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Walk Reviews and Customer Feedback

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Rachel
When: 24 November 2016

UK FlagFabulous, end of November, 7 day walk from Place to Plymouth. Not a drop of rain all week and even walking in T-shirts on some of the days. Excellent organisation provided by Encounter Walking with bnbs all booked and luggage transfers all operating like clockwork, taking any stress and worry out of the equation. Had the path to ourselves for most of the time, making it a wonderful escape and delightful experience. I would definitely recommend this glorious route and booking through Encounter Walking.

Route: Saints Way
Name: Tim Birnie
When: 19 November 2016

Canadian FlagTo say this walk was a challenge is putting it mildly. Partly due to storm Angus yes but also being November. We did enjoy but felt a bit pushed to get finished by dark after setting out by 10 each day. We did appreciate the daily weather updates from Damon. The accommodations booked were A1! We also found the iTunes app for the maps a lifesaver as sometimes you weren't entirely sure you were on the proper track. Love to do it again perhaps in Sept or Oct. Thanks again!

Route: Weymouth to Lyme Regis
Name: JB
When: 31 October 2016
  • UK FlagHi Damon and team - Fabulous walking holiday. The weather was incredible for the three days we were walking, couldn't have had better. Thank you for your gift (my slip up) for Abbey House, it was absolutely wonderful! We certainly would use Encounter Walking again. And I've already recommended EW to others we met on our trip and friends at home.
  • EW the best so far.
  • Best Regards to you all  X
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Route: Minehead to Combe Martin
Name: Monique
When: 22 October 2016
  • Flag of the NetherlandsHaving returned back home, I am writing to you to thank you for the perfect organisation of our trip.... it was our first time walking the SWCP, but we'll definitely be back. Your carefully composed and precise information helped us prepare for, plan and enjoy the walking, find our way around and sleep in great B&Bs/Inns with welcoming hosts.
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  • We had a tough time on the second day, with new shoes (bought in Porlock) that didn't fit as they should have.. and it took us 7 hours to get to Lynmouth.. exhausted! The next day we thought our feet wouldn't carry us anymore... but we just decided to walk to the Valley of Rocks, from there we walked a bit further... and a bit further.. and managed half the walk to end at the Hunter's Inn in Hendon, from where we called a cab. So I guess that's where we need to start next time we come back. It was great!

 

Route: St Ives to Marazion
Name: Paul + 2
When: 15 October 2016

Flag of the NetherlandsDear Damon, we really enjoyed our trip!

The trail was beautiful, the weather more than pleasant and the accomodations oké.The luggage transfers where outstanding! Next time for me the accomodations can be a bit more upscale, with for exemple a spa.

But the reason for the walk, a boys trip away, was more than succesful!

Thank you very much for the arrangements and next time when we Will go walking I will definatelly book with your company again.

Route: Solva to St Dogmaels
Name: Pat and Doug peacock
When: 13 October 2016

It was our first experience with an organised walk company and we were thrilled with Encounter Walking. Without exception, all the B and B hosts were warm and helpful, accomodation was first rate and the breakfasts were excellent. The itinerary and maps provided excellent detailed information for planning our days. Luggage transfers worked very smoothly. We would definitely recommmend Encounter Walking to our firends.

Route: coleridge way
Name: mike smith
When: 13 October 2016

UK FlagThoroughly enjoyed it. All arrangements without a hitch, only 1 significant error in route finding at the ambiguous sign in Mansley Combe where, despite your comments, I managed to make the wrong choice and we ended up on Dunkery Beacon, but, we didn't mind, we had the wind at our backs, blue skies alternating with ferocious roiling clouds, and showers that came and went in 60 seconds every 15 minutes or so.

Loved the holloways, the ancient walls, but above all, the trees - it's a paradise for tree-huggers! The last few miles into Lynmouth, in the company of the East Lyn River, absolutely stunning. Maybe we drank and ate a little too much sitting in comfortable and friendly pubs every night and didn't return quite as fit and wiry as we would have liked, but it would have to be a very miserable person to complain about that. Many thanks Encounter, for your work in making our trip so enjoyable.

Route: The Coleridge Way to Lynmouth
Name: Jill + 1
When: 11 October 2016

UK FlagHi Damon - Just to say our trip was excellent and to thank you all for making it so. No problems encountered at all. We were lucky with the weather, the views were stunning, the trees showing beautiful autumn and all the stopovers and meals spot on! It is indeed a quiet and maybe unnoticed part of the country - I shall be passing on how good it all is. What a trip to remember thanks to all your arrangements.  Kind regards Jill

Route: The Coleridge Way
Name: Elizabeth and Carol
When: 10 October 2016
  • UK FlagWhat a great walk
  • Everything was just right. The accommodation was perfect. The most beautiful paths ever. Just one problem we got lost twice. Section 57 Road water in the woods and Section 92 93 Dunkley to the river. But still we loved it and we ended in the right place If I come down to the south I will definitely use you again We really had a great time Thank you Elizabeth and Carol
Route: The Coleridge way
Name: Ann and Bob
When: 08 October 2016

UK FlagHello Damon, Thanks for all the arrangements you made for us on the Coleridge Way (Oct 2016).  The accommodation was first class with all hosts very welcoming.  The signage was very good throught the walk and along with the route description kept us on the right track (except when we were not paying attention). 

Had no problem accessing the walk via public transport, though we understand the bus from Bridgewater to Nether Stowey is being discontinued, so could cause a problem in the future.  We loved the variety of scenery offered on this walk which made the steep uphill sections worthwhile.  Can thoroughly recommend the walk in this quiet part of England (we didn't meet any other walkers).

Route: Helford Passage to Mevagissey
Name: Eva + 4
When: 07 October 2016
  • UK FlagWe had a terrific weekend walking thank you! Absolutely glorious and a wonderful stretch of coastline. Thank you so much for all your detailed guidance notes which were a great help to Nadine in particular. I think we only had a couple of comments:
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  • The walking time on Saturday was out by about two hours having allowed for an hour for lunch at the Plume of Feathers to Portloe (?) We were able to rebook the taxi for 7pm (from booked 5pm) and all was well. Great lunch, lovely taxi driver (Dave), no problems!
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  • We learnt that some taxi drivers stop working in October so we were apparently lucky to get ones when we needed. No sandwich lunch offered at the Mevagissey Bay Hotel but there are cafes open on Sunday morning for delicious crab sarnies!
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  • Cafes on the route were closing early, about 3-4pm, to we missed out a couple of times. I think the closing times entirely depend on the weather, how many people are about, how the owners feel! Luckily we had plenty of snacks with us…!
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  • So thank you, once again a lovely weekend. We’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather once again. Gorgeous.
  • Very best wishes, Eva
Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Cynthia + 3
When: 06 October 2016

USA FlagWe are on our way back to London and I wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our vacation. Everything just went perfectly, all the overnight stays were comfortable, and logistics were perfect. I have already recommended your company to someone else

The stay at St. George's was delightful- renovated house is lovely, hosts were delightful. IT was on of our favorite stays!

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: joyce whatley
When: 03 October 2016

UK FlagFirst organised walk I have done, took my small Jack Russell and we were both very well looked after at stop. Coleridge's cottage worth a visit, The pub in Nether Stowey had a quiz which added to the fun. Walk across the Quantocks interesting and demanding, and the trail over Exmoor gave wonderful views. Cold and sunny but did not take light weight clothing to put on at stops, therefore stiffened up when we stopped for tea, a pac a mac and similar trousers would have been a good idea.

Pubs all comfortable and friendly with good food. Breakfasts were good for the cooked part although a whole tomato would have been good, but fresh fruit and yogurt and better cereal would be good, The pub at wheddon cross went to the shop early to cater for us, also we needed to eat earlier than offered and the pub at Monksilver although very friendly did not cater well for an earlier start. very good information excellent organisation, thank you

Route: Coleridge Way and Coast Path back to Minehead
Name: Lynn
When: 03 October 2016

UK FlagWe had a very good holiday the walking was excellent and the weather was perfect. The luggage transfer went without a hitch, the accommodation was adequate, the best B&B was The Rest and Be Welcome at Wheddon Cross.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Ariane and Francois
When: 01 October 2016

Swiss FlagDear Damon, Everything has worked out fine. The weather conditions were perfect. We pretty much enjoyed discovering south Cornwall. In every accommodation there was gluten free bread and the rooms were confortable. We both thank you very much for state of the art organisation of our Journey. Thanks again,  Ariane and François

Route: Weymouth to Poole
Name: Tim - Norwich
When: 30 September 2016
  • UK FlagHi Damon & Team,
  • All the arrangements went precisely to plan including the shuttle from Worth Maltravers to the Limes and back. The pick up from the Chain ferry and drop off at Poole station went without a hitch. Excel taxis were punctual for all journeys. We also liked the three overnight stays you booked for us; very different but all good. 
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We were blessed with excellent weather apart from a cloudburst on Saturday morning. Just as well as the severe ascents and descents would have been much trickier if slippery.  The only time we had to resort to GPS was when we left the Path to go to Worth Maltravers on the Sunday. Also there have been a couple of small cliff falls at Lulworth Cove, but there are sufficient alternative paths.

We had three days of excellent and enjoyable walking.  Thanks and regards,

 

Route: Dartmoor Way Full Circle
Name: MK
When: 30 September 2016
  • UK Flag I would like to say thanks -- I had a great holiday, accommodation and food absolutely fine, luggage transfers worked smoothly etc.  I did struggle a bit with the printed walk guide, which wasn't always easy to follow in terms of map locations and sometimes seemed positively misleading (maybe it's a bit out of date?), but that's not your fault: your suggestions all felt like improvements, and in fact I'd say the highlight of the whole walk for me was the East Okemont River valley, so thanks specially for that. 
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  • I enjoyed Lydford Gorge too, but on the 4th day (Okehampton to Lydford) rather than the 5th as you suggest: even after some spectacularly inept map-reading I reached Lydford by 2.30, which left plenty of time for sightseeing, and as the gorge doesn't open till 10.00 I think you're in danger of making that 5th day awkwardly long if you try to include Brentor -- as of course you should!  I did one on each day, which equalled them out a bit (14.5 and 13.75 miles) and seemed to work well.  But this is a very small point.  Overall I had a brilliant week: thanks again.
Route: The Coleridge Way
Name: Christine Southern
When: 29 September 2016

UK FlagA very varied and challenging walk, beautiful vistas but quite long walking days.

Day 1. to Monksilver. 15miles plus. No.7 be careful to spot this track, we didn't spot the sign. No.21 saw the layby but not the track running along the lower edge of the deer park. West Quantoxhead, the Windmill Inn was shut. This section is a little too long for the first day!

Day 2 to Wheddon Cross. 14miles. No. 59 a way marker would have been useful here in the field. The blue markings sometimes confusing!

Day 3 to Porlock Weir. 14 miles. If staying at Exmoor House walk along the A396 and be very careful to spot the really low waymark No.88 to Raleigh Manor. No.100 missed the sign and came out of the woods at Higher Brockwell very confusing. Webbers Post area is very beautiful.

Porlock a very pretty town, forestry commission works in the wood No.126 made for very muddy walking to Porlock Weir.

Day 4 to Lynmouth. 15miles. My favourite days walking with the sea on our right and then the Brendon Hills and lastly a beautiful riverside walk to Lynmouth. At Ash Bridge there is a diversion to the other side of the river, with Watersmeet House closed for refurbishment for 6months. Recross to the route at Countisbury bridge. A great challenge with super memories. Thank you team.

 

Route: Dale to St Davids
Name: Sarah - Massachusetts
When: 26 September 2016

USA FlagI was going to email you sooner but we're still on vacation.  We had a wonderful trip walking the Pembrokeshire coast path for 5 days.  The inns and hosts were great and our luggage was always delivered on time. You made our vacation stress free.  We had some wind and rain the first two days but after that it was sunny and warm. 

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: Helena & Geoff
When: 22 September 2016

UK FlagThis was our fourth holiday arranged with Encounter and, once again, many thanks to Damon, Ellie and the rest of the team for organising everything so brilliantly. The luggage transfers and taxi back to Nether Stowey at the end of the holiday all worked smoothly and we enjoyed the B&B accommodation. Our favourite was Woodadvent Farm where we received a very warm welcome from Diana and the dogs, had a lovely big room and enjoyed a beautifully cooked evening meal served in the candlelit dining room. Other special mentions go to Exmoor House at Wheddon Cross (for the welcome and the food), Staghunters Inn at Brendon (for a wonderful venison casserole) and the Lyn Valley Hotel in Lynmouth (for a very friendly welcome and a bathroom with the best shower we’ve ever come across!)

We really enjoyed the mix of countryside on the walk – in particular the green lanes, ancient bridleways and the far reaching views of the Quantocks and Exmoor. We had been looking forward to diverting over Dunkery Beacon but, unfortunately, low cloud and pouring rain meant that we decided to stay on the Coleridge Way instead. From Porlock to Porlock Weir we did divert off the CW by walking down Sparkhayes Lane and then along the Coast Path. We were in Lynmouth by lunchtime on the last day so added on the extra extension round to Poets Corner – well worth doing for the trip on the cliff railway, excellent coastal views and a close up view of the wild goats. Thanks again, Damon, and we’re already thinking about walk number five!

 

Route: Lizard Marazion to Falmouth
Name: I & R - Victoria
When: 21 September 2016

Australian FlagThe walk was magnificent with only two Cornish days of mizzle and four of glorious sunshine - I got a bit burnt the first day! Dropping car at Penzance and walking to Marazion was a great gentle start and the Marazion accomm was very nice with views of the bay.  We visited the Mount before the tide came in and enjoyed a great meal at the Kings Arms where I was introduced to rum & shrub.  I'd never heard of it before - possibly the smallest pub dining room ever - they didn't charge for the shrub apparently because our meals had taken so long to arrive.  We're not in a hurry!

Have to say the next day was a hard one for me. All those stiles and scrambly bits of path. But we got to Praa Sands feeling pretty great and had a ploughman's before hitting the final 7kms (I can't think in miles, sorry) and it knocked me about a bit.  Clearly 17 kms for me needs to be a little less rugged! Utterly due to my overestimating my ageing bones. 

The Old Vicarage in Mullion was beautiful with a very informative landlady. The Old Inn is fantastic with it's community library in the dining room - 'The pub's the hub' as it says. We took the bus from there to Lizard for a look around before walking to Cadgwith. The new owners (2012) it seems had an idea of closing over winter but the locals told them they had a civic duty to stay open for them and now they do. I love that kind of good sense in the Cornish. The barman was quite indignant that someone had written on Tripadvisor that the place has "good food, nice rooms - pity it's run by emmetts!"

Gallen Treath guest house is run by an unlikely looking sort of gentle bikie bloke and his wife. They were really helpful and did a full load of muddy, sweaty washing for us and refused payment, just asked for a donation to the RNLI collection tin. Another lovely stop.

Gold Martin B&B was a great finishing spot - they picked us up from the pub as we were absolutely saturated (by the persistent 'mizzle'!) and then drove us to Mawnan churchyard to resume the next morning after I'd visited my friend's grave there. Their breakfast offering was also welcome after a week of full Englishes - croissants with melted Brie and ham and an egg on top.  They told us that Encounter Walking is far and away the best company to deal with, replying promptly to emails, always keeping them informed of what they need to know and paying promptly.  I thought that was good for you to know. (And it echoes our own experience). I think being Cornwall-based really helps.

So Damon - thank you for a great trip. We passed your name onto a couple of different people we met who are interested in planning a coastal walk and also the saint's way from North Cornwall to the Mount - not sure if you do that one?

 

Route: Penzance to Falmouth
Name: Mike - Sheffield
When: 21 September 2016

UK FlagHi everyone, Firstly, all the arrangements were fine and well organised. The accommodation was in both Guest Houses and pubs, and in all cases they were friendly and expecting me at the appropriate times. Breakfasts were always well cooked and with a choice of cereals and fruit. The walking was fantastic and exhilarating.

The maps and guidebooks were invaluable, although I should have read the notes more carefully which described Day 1 as moderate to strenuous, and the last part was certainly strenuous. I was unable to locate the path at one point after the quarry at Godfrey Cove. It was raining hard and with no-one else in sight and no mobile signal, had to retrace my steps and detour to St. Keverne. I later learned from other walkers the path was not well marked and went through very marshy and boggy land which had become saturated due to the rain. Otherwise the maps and instructions were accurate in all respects.

Also, whilst walking alone, it was good to see a number of other walkers on various occasions who were following the same route. Not sure if these other groups were with Encounter, but they were staying at the same accommodation by and large. Perhaps Encounter could advise walkers if other groups were following the same route at the same time. Overall a very enjoyable holiday with magnificent views around the coast, interspersed with wonderful Cornish villages and pubs of real character. Harder walking than anticipated, but well worth the effort. Mike from Sheffield

 

Route: Minehead to Barnstaple; St Ives to Penzance
Name: Pamina, Mark, Ellen, and Bruce
When: 20 September 2016

USA FlagWe are two couples who recently walked two segments of the South West Coast Path. We had a wonderful experience and thought these tips might be useful to other walkers:

• On the stretch between Minehead and Porlock Weir, the Trailblazer book and Encounter's notes describe the "main route" and the "rugged alternative route." The trail signage, however, is the reverse of what is indicated in the notes, and designates the route closer to the sea as the "main route," which we took and which we highly recommend.

• We found the signage generally clear and useful, although we got off track a few times in towns and urban areas, where the signage was sometimes non-existent or harder to spot.

• We found that the mileage indicated on our two GPS units was consistently about 8 to 10% higher than what was indicated in the notes, possibly the result of our wandering off the prescribed route or measuring from portal to portal of our B&Bs.

• Two of us are vegetarians and one of us is lactose intolerant, so we had some concerns about whether we would find suitable meal choices. Not to worry! Encounters advised our B&Bs in advance and every restaurant or pub we visited was well prepared to deal with dietary restrictions and intolerances. An EU regulation requires restaurants to maintain information about fourteen common allergens. One restaurant showed us the book it maintained with this information for all its menu items.

• A note about breakfast: most B&Bs offered the included cooked breakfast between 8 and 9 a.m., which meant a fairly late start for the trail each day. Sometimes we were able to negotiate an earlier meal time or an earlier uncooked breakfast (cold cereal, fruit, juice). Other times we were able to substitute a packed lunch for the cooked breakfast and hit the trail on our own schedule.

Route: Westward Ho! to Padstow
Name: Sharon and Gerhard
When: 19 September 2016

German FlagThe Route: We found the route was of outstanding beauty and some parts remote.To hear and follow the Atlantic crashing against the rocks watching the waves gives you a calm and sometimes mystic feeling. Looking behind you after climbing the valleys and steps going up and down great views. Always anticipating what`s around the corner a good feeling.

The accommodation: well planned and our bags always waiting for us on arrival. Would love to give special regards to Mark and Marcelline who gave us a warm welcome and lots of tips for our rest day at Westward Ho!before starting our walk. Also Keith and Julie at Tintagel who served us tea and freshly baked chocolate and banane cake at our arrival the best thing after such a walk. It was here we had one of the best breakfasts healthy eating.

The weather: We started off with great weather for hikers not too cloudy enough sunkissing for our souls. Lots of winds but we were very careful along the cliffs. Only one day of rain turning some parts of the track into a little stream und muddy we had a slippy time but also a unique experience has something mystical the coast by rain and fog.

The Encounter Team: Really lots of information and good books to help us on our way. We will definetly be back next year for the next part of the path which has infected us. Thanks a lot I`ve now recommended you to friends of ours here in Germany, telling them about our hiking with you, they asked for details so who knows I`m sure you`ll be hearing from them.

 

Route: Saints Way Fowey to Padstow and Coast Path To Tintagel
Name: Jonathan -British Columbia
When: 18 September 2016

Canadian FlagWe had a great time on Saints Way followed by the Padstow to Tintagel coast section.

  • Walkers need to go through the village of Retire to avoid the flooded road on the regular path toward Tregoll Farm (but it's easy to get lost finding your way back to the path when going in the direction towards Padstow).
  • Watch out for the horse that is aggressive and tries to bite in the uphill field immediately outside Padstow
  • the Halfway House Inn is worth the detour for lunch on that stretch of the Saints Way
  • Do not miss calling at St Petroc's church at Little Petherick  on the way into Padstow - beautifully decorated and easily the most impressive church we visited despite being very small. (Be warned that the sign just outside the church gate that says 2 miles to Padstow is wrong -- it's further than that and took us almost 2 hours to get to the Metropole from there.)
  • We enjoyed all the accommodations, except we found the Bosayne Guest House in Tintagel pretty ordinary compared to the other excellent places.
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Route: The Lizard Penzance to Falmouth
Name: Chris - London
When: 17 September 2016

UK FlagHi, We had a great time. Thanks. Everything went smoothly.

First thanks to you. We booked late and I appreciate that you still went ahead and tried to book things for us. I also appreciated the facility to have a  choice and upgrade before we booked on individual night stops.

The accommodation was generally very high standard. We've done part of the coastal path before and think the accommodation this time was much better than what we have encountered before. I would single out three where it was exceptional. Fernleigh at Coverack. The host was extremely welcoming and the breakfast was delicious. She even checked and gave us advice about the upcoming ferry service on our walk (which was disrupted by an especially low tide that day). Very thoughtful. The views were great from the house and we had the run of several rooms at our disposal to relax in.  Also extremely good was our first night's accommodation in Penzance (Treventan) which offered delicious breakfast. And the Lerryn at Falmouth - wonderful seaview room with balcony.

Thanks again

 

Route: Minehead to Boscastle
Name: Julia - Austria
When: 17 September 2016

Austrian FlagDamon and the Team did a great job in arranging my walk and luggage transfer, as well as getting me some additional information. Thank you! In most accommodations my suitcase was already waiting in my room when I arrived. Not having to carry luggage up the narrow English stairs after a long day of walking, was particularly nice. The weather was mostly great for walking. Not too warm, not too cold, not too wet. I skipped 1 day (Clovelly to Hartland Quay) and took a bus to Hartland Village (from where it was only about 1 hour of walking to Hartland Quay), as it was very stormy and raining cats and dogs. It was nice having a rest day and I would recommend scheduling one after 5-7 days. I will definitely be back! :)

Route: The Lands End Coast Path
Name: Jeltje
When: 17 September 2016

Netherlands FlagFirst of all I want to thank Damon and his team for organizing everything so quickly!! We booked the tour only 2 weeks in advance which was possible thanks to the flexibility of Encounter Walking. We had such a great time! The weather was perfect, the landscape was like a painting, the people we met were so kind, the food was great. We had a little bit of trouble in the beginning of the walk. We missed the sign for the Coastal Path when we walked from Mousehole to Lamorna. Instead of the Coastal Path, we walked through the country site which was also beautiful. We even saw a show at the Minnack theatre. What an exceptional place to build a theatre. We definitely want to come back to Cornwall to do other walks and of course we will book our trip with Encounter Walking next time.

Route: Lands End St Ives to Penzance
Name: Ann
When: 16 September 2016

USA FlagWe are so thankful we used Encounter Walking to book our trip and move our bags. There were so many hikers that had to take valuable time out of each day to look for a place to stay the next night. The B and B's that were suggested were perfect. The owners were lovely and so eager to please us. All the other suggestions that Encounter Walking made were helpful as well. Thanks so much!!

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: Paul and Pam
When: 16 September 2016

USA FlagMy wife and I had a wonderful time on our recent walk. As we flew back to the US, we found ourselves discussing our next trip(!) It's difficult to describe to Americans just how unique it is to walk in the UK. There is simply no experience like it in our country. The British tradition of free access (property owners along public footpaths must, by law, permit hikers to cross their land) is quite foreign to Americans.

We met a lot of friendly sheep, horses, chickens - and, to our surprise, an ostrich - on farms along the way. Interestingly, we met just one person working outside: a boy who was feeding the chickens. Otherwise, we had free and sole access to gorgeous expanses of land.

To Damon and his teammates at Encounter Walking Holidays, I'd like to say "Thank you so much" for guiding us through the selection process. We appreciate your patience and help - especially during the (now) amusing failure of the Great Western Railway web-based reservation system. For a few days, the GWR was unable to book reservations for customers outside the UK. Damon reached out to his contact there, confirmed the problem and gave us some alternatives. Luckily, GWR fixed the problem in time and we made it to Taunton just fine. Damon and crew were also responsive to our lodging requests - e.g., distances to walk and services provided (main requirement: good pubs)

The Coleridge Way is a relatively new pathway and that may explain why we met only 2 other groups during our 7 days of walking. That was an unexpected delight. We found, though, that we were spoiled: as we drew within a mile of Lynmouth and we started to encounter walkers out of that town, we knew our vacation was drawing to a close. Being in our 60's and not in tip-top shape, we were a bit nervous about the distances. But it really wasn't much of an issue - though, when we do it again, which we surely will, we'll eliminate the 11+ mile days. Walking poles turned out to be a terrific idea, as were the Gore-Tex clothes for the one rainy day. I'll post some pics of the walk (interesting fact: my iPhone 6S Plus took better pictures than my $500 Canon S120). All in all, a wonderful experience. Thanks again.

 

Route: Abbotsbury to Poole
Name: Rosemary Williams
When: 14 September 2016

UK FlagVery varied walking on this section - farmland, clifftop, beach - and with some tough descents in places. SWCP not as clearly signed within the Lulworth ranges as elsewhere and easy to miss a sign (as I did!). Enjoyed the Portland circuit more than I expected to. Sculptures at Tout Quarry particularly fascinating and excellent accommodation at Fortuneswell, possibly the best of any I encountered this time though Lulworth ran it close. Pleased that all accommodation was close to the Path and of high standard; not everyone I met was so fortunate. The benefit of booking with Encounter Walking.

Route: Charlestown to Polperro
Name: Stan and Barb
When: 12 September 2016

USA FlagDamon, thanks so much. We had a fabulous time. The accommodations were excellent and the directions you provided kept us on course at every turn. We had good weather for all three days hiking .....Charleston to Fowey on day one, then Fowey to Polperro on day two and Polperro to Looe on day three.  The trek from Fowey to Polperro was the highlight in that we had perfect weather and spectacular views from the coast. The scene as we arrived in Polperro was picture perfect as the tide was in and the harbor was in perfect light for photographs.  We had dinner and drinks at the Blue Peter and talked with fellow travelers who hiked the trail that day. All in all it was a fabulous time. Thanks again. Stan and Barb Snow, Seattle Washington - Sept 2016 - Please feel free to post on your website. 

Route: Westward Ho to Padstow
Name: Penny McDonagh
When: 11 September 2016

Australian FlagWe really enjoyed this walk and found Encounter much more flexible, responsive, thorough and helpful than other companies we have used that arrange walking holidays along the South West Coast Path. We were glad that we chose to walk from pub to pub because the rooms are always available earlier than those in B & Bs and if we were tired we did not need to go anywhere else for dinner. The only change we would ask for please is that the luggage labels be made waterproof - ours fell to bits well before the end of the trip because of the rain.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Linda Wolf
When: 09 September 2016

German FlagWhat a beautiful place. We had a great time walking from St Ives to Penzance. The landscape is absolutely stunning and we had perfect weather in September. Walking along the coast, not knowing what comes next and getting a warm welcome at our next B&B/Inn was lovely. Thank you for the the perfect organisation and all supporting mats, which include so many good tips. Our luggage was always delivered on time. We enjoyed the variety of accommodation. Zennor with it's Chapel Guesthouse and a pub with awesome food has been one of our highlights. We loved staying at the Treventon Guesthouse in Penzance, Steve and Diane did everything to bring us a memorable time with delicious breakfast and cosy rooms. We will definitely come back to Cornwall and/or discover other parts of the SW Coast Path. Visiting Cornwall was a great experience, even because of the people we met there. Thank you! Linda & Gero

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path Amroth to Milford Haven
Name: Tumde
When: 08 September 2016

Swiss FlagDear Damon - I owe you a feedback from our walk in Wales. I’m so sorry, but we had a lovely autumn with good weather, so we made several day walkings in the surroundings of our home. Now it is colder and it’s raining. In the Alps they have got a lot of snow so it is almost time for snowshoe walkings.

Our walking holiday in Pembrokeshire was fabulous and once again, I would totally recommend Encounter Walking Holidays without hesitation. This was our sixth walking holiday with the Encounters (I think) and, as ever, Damon and Ellie made everything so easy for us and really looked after us well – from planning our walks, arranging our accommodations, transporting our luggage, and even looking for a transport from the Bus Stop in Kilgetty to the accommodation in Amroth. (That was the only rainy day, so we were very lucky to be picked up).

We really enjoyed our holiday, walking through wonderful Welsh scenery (really magnificent Coastwalking) knowing that we had lovely accommodations waiting for us at the end of each walk. Even the not so great sceneries around Milford Haven we found very special and interesting. The weather was also very good. (do you plan it too?)

Thank you so much for ensuring we have such great experiences. It was really a perfect holiday!!!

I wish you a very good time and hope to hear from you again!

If my knees allow we surely will book again!

 

Route: South West Coast Path, Bude-St.Ives
Name: Bettina & Manfred, Germany
When: 07 September 2016

German FlagDear Damon What a terrific holiday! We had a wonderful time, even the weather was just perfect. The accomodation wast first rate. We especially enjoyed the farmhouses. Thanks a lot for the perfect organisation. We'll come back !

Route: Lyme Regis to Lulworth Cove Dorset
Name: Martha Brouwer
When: 06 September 2016

USA FlagThe trip was all that I hoped for and more -- especially in terms of the scenery. The walks along the cliffs were amazing. I love the rolling and rural landscape. At 70 years old, the lengths of the walks were a bit ambitious for us. Twice we took a bus to avoid the city of Weymouth and the causeway in and out of Portland Island. The only day we had rain was when we were on Portland Island and we were able to just explore without circumnavigating the whole island. Encounter Walking was incredibly good with their support for the trip and thorough information. The book was invaluable. We got lost twice but were able to figure it out with the book. The accommodations were excellent and the luggage transfer perfect. I definitely would recommend this walk and this tour company.

Route: Penzance to Plymouth
Name: Anita
When: 05 September 2016

Swiss FlagDear Damon and Team Thank you for the perfect organisation of the walk! I had a wonderful time in Cornwall with most of the time sunny and warm weather. The B&B's and Inns I stayed were all very nice and I felt like coming home. There was everywhere a very warm welcome. The luggage transfer was really magical and my suitcase was always in my room when I arrived! I enjoyed all the walking, the landscape, the scenery, the weather, and the spirit of Cornwall. I'll be back again!

Route: SW Coastal Path- Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Travis Penn
When: 03 September 2016

USA FlagWe had a fabulous trip! Everything about it surpassed our expectations. The walks were beautiful- a bit more difficult than we anticipated but we managed the challenge. But the secluded coves, the sea cliffs, the lovely villages, the green pastures- all were exactly what we had dreamed of Cornwall being. The hotels were great- a variety from luxurious to slightly rustic. The details provided by Encounter Walking were perfect. We can't recommend them more highly. All the people were met along the way were warm and helpful. We ate delicious food- a bit too much and too often perhaps but it was a holiday! We have become fans of Tarquins Gin- will miss not be able to get it back in the USA. The walking notes provided were well done and we really appreciated the suggestions for eating and exploring. Thank you for a very memorable experience.

Route: Zennor to The Lizard
Name: Tom and Patty - Charleston SC USA
When: 03 September 2016

USA FlagThank you Damon and company for putting together a wonderful walking holiday and especially thank you for the support you provided due to our delayed arrival caused by Hurricane Hermine. We hate that we missed the first leg of the journey from St Ives to Zennor, but once we got started the entire trip went like clockwork.

Our luggage was always waiting for us and the B&Bs / Pubs and such we stayed at were expecting us and had our rooms ready. You could not have done a better job. I especially liked that we were able to select and review our accommodations before hand and there were no surprise taxi rides to lodging out in the boonies like we have experienced with other tour operators. Should we walk in some area you don’t cover in the future I shall demand that they be as forthcoming with the accommodations before booking as you are.

