Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for bringing your views to our attention, we are very sorry that you have cause for complaint.

With regards to the standard of your accommodation, we pride ourselves on organising comfortable, clean and friendly accommodation that is close to the trail. We monitor the standards of these accommodations closely and are therefore concerned that you have not found this to be reflected in your holiday. We will certainly take your comments on board and use them as we continue to improve our service.

Our dog friendly holidays are chosen because they have accommodation that extends a welcome to both you and your dog. While our dog friendly walks do have minimal stiles, we do state that there may be some and that these may not have a dog mechanism. For this reason, we request that dogs are familiar with different stiles or you should be prepared to lift your dog over them.

We are sorry that you found some of the footpaths to be overgrown. Most of our team are familiar with our Derbyshire walks and have covered the walks in recent years without any difficulties. Landowners and associated bodies have a duty to maintain these paths and we are aware that this is not always carried out. As such, we will do our best to inform relevant bodies and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

We would like to assure you that providing details of the accommodation after full payment is not ‘sharp practice’. We outline the reasons for this clearly on our website and ensure that our customers receive all other documentation promptly after booking their holiday. We are confident in our holidays and are happy to answer any questions, concerns, or provide examples of accommodation before the official release of the holiday information pack.

Once again, we are sorry that you have been disappointed with your holiday. We would certainly welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns in detail and to work together to resolve the problem.

Kind Regards,

Contours Walking Holidays

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★★☆☆☆

“Fine until challenged”

written by on 16/08/2014

I have just returned from my third trip with Contours. The first two went without a hitch - accommodation and luggage transfer very good. However, in planning this trip there were issues about accommodation availability and cost for which we, at the last minute were expected to stump up a significant supplement. The discussions around this issue were unsatisfactory, with a very rude person on the end of the phone. The accommodation for part of the trip was unsatisfactory - the room was too cramped - and the transfer time had been booked without consultation. Very disappointing!

Contourswalkingholidays's Comment

Written on: 19/08/2014

Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for bringing your views to our attention, we are very sorry that you have been disappointed by our service on this occasion.

We take all feedback very seriously and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns further. We would therefore like to encourage you to contact our office or email us and we will be happy to discuss the situation further.

Kind Regards,

Contours Walking Holidays

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★★★★★

“I would do it again”

written by Debiwebb1 on 21/07/2014

Recently my husband and I as well as my sister and her husband did the North to South Cotswold Way walk booked by Contours. We loved it. We walked from Chipping Campden to Painswick, England. The weather was wonderful and the walk was beautiful. We got turned around a couple of times but for the most part the book and the map provided by Contours help much. Contours made the arrangements for overnight stays at each village. I was disappointed in,"White Hart Inn", but the other places were excellent. White Hart Inn is more like an updated youth hostel but the food was great and the people helpful. The other places were so nice and the owners were great. My husband and I are thinking about doing an even longer Cotswold Way walk in the future. This walk was only 48miles but you can do a 100mile walk. I will say that some of the trails are steep and will definitely tire you out. The scenery is beyond beautiful and the pubs and B&Bs' and the people are so nice. I loved the cathedrals and Sudeley Castle. St. Peters Cathedral in Winchcombe is a must see with all of the gargoyles. Before we started our walk we took the Britrail to Edinburgh, Scotland and went to Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh is a great place with really nice people. After the walk we stayed in London and saw the sights of London. It was a memorable trip that I would recommend to anyone.

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★★★★☆

“Happy Walkers”

written by attungans on 10/07/2014

My husband and I recently walked 3 days along the Fife Coastal Path from North Queensferry to Anstruther organised through Contours. We loved the walk and would thoroughly recommend Contours. From the first inquiry via their website we found them to be very responsive and professional in their customer service and made the planning very easy, this was welcomed as living in Australia we had little local knowledge. The Information Pack was satisfactory, the accommodation was of high standard and well selected and located, luggage transfer happened effortlessly and they were readily available to answer pre-walk questions. The walk itself was nicely varied - enjoyed the urban pavement pounding least while best section for us was between the picturesque fishing towns in East Neuk - Ellie, Piitenweem, Anstruther. Overall a great experience and thanks Contours.

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★★★★☆

“Very well organized”

written by BMarie9 on 13/06/2014

Overall we were very satisfied with the organization. Coming up to the trip all information were delivered well on time. Any exchange with staff via email or phone were always really friendly, helpful and professional. We walked from Ulverston to Caldbeck. Bags perfectly delivered in all overnight locations. The map was EXCELLENT.

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Our helpful community of likeminded people will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

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Asked by Michealdawson on 5th July 2014 Report this content
I recently walked the Cleveland Way. A marvellous holiday, but I wish to complete a feedback form. Unfortunately my family experienced laptop problems whilst I was away and everything emailed by them before the holiday has been lost (incl lots of other files). Is it possible for them to email me a feedback form? I shall certainly use Contours when I do a future long distance path, everything they organised worked perfectly.

Thanks for answering this question.

Once we've checked over your answer we will put it live on the site so others can gain from your experience. We rely on members like you to sustain our vibrant community so thanks again, we couldn't do it without you.

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Answers (2)
Report this content mort0002 Written on: 07/07/2014
I don't understand your problem. Can you be more explicit?
Report this content ContoursWalkingHolidays Written on: 07/07/2014
Hi, Thank you for your question. Online feedback forms are available via the customer Members' Area, which can be accessed from our website. All you need to log in to this is the surname of the lead passenger (the person who booked the holiday) and your booking ID. If you lost your booking ID along with your other files, please give our office a call  and we will be happy to help you. Kind Regards, Contours Walking Holidays
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