Of course, when we walk in SW England again, Encounter Walking Holidays will be our choice. Regarding the trail, we have walked 2 other sections of the SW Coast Path and this was by far the most challenging but also the most stunning. Fortunately, we chose the relaxed walkers itinerary, so distances were fairly short, but strenuous as advertised. The boulder strewn paths were different than the other sort of sheep trail paths we had encountered on the SW Coast Path previously. All of this was as expected based on your detailed descriptions of each days hike and we had a great sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.

One suggestion I would make to other hikers walking this or any section of the Coast Path. Get a hiking app for you phone that will let you download a map and a track of the path. I used Back Country Navigator Pro on my Android phone as was able to download the OS map of the area we walked as well as a track of the Coast Path. Whenever we came to a confusing intersection, we could consult the phone and see which way to go. While the sketch maps in the book you provided were useful, seeing our position and heading on the phone worked better for us, especially since the path is not perfectly marked.

I might also mention that we had dinner at 2 restaurants that were as good as any we’ve ever had in New York or London. The Shore in Penzance and Kota in Porthleven. They were both culinary treats. Booking way in advance is highly recommended. Again, thank you for putting together a wonderful walking holiday for us. We can’t wait to walk with you again.

 

Route: Fowey to Dartmouth
Name: Brenda and Kent
When: 03 September 2016

New Zealand FlagHi Damon and others,  We have just finished our itinerary today in Dartmouth. We have been going for 16days and have walked almost 200mls on the coast track with several diversions to places where I lived, was evacuated and grew up along the way. The trip has far surpassed my expectations. The weather has been excellent -if somewhat stimulating at times:)Only 1 hour of rain all the time. The scenery is unbelievable...still unspoilt and much of it as I remember it from over 70 years ago. The villages and accommodation were so excellent and interesting and we met some lovely and eccentric locals in all the pubs!

The walk is the best that I have ever done....varied at every turn and historically interesting.

we are now staying a few days with my brother in a beautiful converted church in N Cornwall. We will spend a couple of days on Dartmoor too, using your info supplied to us earlier.

We would not hesitate to recommend this to others. We were most impressed with the help and efficient service that your company supplied...and especially the luggage support service. No problems to report. We had a few diversions which were tricky when the Coast Path gave choices, but did not indicate why (eg tidal routes etc) but nothing major.We would love to return and do another area some time, Thanks for all your help in planning and supporting us ,

 

Route: South West Coast path - St Ives to Penzance
Name: Celine Leathead
When: 02 September 2016

USA FlagOverall, a GREAT walk. The first day (the hardest day) it rained the entire 3.5 hours. Luckily we were both in great spirits, and made it safely from St. Ives to Zennor. All the other days walks we had marvelous weather. Even got a bit sunburnt in September! All of the accommodations were lovely, the breakfasts delicious, and the luggage transfers were smooth. We highly recommend this walk and this company! The Cornish were extremely nice, and we will be returning to Cornwall for sure.

Route: Newquay to Padstow
Name: Mike S
When: 02 September 2016

New Zealand FlagA stunning walk despite some heavy rain on the first day. Great views across the cliffs. A few concerns; there were a few spots where we were required to walk on the road, and the traffic made it rather daunting. The posted distance and times seemed rather less than what we experienced. All the accommodations were very nice and welcoming and the luggage transport was flawless. Overall, very pleased with the experience.

Route: The Saints Way
Name: Richard and Caroline Unwin
When: 02 September 2016

UK FlagSorry not to have sent our comments before but we have only just found your email in Spam! We did enjoy our walk although the first day was extremely wet and windy - we were very glad to find instructions on the front door of our B&B on how to find our room as our hosts were out when we arrived at about 3.30. We didn't have any problems navigating the route and managed to avoid the flooded track by taking the alternative across a field. We met a Canadian family at the second night's stay and were able to tell them about this as they were doing the route the opposite way. All the arrangements worked very well and than you for organising our trip.

Route: St. Ives to Coverack
Name: Serge Gregory
When: 01 September 2016

USA FlagWe walked 90 miles in eight days, plus two days in St. Ives at the start to recover from jet lag, and a second day in Marazion to have enough time to see St. Michael's Mount (highly recommended). We had a literal "baptism" the first day, walking from St. Ives to Zennor in a driving rain and fierce winds. But for the rest of the walk the weather was mild, sometimes sunny.

We have taken many long-distance walks in the UK and I would rate the SW Coastal Path among the top two (together with the Coast-to-Coast). It combines some challenging stretches with dramatic coastal scenery and a sense of walking through history from prehistoric barrows to the ruins of tin mining operations. We enjoyed all our accommodations, particularly the B&Bs where we spent two nights: Cornerways in St. Ives and St. Michaels in Marazion.

As a general comment, we noticed that the accommodations en route were not as well set up for walkers as places we have stayed in along the Offa's Dyke and Coast-to-Coast paths: no mud rooms for boots and wet clothes; the heated towel bars that we use for quick drying clothes were often turned off. I suspect that this is because most of their guests arrive by car. All the arrangements by Encounter Walking were terrific--the smooth baggage transfers, the detailed itinerary and maps. We had a terrific time and I highly recommend Encounter to anyone considering a long-distance walk.

 

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Anita Banerji
When: 31 August 2016

UK FlagThis is our third holiday with Encounter and I really want to thank Damon and the team for their attention to detail, care and personal service and their enthusiasm! We did this walk in 6 days - with one of the days being a day at Sennen to go surfing. We had a taster lesson and really enjoyed it. Some of the days walking were shorter than the standard walkers itinerary, but this worked well for us as we could enjoy the beaches more - swimming or paddling is a great way to finish a day out on the coastal path. All the days seemed different - stunning coastal views, the atmospheric tin mines, the Minack theatre, Cape Cornwall and great beaches. We managed fine finding veggie options to eat even in the smaller places. There was also a great community feel among the walkers along the path - catching up with each other along the way and meeting people from all over the world. I'd highly recommend this walk.

Route: Coleridge Way Full Route
Name: B & L - Shropshire
When: 31 August 2016

UK FlagThe Coleridge Way was brilliant and everything went very well, even the weather was nearly all wonderful!  The only part where we encountered any problem was coming down through the woods on the St. Audries estate. Finding the path was not easy from the description, but we worked it out eventually. Otherwise the trail was ok, indeed bracken had been fairly recently cut back, which was good as we were conscious of the risk of ticks and Lymes disease.

Accommodation was good, the Sundial House B and B at Wheddon Cross deserves special mention, they were delightful. Margaret and Stephen went the extra mile. Tea and cake in the garden when we arrived and Steve dried our boots overnight....without being asked! Also, there is a very comfortable sitting room for the evening and a super breakfast.

On the Porlock to Lynmouth stretch, it is definitely worth going to the Lorna Doone Farm in Malmesmead....a drink and a bowl of chips was a great Sunday lunch and fueled us ready for the walk to the NT cafe at Watersmeet.

All the luggage transfers were good and the taxi people in Lynmouth were great. We actually did Coombe Martin to Lynmouth on our extra day.....the weather was not good enough to do Simonsbath to Lynmouth. We started in low cloud, but we ended in sunshine and the Hunters Inn  was most welcome en route.

Thanks so much for all you did to make it possible, you worked very hard in a short space of time  to make it happen. It is something we will remember....indeed we got our certificate from the Exmoor National Park Office near the harbour to prove it!

 

Route: Padstow to Penzance
Name: Lynne + 2
When: 30 August 2016

Australian FlagNow back in Sydney after a wonderful six weeks holiday in England & Spain. We are finding it hard to settle down & are already starting to plan when we can walk more of the SWCP. 

We loved our walk organised by Encounter Walking from Padstow to Penzance & were very impressed how well it all worked out...from the start, when we made our first enquiry with you, until we departed Penzance - you did an excellent job for us. 

We had a wonderful time, were lucky with the weather and covered the steep ascents, descents, stairs & stiles with not toooo much trouble......as long as we didn't have too many cream teas, pasties or apple cider!!!?? 

Accommodation was generally very good & there was only one B & B which wasn't really 'up to scratch' even though the proprietors tried hard. Thank you to you & your team & hope we will be in touch with you again soon.

 

Route: Fowey to Plymouth
Name: Angela & Dennis
When: 26 August 2016

UK FlagThis is a lovely stretch of the coast path with spectacular views back towards the Lizard. The stages from Fowey to Polperro & Looe to Crafthole were quite hard in places but by pacing ourselves and stopping regularly we were able to cope without any problems. Great accommodation at all the stops with very friendly hosts especially Anne at Sea Breezes in Plymouth. We had excellent meals, particularly at the House on the Props and the Liscawn Hotel, and a very good value carvery athe Portbyhan in Looe. There are good snack stops at Whitsand Bay, Seaton and also at Portwrinkle. We had no problem finding the path except for the last 400 yards (sorry metres!) in Plymouth where we missed the path around the West Hoe headland. The other tricky part was just after Millendreath where the path has been diverted. However following Damon's instructions we found the path o.k. Thanks Damon, Ellie and the rest of the crew for yet another great holiday - possibly the best yet.

Route: St Ives to Falmouth
Name: P & W - Stuttgart
When: 22 August 2016

German FlagIt was a wonderful trip and a magnificent walk. The weather was nice, the guesthouses, pubs and B&Bs were friendly and comfortable, and the landscape was stunning. Although the walk was strenuous in some parts, we enjoyed every day.

Just for your information:
There were two places where we missed the way, because it wasn’t marked as good as usual:
Shortly after Percella Point there are some unmarked public footpaths and it is not clear which is coast path resp. which is footpath. We met other walkers who missed the way at this point as well.

Secondly, we couldn’t find the descent at Gew Grace, shortly before Kynance Cliff. But it was probably our inattention. The way through the grassland guided us inland at the gorge.

But we always found the right way after a short detour - so it didn't matter.

Thank you very much for your friendly help and for the perfect organisation.
We’ll come back if at all possible!

 

Route: Coleridge WAy
Name: Tony Kite
When: 20 August 2016

UK FlagHaving just completed the Coleridge Way I would like to say how impressed I was with your superb organisation. The laminated maps and route details were great and we only got a little bit lost twice, mainly my fault at Mansley Coombe. All the overnight stops were fine, the baggage transfers were fine and the taxi back to the start was great. - I shall recommend your organisation if I have the chance.
 

Route: Two Moors Way
Name: Susanne and Thomas
When: 19 August 2016

German FlagOur walking holiday was indeed a success! Everything went well, the accomodation you booked were very good, the luggage was transferred on time and very reliable.
We especially liked the stay at the Riverside Cottage in Lynmouth at the end of our walk: We had a cosy room on the 2nd floor with a balkony directly looking over the river Lyn and the harbour - a wonderful place to relax. And our host Debbie was very friendly and helpful in every way.

The weather was not perfectly kind. The first day out of Ivybridge we had strong wind (luckyly from behind!) and later on mist, rain and partly sleet until Scorrington - kind of an initiation. The second day was better, on the third day we started in mist and slight drizzle, but after we had reached Grimspound it turned better. The next days it was mixed, and we only had rain on the final day around Hoar Oak valley, but finally we arrived in Lynmouth in sunshine.

Now for the itinary:
On the first day we lost the way after the end of the trackway. It is vital to pass the hill on the left side (we followed a good visible track to the right and uphill, which was wrong!). Please make a remark for other walkers.

On our 4th stage from Drewsteignton to Morchard Road there is heavy road walking (>50 percent), and we were not aware of that before. Please mention it so other walkers will be prepared.

On the last stage you  warn people with vertigo or scared of heights walking along the cleaves - but the way is very safe indeed, there is no exposure like for instance on the actual Coast Path. Anybody should be able to walk it and experience the looks of Lynmouth and the Sea - so some encouragement would help.

Our highlights:
Walking the moor in any weather condition - a wonderful experience. Grimspound is very impressive. The Hoar Oak valley. The walks along the many rivers. The final stage looking down on Lynmouth.

So thank you once again for preparing an excellent walking holiday for us.
 

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: Mrs Rachel Tapper
When: 18 August 2016

Well what a fantastic walk we had! I would like to thank you for organising lovely accommodation with great food and for transporting our bags onto each location with ease. The route itself is not marked out very well along the way, and maybe this is the only feedback that should be passed onto Dartmoor National Park. However, the route was absolutely stunning and breathtaking in parts. It was incredibly quiet along the route and some days we never saw another walker??!! The park is underutilised compared to other national parks, however, this is nice in a way!!!

Our 10 year old and 14 year old also did the walk with us and loved it all too....although they are glad to be home for the rest! I will definitely be back to Encounter to book the next walking holiday....the detailed itinerary was invaluable and gave us so much additional information and your choice of stopovers were fantastic. Thank you so much for organising such a great family and wonderful memories to cherish forever. Thank you again.xx

Route: St.Ives to Penzance
Name: Richard Braun - Berlin
When: 12 August 2016

German FlagFirst we say "thank you" to Damon and his team for making this walk possible last minute. Everything was well organized and we enjoyed every day; accommodation, recommended restaurants, even the weather was fine. The first day was quite a challenge , long and sometimes uncomfortable to walk (for beginners on the path), so the second day we took a bus for the first half of the way. No stress! But at the end we walked another extra stage (to Praa Sands). I loved the restaurant in Sennen Cove (The Old Success Inn) and the strong wind at Lands End. We had a great time and will come back.

Route: SW Coast Path, Minehead to Westward Ho
Name: Graham and Barbara
When: 10 August 2016

UK FlagFirstly, the EncounterWalking team was truly excellent - always pleasant and helpful, and highly efficient in making our bookings and dealing with queries. Hotels/inns/B&Bs along our path were good/acceptable, and the diversity made for daily interest. We particularly liked the Café at Porlock Weir and the Rocks at Woolacombe; the Rising Sun at Lynmouth also has great character, and the newly renovated George Hotel at Braunton lovely rooms.

We loved our 7 days walking. Some of these sections of the coastal trail - particularly along the north of Exmoor - were a bit challenging, and we had to work at some of them to get them done in a day (but we are in our mid-60's, so I think some allowance is due!). 15 miles a day is fine if it is flat, but with hundreds/thousands of added vertical feet during the course of a day, our pace was probably slower than we expected. If we were to do it again, I think we might add a rest day, or a lower mileage day, in the middle of the week. That said, the hilly sections of the walk were beautiful and remote, with wonderful flora and fauna, and we would not have missed them for the world. In the latter part of our week, in contrast, we found ourselves walking some very flat paths around some very long estuaries. One estuary is fine for diversity, but I think we'd cut out any more of them than that if we were to do this walk again. Again, a lovely week's walking. Thank you, EncounterWalking!

 

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Jane
When: 10 August 2016

UK FlagI had a great trip from St. Ives to Penzance. Mostly gorgeous weather and stunning views. Just magical. All the information was perfect, bags always arrived well before I did and mostly the trail was well marked. I did feel that maybe the end of the St Just to Porthcurno route might have merited ‘strenuous’ as there seemed to be a LOT of climbing in and out of cloves in the last couple of hours, but it was the end of a long day so I might have been just tired. 

The single room I had in Penzance was VERY small, although very pretty and very well appointed. Warwick House was the nicest place I stayed and overall it was fantastic—proper sized bathroom with a full sink, which was great for washing things out--but requesting a slightly bigger single if they have it might be useful for walkers. There wasn’t enough floor space to open my suitcase anywhere but the bed. 

Everything else was really fantastic. The people who run the b&b in St Ives were especially great—I had a hard time getting there because of the St Erth fire, had to train to Penzance and then take a 2 hour bus ride in standstill traffic (apparently it usually takes half an hour??) from Penzance to St Ives, and they kept in close touch via phone to make sure I’d be able to get in when I did arrive and sat me down with a glass of prosecco to decompress! 

Really really great breakfasts everywhere I stayed!

I’ve been telling everyone what a fantastic trip I had and have recommended your company to many. Ellie has been SO helpful about planning the trip with my parents, in particular. It’s so great to have a knowledgeable person to help figure out what walk will best suit and when. 

 

Route: Penzance to Falmouth SW Coast Path
Name: Herbert + Erika
When: 07 August 2016

German FlagWe enjoyed each of the 5 hiking days and the extra days in Penzance and Falmouth too. We had a little drizzle one morning, the rest was sunshine all day long. Thank you Damon and Ellie for perfectly meeting our wishes and answering all our questions.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Don and Ilona West
When: 07 August 2016

New Zealand FlagBig thanks to Damon and Encounter for excellent organisation and communication during the planning stages. The walk was wonderful - scenery stunning. Bag transfers all went like clockwork. Accommodation was fine throughout. Standout accommodation and meal was at the Lugger Hotel in Portloe. Also Sea Breeze in Plymouth was excellent. Only down was the very long and very boring walk to the hotel in Par at the end of that day - wonder if there could be an alternative? Thanks again and we will definitely recommend this organisation.

Route: THE SAINTS WAY
Name: rein russchen
When: 01 August 2016

Netherlands FlagThe saints way, we have walked 3 day s the wether was good . the Luggage transfers between accommodations was perfect. the b&b s where we stayed where perfect. specialy Tregolls farm many thanks for the evening meal top super!! and she gave tips for walking . rein & nies

Route: Full Coast Path Minehead to Poole
Name: Tara
When: 31 July 2016

Austraian FlagSorry for the delayed replie, it's a little difficult settling back into normal life after my fabulous adventure on the south west coast path. Thank you for the afternoon tea it was a pleasant surprise.

i have to commended you on your organisation, all my accommodation was wonderful, my bag arrived before me everyday but one! Because of your wonderful organisation, I had a worry free adventure.

i promoted your company when people asked how I had organised my walk and told people because everything was so well organised my only worrie for the day was what times breakfast, where's the acorn! And where's the pub for my midisonal G&T! 

Thank you and keep up the good work of assisting people to enjoy the extrodanary south west coast path.

Route: Poole to Lyme Regis - SW Coast Path Reverse Direction
Name: Ana and Isabel
When: 31 July 2016

Spainish FlagThank you very much for your support during our walking along the Jurassic Coast. It was a wonderful path and very interesting from the geology point of view. The lugagge transfer was absolutely perfect as well. We want to point out that our revers directions was successful for us because of the itinerary up and downs were in favour and also Lyme Regis was a splendid end.

Some details:

* First day, between Poole and Worth Matravers, as the weather was foggy, windy and rainy, when we arrived to Swanage we decided to give up and finish the stage by taxi. Oops!

The accomodation at Ann and Dave's home was perfect and they prepared dinner quite good. 

* The second day dawned foggy and rainy and Dave recommended us an alternative way  taking us to the start of that way by car. 

* The rest of the days were sunny and brilliants and we had no problem to do the stages.

* As for the accommodations, except the one in West Bay, that was a bit far from the village centre, they were well located and in well conditions, except the one of Lulworth Cove which we think it needs some improvement and changes.

* The whole of the hosts were really kind and friendly.

* To finish say that the explanation about the itinerary, diversions, highlights and so on were very helpful as well as the book and maps. Great! 

We are very pleased to have known you, pity not in person, and be ready for the queue of walkers you'll receive from either Catalunya or Basque Country!

 

Route: Dartmoor Way Circle
Name: Carmen
When: 30 July 2016

Spanish FlagWe finished our Dartmoor Way on 6th August. Everything was perfect and very very beautiful the way on the Moor. The GPS helped us a lot to follow the way and we think that without it to get lost is very easy.

Thanks very much - Carmen

Route: St. Ives to Penzance
Name: Michael & Shelley McGuire -
When: 26 July 2016

USA FlagWe were very happy with our entire experience. Encounter Walking were excellent to work with. They did a great job helping us plan our hike. Everything worked like clockwork. Thank you, Damon! The website is well organized, and user friendly. It really helped us figure out where we wanted to walk. Damon, and his team were very responsive to questions, and helped us custom build an excellent itinerary.

The hike was spectacular. We were constantly in awe of the natural beauty of this area. Our chosen walk took us through all kinds of terrain. We found every day exhilarating. We were left feeling like we accomplished something every day. If you are planning on hiking this section of the path, try to catch a performance at the Minack Theatre. The venue is spectacular. You can bring in your own wine. And, there is a kiosk in the parking lot where you can purchase a meal to carry into the theatre. We were very satisfied with all of the accommodations we chose.

We stayed at Cornerways in St. Ives, which was very cozy. It's a little difficult to find, but worth the search. The next night was the Gurnard's Head Hotel, our favorite of the trip. They have an excellent chef. Dinner was outstanding, as was the service. The next night was the Old Manse in Pendeen. This is a very quiet little town, only two restaurants, I believe. The Old Manse was clean comfortable and quiet. A great place to dry out, and relax from the previous day's walk through a gale. (We thoroughly enjoyed walking through the gale too.). At Sennen Cove, we stayed at the Old Success Inn. It was fine, nothing fancy, but met our needs. In Porthcurno, we stayed at Rockridge House. It was very homey. We were very comfortable. Our room, in the front of the house, on the second floor, had a great view of the sea off in the distance. The last night, in Penzance, we stayed at Torwood House. Again, nothing fancy, but met our needs just fine.

We flew into, and out of Newquay. The only mistake we made was booking the 7:40 flight out of Newquay. It is an hour cab ride from Penzance, so we had to get up super-early. All in all it was a fantastic experience. I can highly recommend Encounter Walking. I will definitely work with them again in the future.

 

Route: Coleridge Way Nether Stowey to Lynmouth
Name: Mike and Mary
When: 24 July 2016

UK FlagHerewith some feedback as requested.

1. The arrangements and documentation were excellent. Everything went like clockwork and the only glitches were of our own making.

2. The best accommodation was at Millers and Staghunters the rest were much of a muchness.

3 .The food was generally good pub quality with high points in Williton and Wheddon Cross. Millers food was in a different category but we felt it was not quite up to the prices charged.

4. No problems finding the route as we use viewranger tracker but signage on Exmoor was worse than in the Quantocks. Some green lanes on Exmoor were rather overgrown but it was possible to walk through fields alongside. Cow/bull issues only once!

5.Due to bad weather we omitted the Wheddon Cross to Porlock sector so cannot comment on that stretch.

We did find the first walking day a bit tiring as we measured it at 13.5 miles and would probably have preferred to stay in Bicknoller.

All in all a very good week and thanks for such excellent arrangements.

Route: lyme regis to abbotsbury
Name: keith anthony whitlock
When: 22 July 2016

Australian FlagGreat walk and very well organised by your team. It was more strenuous than we anticipated and we wont be underestimating English hills again. Abbotsbury is an absolute gem!

Route: Two Moors Way
Name: Richard + 4 friends and dog
When: 22 July 2016

Flag of the United Kingdom11 days walking from Wembury to Lynmouth. Great walk, we all enjoyed it very much. The route marked by Ordnance Survey across the moors is not exact so one should just use it as a guide not as the exact line to follow. In a couple of places we had to cut across the moors as we couldn't see a path where shown on the map. Even with this, route finding was straightforward with the OS 25k maps (using the AZ Adventure series books for Dartmoor and Exmoor) and two good hiking GPS. On the final day we had to backtrack at an impassable ford about 500 metres south of the suggested high water route. We returned to Exe Head then east to the road which we followed all the way to the A39. Looking at maps and Google Earth at home in the dry, it looks as though it would have been possible to go over Exe Plain to the east of Hoaroak Water and join the suggested high water route thus avoiding both crossings of the swollen stream. It would be useful if this could be added to the detailed itinerary.

Route: Saints' Way
Name: David
When: 21 July 2016

Flag of the United KingdomAn interesting and varied walk through beautiful country with lots of panoramic views - which enabled us to see which showers had missed us and which were still to get us. These walks always seem more uphill than downhill - is that possible? Some ambiguous signage, some a bit overgrown, but the main signs on roads were clear and easy to follow. Overnight stops were comfortable, friendly, and helpful - and always with good food, Cyntwell b&b in Padstow (outstanding in the choice of eating places), the ancient pub in Lanlivery, and The Old Exchange b&b in Fowey. Luggage transfer worked well, and our two taxi drivers, Michael, from Padstow, and the lady from Fowey, were friendly, helpful, and informative. A wonderful three days.

Route: St Ives Circle Coast Path and St Michaels Way
Name: F & T Washington USA
When: 20 July 2016

USA FlagHello! Thank you for all the detailed work you did to help us plan our walking holiday in Cornwall. 

The trail was well marked almost everywhere, and your directions were really helpful. There was one place: Near Pendeen you pass a lighthouse and are on a road. It is not clear where to turn right to get back on the trail and off of the road. There's a trail marked "public pathway" and another marked mysteriously just "P". The correct trail is the one NOT with the P. The correct trail is directly across the road from a big white house with a blue gate and an address on the gate -- the address contains the word Enys. (I forget the number.) After you get onto this trail and off the road, pretty soon you see the acorn marker -- but there's no acorn marker at the road. At this location, the guidebook (not your instructions) said that Pendeen Farm offers cream teas in summer. We walked to Pendeen Farm and disturbed some holiday makers -- the farm no longer serves cream teas. There are signs on the road saying "Cream Tea two fields away," etc but the signs are incorrect. Otherwise the guidebook was very accurate and helpful.

Loved eating at The Loft in St Ives. The newer St Ives Brewery up by the high car park was pretty good and it got you out of those crowded, shoulder-to-shoulder streets. And there's a bus up and down to the car park from the waterfront, which we took down after having lunch up there. We did laundry in St Ives, up near the town hall, it was very convenient because we were able to drop off and pick it up later for nine pounds for one large load. This saved time for us.

The Red Lion in Newlyn was fun. We heard there's a little place in Newlyn, right by the bridge over the creek and next to a fish restaurant, with homemade ice cream that is supposed to be great! But we missed this. We saw the shop but didn't hear until later how great it is, and at that point we hadn't yet had lunch.

The telegraph museum in Porthcurno is fascinating.

Walking back across from Penzance to St Ives was really fun and beautiful, but of course we were really hungry near the end. So we thought Carbis Bay was closer and would have lots of places to eat. It turned out to be more of a posh suburb with limited options for food -- so we went to the fancy Carbis Bay Hotel for a cream tea. It was expensive but it felt good to sit in a beautiful place with a view and celebrate our walk. Then we walked on into St Ives and back to Cornerways.

Favorite thing or highlight: 

I love England in general! I love how everything's made of stone. And my favorite thing(s) were the old parish churches and their graveyards, particularly in Zennor and in Ludgvan. We spent a lot of time in these graveyards and the churches were open to go in. It was really moving to see the care taken in the building and maintenance of these places, and in the epitaphs on the stones, and the handmade "everything" inside each one. I wish we could have gone into St Ives church, but it was closed, then open only for a funeral and another service. I also loved seeing some standing stones and some mysterious stone circles. I didn't like the mine area, but my husband would like to go back and take the mine tour!

We loved the Barbara Hepworth museum AND the indoor/outdoor "art tour" of St Ives, led by a Tate employee named Andrew. He gave us lots of cool facts about the art history of St Ives, including facts about the church. It seems they're doing this because the Tate is closed. It was about 90 minutes and very worthwhile for anyone who likes to walk around and look at things.

If we do this again, we will make more overnight stops, to shorten the walk each day so that we can linger more.

As far as accommodation goes, each one was unique and excellent. We were really happy with them all. It was especially fun chatting with Tim at Cornerways because we had a little more time there (our rest day).

I want to do this again next year! Realistically I am not sure that will happen. But we loved it. Thank you for everything. Feel free to use anything I've said. Photos are attached that you can use with or without attribution.

 

Route: westward ho! - padstow
Name: yuval, eli, avi & ziv
When: 18 July 2016

Flag of Israelthank you Damon and others. the route was beautifull and perfectly orginized. the luggage transfer worked perfectly the accomodation was good (Port Gaverne Hotel was the best with a superb restorant) and we found the information and advices on our itinerary supplied by encounter walking holidays very helpfull. will be glad to come again for another part of this wonderfull trail yuval, avi, eli, & ziv from israel

Route: Pembrokeshire North - St Davids to St Dogmaels
Name: Carol - Indiana USA
When: 17 July 2016

Wonderful service! Really helpful for my first time planning something like this from across the pond. Encounter was was very patient with me in the booking process answering my multitude of questions and very accommodating while I tweaked my plans. From the directions for the hikes to the bus locations and taxi numbers, this service made the hike worry free and flexible. We planned each day individually from the info supplied to accommodate the weather or just how we felt after each days walk. One note: the miles shown in the info may have been stated a bit shorter than what my walking app showed. The Wales Coastal Path was so beautiful and so worth the walk! We even got to know the luggage transfer guy (taxi service) who was very helpful and personable. 

The accommodations were great! So charming! Each one had something special to offer. Thoroughly enjoyed our stays!  I would highly recommend Encounter particularly for those not familiar with the coastal walk!

Route: St Ives Circle via Lands End
Name: Kathryn and Michael
When: 16 July 2016

Swiss FlagWe would like to say how much we enjoyed our holiday and also thank you for your efforts in booking everything for us and organising our last-minute changes. We liked all of our accommodation especially The Tinners Arms and Cornerways B&B. We were very impressed with the luggage transfer, we had absolutely no problems whatsoever, luggage was in our next location before we were every day. The walk was great, our GPS told us it was a bit longer than your notes, but the views were fantastic and your notes on St Michaels Way were very helpful. Thanks again and we hope to be back next year to do another part of the Coastal path, fingers crossed for more great weather.

Route: Pembrokshire Amroth to Stackpole
Name: Chris Magnuson
When: 15 July 2016

Flag of SwitzerlandWe had a FABULOUS experience. Everything was organized as promised. The distances walked were just right for our girls (6 and 13). The hotels were clean, comfortable, and friendly. The maps were easy to read and the weather cooperated for us. The only thing I would change would be to have some contact with Encounter on arrival at the first hotel, either by email, phone, or a message left at check-in. Thanks for a GREAT holiday!

Route: Coleridge Way Nether Stowey to Lynmouth
Name: Jan
When: 14 July 2016

Netherlands FlagWe very much enjoyed our Coleridge way walk, thursday 14 -tuesday 19 july. The old cider house, nether stowey, nice genial hosts, good man is Ian, good beds, good english breakfast. A good start of our route.

Stilegate b&b, west Quantoxhead, very luxurious room and luxurious breakfast, Heidi really took care of us. Her husband even drove us to our dinner at the Bicknoller Inn and arranged with the landlord to call us a taxi back. We understood that the Windmill Inn is seen as a roadhouse and not a holiday-ish place. It certainly looked forbidding when we passed it just before walking up to Stilegate.

Trinity cottage , Roadwater, nice and quiet, Abigail as nice and quiet, good beds and breakfast. Lunch at the Notley arms was wonderfull. The host makes you feel welcome and serves good food and a nice pint of Pleasant Pheasant to go with it. On the way we visited the church at Sampford Brett, managed by a spruce elderly couple who told us that the village of 200 mostly elderly were welcome a new young inhabitant. Of 65 years...

The rest and be thankful, wheddon cross, is exactly how you feel when you arrive. Had a good night's rest there, evening meal adequate, busy restaurant with correct service. The Royal Oak in Luxborough served a nice lunch outside on their small front terrace halfway our walk.

Route: at number 70, the big post bearing the feather has rotted down and lies ond the ground. Leaving the woods it is not immediately clear which way you need to go. Using the map you can' t go wrong as it is straight ahead up the field.  In general it seemed to us that the first half of the route is better kept than the second. Feathers are less weather worn. Of the path between 72 and 73, the last half was overgrown with nettles and brambles, so we had to take to the field itself.

Millers at the anchor was a very memorable stay. Drinks outside with a view of the rapidly ebbing harbour and a very good restaurant. We took a packed lunch from The Rest and be thankfull which wasn't very good, just an expensive sandwich. Enjoyed a tea and scones in Porlock before walking via Sparkhayes lane to the seaside and following the coastal path to the Weir in stead of taking the official route which is yet another shady lane without much of a view. The C way has many of such lanes we found. We came to understand why people prefer to walk the route in spring. Foliage is 't blocking views as much as in summer. The same goes for the sometimes shouderhigh ferns out on the moors.

More route feedback: you warned us to take a different path after point 95. We did so quite clearly but found that after that, going up on the moors to point 100 at Brockwell, the route signs weren't as clear nor as numerous as before so we relied on the compass to keep a path generally in the direction of Brockwell. The post bearing the roadsign to Spangate grove, somewhere between 97 and 99, was lying flat on the ground too.

The Staghunters Inn, Brendon. Very agreeable stay. Nice room, in the back a big and quiet,very well kept garden, beer and cider on the grass beside the river in front. Dinner was an adequate pub meal, all hosted genially.

Rock house, Lynmouth. Busy people, at once you are in a busy tourist village where service is somewhat less personable. The location and the views however we very much enjoyed, as we did the restfull afternoon on the lawn next to the minigolf, with a view of the sea.

On the next morning the owner of Riverside Taxis brought us back to Nether Stowey. A nice talkative man who fled from a too hectic life with hasty people around Oxford to a financially less nly more rewarding life in Lynmouth.

We had a happy holiday, not,in the least thanks to your careful and detailed planning. I'll send you some pictures separately. Thanks!

Route: Newquay - St. Ives
Name: Stølsnes family
When: 13 July 2016

Flag of NorwayWe had a great walk from Newquay to St. Ives! Thanks to Damon and Encounter for organizing this! Planning, preparation and payments: Excellent! Worked out a suitable route four us together with Damon, who also promptly followed up our emails with answer to our "stupid" questions. Safe and easy payments with credit card. Route: Newquay - Perranporth - Portreath - Hayle - St.Ives. Accomodation: Great, and we used the budget options. Rooms were clean, hosts were very welcoming. Nice breakfasts all over. Luggage transfer; Worked smoothly with no problems whatsoever. The luggage had arrived at the destination before us, even on the short 4th day when we arrived pretty early. Walking: Walked the route almost on the average walking time suggested in the itinerary. Easy to find the way along the path. We can definitely recommend Encounter Walking to organize *your* trip, they did an excellent job! Regards The Stølsnes family...

Route: Coleridge Way Nether Stowey to Lynmouth
Name: Becci and Kellen
When: 13 July 2016

UK FlagWe had a truly fantastic walk - thank you!

The weather was amazing (almost too hot at times, but I won't complain!!)

We really enjoyed every bit of it (except maybe the dead sheep!)

Navigation was easy - although occasionally well meaning locals tried to tell us we were going the wrong way - clearly we weren't but maybe some parts of the route have changed / moved ? We took all the optional diversions / additions (including Dunkery Beacon - in a heat wave - this was about the only place we saw any other walkers on the whole route) and ended up with a total walk of 68 miles.

A really fabulous walk which deserves its high position in long distance walking circles. Can't wait for the next one!

Route: St. Ives to Lizard
Name: Nele and Peer
When: 11 July 2016

German FlagWe’ve had a most enjoyable walk from St. Ives to Lizard. Great thanks to all of the Encounter-staff – their bookings (B&Bs, luggage transfer) and recommendations (break day, route) fit perfectly! The daily distances matched our fitness ideally – how did you know? Amazing scenery, stunning views, the trail just beautiful, thus in parts demanding – and the drop of clotted cream on top of it was the perfect weather: not too hot, but sunny all day long. So we recommend: book via encounter, bring walking boots and sufficient sunscreen, and enjoy perfect walking holidays! Communication with Encounter was very helpful – quick, very personal and always accurate. Thank you for this great walking experience! Nele & Peer

Route: Dartmoor Way Circle from Buckfastleigh
Name: Karin - Hagersten, Sweden
When: 11 July 2016

Sweden FlagThe walk was a success! Dartmoor was beautiful, the weather was good, and the people we met were very friendly and helpful. This includes all the landlords and –ladies at the pubs, hotel and B&B. Thank you for all the useful information, suggested detours etc! We really enjoyed the extra walk on the moor by Belstone and going down Lydford gorge.

We had a few minor problems, however.

We lost our way a little between Water and Moretonhampstead. I think we chose the wrong path at Horsham and somehow ended up in Manaton. We walked on with the help of the OS map and by looking at the landscape around us, and came on the right track again near Neadon.

After North Bovey (as described on page 6 paragraph 2) it was a bit unclear which gates we should go through/over, what field we were supposed to go over, and in what direction. We went in what we knew was the right general direction and found the right path after a while. 

We were a bit confused before Belstone, regarding how many footbridges we were supposed to cross (3?) and what paths to follow. With the help of the OS map and my tablet with GPS we eventually managed to find our way to Belstone.

On Sunday we went to Lydford Gorge and then planned to catch the bus to Tavistock from Lydford or Mary Tavy. The only problem was that there were no buses on Sundays! We had to change our plans and get a taxi instead.

The information in the Dartmoor Way generally seemed rather old and sometimes out of date.  Several gates had changed and were no longer stiles or kissing gates. One example: the kissing gate described in paragraph 1, page 12 is no longer in use, but still stands by the path as an object of interest. Apart from these minor problems, we had a wonderful time walking on and around Dartmoor!

Thanks Karin thats really helpful and we have left the information above on the site in case its of use for others this year. The good news however is in the previous review - we are hoping for some improvements shortly on the ground that will tackle these issues for 2017 season.

 

Route: Penzance to Falmouth
Name: Daniel Gygi and Rita Zenhäusern, Basel, Switzerland
When: 10 July 2016

Flag of the NetherlandsLike last year we enjoyed a perfect organization, beautiful sceneries and nice accomodation. Weather was fine and we had no difficulties finding the path. With two of our rooms we were not so lucky, because they were located next to noisy kitchen ventilators. This was at the Harbour Inn in Portleven and at the Paris Hotel in Coverack. At least they were switched off after midnight. Otherwise it was just brilliant and we will come again.

Route: Saints Way Padstow to Fowey
Name: Corrie
When: 09 July 2016

Netherlands FlagDear Damon and others, We enjoyed our walk along The Saints Way very much, 9 – 17 july. The first walk from Padstow and the last part to Fowey we found most beautiful.Lodgings were very good, people friendly! Thank you for all informations on bus etc. We had no trouble finding our way.

However, we had two very scary moments, crossing/passing busy roads. We were not prepared for this by the description.  These locations:

1. Walking (on the Saintsway) a short piece of the A389 in Litte Petherick, the bridge and a piece of bending road. You see nothing coming and lots of cars come along this small road. When we looked back we saw a sign that walkers should not walk on this way. So the cars do not expect walkers. Very dangerous!

2. Walking along the A 390, near Lostwithiel. We were prepared by looking on the map. But yet, the road was crowded, cars, caravans, this holiday saturday. The trees were not cut, so for safety we walked bending our heads and schoulders between de branches, to walk on the grass.

Maybe you can put in a warning for these locations. Or even better: is there an alternative route possible?

Met vriendelijke groet,

 

Route: porthcurno to falmouth
Name: Susanne Moon & Bob Kendrick
When: 09 July 2016

UK FlagHi, we would like to say thanks for all your help in making our walk so enjoyable and stress free. Everything went as planned with no problems of any kind. The b & b's were all great with really friendly hosts and great breakfasts - we would definitely recommend all of the b&b's for future visits. We have carried our own bags on past occasions but this time we had our bags moved on each day and this helped in making our week's walking a very pleasurable experience. Once again many thanks and we look forward to booking with you again soon for the next stage of the South West coast path!!

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path - Amroth to Pembroke
Name: Anne and Mick - Victoria, Australia
When: 08 July 2016

Australian FlagWe want to thank you for organising our amazing walk in Wales. It all worked so perfectly.  Apart from one day - the official first day of walking, the weather was almost perfect too.  Will come back to that day in a minute.

As we arrived early on the day before the walk was to begin, we re-arranged the taxi to drop us at Amroth (thanks to your included phone numbers) and then walked backed to Tenby.  It was lucky we did as the following day the weather was blowing a gale and was very wet as well with visibility almost zero.  We decided to catch the bus to Manorbier and then walk back along the track if the weather cleared. It did sufficiently for us to walk for about 2 hours.  Naturally we were disappointed we did not walk the whole way from Tenby, but at least we saw some of that part of the coast.  The rest of the walk was terrific and we were able to follow your detailed instructions easily.

The accommodation was all very good and the rooms were clean and the food fine.  The Manorbier  hotel room was a touch small. We would probably have preferred to pay a little more to have had a larger room in their hotel.

The books you supplied were informative and helpful and well used throughout our journey. We enjoyed our three nights in Pembroke spending one of the day's walking and at their castle and the second on a day trip to St David's by local bus which was great too.  The Angle B&B was superb and the owners most hospitable.  Please let them know at some stage how much we enjoyed our stay with them.

And yes, whilst parts of the walk were challenging, especially from Freshwater West to Angle, we could still manage it comfortably at our stage of life.

 

Route: SW Coastal Path from Zennor to Mousehole
Name: Genice and Steve Rabe
When: 07 July 2016

USA FlagScenery was spectacular. One sunny day with crashing waves and playful seals. One foggy day for atmosphere. Some mist. Hike was a work out. The outdoor Minnack Theater over the sea is a must stop. We watched part of a rehearsal for the Winter's Tale. Met some friendly hikers including a family staying at a family home in Porthcurno. They invited us to supper. Accommodations were very nice with one exception. Enjoyed particularly The Old Manse in Pendeen and the Ship's Inn in Mousehole.

Route: Plymouth to Torquay
Name: David
When: 06 July 2016

UK FlagWe had a successful and enjoyable walk from Plymouth to Torquay, thank you. The itinerary information was fine, and all the B&B accommodation was very good.

The only problem we encountered was with some of the way-marking, where it wasn't obvious which way we needed to go. Two In particular were: over the fields between Strete and Matthew's Point, and from the Torquay Marina to Daddyhole Plain then Cove.

Route: Penzance to Plymouth SW Coast Path
Name: Birgit - Northeim
When: 06 July 2016

German FlagI've got to tell you that the walk was just really really enjoyable. Therewas nothing that was a problem, all the places I stayed at for a night or two where very different and worth the experience. The itinerary was well composed (meaning the distances were perfect and all the little pieces of information were very interesting). So I'd like to say thank you for a wonderful holiday!! 

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: Judy Brua
When: 04 July 2016

UK FlagDartmoor itself is lovely. We walked the Way in 7 days. The first 3-4 days were not on the Moor itself, but through lovely forests and by lots of streams. Days 5-7 include much more time on the Moor. What I did like were Encounter's additional notes which helped. The accommodations, while not fancy, were very pleasant. If anyone is staying in Okehampton, we happened on an Indian restaurant on Fore Street called Ma'ida - it was absolutely excellent and you should try it.

For the down side, the Dartmoor Way I think is not yet an official national trail, and I don't remember seeing any waymarkers that referred to it. Generally, many of the footpaths did not have waymarkers, and we relied a lot on our GPS. The Way is therefore not heavily walked, and we had a number of places where paths were seriously overgrown with nettles & brambles (this being July and it has been wet and warm). In one place, a path about a quarter of a mile long took us almost 45 minutes to get through. Also, when the weather was wet and we were walking through fields of grass that were knee high, because the path hadn't been walked much, we ended up soaked. So I wouldn't particularly recommend the Dartmoor Way itself, or not in the growing season, but I would recommend Encounter wholeheartedly.

As well as the notes being helpful, everything arrived on time, and when even on a Sunday morning there was an issue with payment at one hotel (the hotel's mistake) someone at Encounter picked up my call, sorted it out and then also rang the next hotels to make sure there would be no recurrence of the problem. I will certainly use Encounter again for another walking holiday.

Encounter Walking Note - Positive note from us we have just heard (July 2016) that the route has applied for grant development money for 2017 season which will include a new section, full signage and path improvement (finally)  so we hope to be looking forward to better conditions on the trail for next season and furthermore will hope to be involved in that work - get in touch if you want to know the latest  There are plans for an extended section to the South of The Moor linking Tavistock to Buckfastleigh via Ivybridge as an option - anyway improvements to this trail look like they are coming and we are delighted to see this after working on this route for many years !

 

Route: Route Walked:st ives to Penzance returning on st Michael's way
Name: Diane Griffin
When: 04 July 2016

UK FlagWe enjoyed this walk and it was interesting to walk st Michael's way and see both coastlines from Trencrom hill. We felt it was a bonus to return to our car via this circular walk. Our luggage was delivered every day before we arrived and everything went to plan. We would definitely use encounter walking again. The walk was quite strenuous at times, being very up and down but we had taken the easy option - more overnight stops, and often felt we could have walked further.

Route: amroth to manobier
Name: Coral
When: 04 July 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had a lovely hike over 2 days from Amroth to Manobier. Encounter Walking perfectly arranged all the details. Our B and B's were excellent with amiable hosts, good food, and quiet, comfortable rooms. I was a bit worried that my daughter who hates to hike might not fare well on the more strenuous sections of the trails. But she did fine and found out that she can enjoy hiking in the cooler weather of Wales. The scenery was beautiful beyond my imagination. I hope to return.

Route: Hayle to Mevagissey South West Coast Path
Name: Ulrike and Erich - Osnabruck
When: 30 June 2016

Flag of GermanyFirst of all, I would like to say a big THANK YOU for the excellent planning and assistance provided through your office yet again. Absolutely everything was perfect including the weather. We still cannot believe how lucky we were. We had sunshine throughout the walk except for the last morning. It was incredible. This actually was the best out of the three walks we did. I am not sure whether  this is because we allowed more time this year, whether we were fitter or if it was because of the weather. I suppose it probably was a combination of all three. We knew what to expect, brought the right clothing and were rewarded accordingly.

From our point of view we would recommend you continue to use all of the locations we stayed at. They are all different and sometimes it is difficult to compare hotels with private BandBs. We like the mixture!

The information on the trail, the highlights mentioned and the directions given were outstanding and a big thank you for all the recommended places/sites to visit and hard work you put into the detailed preparation. We had no problem following the trail at all. The views are stunning (especially in the good weather we had). The daily distances were  just about right. In order to be able to enjoy the location you walk to in the evening and not feel too exhausted, a distance of up to 20 km is well within our comfort zone. Anything above that, especially if the trail has a description of being severe and you walk for hours on very rocky ground, is outside of that comfort zone and we just feel too tired to wanting to explore the village / town you walk to. Which is a shame. Every place we have been to has its own charme and it is a pity not to take the time to explore it.

As you know, we stopped after the first five days of walking and went to the Scilly Islands for a short break. I would highly recommend this to anyone walking through Penzance and having the time to do so. We definitely enjoyed it. St Mary is wonderful to explore and we spent the Sunday walking around the Island. It is a walk of about 6 hours, moderate level and just as enjoyable as the SWCP.

A very big thank you also to the staff from the luggage transfer. Everything was perfect.

One recommendation for those who wish to visit the Minack Theater and perhaps enjoy a show there - the distance St Just to Porthcurno may just be a bit too long to arrive on time - unless you set of early enough in the morning, especially as there is lots to see on the way.

The ferry crossings at Gillan Creek are well worth an experience and I leave it to everyone to explore and enjoy!

Just finally, we have met a number of people on the path who have been talking very highly of encounter walking holidays, how well you are organised! This was confirmed by comments of BandB owners / hotel staff who obviously have the possibility of comparison. WELL DONE! And continue the good work.

 

Route: Padstow to St. Ives
Name: Harry Keiner
When: 29 June 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaOverall, we had a wonderful time on our walk. Except for occasional showers, the weather cooperated allowing us to enjoy the splendid scenery. The accommodations were excellent and the hosts at the smaller establishments friendly and engaging. All breakfasts were hearty and well prepared. The luggage transfer system also worked well. We have nothing but praise for the Encounter Walking staff, as they delivered what they promised. Because our journey from the US to Padstow took well over thirty hours, our decision to build in a rest day at the beginning of the trip was a wise one. Padstow is a lovely small town, we enjoyed seeing the sights and reducing the effects of jet lag. We also took another rest day, after four days walking, at St. Agnes. This is a fascinating town with a small museum that helped put the physical remains of the former mining industry around us into their historical context. The highlight of our final day in St. Ives was a visit to the famous Leach Pottery. Thanks again, Encounter Walking folks. Your care in designing an itinerary to meet our needs was greatly appreciated. Hal & Michelle

Route: Minehead to Westwood Ho
Name: Rowena Francis
When: 28 June 2016

UK FlagExcellent walk that I really enjoyed. Information from Encounter on route good. Because I booked so late the long day was just that bit too long but knew that and will book sooner for next legs. There is a cafe open Tues-Sun called The Waterside not on your info with good views, if nice enough to sit outside, of the estuary on the right about .5 of a mile before The Braunton Inn on The Tarka trail. All B&B's lovely but evening meal at Blair Lodge absolutely fantastic. Only negative comment I did not feel the packed lunch from The Bath Hotel was good value for money compared to elsewhere where such was needed due to the route. Thanks for organizing my hol - it was all I hoped for and expected.

Route: SW Coast Path Padstow to Penzance
Name: Pip Williams
When: 28 June 2016

Flag of AustraliaHad high winds to beautiful sunshine & all between. Enjoyed every bit of it except the walk into Newquay. Please insist on taking a bus as it is horrible to hit the hurly burley of the town after such beautiful country walking! Also got a bit lost through Hayle as we interpreted the causeway wrongly & walked out on a nature trail across the water & when we realised it wasn't going to the other side, we paddled across to a railway siding. Unfortunately a very long day! Also need to be aware of the pastie & icecream eating seagulls- they were vicious! All the accomm was first rate & we seemed to have the best room in the pub every time. Directions re meal spots were spot on & we advise to obey them. Went to Minack Theatre to a matinee & nearly cooked. Half a Shakespeare was enough, but the experience was well worth it & the swim at the nearby beach refreshed us(it was freezing). It was fun running into some of the same people each day & we felt like we'd made some good, though transient freindships . Cant wait to do another one in a year or two. Pip & Chris Williams

Route: Westward Ho! to Padstow
Name: Stephen & Christine
When: 27 June 2016

UK FlagFantastic walk. Plenty of up's and down's - don't under estimate the difficulty. All accommodation very good - Bush Inn at Morwenstow worth a special mention. Good meal at Olive Tree in Bude. Cool,wet and very windy at start of week but soon calmed down and then perfect. Very well organised and path easy go follow- Trailblazers books - excellent. Will certainly use encounter again........thanks

Route: FULL COAST PATH COMPLETED !
Name: Vicki - New Haven USA
When: 26 June 2016

USA FlagI must give you and your staff a 10+++ out of 10 for the administration of the walk.  Not only did everything go smoothly, but I very much appreciated your doing everything possible to make things the way I wanted them, for example:  no taxi transfers!!  How wonderful it was, each day, to arrive at THE destination.  I have thanked you many times before, but cannot thank you enough for arranging the best walk I ever had.  I know whatever else I do, the South West Coast Path will remain the ne plus ultra.

Problems finding the trail:  The only bad (stupid?) mistake I made was coming down from Mawnan Smith.  I neglected to go through the gate to the beach and walked almost all the way back up in a U.  A lady walking her dog set me straight!

I found having a GPS extremely useful to verify, on occasion, many occasions, that I was on the path and sometimes to help find it when there were tricky on-agains after reaching a parking lot or something.  

South Dorset Ridgeway:  The first part of it out of Abbotsbury is very pretty, but a lot of it is rather dull and you have to be VERY VIGILANT following the signage, which is quite good.  I would not choose the SDR over Portland and Weymouth had I not already done the former, but it was fine….you have it all to yourself!  

I might suggest a rest day in Abbotsbury for people who would like to visit the swannery and the subtropical gardens.  You can’t do both on the day you arrive.  Even I, who started out at 7:00 a.m. could barely manage, and I would have preferred more time in both places.  Those gardens were my absolute favorite of all the gardens I visited.  If one took a rest day in Abbotsbury, then one could walk to the Hardy Monument, thus taking in the best part of the SDR, and have time for, say, the gardens.  

Overall favorite sections were the first ones down from Minehead, but some were a bit scary, I have to say!  Around Hartland Quay with ferocious wind and rain on those steep cliffs….yeah, I had my moments!

Perhaps I did not need so many rest days, but there were interesting things to do in all the places I stopped.  In Dartmouth, managed Coleton Fishacre on the day I arrived (took a taxi in Kinsgwear—there is only one.  The lady at the Tourist Information was helpful with her advice to call before taking the ferry over to make sure the driver was available.) and visited Greenway the next day…ferry there and walked back.  Museum in Dartmouth is also very interesting.  Back to Coleton Fishacre…a walker can enter from the path, see the gardens before 10:00, even if not exactly legal, and then see the house and proceed, but I would not recommend it.  Too much for one day, but then I am not 25!

You can easily do both Greever and the Levant Tin Mines in Pendeen.  (It was Pendeen, right?)  The tours are quite different.

 

Route: Saints Way
Name: Dag & Dina- Norway
When: 26 June 2016

Norweigan FlagHei, We are very satisfied with our trip on Saints way. We were well prepared for this walking with your
arrangement maps and information etc. Your helpful attitude to answer questians and try to make a it a good experience for the walkers is important. I was a little exited to take a walking trip in a another country ,read maps etc., but it worked well.

The wheather on our 3 days walk was not bad.1 day with no rain. 
The accomodation was very good,all 4 places.The English breakfast is very good to start with before walking. It was nice people with good service. I will mention spesially Tresgollsfarm. The food and service was incredible. It was good that it is possible to eat lunch in Lanivet,so we did not bring  packed lunch
that day.

We loved all the nice views on the route. It is interesting to know something about the history(trough the guidebooks) of the route.Some places it was a little difficult to see the signposts,but most places it was good signed. It was good to have the map in combination and the information about the route.Just before Blable house it was a signpost which was fallen down. The field below whith 10 bulls , before Blable house was a little scary, if the path is ment to go trew. We walked a little detour.  We walked down to Breney farm instead of walk path,maybe we did not see signposts (maybe we was not obeservant enough).It was difficult to get out of the farm with fences with barbed wire all over. But we managed to go trough the farm.

The luggage transport worked well. 

We loved  these days with walking in Cornwell and will recomend it for everyone.

Thank you Damon for your help in our planning.

 

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Ali -
When: 25 June 2016

UK FlagI am proud of myself for completing the walk from St Ives to Penzance in late June as the weather was a challenge – just the one day without waterproofs! My favourite accommodation was the Old Success Inn in Sennen. It is modern with wonderful food. Sennen is such a beautiful place and after five hours walking there in very heavy wind and rain, the sun came out, dried me and I relaxed on the most beautiful beach. I preferred the Inns to the hotels as having a pint and dinner in the bar was more cozy and sociable.

Route: Padstow to Penzance
Name: F & A - Maassluis
When: 24 June 2016

Netherlands FlagWe had plenty of time to walk through Padstow, which we (again) found one of the nicest places we have been in England. In Mawgan Porth, we had dinner in a restaurant named Catch, which was good and pleasant. To us Newquay seems a city not worth a long visit.

We didn’t pass the river Gannel near the ferry, but at the footbridge more upstreams (the tidal information we had got from you was very helpfull). We spent the evening in The Bowgie Inn at about 10 min walk, which was very pleasant, with good food.

Crantock to Perranporth - Unfortunateally this was a rainy/ misty day, with poor visibility. Until the dunes upon Perranporth Sands, the path was not very difficult to walk. But these dunes walked very unpleasant. Not only because they are very steep by time, but also because everything (sand and gras) ware very wet because of the rain. When we were at the Perranporth Sands, the tide was low, so we decided to walk on the beach, by which we could reach Perranporth.

Portreath -  We had a nice dinner in The Waterfront Inn, which is quite close at Cliff House.

At Mutton Cove we saw several seals with youngsters. Very beautifull. Later this day we saw several seals again.

The walk across the Towans was nice and very well marked (the stoned used to mark the path, were very beautifull).  Here we did not go across the beach, but passed through the dunes. They were much easier to walk as the dunes we passed through some day ago.

Didn’t like the walk across the holiday homes before entering Hayle. The quay before entering Hayle was nice and new indeed. But the walk through Hayle and from Hayle to Lelant was not very attractive.

St Ives to Zennor -  Here and during the first few kilometers west of St. Ives, the walk went over an easy path.

Later on, the walk became more and more strenuous, over a difficult and very rocky path, which went up and down constantly.It was severe indeed ! Today the weather was nice, so that we had good views over the rough and beatifull landscapes we walked through. We also saw some seals today. The Tinners Arms is a nice place to sleep, with good food and a pleasant atmosphere. It made us think more or less at the manned huts wich you can find in the Alps.

Walking across the (remainings) of the buildings of the Geevor and the Lelant mines is a special opportunity. During the last few days it already had become clear to us, that , mining had been very important in this area. But is is also clear, that the people, who have had their job in the mines, had a hard and unhealty job.

Most of the day, the walk stayed special, because of the old mining buildings we passed. The stretch was not that difficult as the parts we walked yeasterday and the day before. The nature was beautifull and rough again.

Today we passed Land’s End. Because the distance from Sennen Cove to Lands End is not to big, we were there pretty early and it wasn’t yet to busy. It is in some way a remarcable place to visit and we spent here some time. We were so lucky again to have beautifull weather with fantastic views.Except for the views and some time in the little shop, with very pleasant people, Land’s End is not a place for a long stay.

Also this day, nature was rough and beautifull, with splendid rocks. Around the Minack Theatre is was quite crowded.

In Penzance we stayed in the Dolphin Tavern. Shortly before we started our holiday, we heard from friends that this is a nice place to be. We can say the same now: it is a very nice Inn.St Michael’s Mt is surely worth a visit. It is a beautiful castle. And because the weather was fine again, with very fine views. We had a nice day there.

We went by train from Penzance to London Paddington and with The Heathrow Express to London Heathrow.

From there we took the plane back to Holland.

This is a pretty long, but easy journey.

Some parts of this stretch were very busy, this were the places were there are beaches and where is a lot of surfing and other water sports. Other parts were remote and beatifull to walk.

What surprised us, is that we had seen very few cattle. Where we, on our other walks in England and the South West Coast Path, have seen thousands of sheeps and  lots of cows, we now just saw of both just a few dozens.

Everything was arranged well again.

We enjoyed the contacts we had with Encounter Walking Holiday to compose our holiday.

The itinerary is clear and very complete. Erverything at the places we slept was ok. And we found our lugage with no problems at the places we stayed.

We have enjoyed England, the English food and the English hospitality very much again.

 

Route: St Davids to St Dogmaels
Name: Mike and Rona
When: 24 June 2016

UK FlagWe really enjoyed the final leg of a brilliant walk. It all went very smoothly and we really enjoy having everything arranged for us.  The accomodation was very good and all our hosts were very helpful. The only weak link was the Webley Hotel in St Dogmails. The owner was lovely and he worked incredibly hard but the rooms were a bit 'tired'. Saying that the food was very good and the hotel is in a brilliant location for dramatic sunsets and walking on the estuary.

All our hosts provided really good packed lunches.

We really appreciate the hard work that went into finding such good locations for the overnight stops. It was really worth the extra mile to the Old Vicarage at Moylgrove !

 

Route: Pembrokeshire South Amroth to Milford Haven
Name: Maggie and Pat
When: 23 June 2016

UK FlagWell we didn't pick the best of weeks, only one dry day, 3 showery and 3 heavy persistent rain, so bad that we didn't walk from Angle to Pembroke after a thorough soaking and getting caught in a squall the previous day. Hopefully we can go back to do that section next time.

so feedback:-

1. The Trail. Generally the path is good and mostly well waymarked. At Broad Haven it isn't very clear which way to go from the cliff top to pick up the lily pond path. Also on the path out of Broad Haven the waymarked path through the dunes is virtually impassable due to overgrown vegetation. It is best to walk along the beach and then up the steps to the car park (where there is a very good mobile café).

2. Tips. Nothing new, there aren't many cafés. The Old Point House at Angle only does food at weekends.

3. Highlight. the Church Doors rock at Skrinkle Haven, and having the beach there to ourselves

4. Accommodation. Good throughout. We were made very welcome by the lovely people at at Angle Bay B & B  despite turning up completely drenched. Our boots and socks were put by the Aga and all our wet things hung in a utility room. So good not to have them hanging around the room.

Thanks for pre-booked specific rooms at Jameston and Milford Haven, both were large and exceeded expectations. Jameston particularly good.

Route: North Pembrokeshire Coastpath St Davids to St Dogmaels
Name: Ann & Bernie Gibbons
When: 20 June 2016

Flag of WalesThis is a really great walk. We had a group of 5 friends, plus another joining part way through. All arrangements made by Encounter Walking Holidays worked like clockwork. The coastpath is spectacular and rugged, with lots of wild flowers and birds, plus seals on the rocks and a pod of dolphins. The weather was bad for two days but we still managed to walk and the accommodations were all very helpful and friendly. (Especially Vivienne at Hampton House in Trefin - she has a wonderful boot drying machine!) We have now completed the whole of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and highly recommend the walk.

Route: Coleridge Way Full Route
Name: Sylvie - Oxford +3 walkers and 2 dogs...
When: 20 June 2016

UK FlagThe whole holiday was beautifully managed and was a brilliant experience.  Each place we stayed was very welcoming and gave a high level of comfort, luggage always preceded us smoothly, food delicious, landscape breathtaking, weather perfect for walking, not a single fly in the ointment so many thanks for organising it so efficiently

Route: Perranporth to Coverack
Name: Chris
When: 20 June 2016

Flag of the United KingdomI walked the 110 miles from Perranporth to Coverack as a solo walker and it was everything I hoped for and more. I will definitely be returning to walk the rest of the SWCP. The landscape is incredible from the wild, rocky stretches on the North Coast to sub-tropical, lush vegetation on the South Coast. On some days I walked for hours without meeting another person, making it feel as though I had the whole path to myself. Overall I found it straightforward to navigate my way from place to place; I had very few problems route finding aside from the occasional wrong turn, making for a slightly alternative route over a few stretches, but I never found myself straying far from the path. The Trailblazer Guide was incredibly useful for a solo walker, the maps for each section giving you confidence in where you are and what’s coming next, as well as signposting the next opportunity for tea and cake! One of the many highlights for me was the wide mix of people I met along the way, including walkers from Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, as well as from all over the UK. Everyone I met was really friendly whether local or tourist and it was great to meet people along the way and share stories; I also found it useful to ask people I met what to expect along the next stretch. Tips: - The South coast sub-tropical sections are very lush, long trousers help! - A walking pole is really useful for some of the more rocky stretches - Ask the people you meet for recommendations on where to eat and drink the next day - Luggage transfers mean you can walk further each day - Staying in pubs is great! Overall my walk was very well organised without any issues; I will definitely use Encounter again when I return to walk the rest of the path.

Route: South West Coast Path Minehead to Barnsatple
Name: Tracy Walczynski
When: 19 June 2016

Australian FlagWhat an excellent experience for the 3 of us. Each day provided a reasonable walking challenge, rewarded with a clotted cream tea break during the walk and an ale at the end of the day. The time guides were accurate and the information in the guide book gave a good indication of what to expect and the path was easy to find and well marked. We would recommend taking the steam train from Bishops Linyeard to Minehead or vice versa. It was a pretty addition to the journey. We had some mizzle and only really one episode of transient rain, making the summer weather pretty well perfect for us. The seamless transfers of luggage and suitable accommodation made a welcome relief to tired walkers. All up a rewarding experience thoroughly recommended. THankyou.

Route: Coleridge Way to Porlock Weir, SWCP Porlock Weir to Minehead
Name: Monica and Chris (Oakland, CA)
When: 18 June 2016

USA FlagWhat a wonderful experience! We took the relaxed option (5 days walking) and stopped at Nether Stowey, Williton, Roadwater, Wheddon Cross, Porlock Weir, and Minehead, which is easier to get back from than Lynmouth. Ian and Lynne (and Ozy!) have some sort of magical alchemy going on at Old Cider House at Nether Stowey, definitely the best overall accommodation. When I booked I was concerned we wouldn't be able to make Monksilver the first night -- however if we do it again I would push on because the vibe at Notley Arms was great and so was the barkeep and his dog. Highly recommend Wood Advent Farm, too -- gorgeous setting, wonderful hosts, and the dogs are a big plus. Exmoor House and the Cafe at Porlock Weir had the best cooking, though all meals were delicious. Many inns offered alternatives to the full English breakfast, which I appreciated.

Luggage transfers were completely reliable. I recommend bringing carry-on sized bags even when booking luggage service, sometimes floor space is at a premium. We got lost a couple times navigating through pastures but the sheep helped us out (https://www.instagram.com/p/BHCVfpsj32M). Even getting lost we were able to average 1.5-2 miles/hour including stopping for pictures and lunch. A compass is a must, as is carefully identifying the fence lines when walking through tall grass (marked in black on the OS maps). The notes in the Coleridge Companion were a useful addition to the official directions. My favorites were the many green lanes, perfect for shelter from sun or rain. I also enjoyed the last day on SWCP, beautiful change of scenery and wildlife.

Damon and Ellie did a wonderful job organizing the trip, which allowed us to relax and enjoy our walk without worrying about accommodations or transfers. The only thing I would change would be to book the incoming transfer a little later than the train arrival, our train was delayed and our taxi had to come back to the station. I hope we can do another trip soon!

 

Route: Brixham to Lyme Regis
Name: Stig Montin
When: 18 June 2016

Swedish FlagEverything went very well, except for some smaller injuries. It rained a couple of days, but we were rather well equipped for all kind of weather . The sceneries were amazing. We felt very welcome at all B&B and with a nice full English breakfast or excellent porridge we could walk several hours before enjoying a cider or an ale. The luggage were smoothly transfered from place to place. So, thanks for a well arranged walk! It is a pity that you will leave the EU, but that will not keep us from returning again!

Route: Jurassic Coast reverse - Sandbanks to Exmouth
Name: Mike Peacock
When: 17 June 2016

UK FlagI went 'off piste' with this walk to try and get the whole Jurassic Coast completed in the six walking days at my disposal. Encounter Walking were happy to oblige and sorted all the accommodation at each of the locations I'd selected along my route. I knew the area quite well already but it was great to have the accommodation sorted and bags transferred. Everything worked without a hitch so all I had to do was walk each day.

I stayed in a mixture of private guest houses, B&Bs and hotels and all were fine and met my needs. Worth Matravers is a lovely village but with limited facilities so I followed Damon's advice and ate at the guest house and also reserved a packed lunch for my next day. At every other stage there were options en route for lunch and in the evenings. I enjoyed staying at The Manor Hotel in West Bexington and at Duke's in Sidmouth. I got soaked a couple of times and it was hard to get kit dry as most places did not have drying facilities. As I had plenty of spare clothes my focus was drying out my boots by any means possible.

I knew what I had let myself in for with long daily distances - over 95 miles in six walking days. I found the estimated walking times accurate to plan my days. I completed most walks between 30 mins to an hour quicker than suggested. I am relatively fit and walked a steady pace with no long breaks or lunches. I think the important advice here would be to know your capabilities and limits. The full coast is doable in a week and is a great walk to complete but it is challenging when there is no rest day built in.

Having your itinerary planned, bags transferred and accommodation sorted makes a huge difference. The SW Coast Path in Dorset and Devon is very well trodden and signposted. On a clear day you can see your route for miles. That said, I read each section's daily itinerary carefully and was always in contact with my map. I would advise anyone to make sure they can read one. One day I walked in total disorientating fog (even in June) and at times the sign posts can be hidden by vegetation. Knowing what you are looking for and where you are on a map, how to read contours and other features, etc. means you don't make mistakes and add unnecessary distance to you walk.

Other advice to walkers would be to always wear long trousers. Vegetation is often overgrown with lots of nettle and bramble. In addition, the horse flies were out in force along certain sections. I saw lots of people walking in fashion trainers and even flip flops. I wore sturdy boots and needed them on certain sections. The terrain can be rough and the Undercliffs between Lyme Regis and Seaton a real quagmire in some sections. In all this was a great walk and a wonderful experience. I'm pleased I chose Encounter Walking to help plan and arrange it for me and would heartily recommend their services.

 

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Peth
Name: Thea Lousen - Denmark
When: 17 June 2016

Danish FlagEverything was very well planned and fulfilled my expectations. All hosts were friendly and helpful. And the route is easy to follow - very well marked - you only need a map to follow your progress, not to find the way. Although it is a challenge to get to and from especially St Dogmaels, once you are there, local transport with walkers shuttle busses (al least in the summer) makes it very easy to shorten some of the days, or to stay in the same place two or three days, and take the shuttle to or from the walking.

This was my second time on PCP. I last walked the route in 2009 and always wanted to return. I found it easier this time. Most of the styles have been replaced by gates. It may sound like a small thing, but it really makes a difference on some of the very long and challenging days. The views, especially on the northern half of the route are magnificent. Compared to SWCP, the walking is easier, the views just as beautiful, but there is a lot more overgrowth to battle, I think due to the more humid conditions. I probably will return again, but next time I will skip at least the part before Milford/Sandy Haven - walking is beautiful, interesting, and diverse, even in the more industrial parts of the trail, but too many horseflies to my taste on this section.

Route: Exmouth To Lyme Regis
Name: Rebecca + 2
When: 17 June 2016

USA FlagFirst of all, I just want to thank you for arranging everything so nicely. We had a great adventure and everything went very smoothly.  All the luggage transfers and accommodations did exactly what they were supposed to do, so we didn't have to worry about anything other than our own feet! 

We definitely found hiking poles useful.  There are enough steep places where using your arms to help pull up or catch yourself coming down was a good idea.  Also in slippery or uneven spots we saved ourselves from falling many times.

For 60-year-old Americans, who don't take regular long walks, the estimated times were too short.  We were happy knowing that the daylight would last until 10pm, and we never needed that long, but every section took longer than expected.  The first day, Exmouth to Sidmouth, which was supposed to be the longest, ended up being fairly easy, perhaps because the weather was perfect, but also because the path was so varied in addition to being well marked. There were a few places where we were uncertain about which way to go.  There are so many public footpaths and in the foggy places it's hard to see a landmark to help locate yourself.

Americans don't know that breakfast is always included, so you might say that, just so no one has to wonder.  It was wonderful trying the various versions of the Full English Breakfast and feeling well fortified for the day.

Exmouth was a fun and easy place to walk around, find something to eat, buy snacks and get ready for our adventure. We loved the little place for coffee and sandwiches on the beach at Budleigh Salterton. Excellent lattes. Also, Sidmouth has a lot of nice shops.  I had to replace my hat which had blown over a cliff and there was a very nice outdoor adventure store. The walk to Sidmouth was, indeed, severe at times, with many flights of steep stairs cut into the hillsides. And we had a drizzly day with many low-lying clouds that we walked through on the tops of the cliffs. So we didn't have the full benefit of the views from the altitudes we had reached.  But the farmland and natural areas were lovely and we enjoyed seeing cows and horses.

If there is any way to clarify how to get on the public path to Branscombe before you get down to the beach, We ended up at the fine old mill in the National Trust area.  The very helpful man directed us to the old bakery for wonderful crab sandwiches and Devon Cream Tea.

Beer is absolutely delightful and the Dolphin Hotel was a good choice, as we were able to stay out of the rain and get a good dinner and local beer. There are many bakeries and shops where you can get a lunch, in addition to asking the very helpful staff to pack a lunch.  We opted for pasties and fresh fruit from the shop next door.

Interestingly, the newly reopened Undercliff Path was our least favorite bit.  It's too much like our lush, tangled American woods to feel very special, and the path was so slippery and wet that we had a hard time staying on our feet.  It seemed like a place that would never dry out and we felt like we would never see the end of it. Lyme Regis was a great reward, and the sky had cleared by the time we got there.  The first thing we did was wash off our boots and trouser legs in the sea. 

We loved poking around Lyme Regis the next day and would recommend that people build a day into their schedule to enjoy it. The cab to the train station in Axminster was only 14 pounds and well worth it.

Overall, it was a delightful trip and we are grateful for everything you did for us.

Thanks again.  Rebecca

Route: St Ives to Falmouth
Name: Ann and David
When: 17 June 2016

US FlagWhat to say - another brilliant walk thanks to the organization and help of the Encounter team. This was our 4th walk and most ambitious in terms of total length of trail tackled but not being marathon marchers we had it split up into most days being less than 10 miles. That allowed us leisurely starts in the morning and arrivals at next stop well before dinner and time to explore if we liked. Took us more days of course but well worth the time spent. Although truth be told exploring usually meant finding the nearest pint at the end of the walk. We realized this trip that we like these walks because they are just big long pub crawls for us.

Hardest day was St Ives to Gunnards Head only because it was our first day plus it rained all day long with some nice gusty winds when on the headlands. The Gunnards Head was a welcome end to the day to say the least and maybe because of that remained at the top of our list for our favorite spot out of all our stays - food is incredible and the atmosphere and rooms were just right. Biggest disappointment was our next day which was suppose to be The Ancient Stones moor walk from Gunnards Head - but we woke to dense fog - i.e. couldn't even see the other side of the road from the inn so we cancelled the walk (we are able to 'lose' our way on the moors on a sunny day so certainly wasn't going to risk fog) and just pottered around the Inn and once the fog lifted late afternoon strolled out to the head to try and puzzle out the promontory fort there.

All in all this section of the coast path was the easiest we've walked yet in terms of strenuous up and downs and longs slogs although there was scrambling amongst rock and boulder that tested our path picking skills - that was fun - when not raining. Trail was very muddy and slippery in places throughout our days and a few bruises ensued due to that; but nothing serious. Just take your time and have good shoes. Some highlights for us - Sennen Cove was a pleasant stop and we enjoyed watching the surfers. Porthleven was a great little harbor town.

Inadvertently arriving in Penzance during the Golowan Festival on Mazey Day which gave us a great little interlude as the pub we had found to escape the crowds from was invaded by the roving troop of musicians for a private concert of old cornish fiddle, flute and drum music as we were the only patrons in the pub. fun.

While Gunnards Head Inn topped the list of all our accommodations they all were good finds for us and we'd return to every single one of them. To be fair to the B&B stops; it's hard to compare a B&B to an Inn - so of the B&B St Michaels in Marazion was the top of the B&B stops. GoldMartin in Mawnan Smith was up there too for the warm welcome and great conversation.

Walking notes as always were spot on; the recommendations for refreshments along the way worked great during the day and we found places to stop on nearly every day with only a couple that we needed to take food with us. All diversions noted were easy to follow (Trebah diversion is still in force). We've not followed the advise in the past to book tables for dinner but did this time and were glad we did - places were pretty busy and we felt that we were in not quite high season yet. Even just popping into wherever you might want to eat as you hit town can be helpful but if you really have your heart set on a place call a day or two earlier.

Outstanding meals had at Gunnards Head as noted, 2 Fore Street in Mousehole. The Square at Porthleven. In Porthcurno do not be put off by having to walk across the fields to Logan Rock Inn - even at end of day the walk was easy, not tiring and the food/atmosphere well worth it. For something different in Falmouth there is a Jamaican restaurant, Cribbs, with pretty authentic and good food and good cocktails. So as always - a big thanks to Encounter for their organizational skills and in depth knowledge and of course as always - we'll be back for the next section (once you start its hard to turn your back on it til it's all done I've found).

Route: Marazion to Fowey
Name: G & A - AUSTRIA
When: 16 June 2016

Austrian FlagJust a quick note that we arrived safely in Fowey. Everything worked perfectly well, apart from the weather, it was quite wet at times. Nevertheless, we had a great time and lots of fun. Thanks for everything.
 

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path Amroth to Milford Haven
Name: David and Kerry - Victoria
When: 16 June 2016

Australian FlagWe have some feedback from our four days from Amroth to Pembroke. We really enjoyed it and do feel a fair bit of accomplishment at having made it. We thought we were pretty fit, but at the end of that first day…! Suffice it to say we pushed on and were surprised at our overnight recovery after each day.

State of the path during the walk – we were continually remarking on the terrific state of the walking track. It was just about always clearly defined and obviously well maintained. The wildflowers at this time of the year were a highlight. The signage with the acorn symbol and yellow arrow were almost always there when you needed them.

A final section on the walk-in to Tenby from Amroth was confusing and did have us making a 20 minute walk in the wrong direction. It’s on page 79 of the Jim Mathorpe guide book where the path to Waterwynch Bay is marked. A sign by the path referred to the beach only being accessible at low tide and had a reference to private property. We didn’t go past this sign but proceeded up the road almost to the main road taking traffic into Tenby. We turned around and walked back past the sign, finding the coastal path directions about 100m past this. Maybe this first sign needs clarifying.

Generally though the directions and maps were terrific and all three of: your notes, booklets and maps were used every day. Thanks for the opportunity to do the walk. We will be recommending it to all our friends who we think are up to it!

Route: Padstow to St Ives SW Coast Path
Name: Judy - Washington USA
When: 15 June 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaDamon,

Oh my gosh! The vacation you arranged for Eeva, Pat, my daughter Clara and me was the BEST EVER! I have traveled a fair amount in my lifetime, and never have I experienced such astounding beauty-we were amazed that around every corner there was something new and breathtaking!-such heartfelt kindness from the locals, not to mention the best B&B's and FOOD on earth!! Your choices and advice, your directions, luggage transferring-everything!!-was pure perfection! I, personally, had a smile glued to my face the entire trip because of my extreme good fortune at having experienced my own little piece of Heaven! I even loved the snails, which my 16 year old daughter lovingly picked up off the path and placed in the safety of nearby bushes, and the fact that I didn't see one adder!

I shall not, however, share my experience with anyone, as I wish to keep your coastline just as it is, not ravaged by more tourists!! Just kidding!... I will tell everyone to contact Damon for the trip of a lifetime!!

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart! It is so apparent that you, yourself, have walked every step, hand-picked every B&B, tasted every Full English Breakfast, and placed every acorn guidepost to keep us on the right path! Pure perfection. As I unpack today, and go over and over the precious details of my adventure in my mind, I am gobbling up all the nickels and dimes and quarters from the laundry room, out of my husband's pockets, etc. to stash away for the next leg of the journey with you!!

Forever Grateful in Washington, USA!!

Route: SW Coast Path Mevagissey/Fowey & Saints Route Fowey/Padstow
Name: Shirley Riley & Martin Ruef
When: 15 June 2016

Swiss FlagGreat organisation by Encounter. THANK YOU. Luggage transfers were smoothly done. All stop overs were great with good breakfasts to start the day. Particular mention of Tregolls Farm where the owner was very hospitable and helped dry out boots! The Crown Inn was also a great place to stay. The route was well marked on Coastal Path and the views wonderful with plenty of options to enjoy our cornish pasties. On the Saints Way there were one or two places where we had to navigate main roads which were tricky and a couple of places where we could have done with a machete! The information sheets you provided were very informative and helped us to decide where to linger. The maps were very easy to follow and we didn't get lost! We would definitely recommend Encounter Walking and hope to do another one soon.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Shari
When: 14 June 2016

Austrian FlagMy husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our walk, although we were not able to see and enjoy a lot of the sights as the weather was not ideal - we had two days where we were completely drenched through but our hosts on both days helped us get our things dry so that we could start the next day in dry clothes and shoes. The luggage transfers were fantastic, the documentation you provided was brilliant and we even were able to enjoy walking along the extensive beach at Perranporth in sunshine, wading through the sea.  We met some wonderful people in the accommodations, who helped us and made us feel very much at home.  

The only critique was that my husband really didn't enjoy the long walk to find Nanterrow Farm after having walked all day; fortunately, we were the only guests so that we didn't have to share the bathroom with other guests but a shower was not available and my husband only showers; my husband isn't so much a fan of old English houses either.  I didn't mind it very much, but I'm used to the English way of things!  We did enjoy ourselves and everything went according to plan and your wonderful itinerary.  So MANY, MANY THANKS.

In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we want to walk a different part next year but I will fill you in with the details in a second message so as not to mess up the system - finish one trip and then start with arranging another! All the very best and will send you the details of our next walk soon.

Route: Lyme Regis to Weymouth
Name: Geoff Thompson
When: 14 June 2016

Flag of ThailandOverall we enjoyed our 3 days of walking although only on one day did we escape the rain - the last day Abbotsbury to Weymouth was the least fun as the scenery is ordinary - The Fleet & Chesil Beach are interesting but not particularly scenic, especially in the rain, and much of the coast path here is through fields away from the coast. This was compensated by the scenery & walking on the first two days from Lyme Regis to West Bay & W.B. to Abbotsbury. We were very happy with the B&Bs chosen by Encounter, although the " industrial scale " B&B in Weymouth was a surprise - fortunately this was our last night so we didn't need help drying out gear for the next day ( which the other more homely B&Bs were happy to help with) The maps provided by Encounter also worked out well, although we found the timings given for the stages were pretty optimistic - perhaps we were unusually slow but we added at least 1 hour extra for walking + another hour for stops ( Thus a 4 hour stage ended up as 6 hours). In terms of evening meals we found the small " Pizza & Steak" restaurant in Lyme Regis, tasty, good value,& friendly. In Abbotsbury we chose The Swan Inn over the more pricey Illchester Arms and were not disappointed. In Weymouth we chose The Ship , a shortish walk from the B&B and again were pleased with the simple pub grub, good bottle of wine and friendly service. Thanks to Encounter for helpful and friendly communication while arranging our walk.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: M & A Fellbach Germany
When: 13 June 2016

Flag of Germanynow we are back and we had wonderful holiday, more than we expected.

The daily walks brought us to our limits but we did them!

Each of accomodation we had good time and enjoyed our stay.

All hosts have been very friendly,  especially Tim of Cornerways (St. Ives) and Louise of Chy-an-Mor (Penzance).

Luggage transfer was perfect.

Your information and the guide-book are very helpful.

Following guide-book maps and description  word by word and step by step  you can’t go wrong.

Each day walk differs to the other. New sights and aspects every day.

Very hard for me was the part of the coast path from Minnack Theatre down to Porthcurno at the end of day 4 because I was tired from the day walk.

As I hurt my knee on Day 5 we couldn’t do the St. Michaels Way.

But we talked about next year holiday and - may be -  we’ll come back and then we try it again.

bye-bye, perhaps until next year?

Route: Saints Way 3 days
Name: Christopher and Diana UK
When: 13 June 2016

Flag of Great BritainDespite the somewhat unseasonal weather we had a very enjoyable 3 days walking the Saints Way.  We thank you for the excellent organisation of the walk, together with the very good walking guides, maps and individual notes which you provided. The three overnight B and B's were also very good with particular praise for Marilyn at Tregolls.  The care and attention to detail which was provided by you and your staff was very much appreciated as was the courteous and efficient way in which any telephone enquiry was treated.  We would certainly recommend ENCOUNTER to anyone who wishes to do a walking holiday in the South West. 

 

Route: South West Coast Path Padstow to St Ives
Name: Maggy
When: 13 June 2016

Flag of the United KingdomThis is a beautiful walk along a spectacular coastline but we think the descriptions in the guide book were a little misleading at times. We almost always took longer than described and it would have been helpful if the long stretches of uphill steps had been forewarned! There would have been times - in really bad weather - when we might have thought twice about undertaking those stretches. We enjoyed the variety of places to stay but the Newquay hotel was not up to the standard of the rest (will be emailing separately about this). Your instructions on how to reach the accommodation were impeccable.

Route: Lyme Regis to Weymouth
Name: Philip Stooke
When: 12 June 2016

Flag of CanadaThanks for an excellent experience! Everything worked perfectly. The guide and maps were great and we had no difficulty finding our way. The accommodations were perfect, and baggage transfer went without a hitch. You did a great job organizing this for us. I would recommend your service to anyone. Just try to improve the weather a bit next time!

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path St. Davids to St. Dogmaels
Name: Hans-Detlev, Barbara and friends - Düsseldorf
When: 12 June 2016

German FlagExcellent organisation of the walk by encounterwalking. We had no problems at all. Good information material and very good communication and informations before the walk. The B & Bs/guest houses/hotels were between very good and excellent with one exception which will be taken care of by encounterwalking.

The Pembrokeshire coast is beautiful and overwhelming and so was the walk. The scenery is dramatic and changes every minute. As we walked on the South West Coast Path (St. Ives to Mousehole) last year we have a good comparison and we can recommend both very much. The scenery in Cornwall is in parts perhaps even more dramatic whereas the views of long parts of the coast in Wales are unique. The level of difficulty of both trails is comparable, they are both strenous. In fact 2 of us found the Wales trail more difficult: the path is in parts overgrown with grass, fern and other plants up the the breast and the trail is in parts so narrow that we had to perform kind of a catwalk which is tiring in the long run. The other 2 found Cornwall more difficult: the trail is in long parts covered with rocks and stones which makes it strenous to walk. But the beautiful landscape overcompensates every strain and we had no problems (we are in our sixties/early seventies and in normal shape).

By the way: we spent some days in London after our walks and we were never so exhausted on the trails as we had been after one day walking in London. We found out that 15 km or a bit more walking was enough for us. So on two days we made use of the bus which connects many places along the coast and which is a very good thing. We had a lot of fun with the (lady) driver of the Strumble Shuttle whom we met several times as she drives six days a week and who was very friendly and helpful. Time tables of all bus routes are in the buses but it may be a good idea for encounterwalking to enclose a timetable in the information material. To sum it up: we spent a wonderful and unforgettable week in Wales. Thank you for the perfect organisation, Damon.

Route: Lyme Regis to Lulworth
Name: Carol and Kaye
When: 11 June 2016

UK FlagWell we did it ! 

And I need to thank you do very much . Everything went so well, our bags we waiting for us at every stop .  The path was well marked - well,   outside  of towns . We did struggle in towns , especially Weymouth. Your written instructions gave us the impression that the hotel was a stones through from the road joining Weymouth to Portland, but I fact it was about 2.5 hours more of walking ! This was partly our fault, because when we got there we then looked at our map and it was quite a distance . Thanks Carol useful feedback we could see the confusion was around the comments on "crossing the harbour into Weymouth" (we meant the harbour at Weymouth and you took it to be the Causeway to the Isle of Portland) - we've added something to the direction notes now to clarify that for everyone - EW

How we worked the paper side of things was : the night before we read from the book, so we had an idea of what to expect . Then we used your information sheet to guide us out and in to our hotel, but during the actual walk we used the map . I appreciate there was lots of information to hand, but when using walking poles you need your hands free . 

The accommodation you selected for us were super , thank you . Just the very first one in Lyme Regis wasn't there despite your information saying arrive after 4 pm. But I phoned her and she arrived in 5 mins. 

We enjoyed the different varieties of resting places, b&b / pubs . All were perfectly adequate. 

So all in all a very enjoyable trip . Would definitely recommend you to anyone .

Thank you so much once again  Carol and Kaye

Route: Minehead to Appledore
Name: Robin and John - Georgia
When: 10 June 2016

USA FlagHello Damon! - We had the vacation of a lifetime! Everything went smoothly. We had only one day of ‘real’ rain, so we consider ourselves quite fortunate. The daily amount of walking was just right for us, the path well marked, and the scenery spectacular. Our bags were always waiting, and the accommodations were wonderful. Thank you so much for arranging all this for us so professionally. 

Route: Port Isaac to Penzance
Name: Janet & Ian
When: 09 June 2016

Canadian FlagThank you very much for all you did to help us have a wonderful walking holiday! -Highly recommend Encounter Walking and the South West Coast Path - Write up about the walk and accommodation for each day was very helpful as were the maps. - Luggage pick up and delivery was flawless and made this type of vacation very enjoyable. - Accommodation was nearly always spotless and very welcoming. - Trail was quite well marked. Possible improvement in getting through Newquay and the sand dunes. - The walk was beautiful! Areas where the grass was cut along the trail were especially good. - Daily distances were good for us. The trail was quite demanding day after day but we really liked it and the rest day location choices that you made for us were excellent. - We come from a very flat part of Canada. Having walking sticks saved our knees on the steep ascents and descents. - The Cornish people, without exception, were very friendly, welcoming, helpful and courteous!

Route: Lands end to polperro
Name: Pete haynes
When: 07 June 2016

Flag of the United KingdomA massive thankyou to Encounter walking! Having not done anything like this before it was made easy and went without a hitch. The weather was good most of the time but you dont walk the Cornish coast for the weather! Its a bonus if the sun shines.the scenery was stunning, the people, the places all very freindly and excellent full Cornish every day to get me on my way, averaged 15 miles a day and that was enough! The guide book and map were a great help, you can miss so much if you just march on by, once again thanks to the guys at Encounter I will be organising another trip for 2017.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Mary- Australia
When: 07 June 2016

Australian FlagI found this walk a great experience. The coastal scenery and wildflower displays were spectacular and all the arrangements made by Encounter Walking worked like clockwork. On my two rest days, I walked to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Eden Project and would particularly recommend the latter. I have a poor sense of direction and was walking on my own but found that the guidebook and OS maps generally kept me on track. The fog was very thick on the day I walked from Portwinckle to Plymouth and I became disoriented while on the firing range; even the sea had become invisible and the usual gaps in a hedge or other markers of the path were not in view. In these sorts of conditions it may be advisable to follow the alternative path alongside the road. Thanks for your wonderful organization and support - I have no hesitation in recommending Encounter Walking to anyone considering a walk in this area.

Route: St Ives to Lizard
Name: Birgit, Christiane, Ria, Simone
When: 05 June 2016

Flag of GermanyThank you Damon for your the organizing. It was perfect. We had a great walk! Wunderfull views, superb landscape, lovely flowers and birds... The transport of luggage was going smoothly. All in all the accomodations were pleasant apart from the one in Penzance which was not of the same standard.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Wendy Branson
When: 05 June 2016

Flag of CanadaWe had a lovely trip and were blessed with some amazing weather (almost too hot!). The scenery was amazing. We did find that our walking time was significantly longer than the estimate provided - although it was likely more due to the time spent gazing at the scenery. There were sections that were quite demanding but we were in pretty good shape and survived! We could have used an extra day (5 instead of 4 hiking the same route) to be able further explore some of the museums, tin mines, beaches. What we appreciated most was Encounter Walking making all the arrangements AND moving our bags each morning. there was never a problem and all of the bed and breakfasts were unique, clean and quite adequate (breakfasts were all amazing!)

Route: Saints Way and Falmouth to Marazion
Name: Kristina and Borje Illerstrom
When: 04 June 2016

Flag of SwedenIn Swedish: Fantastiska vandringar i Cornwall, något för alla som ledsnat på att bära tunga ryggsäckar, sova i tält och äta frystorkad mat. Här bor man på jättefina B & B, oftast mycket bättre än hotell, får superb frukost, förfriskning på vägen och god middag på kvällen. Sträckan vi gick i år var från Padstow till Fowey (The Saints Way), därefter buss och tåg till Falmouth och från Falmouth vandrade vi The Coastal Path till Marazion. Vackert scenery var det i stort sett hela tiden - engelskt landskap med kullar och åkerlappar, mysiga små vägar som slingrade sig fram som gröna tunnlar genom landskapet osv. Byarna är små, ofta väldigt gamla med vackra stenhus. Pubarna, där man ibland övernattar, kan vara så gamla som flera hundra år, delar byggda kanske redan på 1200-talet. Gott öl och ale och maten är god, mycket bättre än sitt rykte. Och så är det dessa engelsmän! Trevliga, vänliga och hjälpsamma! Synd bara att det är så få svenskar som hittat till denna vrå av världen - det är det ultimata vandringsmålet. Vandringen efter The Coastal Path går i stort sett hela tiden längs med havet - Atlanten. Ibland högt uppe på klipporna med bara en meter till klippkanten med allt från några meter till några hundra meter ovanför den klippiga stranden! Häftigt! Det är mycket upp och ner men inte värre än att man klarar av det. På de brantaste ställen finns för det mesta enkla trappsteg. Stavar är ett bra hjälpmedel. Stora chanser att se tretåig mås, stormfågel, skarvar, sälar och har man tur kan man också få syn på alpkråka som är väldigt sällsynt. Samma gäller basking shark, en jätte som äter plankon, delfiner osv. Encounter Walking Holidays hjälper till med allt som behövs men gå får man göra själv. De bokar B & B, kör bagaget mellan övernattningsställen, föreslår vandringsetapper, hjälper till med tåg- och busstider, telefonnr till taxi, ja allt som man har behov av. Ett otroligt trevligt och hjälpsamt företag! Vi är supernöjda och har anlitat dem 5 gånger de senaste åren. Stort tack till Damon och hans vänner!

Route: Falmouth to Portwrinkle
Name: KK - Amsterdam
When: 04 June 2016

Flag of the NetherlandsWe had a wonderful trip last week and we were so lucky with the weather. How absolutely beautiful to walk along the coast path and local people were so friendly.

Thank you for organizing our trip

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Mary Letson
When: 02 June 2016

Flag of CanadaAmazing trip, my first walking holiday and it exceeded my expectations. Life changing. I am hooked. While planning our trip Damon and the Encounter Walking team consistently answered every and all queries in 24 hours clearly and a few times even answered questions before I had time to ask them. Brilliant.

Encounter's written directions were our bible every morning over our too large English breakfast and for the most part proved very clear. A couple of points for better clarity: 1) Sand dunes on Perran Sands ("strenuous") may be avoided completely by simply walking the beach instead above the beach on the dunes - given the right tide. we were grateful for a lower tide that day. 2) Directions to St Georges Country House Perranporth were not clear, references to "short gorges" and "small cliffs" were vague and not helpful. We ended up standing in some field feeling rather lost, tired and hungry until we got back on the trail and asked a local for directions.

Regarding refreshments, as we got our rhythm, we found packed lunches were the best bet over planning to stop along the way. That way we had options to stop at a café or not - besides, a picnic over-looking the stupendous cliff top views were priceless in everyway. When we did stop, we found the National Trust Café at Bedruthan Steps served the best Ploughmans. The Fish House Café in Newquay was amazing; small, family run, extraordinary food. Reservations a must. Thank you Damon and encounter team. We will be back!

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: Jonathan Pryce
When: 01 June 2016

Flag of the United KingdomExcellent customer service from Encounter Holidays who were able to accommodate our desired walking distances (no more than 13 miles per day) and also accommodate the dog. They responded very quickly when we emailed them to confirm that the dog could sleep in our room at the Plume Of Feathers in Princetown when the pub's website explicitly forbids it! The accommodation and food was generally very good in all the places we stayed.

One point I would make about walking with a dog is that some of the stiles on the Dartmoor way, especially but not exclusively between Lydford and Tavistock, are very hard to get a dog through. There are some near-vertical 5 foot tall ladder stiles with no feasible bypass; I would advise that you do not attempt this walk if you are unable to lift your mutt that far! It's a shame the waymarking is poor on the Dartmoor way, we saw not one sign anywhere that mentions "Dartmoor Way". The walker's guide to the route is OK but is annoyingly imprecise about distances: it uses terms like "after some time you get to..", "eventually you reach..." and "in a while the track narrows" rather than what you really need to know which is whether it is 100m or 1km later. Most walkers might consider that this adds to the interest but not, I suspect, when you are trying to find your way through a Dartmoor fog.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Angela Richardson -
When: 01 June 2016

UK FlagWe had very wet weather for our trip which made some parts of the walk more tough than we were expecting. Always the beautiful coast, the wildflowers and the bird life compensated. Do pause at the NT seasonal cafe to see the rock pipits scrounging for crumbs as if they were sparrows on the way from St Agnes to Porthtowan. We got confused by the choice of bridges on the Red River estuary as our ordnance survey map didn't show the low tide bridge - we understood why when we saw it, being more of a quay than a bridge. So best to follow signs to the ferry at low tide as you don't know you are also walking towards the low tide bridge til you are almost upon it. There were times with our Cornwall Coast Path book when we felt an age difference between the writers and ourselves (!) and less choice or greater clarity about choice of route at certain points would have made the book easier to follow. Nevertheless we were very glad of its many helpful comments and information. We appreciated the directions off the path to our accommodation too. A pity about the weather but still a wonderful path to take.

Route: St. Ives to The Lizard
Name: Peter Kelvin
When: 29 May 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaThe scenery was spectacular, exceeding our expectations, the flowers and color of the water are really amazing. The path between St. Ives and St. Just was more difficult than we expected, and we probably should have taken 3 days, rather than 2, or scheduled a rest day, which other walkers we met had done. Lands End could easily have been skipped, but the Lizard was truly beautiful, maybe the best spot of the entire stretch, although St. Ives to Gurnard's Head is also great, pretty hard to choose. The Coast Path was generally easy to follow, but going through the old mining areas before St. Just was very confusing, too many paths that wander off without markings. For those going that way, the Telegraph Museum and Minack Theater in Porthcurno were a real treat, and worth going out of your way to see if you have time. All the arrangements made by Encounter went like clockwork, we didn't have to think about anything except walking and taking photos, and what ale to try each evening!

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Name: Anita Weaver
When: 27 May 2016

USA FlagEncounter Walking did a great job! From advising us on trivial details as we planned the holiday to the very important details, they had everything covered. The shorter first days allowed us to improve our fitness initially, the luggage was always where we needed it to be, the accommodations were delightful (each place had its own special touch--from cold water at the end of a hot day to great dinner suggestions). Physically, the trail was a bit more difficult than I had expected, but the preparation that Encounter had done made each day fun and worth the effort!

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: Roel & Barbara
When: 25 May 2016

Flag of the NetherlandFirst of all, the accommodations and luggage transfers were very well organised. Sleeping in places where also dinner is being served is an advantage, then there is no need to go out again in the evening. Also good to have a supermarket nearby or on route to buy the necessities for the day, this was the case almost every day. The walk was good and the moors were beautiful. The route was easy to find, but off course we made mistakes and had to walk back a few times. In this case our navigator on the phone was a good help, we compared the route we had walked with the shape on the map and could easily find where we went wrong ;-) Often stiles were replaced by gates, or had disappeared, but the map always showed us we were still on track. The thing we didn't like so much was the fact we had to follow roads quite often. Even a very busy one for a few kilometres, that was kind of scary because the cars drove fast. Also lots of roads were very very narrow with high hedges on both sides, so there was nothing to see at all and we felt trapped and a bit claustrofobic. Any tractor and there would be no way to pass each other. The beautiful fields and views on the other side of the hedges remained invisible for us on these paths. It would be a good thing to address the locals about it to maybe replace these huge hedges for something else that offers views, just a thought, also for safety. But we were satisfied. The weather was perfect (no rain at all), the people were kind, we enjoyed being outside and looking over the fields, walking among the sheep and cows (and sometimes even horses). So yes, it indeed was a good walk and vacation and thank you for that! A personal thing: people who are afraid of heights would like to be informed which parts of a walk are a bit tricky f/e no wall or gate next to a steep slope down....

Route: Lizard Trail - Marazion to Falmouth
Name: Deborah + 2 - California
When: 25 May 2016

USA FlagFirst and foremost we all thank you for the wonderful arrangements and care you gave us on planning our trip which was FABULOUS.  We had incomparable weather, only 10 minutes of rain the entire time and most of the days were incredibly gorgeous with just a windy day early on. Wildflowers were beyond anything we ever expected and the ocean surprised us, we never expected the water to be so beautifully blue and clear.  

And now for a couple of points that could be helpful for other hikers:  Those two photos above were taken in Coverack, about two miles from town.  Unfortunately, on the other end coming from Cadgwith the sign which tells you to take the Inland route for easier going is NOT there and we stuck to the Coast and it was indeed challenging to say the least.  Someone needs to get this same sign up on BOTH ends so folks could make the choice of the easier route and maybe be advised its a darn good idea to take it. 

We are really glad we went to the Eden Project, a special place and well worth the visit.  The train was a lovely opportunity to see more of the countryside as well.  I am going to send another email with a few more photos you might enjoy.  Your company is just exemplary and we are so grateful to have found you.  With warm regards   Deborah

Route: Bude to Padstow
Name: Doreen - UK
When: 24 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomWe arrived home safely on Monday evening after a superb walk. The weather was very kind to us - the only rain we had was on the last Sunday but compared to the south coast we got off very lightly even then as we were generally sheltered down by the estuary and the thunder and lightning only started after we got to the Queens Hotel. As always the accommodation was excellent - very varied but everyone was very friendly and helpful. The luggage arrived safely each day.

This section involved a lot of ups and downs but doing it at the leisurely pace meant that it was still very enjoyable. The scenery was absolutely stunning and round every headland there was a different and exciting view. We had 7/8 days of wall - to- wall sunshine which meant that we took loads of photos of tremendous cliffs and blue seas.  The spring tides meant that beaches like Perranporth were absolutely vast and we walked on the bottom of the harbour in Newquay. On the other hand the high tides had the waves crashing into the bottom of the cliffs. The first couple of days were very muddy underfoot after all the rain over the easter weekend but we soon got past the worse areas. We've really looking forward to going back to do the next section ( St Ives to Falmouth) in May although I'm not sure how we can better the last two weeks for scenery and weather.

Route: St Ives to Falmouth
Name: Doreen and George - UK
When: 24 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomWe arrived home safely late on Monday evening after another superb holiday. The weather was very kind to us (again) with no rain at all this time. We thoroughly enjoyed this section of the walk - the accommodation was varied but as usual very good. We even met the Luggage Transfer guy one morning this time. There were no problems with the route at all because it was very dry underfoot. The flowers were absolutely superb with carpets of thrift , bluebells , campion etc. We think it was the best holiday for flowers that we have ever experienced even comparing it to the hay meadows in Switzerland. It was a lot more gentle section of coastline than the section from Bude to St Ives but the vegetation was luxuriant - as the chef Tom Kerridge would say - it was 'proper lush'. We also saw some choughs but no basking sharks even though they had been sighted off the coast at Porthcurno.

The only thing I would mention is that the museum in Zennor is now closed - the owner has retired and the exhibits have been moved to other museums in Cornwall.  Thank you Doreen we have removed the info from the route notes (Encounter W).  However we were lucky to fit in a tour around Levant mine, listened to a dress rehearsal of the musical South Pacific at the Minack Theatre and took a guided tour around Pendennis Castle in Falmouth. The extra day in St Ives was interesting particularly the Barbara Hepworth Garden ( the Tate is closed until next year but we knew that before we left).

All the places we stopped at were good but we particularly liked the Five Pilchards , the two St Austell pubs at Sennen Cove and Porthleven and the Mount Haven Hotel  at Marazion. The food was very good in all the places we stayed and we love the local beers and cider!!! We went to the Cable Station Inn in Porthcurno and even though it is an unusual building the food was very good and the lads behind the bar were very friendly.

Thank you so much for organising the trip. We now have two sections left to walk which, health permitting,  we hope to do next year so we will be in touch at the back end of the year to see what we can sort out.

We recommend your company to lots of people as we go along and we are always pleasantly surprised at the lovely places you find for accommodation which are generally close to the path itself which is a real bonus.

Thanks again for all your hard work in arranging these trips for us  and feel free to use these comments on your web site.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Roland EARL
When: 23 May 2016

Flag of AustraliaOverall a great 8 day walk with a good variety of conditions, views and places to see. For those our age, effective speed at times was not much better than 1 mph when lots of steps involved. Suggest not be too ambitious as to distance covered each day, 8 miles max unless it is easy going. Accommodation fine and bag transfers 100%. Need to refer both to Coast Path guide book and the OS map while walking. Directions leaving Par around Polmear were specially problematic with some direction arrows hard to interpret and a few posts missing. Most of the walk, the path markers were sufficient with only occasional checks of the maps needed.

Route: clovelli to port isaac
Name: simon and helen
When: 22 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a quite memorable holiday. Firstly the walk is quite stunningly beautiful and exhausting; we walked from 6 to 8 hours a day and collapsed into bed in the evenings. (actually from Hartland to Bude we actually walked 9.5 hours !!) Secondly we met a number of fellow walkers who were great fun, and we would keep bumping into them along the route or at the bed and breakfasts for the latest bit of gossip or update.

The organisation ie the collection and delivery of our bags from place to place worked like clockwork. The bed and breakfasts were variable but generally good. All the way from Clovelly I was hoping to eat fresh fish as we were on the sea but scampi and whitebait was all I could get til we made it to Port Isaac. In conclusion it was an absolutely brilliant week away; I would definitely do it again and I would definitely use encounters again. Highly recommended.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Richard Robinson
When: 22 May 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaThis was the most scenic walk (the ocean, cliffs, wildflowers, birds, beaches) my wife and I have ever done. And Encounter Walking was the most responsive and effective travel company that we have ever dealt with. Some of the hotels were better than others, of course, but they were all perfectly fine and the service everywhere was good. The written itinerary that Encounter gave us was absolutely complete, with all the information that we could possibly need for each stage of the walk. We are 100% satisfied. We hope to have Encounter arrange another walk for us next year.

Route: St Ives to Mousehole
Name: Liliane Boeckle and Nathalie Lovis
When: 22 May 2016

Flag of SwitzerlandWe enjoied great weather, ideal for walking and admiring the beautiful landscape we walked through. The organisation of the accomodations was great, the transport of our luggage too, many thanks. Everybody was very welcoming in the acomodations. Some part of the path were little marked and we missed it twice the first 2 days. But we got used to it (in our country, Switzerland, they put much more marques with more informations). We liked it so much that we hope to be able to come again for another part of the path. Best regards, Liliane and Nathalie

Route: Lyme Regis to Brixham (reverse direction)
Name: Pat + 3 - UK
When: 22 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomWe found the terrain and distances fine, although by the end of the 13 mile and the 11 mile days (day 4, Sidmouth to Exmouth and Day 6 Teignmouth to Torquay) we had definitely had enough, especially as we live in Berkshire and aren’t used to the very steep climbs on the Coast Path. We didn’t have time to look at any of the interesting attractions which were mentioned.  We just walked with breaks for refreshments etc. (which was fine)

All the hotels were friendly and welcoming The instructions re how to find the hotels were really good (we loved the plastic swans in the directions to the Royal Beacon Hotel.)

Every day we came upon somewhere to have coffee/snacks/afternoon tea etc (obviously only one of these per day as otherwise we’d never have arrived)There was somewhere to buy the day's lunch every morning, and the sandwiches & pasties that we bought were of a really high standard. 

All the ferries were working as planned.The Luggage Transfer worked perfectly.The taxi back to Lyme Regis to collect our car was very good - punctual and a very comfortable journey. The long term car parking worked well (Martin will probably comment on this).  We did it daily and when the system was not undergoing maintenance it was very quick.  You do need to be friends with modern technology though to make it work easily  

Day 2  Lyme Regis to Beer

The Undercliff was quite muddy slippery and narrow in places; in fact just as we were starting it we met 4 people coming back who said it was dangerous and they’d turned back.  Honestly though it wasn’t that bad for anyone who is a regular walker and you did flag up in your itinerary that it can be like that.

Exceptionally nice afternoon tea at the cafe on the seafront in Seaton (sorry, can’t remember name)

Day 3 Beer to Sidmouth

No walking problems except that just as we arrived at the streets of Sidmouth we lost the route, i.e. there weren’t any signs that we could see.  Obviously we found our way down to the sea so that was fine.

Day 5 Exmouth to Teignmouth

The Thatched Tavern en route at Maidencombe was brilliant.  An exceptional pub.

We went out for a fantastic meal at ‘Fresco’ - an Italian Restaurant very near the hotel.  One of our star evenings of the holiday.    

Day 6 Teignmouth to Torquay

Nothing special to note re walking

The Torcroft Hotel was a lovely hotel.  It was more like a very up market guest-house in that Phil and Sharon were very hands-on and always around to offer help and advice.  When we arrived we were invited down to the terrace for a complimentary glass of Prosecco - which obviously made a great start to our stay

Day 7 Torquay to Brixham

Ferry trip was very enjoyable.I took the ferry back, but the other 3 walked and I think the route maybe wasn’t very well marked on that section?

We all thought that the holiday was superbly organised, and had an all-round great time.  Thank you Encounter Walking.

Route: Milford Haven to St Davids
Name: J & C Kaneohe Hawaii
When: 22 May 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaAloha Damon and everyone, We have completed our Pembrokeshire walk and had a wonderful time.

Your detailed itinerary was great.  In particular, we did the two tidal estuaries at the lowest of tides and in the brightest of sun. In fact we had no rain on our walking and often very nice sun.  Your notes ensured we hit all the key highlights. We especially enjoyed our day walking among the Puffins on Skomer Island.  And also the wonderful flowers along coast. Mahalo for your arrangements. We look forward to working with you on our next long walk. We are now in London and leave Sat to walk day hikes with HF in Slovenia.

Route: St Ives to Porthcurno
Name: Patrick Ashwood
When: 19 May 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaOur walk went without any problems. All the rooms were booked and the luggage was always there. We really enjoyed the first three days of our walk, St. Ives to Sennon Cove. We would not do the Sennon Cove to Porthcurno section again. It was not as interesting and there were so many people. Porthcurno is also where we had the worst lodging and dinner. Porthcurno was only interesting to us for the telegraph museum, but then we are not into English theater. The Seaview B & B was the least pleasant accommodation on our trip, which included 11 different places. We supposedly had the largest room, which was a bed with a bit of space around it. Cramped is the theme here. I would arrange your walk so you do not stay in Porthcurno. We had a car and should have not started in St. Ives. Thanks to the instructions we got to the hotel, but it was a hassle. Parking the car in St. Ives was expensive. If we were to do this again with a car, we would start up the coast from St. Ives and end in Sennon Cove. My only concern was the cost of Encounter Walking. I could not find an itemized bill. I have no idea what the costs of the lodging were or the luggage forwarding costs. And of course was the maps and books and personalized directions which are hard to put a price on. Our bill was about $250 a day or 175 pounds a day. Arranging this would have been very difficult for us to do ourselves from the U.S. and we had this organization to back us up if something went wrong. So in the end, we would probably use this service again for our next walk which my wife says we might do in two years time. Once we paid our entire bill we did not hear from Encounter Walking again until they wanted our opinion on our holiday. We thought this was a bit odd. Perhaps an email or text to ask how it is going or if we had arrived?

Encounter Walking Holidays Response  - Thanks for the feedback Patrick with some useful points for other walkers there - to clarify we don't plan to call walkers once you are on the trail and its not something we have been asked/expected to do up to now -  BUT if anyone would like a call we are here right through your walk and so would be very happy to do so if you want a call.... so please just ask next time. We are always in contact after your final payment by sending on your final detailed itinerary and we ask anyone with any further questions to get in touch at that point - a lot do and we always respond if asked to.  We are always happy to make as much or as little contact as you would like as long as you tell us.  Price wise we do provide very clear individual quotes for every enquiry and we won't arrange any bookings for anyone until you have seen a quote, seen the price, what is included and decided you are happy with it.  We are lucky to have a high number of returning walkers so it makes sense for us to provide the best value we can and that is how we price your walks. That said please be aware that we are always happy to give free advice if you prefer to try and arrange it yourselves so do email us and ask - and we never charge for advice.

Route: Amroth to Milford Haven
Name: Sarah - UK
When: 19 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a lovely holiday thanks - and the weather in Pemrokeshire last week was mainly fantastic! We were very fortunate.

Some comments:

- Itinerary and route comments provided by you were all very helpful, and - in conjunction with the Trailblazer book - meant we didn't get lost once!

- Couldn't fault the luggage transfer company; both bags ended up where they should be every day! Plus, taxi transfers prompt and driver friendly

- Mellieha Guest House in Amroth provided cake and tea on our arrival which was much appreciated and got our holiday off to a special start. The quality of the guest house was fantastic; both in terms of accommodation, food, and friendliness. We felt very taken care of : )

- The Lighthouse Restaurant in Tenby is lovely for a good quality evening meal (popular though, so book)

- The Wavecrest Cafe next to the beach at Angle is a nice place for lunch / cake 

- The food cooked by Lorna in the restaurant at Castlemead Hotel in Manorbier is delicious! She knows how to cook, and is sensitive to any intolerances, allergies folk might have.

 - Don't miss St Govan's Chapel; it is amazing! Punches above its small stature in terms of impact...

 -  we were very impressed with the number of hotels/B&Bs which had one; a perfect end to a walking day : )

 - Pembroke Castle definitely worth a visit (as is Manorbier). 

 - The Cornstore Cafe in Pembroke did delicious large bowls of soup, plus cakes to die for (which we didn't get to sample because we were so full from our big bowls of soup!)

 - Very friendly volunteers in the Flying Boat Centre in Pembroke Dock

I haven't said much about the walk / walking directions, and this is because it all worked so well : ). The acorn sign was a reassuring presence throughout the walk, and left us in no doubt that we were going the right way! The walking itself was wonderful, and descriptions both in your instructions and the Trailblazer book, very accurate as regards strenuousness and gradients. First visit to Pembrokeshire, and we are left feeling that it has the most beautiful coastline, and some of the happiest dogs we have ever seen (cliff tops and beaches - what's not to love?!).

Thanks for your help with organising our holiday.

Route: Coleridge Way Nether Stowey to Lynmouth
Name: TP - Switzerland
When: 18 May 2016

Flag of SwitzerlandSo were are already back in Switzerland again! We once again had a wonderful time in the UK.

We saw no other walkers on the Coleridge Way, which is very pity. It is a beautiful way and it has everything: Moorland, coasts, woodland, streams, lovely villages, farmland and greens. May is also a wonderful time with all the flowers.

The accommodations were superb. Fabulous houses with nice rooms, all very clean. The breakfasts were outstanding, all made fresh and absolutely delicious. All people were very friendly. The descriptions and markers were very good and we had no problems to find the way. Point 7 is not difficult to find anymore. There is a new signpost standing there just beside the route.

From Williton back to the Way we took the Public Way to Aller Cottage and then further on to Aller Farm (blue 08 at the OS-map) It is not so dull as the road to Sampford Brett and very beautiful. Every day I saw Bluebells. Beyond Monksilver as we climbed Birds Hill it was millions of them. Very beautiful!  The Valley of Rocks was wonderful.

The weather was very good and dry. On Saturday we had some rain, but it was no heavy rain, otherwise it was sunny. I don't know why people always complain about the english weather. Since we are back in Switzerland it rains night and day!

One more time I want to thank you and your team for a perfect organized Walking Holiday!

Route: Falmouth to Fowey
Name: Dennis & Angela
When: 16 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomAnother great walk on the Cornish coast path made even better by the profusion of spring flowers. The weather was mixed and we missed the views from Dodman due to the low cloud and rain but got spectacular views from Gribbin Head in the sunshine. The accommodation was excellent with an outstanding stay at the Lugger Hotel in Portloe. It's worth noting that the Mevagissey Bay Hotel does not provide evening meals even though their website suggests they do. Also if you intend to get a taxi back from Portscatho to Trewithian Farm, we recommend booking it in advance. We had no major problems finding the path although we had minor difficulties just after the Caerhays car park (need to head up hill and turn right behind the clump of trees) and again feeding the path out of Mevagissey from the quay (Trailblazer guide not too accurate here).

The path from Porthbean beach was not easy to find. You have to walk along the concrete walkway past the seasonal shop and then turn left up some steps into the woods. The steps are well hidden and not obvious until you are quite close to them. (When we comment about problems finding with the path we then think it's probably due to our own stupidity!). As a general comment we did find a few inaccuracies in the Trailblazer book particularly in the location, steepness and direction of some of the ups and downs. The luggage transfer worked very efficiently with our bags appearing as if by magic at our next stop. Once again Damon and the Encounter team for another (fifth or sixth?) excellent and enjoyable walking holiday.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: WE - UK
When: 16 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomJust to let you know that we had a great trip, although some better weather would have made it perfect.! 

We had a lunch break at Porth en route to Newquay, and would recommend the Coast Cafe at the end of Porth beach where we reconnected to the trail, it was very good value and worth adding to your list.

In Portreath ate at the Bassett arms , and had an excellent meal, great value.

En route to Lelant, we were very impressed with the National Trust cafe at Godrevey Point , and would recommend walkers take away  or eat their lunch there.  Overall we thought we had a good mix of accommodation, and generally good value for money. Mike from Ocean Taxis was also very helpful, and spot on time for both our pick ups.

Finally, we thought the package provided by Encounter was 5* , impressed by the attention to detail , and also good communication, website , itinerary etc. Will definitely come to you again in the future!

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: rizza iametti
When: 15 May 2016

Flag of SwitzerlandWe just loved our holiday. We received all the information needed, the luggage transfer worked at the perfection, the weathear was very kind with us. The path was feasible almost all the time, just a bit hard at some points, but the view worth it. We're looking forward to walk one more section.

Route: Westward Ho! to Padstow
Name: Neil & Mai
When: 13 May 2016

Flag of CanadaEncounter provided excellent accommodation planning and advice on alternatives. Their experience with local accommodation was very useful and accurate. All of the B&Bs and hotels were great. No issues with luggage transfers. They were faultless. Encounter also provided my wife with details on how to use public transport between each of our stops. The advice was great and very useful!! The only unexpected cost was the taxi from Clovelly to Hartland Quay on a Sunday (GBP 80). The trail was very well marked so the maps and the guidebooks were only occasionally used. Weather was very good with only one day of rain. The trip exceeded our expectations and we highly recommend Encounter.

Thanks Neil and Mai and yes that taxi fare sounds very expensive - I will contact you directly to find out who you used and make sure we don't recommend them to anyone - damon

Route: Penzance to Falmouth
Name: Ivan Waterfall
When: 12 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomHi, Sorry I can't be of anymore help than this, but I had 5 days of walking from Penzance to Falmouth. I found that your planned holiday for me was very easy to follow and all the hotels were great. Some of the walk for me was sometimes a bit hard going but that was only what I had expected as I am 73. I found the detours of which you told me about all easy to follow. I am sure that you will be hearing from me again t give me a route to follow from Falmouth. I have now walked from Padstow to Falmouth. Thanks for all your help. Ivan

Route: Clovelly to Tintagel
Name: Nick Handscombe
When: 12 May 2016

UK FlagExcellently organised trip. From the first night in Clovelly everything went like clockwork, accommodation spot on, luggage transfers on time and a warm welcome each night. Considering we were a party of 8 blokes requiring twin/single rooms and you managed to accommodate us in the same hotel/B&B every night that was a superb logistical coup. All communication, right from the first enquiry to completing the walk was first rate. Our one and only minor issue on the walk was resolved quickly and we were kept informed at all times. Would recommend Encounter (in fact I already have) to anyone interested in tackling this type of walking trip.

Route: Lyme Regis to Lulworth Cove
Name: CM Scotland
When: 12 May 2016

Flag of ScotlandThe first thing to say is that all aspects of administration and organisation were excellent, faultless. Response times to any emails were quick and replies always helpful. The notes, guide book and map were all really helpful too.

Simlarly, all the accommodation - everywhere we stayed seemed to be run by 'people people' - helpful, friendly and welcoming.  It all added hugely to the enjoyment of the walk.

The route was all we'd hoped and just as described.  The only part that we felt was a in need of some upgrade was Abbotsbury to Isle of Portland. Some signage was badly weathered and some of the stiles could do with maintenance. There is one specific part where signage could definitely be improved. As you leave Littlesea Holiday Park at Lynch Cove, there is a large grass area. On the map, it  is clear that you should take the upper path but the entrance to the lower path (which is pretty well impassable) is actually quite far up on that grassy slope. The entrance to the upper path is only a few metres above it but is not immediately obvious. On the day we passed there was actually a large family having a picnic at the entrance to the upper path which hid the entrance and didn't help!  But a clearer sign would definitely have been useful.

As you point out, eating places are a bit off track on this section but it might be worth emphasing that the Crab House Cafe towards the end of the walk is bookings only - or was the day we arrived!  However, just over the bridge and just before the causeway Billy Winters Diner is a quirky but excellent place to get a light meal, snack, drink - plus great views of all the water- based activities going on outside.  The next day we found the cafe in Portland Castle a great place for lunch and very handily placed at the end of the walk round Portland Island.

All in all, it was a great week. If we decide to head down to this area again to do anothe part of the coastal trail, we won't look beyond Encounter Walking  for the booking.

Route: Saints Way
Name: John Ashmore
When: 10 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomWalk started 10/5/16 finished 12/05/16. Walked East route North to South. Many thanks to Damon and Richard in particular for accommodating my walking buddie and I especially as we only gave them a week's notice. Good instructions and all information received in time despite short lead in time. B&Bs were all good. Thoroughly enjoyed the walk with such history and interest. Great views along the way. Walking in May was good as a result of catching all the spring flowers along the way. Hope to be back to you to perhaps do the walk South to North / West route one day.

Route: Milford Haven to St Davids
Name: Robyn
When: 10 May 2016

Flag of New ZealandHello - I had a wonderful time in Pembrokeshire.  Even though one day was disgustingly wet (but not cold).

The scenery was magnificent.  I loved the wildflowers especially.  And the castles.  And the villages.  And the sea vistas.  Some stormy seas would have been the icing on the cake.  The sea was dead flat.

My accommodation was wonderful.  Especially at Broad Haven.  Neil and Helen were so good at remembering guests names.  It seemed that every time I sat down I was offered a pot of tea.  And a lovely place to sit too, out the front people watching in the sun.

Everything was clean, well provisioned, and incredibly handy for me.  Great breakfasts meant a great start to the day.  My feiends were starting to accuse me of eating my way around Wales!

Coming into Dale, I had to take the high tide route and I happened upon a garden centre with a cafe.  This was not in the guide notes but was a welcome place to dry out, warm up, and use the facilities, and have a pot of tea and a Welsh cake!

I found the running good.  Distance wise was about right.  I shortened the final day into St Davids because my knee was being a pain.  Or should I say giving me pain!  And as I have a big race in two weeks (gulp) thought I should not push it.  It was great having my bag transported and there was no problems there.  It meant I could run with just the necessities of the day.

I would certainly do similar again.  It was a great way to see the country and to meet people from all countries.  Not just other walkers but people in the villages along the way.

Thank you - Robyn

Route: Lyme Regis to Weymouth - SW Coatsal Path
Name: Karen Musk
When: 09 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomThis was the most wonderful holiday I have had. The trail is beautiful, well-marked and varied. The only stretch that wasn't so pleasant was Abbotsbury to Weymouth, round Fleet Lagoon. It was very hot, humid and misty so the flies were a problem, not helped by the path being in a terrible condition around the (many) campsites. However, this did not detract from what was a fantastic 4 days walking and the maps, notes, accommodation and luxury of having my bag transferred each day were perfect. I cannot recommend this holiday highly enough.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Lars and Lisa
When: 09 May 2016

We had a fantastic walk and it only rained for half a day during the whole walk. We sent pictures to friends here in China and they loved the look of it so who knows, maybe next time we bring a bunch of friends with us. 

Everything on the walk regarding luggage transfer was as smooth as can be expected, bag was always at our next destination when we arrived.  All the places we stayed in was very good, service and friendliness was spot on.

I have a few tips to other walkers, well first ones like us I should say. When deciding on the walk, how far to walk each day is an important one. Although I enjoyed the 20 or so km everyday the problem is that you don't get a chance to do anything else but walk. Having a rest day as we did in Fowey was perfect and could probably have one more in Looe. So if other walkers is doing the walk just as a exercise then fine, by all means do 20 km every day. If you want to see more of the surrounding area, besides the track, I suggest longer stopovers and/or shorter day walks.

Next walk we do in your areas we will surely use Encounter again!

Thank you Damon and the whole Encounter team!

Route: St Ives to Lands End
Name: Craig - Cornwall
When: 08 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomYes, the walk was a great success but unfortunately the weather did not play ball! Still, that can't be helped. All the accommodation you selected was first class and easy to find. Drinks and meals along the way were varied and plentiful and we met some very enjoyable company. If we do this type of thing again we'll definitely use you.

Many thanks, Craig

Route: Minehead to Westward Ho!
Name: Pauline
When: 07 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomWould highly recommend Encounter walking for arranging a holiday. Excellent accommodation and baggage transfers. Found Ilfracombe directions a bit confusing. Great meals in Woolacombe and Braunton(SQ's) Altogether fully enjoyed our week. We'll be back to continue this coastal path.

Route: Now completed the Whole Path with you !
Name: Sally
When: 07 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomJust back from another memorable walk on the SWCP – do I get a certificate!

Weather was very kind and last four days spent in glorious sunshine even the days which started a bit drizzly soon brightened up and waterproofs off.  Only got caught once in some fairly heavy rain and even that didn’t last for long.

The whole path was just fantastic and I cant thank you enough all your encouragement and meticulous planning.  I found all waymarking to be good and realised pretty quickly if I had gone wrong – as you had told me I would.

Route: Saints Way - Padstow to Fowey
Name: Sara Wisnia
When: 06 May 2016

Flag of AustraliaThis walk was one of the highlights of our trip. We are in our 60s and were able to walk the route without much difficulty in 2 days. We were lucky enough to do it whilst all the bluebells, primroses and wild garlic was in flower. Some of the woodland stretches were the most beautiful walks any of us had done. The countryside was constantly diverse. We didn't get lost at all, but occasionally feared that we had taken a wrong turn. Especially when we were walking across fields. We used the map to check out contour lines. We also found the cards in the Saints Way booklet helpful. Many of the wooden Saints Way signs have become darkened with age, and would be very hard to see in a mist. We suggest tacking a coloured plastic disk to them.

Leaving from Padstow, and passing by Dennis Farm (with a side trip to Queen Victoria's obelisk), there was some indecision about the direction to go when crossing diagonally through the paddocks sloping down to the creek. We needed to consult the compass before proceeding (correctly) over the crest of the hill, bearing right, and down to the stile on the far side, in order to take the steep track down to the creek. Better sign-posting would have been good. We have been inspired to undertake further walks in the future.

Route: Minehead to Westward Ho!
Name: Tony and Mo
When: 05 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomWonderful week on the North Devon Coast Walk, very lucky with the weather..one wet morning otherwise perfect for walking and a clear blue sky ( plus a little mist now and then, heat haze). Nothing negative to report, all went to plan, accommodation fine, luggage transfer on the dot, our train/bus down was good as was the return.

Tips for other walkers, well…

As the weather was so good we decided on the high route on day 1 for the views of Exmoor, we were not disappointed, plus wild ponies and lots of bird life in the gorse. Nice paths using old sunken farm tracks. Recommend cream tea at Bossington.For the same reason we took the high path again on day 2 from Culbone Church, nice walking at elevation.

Day 3, Highlight.. Valley of the Rocks, splendid.

We are getting on a bit and although we are used to fell walking in the lakes we were certainly glad we split day 3 at Heddon’s mouth.  We arrived at the Hunter’s Inn just after lunch which meant we had time to enjoy the surroundings (and the same for the following day to Combe Martin) without pushing on. Had the weather not been so good it would have been even more so. It meant that we had time to visit the interesting little museum at Combe Martin.

It also meant that we had recovered fully for the next day, Combe Martin to Woolacombe, which we thought was by far our toughest day, with an avoidable tour of Ilfracombe back streets but mainly because of the last stretch after Lee Bay which involved multiple climbs up steps designed for a giant. Where possible, we noticed that walkers had walked up the side of the steps, not on them, note to the NT or whoever built them.

Enjoyed the excellent walk from Woolacombe to Croyde Bay around Baggy Point although no good pics of spectacular cliff formations, almost nil visibility  in rain, our only wet morning.

Braunton to Instow, nice lunch stop at Fremington Quay, 

Plus, recommend Hocking’s Ice cream, available from vans at all stops between Barnstaple and Westward Ho!, and Sharp’s Pilsner, new to us, very nice on a hot afternoon.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: E & T - Norrahammar, Sweden
When: 05 May 2016

Flag of SwedenWE HAD AN AMAZING AND MARVELOUS WALK IN CORNWALL!! 1 000 THANKS FOR ARRANGING IT!

Everything worked perfectly. Coming from Sweden we expected at least train delays - not even that happened! The most outstanding B&B’s were Sennan Cove (Old Success Inn) - where we got the most beautiful room and almost hesitated to walk into it with our hiking boots on - and of course Chy-An-Mor Guest House - such a treat! The room was absolutely beautiful and I can still dream about the wonderful breakfasts we enjoyed in the mornings…

The luggage transfer worked perfectly and our suitcases were always waiting for us upon arrival.

The walks were beautiful and very enjoyable even if it was a bit more up-and-down than we expected. At one point we actually did go the wrong way, but out of nowhere a dog and his owner appeared and led us right back on the trail. He said he met people every day who made the same mistake as we had done and was going to make a signpost that day :). We should have used the map more than we did, I think, instead of only using the book. But this was the only time we missed a turn (at least that we know about).

Even the weather was nice! We had one rainy day but it was our resting day in Sennan Cove. In the morning we went to Land’s End and back again and that’s when the rain really hit us. It poured down all afternoon and we spent it reading and listening to the rainfall outside in our beautiful room. 

A bonus was the nice people we met on the trail. Some of them we met multiple times as we had the same itinerary And, yes, we are telling every one that if they are going to Cornwall, they should contact Encounter Walking Holidays!

Route: Padstow to Fowey
Name: Melanie Reed
When: 04 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomGlorious weather for walking the Saints Way (too hot really, one or two blisters!!) Accommodation at Tregolls Farm nr Withiel superb, Marilyn is a wonderful host. Note for first time walkers, this is no walk in the park, my husband (62) and I (50) are regular gym users and reasonably fit, but still found some parts of the walk (should this be described as a hike?)a bit of a slog, admittedly the unusually high temperatures and strong sunshine probably added to the challenge, but hugely grateful that it was not raining, as there were still some pretty muddy bits to negotiate.

We had a good laugh, especially as my husband somehow managed to lose several items from his back pack along the way. If anyone finds some spectacles and a large orange water bottle - let us know! Don't be tempted to save a few pounds and carry your own luggage on your back, it's a long way with such weight and even with my military training, it is something I would never do again.Our walking poles were the best buy, would recommend them to every walker. Sign posts are good, but study the map closely, additional notes provided by encounter were excellent and came in very handy - we had no problems following the route.

Wonderful churches along the way and magnificent scenery. If you want excellent fish and chips in Padstow at local prices visit Chip Ahoy and eat them overlooking the harbour - perfect! So glad we did this, thank you Encounter for giving us everything we needed.

Route: whole path in one way Minehead to Poole
Name: Annelies from the Netherlands
When: 02 May 2016

Flag of the NetherlandsThe first part from Minehead to Bude was exquisite organized by Encounter. This part I did with my husband René. Then I went alone and I organized the accomodations to Falmouth by myself. This took me to much time, so I asked Encounter to arrange the last part to South Haven Point and this they have done really great. Within a few days it was all about. All this at the last minute and therefore the accomodations where sometimes further from the path, I am very satisfied with how everything in no time was controlled by Damon and Ellie from Encounter.

The path itself, I can only speak in superlatives, really very very beautiful. If you doubt whether you can walk this path alone: just do it. It always felt very safe to me. It is very well to do and if you take minimal luggage you do not need luggage transport (my backpack weight just 8 kg). The distances to be covered were sometimes tough but doable. I often required more time than was indicated. I really liked the rivercrossings by foot or ferry. Getting lost on the trail is impossible. If I was wrong it came mostly because I did not pay enough attention and usually I could find quickly the right way. And if not, there usually was a local with dog to show you the right path. I found it a great experience and I am very happy I have walked this beautiful path. I will definitely recommend Encounter with others because of their good organization, service and knowledge of the area.

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path - Milford Haven to St. David's
Name: Colorado Hiker
When: 01 May 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaOur first trip in Wales, definitely not the last. Terrific conditioning for warm-weather hiking. Everything worked, the hotels/inns were well-located, the breakfasts good and filling, the luggage where it was supposed to be, the maps led properly and the picnic lunches purchased from the inns were more than adequate - one lunch would work for two people. The walk was terrific. The least interesting part was from Milford Haven to Sandy Haven Pill. We took a taxi based on recommendation from EncounterWalking and did not regret. Thanks for offering this walk.

Route: SWCP Plymouth to Lymington
Name: David Coulson
When: 01 May 2016

Flag of the United KingdomMy walk was from Plymouth to Poole. It was for the charity Motor Neurone Disease Association. I needed the help of encounter to plan my walk to suite my abilities. Without their help I could not have completed the 266 mile walk. The location of accomadation was perfect and the planned route worked. I was aware of all diversion on the way, I got lost a few times mainly down to myself. The scenery and views are stunning. It's a perfect way to enjoy a few days away. I finished by walking from Poole to Lymington a 26 mile walk to help the sufferers and families of this terrible disease. With out the help of Encounter Walking Hoildays and their professional approach I could not have finished this walk. Thank you

Route: Exmouth to Weymouth
Name: BFJ - Germany
When: 30 April 2016

Flag of GermanyAs I already wrote, we were very contend with your organisation! Your description at the everydays schedule was very useful and our setbook every evening, or morning. You really thougt at everything which could happen and gave us manny telefonnumbers to help ourself, just in case! This gave us a secure feeling!

The hotels were very fancy and cosy and the host were so hospitable and gentel! These nice old houses we loved very much!!!

Althought the weather on the first two days was a bit cold and windy, even rainy one afternoon, we enjoyed the amazing landscape and rejoiced ourselfs as the sun came througt all the next days! We were really lucky and happy with that! Sometimes we surched a bit for the way, when there were more possibilities, and for example the old way at the beginning of the jungle seemed to be more attractiv than the totally new made path. But at least we got not lost! In the beginning, every day had his own different character, and we were astonished about it! 

Sole exception was the part of the West Bexington Nature Reserve. It was a boring path, difficult to walk because of the rolling stones, and the enviroment was so dirty like nowhere else! We were happy about the possibility to change to the South Dorset Ridgway Diversion!

The track on the last two days wasn´t really worth the way. It was too long, and my friends had big problems to find the right way out of Abbotsbury, because they had not expected to pass the swanery so near. This would perhaps be a good note. The last day was to much, so they desided to take the bus for visiting the lighthouse!

Conclusion:

+ very good organisation (everything was prepared when we arrived)

+ good support for our special wishes (taxi, businformations...)

+ very nice accomodations

+ absolut amazing landscape!

- to long and boring tracks for the last 2,5 days

- not clear Indication of the way in Abbotsbury

- BnB signature in Fortuneswell

Thank you very much for all your support! I already passed your name to some friends, some are very interested...

Route: St. Ives to St. Michaels Mount
Name: Longchamp Hilda
When: 25 April 2016

Flag of Switzerlandevery thing was just perfect, even the weather ! Thank you for all. Kind regards, Hilda

Route: St Ives to Mullion
Name: Liz & Alan
When: 23 April 2016

Flag of the United KingdomHi Damon - We got the most amazing weather last week – actually got a bit burned on a couple of the days.

You did a fantastic job looking after us – the feat of managing to book us a bath in every accommodation was quite something!   Thanks for the tip to go and see Geevor mine, what a great museum, will never forget it

We will be back next year to start in Mullion and do the next section. You are very good at what you do!

Route: Saints Way
Name: Edweige
When: 22 April 2016

UK Flagjust to let you know that we had the most wonderful weekend walking the Saints Way - the weather was on our side and the card that I purchased to guide the route were helpful - although in some areas the actual description/ instruction is not very clear and having a map as back up would be helpful - but we managed it without!  Encounter Walking "please note we provide all our walkers with the highest scale OS maps!"

There are certainly some areas with rather sketchy markers and other areas that are really well signed but we managed it all and found the whole journey wonderful.

Thanks for your help - the buses that we needed  from Lanivet to Padstow all turned up - on time!

Route: Minehead to Poole - Full Coast Path in 8 weeks
Name: Urs and Elisabeth Gamma - Zurich
When: 20 April 2016

Swiss FlagIn was a risky decision to book the full tour since there were some open questions as: Are we able to do it with little training? Do we really want to walk every day? What's about the english weather? Do we still like english food after 30 days? No all these questions are answered. Every thing went well and we miss the daily walks...

A big share in this success was the prepartion and execution done by Encounter Walking Holidays, especially Damon. The length of the daily walks were good and not too long, the Accommodation selection met our expectations, the Luggage Transfer worked perfectly and when we had a question, Damon sent feedback in no time. Many thanks for this and you will hear from us again

Route: Falmouth to Pendeen (reverse direction)
Name: J & S - Scotland
When: 17 April 2016

Flag of ScotlandWe had a really great trip and much enjoyed seeing Cornwall and the superb coastline with the rocky bays and the spring flowers en route, and had absolutely no problems.  We covered 84 miles in all, and interestingly our total elevation was just over 5500 metres, so there was quite a bit of climbing up and down on each day.  We averaged about 2 mph moving which is fairly slow by most standards, but we do have 148 years between us!  We were also very fortunate with the weather, some high winds midweek but virtually no rain at all.

Firstly, many thanks indeed for all your excellent organisation and the very detailed itinerary with maps which made everything so easy and completely stress free.  Your planning and attention to detail were exemplary, and you provide a first class service.  A few comments follow:

The Route.  This was easy to follow being well marked and pretty obvious. Just occasionally there were minor variations, but nothing that use of a GPS and map could not solve.  We were particularly impressed by the complete lack of litter which other parts of the country including up here could do well to follow.  The various cafes you recommended en route were very pleasant and made very good pit and fuel stops.

Accommodation.  All the places you found for us were very satisfactory.  Our favourite was the Cadgewith Cove Inn which was very high standard indeed, but the good quality inns where we could eat in the evenings were just right for us.  The Lerrin Hotel in Falmouth made an excellent start and finish point and we were able to park the car on the street outside the hotel for the week with no problem. 

Luggage Transfers.    Worked perfectly.

Dog.  He thoroughly enjoyed the trip with us and was made very welcome by everyone.  He is pretty well trained and very phlegmatic and biddable, but anyone taking a dog on the path should be aware that there are dangers for a less well trained and controlled dog, and that the larger beaches forbid dogs from 1 May to 30 September.

Summary.  As said, your organisation and attention to detail was faultless and made our trip completely stress free and therefore a thoroughly enjoyable holiday for both of us.   We loved our time in Cornwall - a beautiful place and a great contrast to our more rugged mountain territory here in Scotland - and we very much look forward to coming back.

Route: SWCP- Padstow to Falmouth
Name: Amy Treverton
When: 16 April 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaThroughly enjoyed walking this route. There were places, especially between St. Ives and Zennor, that were particularly difficult, even to us seasoned hikers. The accommodations were good, although some were a little small. All the hosts were very cordial and two transported us to our next destination after we could walk no longer. I had to stop at Mullion and Stuart stooped in Marazion. But we still had fun! Such a different culture from the USA. Loved the pubs, the food and the locals! Would like to come back at some point and start walking from Mullion. Encounters Walking, you did an excellent job with our itinerary and will definitely use you again when I return. Thanks for all your planning information, trains buses, etc.!!!!!

Route: Saints way
Name: Simon Dyer
When: 15 April 2016

Flag of the United KingdomI found that the accommodation arranged by Encounterwalking extremely good and the baggage transfer faultless. The trail can be muddy in places but passable with caution. The pub at Golant doesn't open on Monday's and there is no shop, so carry food and drink when walking this section (No problem other days). All in all this was a well organised holiday and I would recommend Encounterwalking to people considering this walk.

Route: Saints Way Fowey to Padstow - West Leg
Name: Jackie Chambers - USA
When: 05 April 2016

Flag of the United States of AmericaOur group had a wonderful time walking the Saints Way from Fowey to Padstow from April 6-8th 2016. The accommodations were first rate, the food was delicious, the scenery breathtaking, and the people the most friendly we have ever encountered. The only negative I can report is lack of a warning to look out for guard geese.......those we encountered outside of Saint Blazey were vicious! (We were lucky to escape with our lives!????) Thank you, Encounter Walking Tours, for planning such a lovely time!

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Lower Solva to St. Dogmael's
Name: Cora - UK
When: 04 April 2016

Flag of the United KingdomParts of this stretch of Coast Path are very challenging with steep ascents and descents, and sheer drops to the sea below. The weather was mostly perfect walking weather, no rain but 2 days of very strong on shore winds. All of the information supplied by Encounter Walking was perfect. The accommodation was comfortable and convenient to the path with very welcoming owners; the transfer of luggage went smoothly(always a welcome sight at the end of a day hiking). Thank you to all at Encounter who looked after me so well!

Route: Penzanze to Newquay with St Michaels Way
Name: Gela - Leimen Germany
When: 03 April 2016

Flag of GermanyThank you so much, Damon! We had a fantastic time at the walk and would repeat it anytime!

Route: Minehead to Combe Martin
Name: Kerstin - Germany
When: 02 April 2016

Flag of GermanyHaving returned from our wonderful trip through Exmoor I would like to thank you very much for your great support along the whole journey. We had a perfect time! Walking was great and we were blessed with nice weather- it seemed that the sky opened up for us just these four days!

Our favorite place to spent the night was the Ship Inn (room no 2!), people were totally friendly, the food was delicious, the whole atmosphere was just terrific and the Blair Lodge in Combe Martin of course was perfect as well! Walking on the SWC is a great experience – and we will definitely explore another part of this trail with your support!

Route: Bude to Porthcothan
Name: Jill - UK
When: 01 April 2016

Flag of the United KingdomFantastic walking holiday. Very well organised. I found the walk from Tintagel to Port Issac challenging lots of steps. I would certainly use Encounterwalking again.

Route: Coast Path and Coleridge Way Minehead to Woolacombe
Name: Gabriele
When: 28 March 2016

Flag of GermanyThanks very much for the (like allways) super organisation. Even the weahter was fine - sometimes the light was so dramatic and the sky was so beautiful  with rainbows over the seaside. I didn't get wet. It rained only, when I just was in the pub.  I walked a stretch on the Coleridge-Way - it's so gorcious! There is such a wunderfull quietness in the nature - you only listen to birds, sheep and  water - Time seems so be stopped there, the enviroument is still like described in Lorna Doone!

 

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: Richard Duggleby - UK
When: 27 March 2016

Flag of the United KingdomDecided on 'relaxed' 6 day option plus 2 days at the end on the Coastal Path back to Minehead from Lynmouth. The organisation of our 8 day walk, overnight stays, route notes plus general help could not have been bettered. Well done to Damon and his team. We will definitely use you again. Thank you.

Route: Saints way, Cornwall
Name: Ian Taylor
When: 26 March 2016

Encounter Walking Holidays logowe enjoyed the saints Way very much. 3 x 10 mile per day is very manageable and not a slog. Route is undulating and very varied, with woodland,hill, coastal and inland aspects. toughest section is the middle three miles on day 1 out of Padstow-elevated plateau with limited protection from the wind ( an issues as we were walking over a stormy March weekend.)

Route has avery powerful sense of history, especially days 2 and 3. follows a neolithich droving path later used by Irish pilgrims crossing to mainland Europe. route is characterised on day 2 by historic churches, holy wells and (original) Celtic crosses at the junctions. Path is well marked.

Tips would be 1. interior of Cornwall is quite thinly populated-take some sandwiches 2. be aware of the weather forecast-hedgerows can provide some cover from any wind and allow you to walk parrallel to the path if necessary. 3. nb some signs came down in high winds on day 1 route.

highlights 1. historical route, ancient churches, wells, standing stones, crosses etc-take time to look at these things 2 variety of scenery 3. a manageable walk for most abilities 4 . very good cornish beers and ciders , especially the 'Proper Job'hopped ale 5.finish and start are at fashionable Fowey and Padstow respectively. ample chance for a bit of shopping or gourmet eating at either end- went to rick Stein's for my 50th birthday treat. accommodation was good in all cases- Fowey Hotel is a good thing to treat yourself to at the end for a wee bit more expense. overall interesting, varied and memorable.

Route: Bowleaze to Swanage
Name: 5 London Walkers
When: 19 March 2016

Flag of the United KingdomAnother great walking weekend organised by Encounter. We walked over 3 days, 9 miles the first, 13 the 2nd and another 10 on the final day with a range of difficulty from gentle paths towards the end to near vertical (well it felt like it!) climbs in the middle. The second day was the most spectacular, from East Lulworth to Worth Maltravers across beautiful cliffs. Several parts of this stretch were classed as severe, which felt fairly accurate, but the views made every step worthwhile. In addition to superb walking we ate extremely well, at the Bishops in East Lulworth, The Canteen in Swanage and also the newly opened Java cafe in Swanage (we were the first customers!). Although it was cold there was no rain and it wasn't windy, which could have been scary on those cliffs! A very enjoyable weekend overall, made all the better by the smooth arrangements.

Route: Welcome Mouth to Port Isaac
Name: Julia Ratcliffe
When: 13 March 2016

Flag of the United KingdomFantastic organisation by Damon at Encounter. Completed the first 5 days of the Cornish Coastal Path starting at Welcome Mouth. Really tough walking but spectacular scenery. We had 5 days of clear blue skies in March! Some parts of the route should not be tried in wet and windy weather unless experienced walkers. Walking poles are a real advantage over this part of the route.

Day 1 Welcome Mouth to Bude (10 miles) of very steep ascents & descents. Stayed at Brendan Arms, Bude. Excellent with amazing home-cooked food & superb breakfasts. Really friendly staff.

Day 2 Bude to Crackington Haven (10 miles), first 7 miles easy last 3 miles tough. Stayed at Coombe Barton Inn. Best food of the whole trip. Outstanding!

Day 3 Crackington Haven to Boscastle (7 miles) slightly easier than previous days. Stayed at the Wellington - full of character, amazing comfy beds. Dining room too formal so ate at the Cobweb Inn full of character but indifferent food & minimal wine selection.

Day 4 Boscastle to Trebarwith Strand (7 miles). Stayed at the Port William very friendly, OK food. Trebarwith Strand to Port Isaac (7 miles)- vertical ascent from the Port William to start the walk! Welcome arrival at the Schoolhouse, Port Isaac. Ate at Nathan Outlaws Fish Kitchen - outstanding and a reward for 5 days of challenging but amazing walking. Cant wait for the next part of the path.

Route: hartland quay to tintagel
Name: fiona crook
When: 17 February 2016

Flag of the United KingdomIt was a challenge on Thursday because the stepping stones at Welcombe Bay were covered by a torrent of water. I decided to try a footpath between the road and the river and found a bridge about half a mile along. And on the Saturday it was very windy so I had to sit down for a while, half a dozen times when atop the high cliffs, for fear of being blown down the sheer sides. Luckily it wasn't particularly cold and I had allowed plenty of time. But I took photos and sent regular instagrams so people could track my progress and I was safe. Yes there was lots of mud, particularly just before Boscastle, which was a shame, because my boots had nearly become clean beforehand.

Accommodation amazing. I'm phoning today to make another booking. Thanks for phoning the Bush Inn. I felt cared for. Best wishes, Fiona

Route: SW Coast Path Sennen Cove to Penzance
Name: Dee
When: 30 October 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThank you for organising a wonderful weekend for us.  You are right about the weather, it was so lovely we were walking in t-shirts a lot of the time.  Very lucky for the last weekend in October!
 
We were happy with both B & B's and the hotel in Penzance, comfortable beds and great breakfasts in all of them.  We had been a little concerned that we might be cold and had even brought a hot water bottle, but if anything we were a little too warm - not really something to complain about.  We had very good evening meals at the Old Success in Sennen Cove and the Logan's Rock Inn when staying in Portcurno.  Chris at the B & B gave us directions for a short cut across the fields so we had a bit of an adventure getting there in the dark.
 
The walking, especially from Portcurno to Mousehole was tough at times.  We are both small so found some of the steep steps uphill from the coves en route quite a struggle - they were obviously built for tall people with long legs.  And the sections into and out of Lamorna Cove were a bit of a challenge too, there was a lot of picking your way around, through and over rocks and boulders.  It was not so bad in the fine and dry weather we had but I would not have wanted to do it in the wind and rain.
 
We will definitely do some more of the south-west coast walk another time, it was really beautiful.  And we will definitely use your company again so once more thanks very much.
 

Route: SWCP Lynmouth-Woolacombe
Name: Louise & Gavin Stewart
When: 29 October 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWell organised trip by Encounter, thankyou. Day was was pretty strenuous, not helped by lots of mud which made the ups and downs interesting. Goodness only knows what the path is like after rain, probably treacherous. Absolutely beautiful scenery across the moors though. Day 2 was OK although we cut it short at Ilfracombe when we found the pub! Day 3 Woolacombe - Saunton Sands was easy walking,only about 10 miles. Beautiful scenery and gorgeous weather! We can highly recommend a Sunday lunch at the Saunton Sands hotel, exactly what a hungry walker needs!

Route: SWCP Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: D &J Poole
When: 06 October 2015

Flag of AustraliaThe walk had many highlights, wonderful views, little fishing villages and some pleasant downs after some rugged ups. The first and last days were challenging lengths but the fine and sunny weather when the rest of southern England was grey and miserable compensated. Some of the signage was intermittent, so we saw a bit more of Cornwall than planned especially around the Ropehaven cliffs. Otherwise the accommodation was excellent, particularly the B&Bs and the friendly and helpful hosts and luggage transfers went without a hitch. Finding the evening accommodation was easy using the walk notes from encounterwalking.

Route: SWCP Sidmouth-Poole
Name: Richard Donovan
When: 03 October 2015

Flag of the United KingdomAs usual, everything worked like clockwork. Accommodation all expecting me, bags always transferred and in my room on arrival. First long day completed in overcast but warm conditions, followed by two rainy days. Missed (mist!) out on Golden Cap section, will go back and do it again when it's visible! Rest of days mix of overcast and sun, and walked the final three mile beach in glorious sunshine to catch the ferry at South Haven point - the finish! Quality of accommodation was fine and I enjoyed this section very much even though some days the hills (mountains!) seemed endless! I did the whole SWCP with Damon and Encounter and each section was organised to perfection. I intend to re-walk a few particularly nice sections and I would not look further than Encounter for their great organisational ability and local knowledge.

Route: South west coastal path Falmouth to Looe
Name: Clare
When: 01 October 2015

Flag of AustraliaThanks to Damon and Encounter walking holidays for a very well organised holiday. Damon even managed to give us an Indian Summer for the first few days with enough warmth and sunshine to go swimming. Our group had 3 different subgroups of friends/ family with varying starts and finishes and every permutation was seemlessly managed. We loved visiting The Lost Gardens of Heligan on the morning walk out of Mevagissey and would recommend that as an add on to the walk from there to Charlestown. The accommodation was welcoming and the trail notes excellent. All we had to do was walk, enjoy the stunning scenery and wildlife, and look forward to a good evening meal and comfortable bed. A perfect holiday.

Route: Minehead to Combe Martin
Name: Judy Woollett
When: 25 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWalked this over 4 days. Spectacular scenery - would thoroughly recommend it and we had the most wonderful weather - sunny all the way. Not sure the Bergundy Chapel just out of Minehead is worth the visit as there is a very steep climb afterwards but Culbone Chuch after Porlock Weir definitely is. Great hotels booked by Damon and team and would thoroughly recommend the Rising Sun in Lynmouth for a delicious meal. Heddons Gate Hotel excellent and meal very reasonable. Thanks to Encounter Walking for a great holiday.

Route: The Saints Way and SW Coast Path Fowey / Mevagissey
Name: Lyn and Chris - Australia
When: 25 September 2015

Flag of AustraliaHi Damon, as I write I am overlooking the sea from our room at Honeycombe House in Mevagissey. Our Saints Way walking holiday organised by you has been a great success. All the accommodation was wonderful; the trip notes very detailed & helpful, & the weather of course, has been magnificent!  Generally we found the way fairly well signposted with a few areas where signs had been "souvenired" or were just plain not there but I regret to say we didn't take specific note of locations hoping we would remember at the end - not so, except for yesterday when we had difficulty getting out of Golant & then again further up the track. A few spots on day 1 & 2 were very brambly too, but the muddy parts weren't too bad. We will certainly recommend you to any of our friends who come this way. You made the whole adventure very easy & enjoyable.

Route: Saints Way East to Fowey
Name: Linda +3 - USA
When: 23 September 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had amazingly beautiful weather, rain only at night or while at lunch one day.  Some mud, well quite a lot in places, as a result.  We loved our walk!!!  All transport went smoothly.  All accommodations were lovely and hospitable.  The food at the Crowne Inn was particularly excellent.  

Signage was mostly good.  But we did get lost, several times.  We got better at understanding the map and where to go when there was no sign, but the first day was particularly difficult and we lost our way below Dennis Hill as the trail enters the woods.  It looked like the arrow headed right, but in fact, it headed straight.  Animal trails and others who obviously lost their way confused the issue.  Entering fields was often confusing and I would suggest small binoculars to try to find the exit.  It was often very confusing.  Sometimes we thought it was a miracle we were actually on the "way".

But really, our experience was very positive and we were delighted to have accomplished our goal.

Thanks for all you arrangements.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Geoff - Australia
When: 21 September 2015

Flag of AustraliaOur feedback is as follows:  Reliable, dependable. Luggage moved perfectly. Hotels were great, especially the Commercial at St Just, and the Treventon was excellent.The walking guides were good. A suggestion would be to supply walking maps and notes of just the few pages of the actual walk. This means that the whole book does not have to be carried, and accessed. A few pages could be easily carried and be accessible easily especially in wind and rain.

The Telegraph museum at Pothcurno is fantastic and it would be worthwhile telling people about it and allowing a few hours for it in the walk.

For us, the walk from St Just to Porthcurno was very long (8 hours) and we were tired at the end when we reached the very steep descent at the Minack and then the walk back up,the hill again to the Sea View. It would be helpful to put in the notes that that there is the option to walk down the road to the Sea View if you are tired and want to avoid the steep sections.Thanks Damon. Your help with the train tickets and general advice was much appreciated. Also you turned on fabulous weather!

Walk easy!

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path (Full Route)
Name: Martin
When: 19 September 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandLike 2 years before on the Southwest Coast Path ... the organisation of the walks (with maps and informations) and the accomodations were great. Thanks you Encouter Walking team.

Route: Penzance to Falmouth
Name: Helena & Geoff
When: 19 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThanks to Damon and the team for another really enjoyable, well organised holiday (our third with Encounter). Damon went out of his way to tailor the itinerary to our preferred overnight stops and gave us some excellent options for upgrading the accommodation. Baggage transfers worked very smoothly and the accommodation was generally very good. We particularly enjoyed the Polurrian Hotel, the Five Pilchards at Porthallow and Gold Martin B&B at Mawnan Smith. Most enjoyable evening meals of the week were at the Five Pilchards (great steak) and Giuseppe’s in Mawnan Smith (fantastic turbot). We would also recommend the Brew House at Porthleven for great coffee, friendly staff and views of the harbour (the cakes looked great too!). The weather was rather mixed at the beginning of the holiday with intermittent heavy rain and strong winds but steadily improved as the week went on and we had lots of sunshine and fantastic views. Some sections of the path were extremely muddy – especially around Coverack. We were amused to be stopped on the coast path near Gunwalloe Cove while a scene for Poldark 2 was being filmed. The ferries at both Gillan Creek and the Helford River worked perfectly for us and added interest towards the end of the week. Thanks again Damon and we hope to be back walking with Encounter in the near future.

Route: Two Moors Way
Name: Peter & Carrie Moss (with Millie)
When: 18 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomAn excellent and memorable holiday. Accommodation bookings and luggage transfers no problems and the dog friendly rooms where absolutely fine (but then our collie was very well behaved and usually ready for a rest at the end of the day). Weather was pretty good for the week not too hot or cold although one pretty damp day and ground was muddy under foot but never impassable. We had two long walking days of 22 miles each and with hindsight the second of them was 'tough'. Muddy ground slowed our progress, it was not easy to get an early start from the accommodation and that meant we finished in the dark crossing muddy fields (thankfully with a torch I had packed) arriving in Witheridge at 9.30pm. But the next day was only 7.5miles, so we had a lie in! Summer months and lighter evenings would make that easier.

Never lost our way but you could not do this walk and rely on the footpath signs all the time. We had to follow compass bearings on some stretches. (But I would say 80% of it is well marked overall) I would certainly recommend Ordnance survey maps for the whole route. The Harvey map supplied was okay but I would have preferred the bigger scale of OS for some of the Exmoor sections. I bought the Cicerone guide for the walk but have to say the local Devon Two Moors guide was much better and I referred to that every day for their route guidance. The cicerone was not that user friendly for the walk. Excellent time overall, and well organised by Encounter.

Route: Pencance - Falmouth
Name: Ernst Schaffner
When: 18 September 2015

Flag of GermanyIt was really great, the scenery extremely impressing, and well, we were also more than lucky with the weather, only half a day some showers, otherwise pure sunshine with some white clouds. Organisation was perfect, in all guest houses, inns and hotels we were always expected and warmly welcomed. The luggage was always at the places where it should be. Quality of accomodation was fine in general, but two inns (the Harbour Inn in Porthleven and the Old Inn in Mullion) should spend some money in the refurbishment of their lodging, particularly in the bath rooms. Breakfast was in general fine, reaching from the standard cooked breakfast (and toast and marmelade and cereals) to more interesting variations around smoked salmon. The coastpath was so fairly wayposted that one could not really get lost (together with the Trailblazer Cornwall Coast Path Book and the AZ Adventure South West Coast Path Map), with the exception from Coverack to Porthallow, where the former official route was abandoned, the path now going inland, with no sign post of this change (at least we did not find it), fortunately we met some locals knowing the place. Not much more to say - it was just great (I'm not sure if I would come to the same conclusion if we would have had one week of rainy weather, but this may not happen in Cornwall ?)

Route: Saints Way
Name: Joanne and Glenn
When: 17 September 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaThe Saints Way tuned out to be a great walk for us (both age 64). We did a coastal walk in Padstow before we left and the Hall Walk in Fowey after our three days on the Saints Way. All the logistics went perfectly and our accommodations were good. The weather was perfect which made our walks even better. We had very few problems. We got a little lost a few times but recovered pretty easily. We did run into one flooded path that required walking in a hedgerow (thank heavens we had gloves!), but all in all a wonderful time.

Route: South West Coast Path Mevagissey to Polperro
Name: Cherry Schomberg
When: 16 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomTrip very well organised by Encounter. We liked the fact that everything was very detailed in the itinerary so you knew exactly what was what each day. This was much appreciated. They also took the trouble to provide different options for each day as we were not sure exactly what we could fit in. The luggage transfers were brilliant and our cases were always at our accommodation when we arrived.

As for accommodation - the rooms in Buckingham House B&B were lovely, so bright and airy. People running it were very nice and helpful and breakfast delicious! Rooms in the Pier House Hotel were a bit small and warm! Food was good though and they had a nice cosy lounge where you could sit in the evening and watch the Rugby (if so inclined!). In Fowey we stayed in the King of Prussia and had a lovely large room with lots of goodies provided which was a nice touch. Nice view overlooking the harbour too. All the accommodation was very central though and close to everything. At Polperro we had difficulties finding the coastal path to Fowey - it wasn't easy to find and we had to ask for directions - not well signposted. We also visited the St Austell Brewery which is highly recommended - good beers and good food, also very friendly service. All in all a lovely walking trip - Cornwall is an amazing place to walk, especially if the weather is good, as it was for us. We'll be back and would definitely book with Encounter again.

Route: St Ives Lands End Circle
Name: Pauline
When: 16 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe very much enjoyed our walk on the Coastal Path from St Ives to Marazion and back overland. While it was not always sunny, almost all the rain fell overnight so we were lucky.

We have done several long distance walking holidays now and I was very impressed with the service given by Encounter. You were very helpful and knowledgeable and the quality of the guidance notes you provided was the best we have come across.

The way marking on the coastal path was not great – a bit tired – and we did take the wrong path once, but can’t remember where. The marking on St Michael’s Way was fine, and a lot of new gates have been installed on one stretch.

We were very impressed by the quality of the accommodation. Obviously a lot of money has been invested in Cornish hotels and B&Bs. The exception to this was the Seaview B&B in Portcurno which was not to the same high standard. The room we had (room 6 at the top), was very small and lacked a lot of the basic necessities such as bedside lights and toothmug. The sink was so small that it was impossible to fill the kettle and the bathroom light was controlled by an automatic sensor which meant it went off when I was in the shower and came on when I turned over in bed – very annoying. Although not high season, there were still lots of visitors around, so it was not always straightforward to find eating places. You could stress the advisability of booking in advance.

We loved the Cornish scenery and I’m sure we will return soon to try out another section of the path.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Ingeborg - Norway +3
When: 14 September 2015

Norway FlagDear Aidan,  At last a few lines of feedback from us Norwegian ladies that you prepared so well for. 

Encounter Walking Holidays (and you!) did not fail us once, we felt all the time that we were in good hands. The hotels and guesthouses you picked for us suited us perfectly, the transport of our suitcases went smoothly every day, and all your advice on things to see and do (or avoid) were carefully read and followed. We used the (excellent!) map and book you sent us beforehand all the time. Even the weather was good! The only rain we had was on the night before we left Cornwall.

You asked us to mention the highlights of our trip. They were many, but I’ll pick some: After our first day’s walk (15th Sept) we came to Zennor: a wonderful little place with lovely guesthouse rooms, a beautiful church and good food&atmosphere at the Tinner’s Arms Pub. The day after we had a long walk to St.Just, but took time to have a guided tour in the Geevor Tin & Copper Mine. Very interesting, and a good preparation for Poldark, which is now running on Norwegian TV… On the 18th we had tickets for Much Ado About Nothing at Minack Theatre. A fantastic theatre created by one devoted woman (we spent the morning there also) & a wonderful performance. Our last day in Cornwall was on Sunday in Penzance. We discovered quickly that all the museums and art galleries were closed there on Sundays (St Michael was available, but all of us had been in Mont St. Michele in Normandy before…). We therefore took the train back to charming St.Ives, where we spent the day in interesting museums & galleries and had a good meal.  

We will not hesitate to contact you next time!

Best regards from 

Four in Cornwall (by one of them)*

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_in_Norway_(by_two_of_them)

Route: Lyme regis to Lulworth Cove
Name: ann
When: 11 September 2015

Flag of the United Kingdomall good, no problems, luggage arrived on time, accomodmation all ok.

Route: Padstow to St. Ives
Name: Joan
When: 11 September 2015

Flag of CanadaWe had an excellent time and could not have asked for more, other than all 7 days to be sunny rather than the 5 that we had. What worked the best for us was the organization by Damon and the team. The details for each day's walk, what to expect, places to stop, turns to take, made us feel safe and well looked after. We found our accommodations easily and appreciated that each was close to the coast path.

The vistas and scenery throughout our walking were stunning, the beaches beautiful and other than the steps up and down to portreath, everything was manageable. We were very pleased with ourselves for all that we accomplished with no injuries or blisters at all! We met many friendly people and very happy dogs! We think someone should set up a business to rent a dog for a week!

Most of our stays were very pleasant. Special mention goes to the Fairbanks inn at Crantock. Sadly they are leaving and hopefully the new owners will be as helpful and engaging as Elaine and Paul. The Harlyn Inn needs some work and although clean enough, the rooms were small and the beds too soft. The double room at the driftwood spars in St. Agnes was fine but the single room felt remote and not comfortable. The old quay inn at Hayle was very nice and the staff seemed to care. This was not the case with the hotel in St. Ives. They were kind enough to allow us to take a blanket to the Minack theatre that evening, but forgot to inform the night person that we would be arriving late. It just shows some lack of communication among their staff.

The luggage transfers were excellent and our bags always arrived far in advance of us. Our trip was a huge success because of how well it was organized and we knew help was always available if we should have ever needed it. Thank you to Damon and the group. Special mention also goes to Jason who drove us from portreath back to St. Agnes. He texted us in the afternoon to let us know he could pick us up anytime- this was a much appreciated extra step and contributed to our sense of being looked after well. We hope to return and will be sure to recommend Encounter Walking to all of our Canadian friends waiting to hear about our experience.

Route: Penzance - Falmouth
Name: Essink Karel
When: 10 September 2015

Flag of the NetherlandsWe enjoyed the walk along the SW Coast Path. The accomodations were very pleasant, providing good food and drinks. We included a walk around Loo Lake, which provided a pleasant diversion from the coastal landscapes. Parts of the path we (being 65+ and 70+)found rather strenuous. We were very lucky with the weather. The first days, walking in our T-shirts. The daily weatherforecast promised more rain than we actually experienced. We had only one day of walking with our raingear on; and yet the rain was intermittant, not continuous. Thank you for the well organized vacation.

Route: Coleridge Way Nether Stowey to Porlock
Name: Margaret
When: 10 September 2015

Flag of ScotlandColeridge Way completed to Porlock! Great walk - charmed by villages, green lanes, ancient bridle paths, woodland and moors.  Accommodation worked out very well - all walker friendly. Cider house best, followed by Porlock (best breakfast as there were alternatives to"full English"!) Pub food recommended was all good - favourite was masons arms in williton. Directions and maps were great and only two cow incidents.

Route: Plymouth to Lyme Regis
Name: Sally
When: 09 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThank you for once again organising a glorious walking trip for me.  The weather – despite the very inaccurate and gloomy forecasts – was fantastic for walking – even the supposedly awful Wednesday did not materialise.  I only had my waterproof trousers on for two brief periods and the wind was kind. Crossing the Erme was quite an adventure but with the advice from the lovely Jackie at Worsall Barton I was armed with walking sandals and a towel and made it.  Thank you so much for organising the walk to correspond with the tides – it was fun.  

Arrived at Starcross Ferry at 2.50 ferry at 3.10 so pretty perfect.  Few worrying moments waiting for the ferry at Bigbury but eventually someone waved from the other side and ferried us across.

The walking was fabulous right up there with the first section despite the urban bits.  Badly signed I felt from Torquay and I missed Anstys Cove.All accomodation was up to the usual good standard.  I loved Dukes in Sidmouth.
All in all I had a fabulous time.

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: Tünde
When: 09 September 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandThe Dartmoor Way is fantastic. One of the most exciting walks I have ever done. And I have done many walks in Great Britain and Ireland. The endless moors with the Tors, the gorse, the heather, the grass and the wild ponies are an explosion of colors in the autumn. The open wide landscape, the forgotten villages and the River Vallyes and Gorges. Just great! There are not very good waymarkets, so you must be able to use a map and compass. But it is a interesting challenge. The accommodations were excellent, clean, calm and comfortable.

Route: Falmouth to Polperro
Name: Sally & Alan Johnson
When: 07 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a thoroughly enjoyable walk and cannot thank Damon and his colleagues enough for their attention to detail from the initial planning of our walk to immediately resolving a problem we experienced on the first day. The scenery was stunning and varied, the route mainly easy to follow, the main exception being rejoining the coastal path after Par. We too, found the path a little too close to the cliff edge approx 1.5 miles from Polperro.

All the accommodation was very good, although breakfast at the Rashleigh Arms was very limited compared to all the others. We had some excellent evening meals in both pubs and restaurants which were generally not too far from our accommodation (the owner of one establishment even offered to pick us up!). We walked 8-12 miles daily and whilst we felt that we could have comfortably managed more, it was nice to be able to spend some time looking around the villages where we stayed. We were very lucky with the weather which was an unexpected bonus! Once again, many thanks to The Encounter Team for organising a great trip.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Keith and Coralie
When: 07 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThe joy of our walk began with Encounter's excellent notes that answered all questions. Accommodation arranged for each night was good to excellent. The luggage transfers were spot on! We found the walking to be quite strenuous but rewarding and enjoyed fine weather throughout. Our most enjoyable meal was at a small Italian restaurant in Looe. The more expansive views towards the end of the walk were our favourites. Overall, a delightful experience for a pair of older Aussies.

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Amroth - St Davids
Name: Michael + 8
When: 07 September 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe walked in a group of nine and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The scenery is magnificent. We were very fortunate in having great weather, except for some light showers during our day in Pembroke itself and heavy rain on the day of the walk from Broad Haven to Solva, when we caught the bus part of the way (from Newgale) after getting pretty wet.

Flag of AustraliaThe path is generally easy to follow although there are a couple of ambiguous markings when other paths join from the side. The route guidance from Encounter and the guidebooks was helpful, particularly for the first and last 1/4 mile to and from the accommodation each day. There is quite a lot of elevation change on some sections as you descend to beaches and climb back to the headlands and cliff tops. The path itself is generally in good condition but there are some muddy patches and, after the heavy rain, some of the streams were a challenge to ford.

The longer days (12 miles or more) were tiring but we recovered after a good dinner and a night's sleep. The accommodation arrangements worked out despite having to be split up on one night due to the large size of our group, and our luggage always showed up on time and in the right place. The breakfasts at our lodging places were sumptuous and appreciated before each days walk. For lunches we generally bought sandwiches or prepared food and ate by the path at a suitable spot. In a couple of the smaller towns, we ate in the evening at our lodging place but went out to restaurants in the larger places.

Options for buying food and dining were very limited in Dale and Marloes as some places had closed for the season. Generally, the food was good and there were choices for most tastes. We all felt a great sense of accomplishment as we reached the headland just before St Justinians on a perfect afternoon and looked back over the broad sweep of St Brides Bay to the shoreline around which we had walked over the previous three days. It was a great walk.

Route: South West Coast Path - Falmouth to Plymoutn
Name: Ellen & Brian - Canada
When: 06 September 2015

Flag of CanadaMany thanks to Damon and Encounter Walking Holidays for a very memorable, enjoyable hiking holiday! We were very pleased with all our accommodations and breakfasts, but some stood out for us as extra special: The Well House (Fowey), The Bungalow (Crafthole), Honeycombe House (Mevagissey), and the Falmouth Hotel. Luggage transfers all worked well, with our bags always waiting for us when we arrived at our B & B. Although I was a little worried about the length and difficulty of the trail (ups and downs) on some days, it turned out that some of the most strenuous days were our favourites. Favourite sections included Mevagissey to Charlestown, Fowey to Looe, and Crafthole to Plymouth. We had a few issues finding our way between Portloe and Gorran Haven, in the field just after Caerhay's Castle; in Par; at the far end of Par Beach in the car park area; and after Looe, near and just after the monkey sanctuary. Enjoyable stops and meals included The Ship Inn in Portloe, the waterfront pub in Charlestown, the Liscawn Inn in Crafthole for dinner, and cream tea at The Old Bakery in Cawsand. We were very lucky with the weather, having only about an hour of serious rain as we arrived in Looe, and light showers on and off the last day. We were extremely happy with the local knowledge offered by Encounter, and have already recommended them to our fellow hikers and our friends at home.

Route: The 100 mile challenge from Boscastle
Name: Kate + 3
When: 04 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThe walk was a wonderful week of fabulous views both inland and coastal, interesting history, old green lanes, good food and wine and sunshine all week!

Boscastle to Port Isaac – very hard walking! – great views but the last 6 miles were brutal!

We ate at the Mote(?) restaurant – excellent food – best meal of the week

Port Isaac to Padstow – lovely walking (more gentle up and down!) we swam in the sea at Polzeath – which was a highlight – fun ferry ride

Supper was at Rick’s fish and chip café – an experience – great puddings! (tartare sauce - £1.30!)

Padstow to Lanivet – (my favourite day!) – lovely day

Hotel – great place – very comfortable and very convivial host with after dinner drinks in the hotel bar with 3 other guests from Canada – very nice breakfast

Eat at the pub in the village – very friendly but quite slow – but they were very busy

Lanivet to Fowey – again lovely day

Ate in a very nice Italian restaurant just across from the hotel after a very welcome drink sitting looking over the harbour – pizzas were massive and delicous

Fowey to Looe – quite a hard day – more ups and downs – again lovely views

Ate at a basic pub in East Looe – couldn’t really find anywhere to eat - Looe was the place we liked the least

Looe to Jamaica Inn – long and hard day – quite boring – road walking – our least favourite day

Hotel was great – the rooms were the best of the whole week –

Jamaica Inn to Boscastle – again a lovely day walking

We had a great week – helped by all the sunshine – the transfers worked perfectly and we all very much enjoyed the Cornish countryside and coast – 100 miles is a long way – we didn’t seem to have time for a cream tea!

Thank you for all your help - a great week was had by us all

Route: Saints' Way
Name: Anne
When: 04 September 2015

Flag of AustraliaThe walk was very well organised with good maps and helpful information supplied. We left our car at the public car park at Fowey and took the train and bus to Padstow to start the walk. This worked out ok but be warned that you pay for the parking with your mobile phone and reception isn't great. It took us a while to get a good enough connection. The weather wasn't the greatest - it was quite a muddy walk! That made it heavier going than it might have been. We managed ok but glad we took the option of 3 days and not 2. The B&Bs were pretty good overall. Tregoll's Farm in particular is lovely, as is the hostess Marilyn. We did get lost near Dennis Farm - right at the start of the walk! The signage wasn't clear and we took the left one of 3 paths instead of the middle one and ended up on the Camel Trail. Some nice people from Dennis Farm set us straight - apparently it isn't an unusual mistake. There was one track on the second day, just before Tremorebridge, that was completely awash. We managed to navigate a detour around it but got covered in mud to our knees. Just part of the fun. Overall, a really nice, interesting walk with lots to see along the way.

Route: Milford Haven to St. David
Name: Frank Penski
When: 03 September 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaMy wife and I had a wonderful time. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is scenic and challenging. It is very well laid out and easy to follow once on it. Our weather we nearly perfect with sunshine most days and light winds which kept us from overheating. We heard tails from others about how bad the weather can be but for us it was simple delightful. We took five days to cover the 55 miles, however, we were told that some younger folks have done this same stretch in three days and possibly less. I highly recommend this walk if you like exercise and appreciate the beauty of the Atlantic and its rocky coastline.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: J & M
When: 03 September 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThanks Damon for another great holiday with your company- the third so far, and as before everything went very smoothly- the luggage transfers, the accommodation was all of a good quality. We had no problems following the path, and the weather was glorious for September. In fact a couple of days we were too hot! It was good this time to see more unfamiliar areas of coastline further south from our usual haunts. We particularly liked Crantock and Perran sands. The only part of the walk we really didn't enjoy was along the busy road in Hayle.

We hope it won't be long before we walk another stretch of the South West Coast Path with your company, probably starting from St Ives. Until then, thanks again.

Route: Pembrokeshire West and North
Name: Lyn Schnug
When: 02 September 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaPembrokeshire must be Wales Best Kept Secret. The trail is easy to follow. It was challenging both mentally and physically, but around every corner or the top of every climb, the views were wonderful. Encounter Walking had us booked into the best B&Bs, the luggage was always waiting for us and Damon answered all of our questions (every single one of the million) quickly and cheerfully. It was the trip of our dreams but much better.

Route: Clovelly to Penzance
Name: Ian and Jo
When: 02 September 2015

Flag of AustraliaWe have had a fantastic walk , our bags have been at our accommodation on time every day a big thank you to the taxi service ( we know what the roads are like) , the accomodation has been first rate with excellent breakfasts ( of coarse some are better than others ) and the trip notes have been excellent . Once. again thanks Ian + Jo

Route: Cornwall Coastal Path St Ives to Porthleven
Name: John Topfer
When: 30 August 2015

Flag of AustraliaThe planning advice and guidance notes were excellent and helped a lot with the trip. Best we have seen. The section we walked from St Ives to Porthleven was fabulous. We did it in short stages as we are slow walkers. In one or two places it looked to us as if there was a better accommodation option available, and we wondered why they were not identified to us at the planning stage. But with the exception of the accommodation at Porthcurno all the accommodation was fine, some excellent. The Sea View B&B at Porthcurno was poor - the bed was only OK, the bathroom had a curious motion sensing light that shone into the bedroom after the bathroom was used at night, the walls were not soundproof and the breakfast was basic. As a warning, if staying at The Old Coastguard Hotel at Mousehole, and you want dinner be sure to book well ahead. Even though we were staying two nights we could not get a table for dinner on Sunday night when we checked in on Saturday afternoon. Indeed they seemed reluctant to serve us lunch on Sunday without a prior booking. The booking service and luggage transfers went off without a hitch. We would have no hesitation in using Encounter again.

Route: From Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Erik Spiesschaert
When: 28 August 2015

Flag of BelgiumThe walking holiday was a success because it was perfectly organised. My congratulations. Ten days of walking between Falmouth and Plymouth, and a day’s rest in the middle in Fowey was just the right thing for us (65’ers who walk 25 kilometers on a flat course once a month). More would have been too strenuous. And the weather was very kind, only 2 hours of rain during the ten days of our walk. Who says it rains that much in England?

The first, long diversion between Looe and Portwrinkle is already marked, you have just to follow the signs. (You mentioned the diversion, you didn’t mention it was marked on the ground, as you did for the second short diversion). The sleeping accommodation was all right. As we don’t know the prize for each accommodation, we can’t compare prize and quality. The poorest was T’Gallants Guest House in Charlestown. I couldn’t shave (or I didn’t find where I could plug in my shaver) and the waiters and waitresses in the Rashleigh Arms didn’t take their time to answer our questions (understaffed?).

Route: Southwest Coast Path
Name: John H from Colorado, USA
When: 25 August 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe want to say a HUGE "Thank you" to Damon and Encounter Walking Holidays. This was our first trip to Cornwall, and first time using Encounter and the whole trip was phenomenal. We booked our trip a little late in the game and, of course, scheduled it next to the late August Bank Holiday, unbeknownst to us. So lodging was scarce. Damon gave us some great suggestions on the itinerary and came up with mostly fantastic lodging.

The weather looked to be a challenge with rain forecast the entire week. But fortunately the forecasters were wrong and we had great weather until the last walking day. We stayed in Newquay the first night due to a late arrival, then took the bus to Portreath to start our hike. It was raining when we arrived to Portreath so, being flexible, we stayed on the bus for another half hour until Hell's Mouth Cafe. We got off the bus, had some soup and a bun in the cafe, the rain stopped and we were on our way. Though it rained on occasion throughout the week, never when we were on the trail until Porthcurno. The last hiking day from Porthcurno to Penzance look to be a wet one so we caught the bus that day and unfortunately missed Mousehole. Oh well, I guess we'll have to go back so we can see Mousehole.

Our original goal was Newquay to Penzance in six days, but Damon wisely cut out the Newquay to Portreath legs for the allotted time. As it was, we had only one light day, Hayle to St. Ives. We had great lodging except for the beginning and end nights in Newquay which were okay, but just not great. The whole week was a fabulous adventure with fun villages and vistas, great food, met some nice people along the way. The hiking and views were awesome. My wife wants to move there. I just want to visit, and often. We will definitely go again soon. Here are some of our thoughts for the next visit. We will go for two weeks instead of one. Plan more down time between hikes to explore towns, visit gardens and points of interest, or just hang out in little villages, and maybe do a little surfing. So we will still get a week of hiking in, but spread out over two weeks. And maybe drink more beer. Thanks Damon, for the extra effort and for the great trip.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: The Shipway Family
When: 24 August 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe had an excellent holiday enjoyed by us all (2 adults plus 2 teenagers). The range in the weather produced a wonderful variety of colours from the heather to the sea so each day had it's own beauty. The instructions from Encounter Walking holidays were informative and interesting and provided everything we needed to know. We followed their advice almost entirely although tagged Cape Cornwall onto the end of Day 2 instead of the start of Day 3. The route was mainly well marked except there were a number of paths from the Levant Mine on Day 2 (heading south) which were confusing. It should have been an excellent opportunity to chat to our children, but they were always 100 m ahead of us!

Route: South West Coast Path Padstow to Penzance
Name: Rupert Cox
When: 22 August 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaExcellent experience, very well organized and thoroughly enjoyable. A couple of tips: You may want to think about laundrettes along the way. There's one right next door to The Commercial Hotel in St Just, the hotel manager can explain it all to you. Very convenient. We faffed around in St Ives two nights earlier and wished we'd waited for St Just. If you stay in Zennor at the Chapel Guest House (which is lovely by the way) you should make reservations at the pub (Tinners Arms) -- we didn't realize it would be so busy and almost got no dinner. I hope we'll be back to hike the rest of the Cornish part of the path some day.

Route: Lands End coast path (reverse) from Penzance to St Ives
Name: Paul Heerey
When: 21 August 2015

Flag of the United KingdomAn enjoyable holiday where, despite the rain on a couple of the days, we had a great time. Muddy conditions at times but with this adding a fun extra challenge to what was a reasonably demanding walk. Whilst the path was described as 'severe' between Treen and St Ives we didn't find this to be too bad as long as you watched where you were going. Well organised, we enjoyed all the accommodation along the walk (6 nights) with a warm welcome wherever we stayed; all immaculately clean and comfortable. A particular mention however for the Gurnards Head Hotel in Treen which had excellent food - both evening meal and breakfast - and a really comfortable bed! All the instructions provided were clear with the only problem we encountered being on the St Michaels Way just outside of St Ives where, along a narrow very wet and muddy stretch of the path, we were faced with two large horses and riders coming the other way! Thanks to Damon and all the team at Encounter for making the holiday so enjoyable.

Route: Porlock Weir to Woolacombe
Name: Geraldine Charles
When: 21 August 2015

Flag of the United KingdomEverything was so well organised and it was lovely not to have to worry about luggage and accommodation. The hotels/B&Bs were all pretty good. I can hardly blame Encounter Walking for the weather, but it certainly did put a damper on things - three out of five days had pretty heavy rain and I got drenched a lot. I have some balance issues so because of high winds on a couple of days took slightly alternative routes, but think that was wise under the circumstances!

Route: Coleridge Way - 5 days
Name: Gwyn - Australia
When: 13 August 2015

Flag of AustraliaIn spite of 3 days of rain out of the 5 days walking, we loved the walk - a variety of landscapes, various points of historic interest and, when not raining, spectacular views across land and sea. We were very happy with the length we chose allowing us to pause and reflect whenever we chose.

Day 1: Nether Stowey to Williton - it was a beautiful sunny day so, backed up by the OS map, we decided to leave the recommended route (which followed the contour of the Quantocks) just after Alfoxton and head up and over the top. One surprise was the number of tracks on the moors, but with compass, map and advice from an entomologist, our walk was straight forward. Would only take this option on clear sunny days, never in cloud and rain.

Day 2: weather forecast of 30mph winds and rain was daunting but the route through green lanes protected us from the worst of the weather and created some wonderful memories. In spite of our wet and bedraggled appearance for lunch at The Notley Arms, Monksilver, we were greeted with kindness and warmth. The owner very interested and knowledgeable about the area - could not recommend this pub highly enough - as well as very good food and beverages. The best day overall for constant changes of landscape, vistas and interest.

Day 3: Roadwater to Wheddon Cross - if you have bad weather, suggest a diversion to a pub lunch because the Coleridge Way is more exposed than any other day and finding a protected spot out of wind and rain is difficult.

Day 4: Wheddon Cross to Porlock - the Coleridge Way comes out at Webber's Post at a small car park, ignore this one, the large car park over the two roads is what you need (#104); the contour traverse along the Dunster Path (#101) to Webber's post was rocky and pitted underfoot due to high rain and subsequent washout.

Day 5: Porlock to Minehead, South East Coastal path: we chose a mixture of the normal track and the 'rugged' track - if you have any problems with heights, the 'rugged' track is not recommend. We chatted to some seasoned walkers who noted that the 'rugged' walk does not have the open sweeping views of the coast lines, and on a hot and humid day, there is more breeze on top.

The Coleridge Way notes were excellent and essential; some Quill markers are getting somewhat weathered but by using both the notes and the OS map the Way is clear. All logistics, accommodation, recommendations etc worked like a dream - thank you to Damon and everyone at Encounter Walking. We have recommended you to others, and will continue to do so. Thank you everyone involved in the Coleridge Way.

Route: Newquay - Plymouth
Name: Joachim and Andi
When: 10 August 2015

Flag of GermanyFor way: Like all long-distance footpaths, the label is partly good and partly bad. Especially bad is the mark of Coverack by Porthallow. To evaluate the Section it would be good if the altitude would indicated. If the Section has a lot of steps, this information would also be good. To Orgarnisation: the Orgarnisation was excellent. The Lodging is always close on the way. The description of the way the property very well. the Lodging: -Sea View House- the room is very small and not very clean. There is no wardrobe. We had to take off your shoes, although they were not wet or dirty. -House of Props- the arrival to 4 clock or after 6 clock is bad for walking. The furniture of the room was a bit uneven. The food and the breakfast was very good. -Nantarrow farm- the information that the Farmer guests for a small fee drives to the pub and pick up again would be good. We noticed that people are very friendly in Cornwall. "Encounterwalking" we would recommend it to anyone with a good conscience.

Route: South West Coast Path Lyme Regis to Weymouth
Name: Colin Hone
When: 10 August 2015

Flag of the United KingdomAll nicely organised: fairly decent distance each day, good accommodation. Whilst the OS maps were (as they should be) exceedingly easy to read / navigate, the holiday narrative describing detours throughout the walk was a welcome icing on the top and made life just that little bit easier. Would definitely walk in this area again.

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: Arlitia Jones
When: 09 August 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had a glorious time! This was the perfect way to experience Dartmoor, the land and the villages. We're back home now and have already been contacted by several friends who wish to plan their own walking holidays next year. Encounter Walking took care of all the arrangements, as they said they would, so all we had to do was walk and enjoy the scenery.

Our accommodations were just perfect, comfortable, clean, cozy and everyone was so friendly and helpful. The food was fantastic. Hearty, delicious meals every evening after a long day of walking. On this vacation, we weren't just tourists standing off at a distance taking pictures and reading brochures. We got to meet some of the people of Devon and share stories with them. This alone makes the rain worthwhile... oh yes, there was rain. But the moors are something to behold in the rain, so beautiful! And the ponies! There were lots of ponies! We can't wait to come back! Thank you to everyone!--Arlitia and Dan

Route: Hartland Quay to Port Isaac
Name: jane and antony
When: 06 August 2015

Flag of the United KingdomDamon did a lovely job organising our walk, all at rather short notice. Although we live in Cornwall, the far north coast was utterly unknown to us. The ups and downs are far more frequent and higher than the ones we are accustomed to down here on the Lizard! The Bush Inn at Morwenstow was a complete delight - try the cloudy cider yum yum! Make sure you pack your swimming gear if you do this route. The beach at Crackington Haven is small, but sheltered and perfectly formed, and there are numerous other opportunities for a cheeky dip. The wild ponies on some of the steeper cliffs just north of Boscastle were beautiful, and no trouble at all. I am generally nervous of cows too, but all those we encountered were gentle and untroubled by our presence.

Route: Lyme Regis to Poole
Name: Greg - NZ
When: 06 August 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed the walking holiday. From the coastal views to the lovely villages we passed through. The people we met at the accommodation places and the taxi lady were all helpful and friendly. Everything worked just fine as per the itinerary and the weather was on our side. We will seriously consider another section in the future and recommend Encounter to friends etc.

Route: Minehead to Braunton
Name: Mechthild Wittrock
When: 02 August 2015

Flag of GermanyThe organisation was perfect, our accomodations good up to very good, very friendly B&B-hosts. We were a group of 13 friends, some walking faster, some more slowly. It would have been helpful to have more samples/copies of the way to share, but that's surely a question of prizes. Ilfracome - in our eyes - isn't worth stopping at, Lee was much nicer. The last day (stay in Woolacombe, suggestion from encounterwalking was taking the bus to Brampton and walking back) we shortend the walk (Croyde - Woolacombe) to have a bit more time in Woolacombe - fantastic beach, great weather. Especially the hosts of "The Rocks Hotel" were extremely helpful. At the first day short before Blossington all of our sub-groups probably missed a sign and reached the village somehow, but not via Hurlstone Point like the guide recommends. Highlight was the trip between Combe Martin and Woolacombe. For some of us (nearly all over 50) the distance was a little bit too long - walking such a trail more than 20 km is a little bit too much, but nobodyneeded a taxi and we were all in a good mood.

Route: Newquay to Penzance
Name: Liz and Keith Sagar
When: 02 August 2015

Flag of the United KingdomA lovely walk with great accommodation. Encounter's assessment of our route was fine e.g moderate, strenuous in parts. The A-Z map was good. The Trailblazer book is probably the best to use, but has some annoying/out of date inconsistencies e.g going through Hayle. Comments on the route: - Perranporth - St Georges Country Hotel - we agree that it is best not to approach it by road (dangerous), but still don't understand Encounter's instructions for approaching from the coast path. We met another walker who gave us instructions; - St Loys Cove - where the path runs at the back of the beach, as we were told there loads of boulders but they cover more than 50 metres. Once over the boulders, there is a scary climb up crumbling steps in the small cliff. The coast path sign indicates this route, but other walkers told us that they used a much better path immediately behind the beach. Anyway we had a great time and a very good service from Encounter.

Route: Minehead to Braunton
Name: Christoph
When: 02 August 2015

Flag of GermanyPath descriptions and maps were very well, good was that the time prognose for the day mostly was right and very exact.

Only at one point - at the end between Minehead and Porlock Weir -, down to Bossington, all uf us went wrong and took another way down to Bossington, not the South Coast Path Way, but this was not important.

The hotels overall were okay, Millers at the Anchor in Porlock is great, Bath in Lynmouth was very okay, Combe Martin and Minehead okay, and The Rocks in Woolacomb really great, especially very very kind and helpful persons!

Helpful would be a list of shops with opening hours where to buy water and bread etc.

The whole organisation went very well, no problems with the transport of luggages.

I hoped to go swimming every evening, but that was difficult because of the coastline (except Woolacomb of course).

Overall a nice week and a very good hike, with excellent organisation from your side.

Many thanks! - Best wishes  from Hamburg

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Dawn Prentice
When: 01 August 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThe planning and information given from encounter walking holidays was superb. There are a couple of points that I would like to make which didn't spoil our experience but e think heed addressing. 1. The accommodation in Charlestown is niw run by the local public house which is a stroll away up a hill...After waking all day we had to ho there and check in then take our luggage down the hill to the accommodation and up flights of stairs...my husband didn't have wheels on his and it was a problem. 2. The accommodation in Fowey was very quaint and lovely hosts...The bed was very small and my husband is 6"3 also the nesting seagulls on the roof ment we didn't sleep even with ear plugs. The walks were wonderful and the views exceptional tge food and drink along the way we're good. Upon hindsight we would of walked two days and rest a day etc but I would definitely use this company again a brilliant holiday. Roll on the next one!!!

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: T&P - Trondheim Norway
When: 01 August 2015

Flag of NorwayOur walking holiday was very nice.We loved it!!!! You got a beautiful country

We had to take the Diversion in St Ives since we started walking on a Monday.
The weather was very nice exept for one day, and lucky for it was the short day to Sennen Cove
Take care, and thank you once again for helping us planning our holiday.
 

 

Route: Southwest coast path Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Ietje ter haar
When: 31 July 2015

Flag of the NetherlandsWe had a great time walking, the weather was fine. All the bed and breakfasts were great exept the one in fowey, the galjoen inn. IT was not clean ! The services of encounter walking Holidays was great. If we are gone walk in england again we certainly Will do iT with you. Thank you for everything! Allaart en ietje ter Haar.

Route: The Two Moors Way Plymouth to Lynmouth
Name: K O - Germany
When: 29 July 2015

Flag of GermanyThe holiday was wonderfull. We met very friendly people, were allways being offered help or a pleasant talk.

The B&Bs and the hotels were very comftable and we liked nearly everywhere the food.

Luggage transfer was perfect. And of course, the landscape was splendit, we saw a lot of animals, romantic rivers and wild open fields.

At first it was difficult for us to find the way over the open moorland, we got lost, especially since there are no signs and the description is some years old, some places have changed (grown trees, no bird nursery any more, ...). As we do not know how the naturally landmarks look like, the names in the description sometimes were not helpful for us. But that is probably because we do not understand enough English. And we did a little bit too much, we thought we could manage more miles than we did. But we took taxis or public transport or skipped one walk.

Alltogher we had a very nice stay, which we will like to remember!

Route: Minehead - Westward Ho!
Name: Ute
When: 28 July 2015

Flag of GermanyWe had great 10 days, everything was perfectly organized. B&B were good - range from absolutely ok to great, but nothing less than really ok. All hosts were very nice and the rooms clean. Luggage transfer was absolutely perfect - thanks to Sue and Ben. People in England are very polite and open, we had lots of "small talks" - very interesting. The maps are very good - we lost the signs between Minehead and Porlock Weir somewhere before Bossington Hill, but maybe that was our falt. Only one thing we would have done different if we had known - the walk along River Taw was a bit boaring, for us it would have been better to take a bus between Croyde and Westward Ho! because this part of the walk is not what someone expects from "coast path". But that is to blad on a very high stage - we were very content with the walk and the perfect organization - thanks to all people involved. I´m looking forward to walking the next part next year and I will do it again with Encounter Walking Holidays.

Route: Lands End Way Circle from St Ives
Name: Penny and Vince
When: 28 July 2015

Flag of the United KIngdomWe arrived in St Ives with the sun shining and it shone the whole of our holiday. I suggest you come early to get a car parking space, as it can get very busy. We had trouble with the Ring Go as it wouldn't work for us at Trenwith Car Park, so we used Phone and Pay, downloaded the app. This worked very well. We had to use the diversion to walk out of St Ives, the notes from Damon where easy to follow and we had no problems.

The itinerary was good with enough information to support us along the way. We did prepare ourselves for the severe grades, they weren't that bad as we thought, we just took our time and stopped to take in the stunning scener, we did double the time it said on the itinerary, and loved every minute. The Trailblazer Guide was an essential item in the rucksack.

Accommodation was great throughout our travels, Debbie and Carl at the Seaforth B & B were lovely welcoming people and gave some useful information, breakfast was delicious. We would recommend The Ship Inn, Mousehole for evening meal, really nice atmosphere and great food.. Luggage transfers were no problem, it was there when we arrived at our accommodation every time. We saw stunning scenery, St Loys cove with the boulders was amazing. We also met some nice people on our travels as well. Big thankyou to Damon and fhe team at Encounter for making our holiday so special and enjoyable, we can't wait to plan the next one.

Route: Mevagissey to Looe
Name: Rudi Holt
When: 27 July 2015

Flag of NorwayThis has been a fantastic walk!! Except walking the golf course and behandling the old factory in Par, the whole trip was absolutely wonderful. The best part was from Fowey to Polperro where we walked alone in beautiful weather. In Ropeheaven we had problem finding the path - no sign telling is to turn left, so we walked almost down to the sea. The accomodations where ok - except for Schooner in Looe which is great - we love this B&B! Coming back to Norway, we will sure tell our friends about this - and I'm sure we will contact Encounter Walking again. Great service - thank you all! Rudi & Knut

Route: Lyme Regis to Poole
Name: Maggie and Pat
When: 25 July 2015

Flag of the United KingdomHi Damon

Not a huge amount to feedback this time. All the accommodation was really good, particularly liked Kimmeridge Farmhouse and Queen Anne House.

Couple of things around Portland. The Blue Fish Restaurant at Fortuneswell has closed, though it looks like they still open the occasional weekend. Refreshments are scarce apart from Portland Bill. However we did find another place at Fancy's Family Farm which is just after the prison on the way back to Fortuneswell. It is free entry and they have a shop which sells drinks and snacks. There are picnic tables and you can look at the animals too! Couldn't work out how they make their money, but we were glad of the break.

At South Haven Point you can get the 50 bus before the ferry (bus stop outside Shell Bay Café) and thus avoid the separate ferry fare!

Just a minor point on directions at Kimmeridge, you don't need to go down to the Marine Reserve buildings before turning left up to the village. Would suggest the directions say turn left on the minor road after the public toilets, saves a few yards.

Excellent walk, weather was kind and probably best waymarked section of all.

Thanks for all your help in getting us around. We have loved it and will be back next year for Pembrokeshire (you don't get rid of us that easily!!)

Congratulations Maggie and Pat from us all at Encounter Walking for finishing all 630 miles of the full path over the last few years - well done !

Route: Marazion to Falmouth - The Lizard
Name: Wolfgang
When: 25 July 2015

Flag of Germanyyesterday we came back from our walking week on the South West Coast Path between Marazion and Falmouth. I just wanted to let you know that everything went well and we very much appreciate the perfect organization of the trip.

We were very lucky with the weather: Only one hour of rain, a day of heavy winds and other than that lots and lots of sunshine. We have enjoyed all the accommodations with wonderful hospitality everywhere, very nice people, excellent breakfast, good food and even better beer so what else could we have wished for. 

The luggage transfer worked out simply perfect with no hick up at all. 

And since we had received very good information from you we never got lost.

So all in all it was a perfect trip. I promise we will tell lots of people about it and we we will certainly recommend Encounter Walking Holidays as the partner to choose. And I hope we will do it again ourselves in the near future.

Thank you very much for your support.

Route: South West coastpath and st'Michels
Name: Eric
When: 24 July 2015

Flag of the NetherlandsThe Map was good, the trailblazer guidebook was not very helpfull and not necessary. The accomodation in Zennor Chapel at Zennor and Treventon Guest House in Penzance were great. Commercial hotel in St Just was OK. Sea View House in Porthcurno was the least off all accomodations. We did not walk st Michels way instead of that we walked our own route, this because we ended at our campingplace near St Ives and the michels way was to far from our destination. The total costs of the journey we found it to high for what we got. The correspondation through email and the organisation were very good. We had a nice trip. Greetings Eric

Route: Minehead to Ilfracombe and Lundy
Name: IB Amsterdam
When: 24 July 2015

Flag of the NetherlandsIt was a great holiday. Hunters Inn was a great place to be ill ... And then the people of the luggage transfer were very friendly (they took me to Ilfracombe on day 5). I think I cought a cold and had been eating too much (4 times creamed tea in a week...).Fortunately I could make it to Lundy next day, so I still had a nice sea/seawind/birds etc. experience.

I will defenitely come back to do another part of the SW Coast path! Or the Coleridge Way.

I really have no remarks. All the B&B were so carefully selected by you! Maybe just a few general 'tourist' tips:  

- Taunton: the big Roman Dido and Aeneas-mosaic in the Somerset museum is very impressive. It's just next to the busstation, so great to hop in when you walk from the trainstation to the bus station. 

- The beautiful Exeter Cathedral is only a 10 minutes walk from Exeter Central (connecting station to London Waterloo).

- River Heddon (near Hunters Inn): you can spot dippers here.

Route: Clovelly to Tintagel
Name: Will Brayshaw
When: 19 July 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a fantastic holiday arranged by Damon at Encounter Walking, they were super helpful and everything was arranged as planned. I would highly recommend using them, they were very accommodating and we will use them again next time we come to Cornwall!

Route: Westward Ho! to Padstow
Name: Norbert and Gerda
When: 19 July 2015

Flag of BelgiumA beautiful and extremely well organised holiday. We appreciated particularly your choice of accommodations: a good variety of places, excellent locations, nice breakfasts... The provided documentation was more than adequate for navigation dummies like us. We also appreciated the efforts of the owner of the Avalon BandB in Tintagel in trying to get our clothes dried after a very wet day. Only the last morning in Port Isaac the rain was pouring down so hard that we were tempted to take the bus, but luckily the sun came through just in time to make us change our mind. One possible advice we can think of: if you have gaiters, you'd better take them with you!

Route: Marazion to Falmouth: Coastal path
Name: Robert and Lisbeth
When: 19 July 2015

Flag of BelgiumAn interesting walk in sunshine and rain. Waking up in a misty Porthleven was a kind of surprise after the sunny previous day. No view of St Michaels mount and even the view of the sea was blurred but everything cleared after visiting St Winwaloe church. Kynance Cove and Lizard point would have been more enjoyable with fewer 'day tourists'. Cadgwith harbour was very attractive. Heavy rain and wind held us away from the coast between Porthallow and Helston. Instead we explored alternative paths inland and reached the Helston ferry after a nice lunch in Manaccan. A day off at Mawnan Smith with a visit of Trebah Gardens was a splendid idea, so was the extra day in Falmouth with Pendennis castle and the Maritime Museum.

All accomodations were excellent, with often remarkably large rooms. We very much liked the more personal touch of "Gold Martin" in Mawnan Smith. All walks had their strenuous parts, especially where staircases with huge steps were inserted... and for us, as walkers of a certain age who also take time to enjoy the beautifull vegetation, the longer walks such as Cadgwith-Porthallow were somewhat exhausting. Signposting could be improved a lot, certainly in the neighbourhood of beaches. Of course, as a coastal path is supposed to stick to the shore, walking it is most times not really difficult and we were provided with excellent trail documentation: The OS map in book-version was extremely handy. We preferred this to the trailblazer which, however, was informative for smaller (but necessary) details such as the location of toilets... Thank you for this much enjoyed walking trip, and also for the pleasantly efficient and well timed way the foregoing communication was handled.

Route: Westward Ho! to Plymouth SW Coast Path
Name: Kelvin and Alison
When: 18 July 2015

Flag of the United KingdomOur walk was amazing and we enjoyed every minute even if the weather was not always sunny.

The walk itself is spectacular and every day is different.

The distances we walked was  perfect for us as experienced long distance walkers but also gave us time for lovely coffee stops!We were so impressed with all our accomodation especially the B and B s as they all had a personal touch it was only the larger accomodation places that did not do soya milk which we found interesting! But that was only about 3 places.

The diversion was in place in St Ives but caused no probs, Biggest problem for walkers is on day arriving into St Ives when you have to walk on a very narrow busy road! Not pleasant.

The luggage transfer was first class and was always at destination and often in our room which was really nice"

Overall I would highly recommend the walk and the all the places we stayed.

thank you for your vey well planned holiday and we recommended your company to numerous people while on the walk. We look forward to booking our next trip with you soon.

Route: St Ives to Falmouth and Mevagissey / Fowey walking
Name: H & E - Berlin
When: 17 July 2015

Flag of Germanythanks for the well done preparations of our walking holiday in Cornwall. Basically we had a very pleasing time and the two days rain were really no hindrance having a very good time in this lovely place. The daily transport of our suitcases and the arrangement and length of our tours were nearly perfect. For even making your service better for the forthcoming people we'd like to give a few tipps or suggestions, which might be helpful:

- We have learned, that our plan to  take rests for two days each at the end of our stay (Mevagissey and Fowey) was not necessary. We should have gone on, which we really did by taking tours round the town. We should have lengthened our way on the coastal path.

- the B & B's in Penzance, Coverack and - most of all - Mevagissey were very goot, the others were ok exept the night and breakfast in the Harbour Inn in Porthleven.

- Concerning the route: The ferrie from Mevagissey to Fowey didn't drive because of the bad weather. The tour by bus was ok, but as an alternative it would have been nice to take a walk or - if too long for a daytrip - a combined suggest for a walk and bus tour.

- In parts the south coast path, as far as we have gone it, was not at all places clearly signed. Definitely on the days with bad weather the orientation was sometimes difficult and the combination of coastal-path signs and the local round paths had been desorientating, so that we missed our way for two times.

- Looking back we were both sorry, that we didn't combine trips on coast with ways through the heartland.

But these suggestions are not thought to really criticize the stay in Cornwall. It's a really nice place, we really enjoyed it, you did really good work and we are very confident, it was not our last time to come to "Kernow".

Thanks for everything you have done for us up to now,

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Angela & Dennis
When: 13 July 2015

Flag of the United KingdomOur 4th walk with Encounter and another great holiday. We started the walk with a certain amount of trepidation as some stages were described as severe! However, because of the dry weather the boggy bits were not very wet, the rocky parts were not too difficult and the ups and downs not as punishing as we feared. The hardest and most frightening part was the path down by the side of the Minack theatre going to Porthcurno - an easier option is the road. In general signage was good although we did miss the path above Porthgwarra were the path split three ways and there was no marker. All the accommodation was very good and the luggage transfer worked very smoothly. Thank you Damon and crew for another excellent holiday.

Route: Minehead to Combe Martin
Name: Claudia and Detlev
When: 09 July 2015

Flag of GermanyWe did the Minehead to Combe Martin part and luckily we had fairly good weather the 1st 3 days (forget day 4...). It was a phantastic experience to walk at the Exmoor coast. Great nature. The accomodation was perfect as well as the luggage transfer. Everything was absolutely well organized by Damon and met our expectations perfectly. Everything matched with our briefing given when we had the first contact. Thank you for the great 4 days of our vacation

Route: St. Ives to Falmouth
Name: Denni & Nan
When: 08 July 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had a wonderful hike. The “relaxed” pace was just right for us and it left us with time to visit a number of fascinating attractions in the afternoons after we had reached our destinations. The uphill work really wasn’t too bad, and the twelve or thirteen mile longest days weren’t too hard. We did take the bus from Mousehole to Penzance but walked the three miles on to Marazion. The mid July weather was pretty good: we had three days of sun and several half days too. We saw plenty of mist, but were really rained on only one day.

Must say we didn’t run into any other Americans in eleven days of walking! Our favorite sections of the walk were St. Ives to Zennor, Zennor to Pendeen, Prussia and Bessie’s Cove are, the Loe Bar and especially Gillan’s creek where, in mid July, we had no trouble in hailing the “ferry” to St Anthony’s at high tide. Cadgwith was the prettiest village. We learned a lot about Cornwall at the following stops, and we strongly advise those unfamiliar with the area to take time for a visit: Wayside Museum in Zennor; Geever Mine in Pendeen; Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno; St. Michael’s Mount in Marazion and the Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

In general all the accommodations were fine, but several stand out. Best B&B, hands down: St. Michaels B&B, Marazion, felt more like a boutique hotel; the caveat being that they generally accept only two night stays, which worked well for us because we were taking a rest day there. We appreciated the route planning that got us there. Best meal, hands down: Ben’s Cornish Kitchen, Marazion. Exceptional food, but you must book ahead and they are closed two days a week. Other good or fun meals at Logan Rock Inn, Treen, near Porthcurno, Kota In Porthleven; Kynance Café, Kynance Cove; Cove Restaurant, Maenporth. We also stayed at some really nice places that had only a few rooms (Tinner’s Arms in Zennor) and think that we were able to stay only because we booked early (last October). Finding our way was pretty easy and the directions along with the maps and Trailblazer guide meant we never had any trouble. For what it’s worth the boulders on the beach at St. Loy were not any trouble at all (in dry weather). All in all a terrific walk.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Julian and Sarah
When: 07 July 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe have had a wonderful time although as you said, the weather was a bit mixed, but we were prepared for that.  This may be too much detail for you but we wanted you to know how good things were, so please take what you want for your website feedback.  

First of all, many thanks for the excellent organisation of our walk. We are not novice walkers but not very experienced either, with this walking daily with luggage transfer new to us, and we found it brilliant. We are recently retired (so not spring chickens anymore!) and felt that the itinerary you set up for us was just right in terms of distance and difficulty.  We wanted to stop, take pictures, eat our lunch etc. without doing a forced march all day.

The taxi transfer from Bodmin-Padstow went very smoothly. The luggage transfers were great – bags always waiting for us.

The accommodation was fine all the way.

Our main tip for others would be at some of the bigger places, Padstow, St Ives especially – in the height of the season  (and even early July) if you wanted to eat in a restaurant in the evenings (and we don’t mean only the celebrity ones) it would pay to book several days ahead as even small places get full.

Our hardest day was Tues 14th Portreath to Lelant (you might remember that it was VERY wet!). We were expecting this to be hard as the weather was awful and we had read that the dunes/Towans were not well marked, which is true. In some places the stone markers are clear and then they just disappear! (we did find one that had fallen over due to sand erosion). We were torn between staying in the shelter of the dunes from the rain and going down onto the beach, which would have been our intention in better weather.  We did get down onto the beach after a while but high tide was approaching with the wind bringing it in further, so the RNLI people advised us not to walk in some parts. Coming off Hayle Towans past some holiday chalets and into a car park was not well marked but we found the right road in the end and although the walk through and out of Hayle along the road is not pleasant, the Old Quay house was a very welcome sight and the binoculars and bird book in the room was a lovely touch. Overall the signposting along the path for our trip was adequate – we never really got lost apart from on the 14th but even then not for too long!

Best bits for us were walking the length of Perran beach in the sunshine to Perranporth, seeing grey seals near Godrevy lighthouse and just the fact that we did the whole walk without a hitch (proving that there is life in the old dogs yet!).

Thanks to Encounter Holidays for doing such a great job organising the walk we wanted.  We are already thinking about which part of the trail we would like to do next.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Robert Offoird
When: 05 July 2015

Flag of NorwayWe really enjoyed our walk from St Ives to Penzance. Warm enough, windy enough and not as difficult as we had anticipated.Baggage allways waiting for us at the places we stayed for the night. Good information and maps, before we started and even underway when things had changed (Path closed,with alternative route,Train strike). Selected B and B's / hotels were comfortable with good breakfasts. Will recomend you to any one thinking of doing the same as we did. Watch out for the seagulls in St Ives, they are quite adept at stealing food from People.

Route: Minehead to Ilfracombe
Name: Karsten
When: 05 July 2015

Flag of GermanyAlthough the weather wasn't as good as it could have been, we had a great week walking the South West Coast Path! Thank you very much for perfect support and organisation. Everything worked very well, all the hotels were nice, the people so kind and the transfers just in time without any problems!

Route: Westward Ho to Newquay
Name: Janet
When: 04 July 2015

Encounter Walking Holidays logoWe have had a really fantastic holiday and have been very fortunate with the weather.  The walking was challenging at times (in a good way!) and the scenery was wonderful.  We both really enjoyed ourselves and found your guidance notes useful and the Trailblazer guides to be invaluable.

It's hard to know where to start for giving you feedback...but here are a few comments which spring to mind:-

Best day's walking - from Padstow to Porthcothan because of a combination of the gorgeous scenery, beautiful weather and stunning beaches;
Hardest stretch of the entire walk - the walk between Port Isaac and Port Quinn (followed closely by the wallking on the Hartland Peninsula in the few miles both before and after Morwenstow);
Best cream tea (we sampled many!) - the National Trust Cafe at Bedruthan Steps;
Best restaurant - The Fish House in Newquay;
Scariest thing - being followed by persistent cows in a field close to Hartland Point;
Most problematic thing - being unable to get into a field close to the approach to Crackington Haven as there was a herd of cattle gathered round the stile at the entry point.  After trying unsuccessfully to shift them for some time, we gave up and waited for reinforcements in the form of a group of walkers who had been walking some way behind us.  We were very grateful to be escorted through the field by them and were left wondering why the cows moved for them but wouldn't move for us!
Highlight of holiday - paddling on various beaches but in particular on Mother Ivey Beach and Constantine Beach (between Padstow and Porthcothan)...it was a really warm day and the sea was almost turquoise in colour...and the waves on Constantine Bay were a delight.

I would like to thank you for all of your help in planning our holiday.  It has been a very positive and enjoyable experience for us and we're already looking forward to tackling the next stage of the Path.

Route: St Ives to Falmouth
Name: M & V - Switzerland
When: 03 July 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandNow we are back, already one week from the south coast path in Cornwall.

We had a wunderful time. all was running so perfect, I almost can`t believe it. the very nice accomodations, the very nice people everywhere and the good food all over the places.

I thank you very much for the chooses of the accomodations. there were very different and very clean, well-kept and friendly poeple. And also good breakfast, what we are not used to eat. Also the places where  the accomodation were situated  was very practical.

And we did get nice lunches everywhere.

the laggage was always on the place. we never had to wait. perfect.

Path: I think we have chosen to long distances. I would rather choose shorter walks and have more time for watching the sea. the path was good, very variabel. We had to get used to the wind, the showers, lets say the very changing of the weather. but we got used to all that, it was a nice experiencing.

The only part we didn't walk, was from mousewhole to penzance and from penzance to the michael mont.

Taxi: we didnt had to take it. so there is nothing to say about.

Dear Damon, I thank you that you let us pass a very nice time in Cornwall. all the best.

Liebe Grüsse

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Cynthia Cooper
When: 01 July 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaDear Damon, Our troupe definitely enjoyed our walking vacation with the exception of one very bad storm that drenched everything, including our boots, and gave us much misery that day. We’d pay extra to avoid that weather if we could! We never gave our luggage transfer a second thought because it worked perfectly. The same with our accommodations, though there were some places we enjoyed more than others. Our goal was to find a nice place to walk from town to town and not be too far from civilization, and chose the Falmouth to Plymouth leg of the Coastal Path. It seemed as though it would be fine, but WOW! was it ever a spectacular place to hike! We had never known that the Cornwall coast was so scenic and so utterly unspoiled and wonderful. A group of friends (and then even more friends came for a long weekend) joined us for a hike from Falmouth to Plymouth which was an incredible experience. We met many other hikers, some just out walking dogs close to home, some out for a full day's hike, some just for a picnic and others who were tackling even longer stretches than we were. However you do it, we all gave this particular 77 miles a hearty thumbs up. For the most part, the trail was well marked so that way-finding was not a problem.

There were some places, though, when we truly were clueless about which way to go and had to wander about before we figured it out. In several places there were no signs at very essential crossroads or tees and, in several other places the wooden signposts had completely rotted and had fallen to the ground. (these were easier to figure out, as we could deduce the correct directions from the confluence of the paths and the arrows.) The ordinance survey maps sometimes were not that much help, either, but at least we had them! We did badly lose our way at some point after the Gribbin Daymark tower going toward Fowey which nearly doubled the length of our walk; we are still trying to figure out why... suffice it to say that, if there were signs there, we did not see them.

In some places the path led through towns or near pubs or beach concession stands and one could purchase food and drink. In other places, the path was more remote and we'd made provisions to carry food with us, either prearranging sandwiches from our inn or purchasing something from a shop on our way through town. We had made careful note of this and planned. I also carried protein bars and apples in my backpack along with plenty of water. (water is extremely heavy as 1 Liter = 2.2 pounds) I was the one who walks most regularly and the one who knew how difficult the terrain would be. I am not sure my husband and friends would have come if they could have foreseen it! PLEASE NOTE: I DID WARN THEM. (and, in their defense, they DID train.)

This section of the coast path was very scenic and very varied, woodlands, sandy paths, beaches, hayfields, cows, dartmoor ponies and on and on. We loved the rugged paths and the variety and the views. The great views were paid for, of course, by very steep climbing and many, many stair steps. We all came to dread looking ahead across a headland to see another hundred steps cut into the other side! Whenever I came to steps built into a cliff, I silently thanked whomever it was who lugged stone or lumber or cement to build these vertical passes. Aloud, however, I am sorry to admit that I may have cursed! Maybe not on the first thousand steps... but certainly after that! Down and up, up and down, both... both are hard! The steep ascents and descents made for longer walks than we were used to. I'd recently covered 15.5 miles in 6-ish hours, including breaks, but found that that same distance took us nearly 9 hours in Cornwall. More difficult terrain along with frequent photographic stops accounted for this... and our crew was dead tired by the time each day's walk ended.

The most impressive thing was looking backward and being able to see headland beyond headland... all of which we had just traversed! It was amazing. Bathrooms were an interesting aspect of walking here, some towns had public facilities that were permanently closed due to lack of funding. In some places, townspeople fought to keep them open and, either by collecting donations or by recruiting volunteers, they somehow managed to do it. Some loos requested donations from users, which we all gladly paid, since a public bathroom is a wonderful thing when you need one. SUGGESTION! add extra nights! We also added a few extra nights in places where we wanted to sightsee but we should have added even more because there was never enough time to see everything that looked interesting. I'd suggest spending a second night in Falmouth because it is large and scenic. We added a sightseeing day both in Mevagissey and Fowey and were happy not to have missed Lanhydrock and Restormel Castle there!

We wished we had added a night to stay in Polperro Beach but, because we were walking through it from Fowey to Looe, we had to keep on going. Who knew that Polperro would have been a great place to stay!? Not to mention that the walk TO there was enough to exhaust us! We didn't need to push on to Looe at that point because we'd already had a strenuous walk. If you can, walk from Fowey to Polperro; the mileage may seem short but it is strenuous. I'd also have liked to spend much longer in Looe, as well. The shops and restaurants were wonderful and I didn't get to browse in the two bookstores that looked so nice!

Encounter Walking describes an extra day as a "rest day for tired walkers" which makes it sound like you are too tired to get out of bed! Or, worse, that you are weaklings! Even if that is true, we looked on those extra days as an opportunity to visit manor houses, museums and gardens, etc. Just think of them as sightseeing days. Because, even on those days, we put in plenty of miles walking around... just not on the official coast path! If you add extra days for sightseeing, you will be happy that you did.

To sum it up: We'd all recommend this section from Falmouth to Plymouth for its beauty, relative ease and access to towns, inns, pubs, other sights and comforts. Thank you for planning such a great trip for us! What a wonderful hike we had!

Route: Bude to Padstow
Name: Birgit
When: 30 June 2015

Flag of GermanyActually I did quite well on the walk, as I made use of your alternative suggestions. The landscape is just awesome and all accommodation was great! The luggage transport worked out perfectly, there is absolutely nothing we could complain about. British friends who joined us during the trip, walked the complete distances, and, it won't be a surprise to you, found it quite challenging. Especially the route section to Crackington Haven was difficult for them, as it was raining and the path (especially the steps) was wet and slippery.

One of the highlights was the stay at the Bears and Boxes, whose the owner invited us to join her on a visit to the pub in Boscastle, where locals meet for an 'evening of singing' during the summer months (every Wednesday). That was a very special evening! Fran is an original, a woman dedicated to everything she does -.. I take my hat off to her. By the way, she told us that not all travel businesses treat their contracting BandBs as fair as you do.

Another highlight is the walk from Boscastle to Tintagel. The scenery on that part is absolutely magnificent, we enjoyed every second of the walk! Port Isaac is a lovely place to visit. We didn't know anything about its fame as the 'Doc Martin' location and found out from some citizens that they are quite happy about it, since it attracts additional guests. Still, the place wasn't overcrowded and has a very special atmosphere. 

Wadebridge and Padstow are both nice places to visit (unfortunately I didn't get there early enough to go on the Camel trail - something to do next time). The stay at the 'Golden Lion' was very nice and the owner is a very (!) good cook and very nice and friendly person.

All information I got from you was geared up to all needs and very informative. 

I hope I can return in better conditions, I would definitely recommend Encounter Walking Holidays as THE travel organizers to book with!

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: Penny
When: 28 June 2015

Encounter Walking Holidays logoI spoke to someone early on Tuesday morning.  You were unable to book accommodation etc. for us because of your work commitments and the short time available. However you gave valuable advice about logistics, direction and accommodation.  Thanks to that I was able to book the 3 days (though we had to move it back a day because of the Ironman in Wheddon Cross on 27 June!). I really appreciate your help and will have no hesitation in contacting you again, -with more notice!  I will also recommend you to other walking friends.

Route: Padstow St Ives
Name: Jean-Luc Magnenat
When: 28 June 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandWe great appreciated the informations provided and the careful choice of accommodations. The indications on the path are very clear and, together with the 1:25'000 map provided, allow for alternate routes when necessary. We were blessed with a splendid western aller way long and decidedly will be back for the rest of this enthralling SWCP under your expert guidance. Many thanks, Jean-Luc

Route: Padstow - St Ives
Name: Keith Moulden
When: 27 June 2015

Flag of the United KingdomNot as interesting or strenuous as the section from Westward Ho to Padstow, but still very enjoyable especially with good weather. The information given by Encounter was first class and on a damp 'free day' at St Agnes we followed the suggestion to go into Truro, which we enjoyed. The sand dunes at Gwithian were a little tricky and the stretch around the estuary after Hayle was not very well marked or pleasant. Accommodation was generally OK, but a bit disconcerting to arrive at the Harlyn Inn. Harlyn Bay and be shown to our room overlooking a performance area with a live singer about to set up a few feet from our window! Fortunately it was only a late afternoon performance.....

Route: saints way
Name: susan
When: 26 June 2015

Flag of the United KingdomFantastic walk. Route well signposted & didn't get lost! Accommodation excellent. Some steep climbs but if I can manage them anyone can. Would recommend this walk as interesting places & stunning scenery.

Route: Fowey to Padstow (Saints Way); Padstow to Bude (SWCP)
Name: Ed and Ann Norton
When: 26 June 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe are a couple in our early 70s and experienced walkers/trekkers. We had a "life experience" 8 days on the Saints Way (Fowey to Padstow - 2 days) and then Padstow to Bude on the South West Coast Path (6 days). The advance information and preparation from the Encounter Walking team was extremely helpful - prompt, responsive to our questions, complete - both by email and in the material- detailed itinerary, guidebooks and maps - sent in advance of our walk. Encounter also responded immediately to questions that arose during our trip, and that responsiveness contributed significantly to our enjoyment of our walk. The advance information is essential to preparing for a South West Coast Path Walk.

The SWCP is not an easy walk. Thus our principal advice to those planning a Saints Way or South West Coast Path walk is to read the information provided by Encounter Walking carefully, pay close attention to the distances and estimated walking times, which are based on steady walking without stops) and plan your days consistent with your walking speed, level of fitness and endurance, over terrain that has very steep elevation gains and descents, and consistent with your personal desired experience. Know your walking speed based on how steady you like to walk and how often you like to stop and look and watch for birds and wildlife and take side trips to historic sites etc.

The opportunities for gawking as well as walking on the Saints Way and SWCP are without limit. Encounter Walking provides all this information and the formulas for estimating your walking time and distance covered. Our advice is to pay close attention to Encounters advice and to ask questions. Encounters will help you design a trip that works for you. All of the accommodations - hotels and B&Bs - met or exceeded our expectations. Again, Encounters was very responsive to our preferences and standards. Our hosts were a very positive part of the trip. All of our logistics and baggage transfers worked perfectly. Thanks for a wonderful experience!! Ed and Ann

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Alan & Barbara
When: 22 June 2015

Flag of the United KingdomFor the second year in a row, we had a great time walking some of the coast path in Cornwall. Accommodation stops were all good and offered a variety of rooms/styles/outlooks/personalities. This leg was less rugged that the land's end leg that we walked last year, but no less enjoyable for that. Well organised and a holiday that we will long remember.

Route: Lizard to Penzance
Name: Jenny Simpson
When: 20 June 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThe walk went really well. The fog at The Lizard was a bit eerie.wWe enjoyed the track and all the accommodation places were really welcoming and friendly. Great bird life and scenery.

Route: St-Michael's Way - St-Ives to Penzance
Name: Corinne Parr
When: 20 June 2015

Flag of BelgiumEverything was perfect: transfers, accomodation, food from local pubs, and of course the walks. We enjoyed the diversity of the places where we stayed. In addition, I should like to give a special mentionto Encounter for the easy interactions and patience. We found a few things had changed (improved) since you wrote some details of the walk. Would you like a detailed feedback on this ?  YES PLEASE CORINNE !

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Iain Robertson
When: 18 June 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe had an excellent week's walking. All worked as planned by Encounter Walking - accommodation, luggage transfer and instructions all meeting our expectations. Really impressed with how much Cornwall has risen to the challenge of looking after tourists so well - everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Route: Minehead to Westward Ho
Name: Daniel
When: 15 June 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandWe had a wonderful week walking along Devons north coast with our dog. Especially the first four stages from Minehead via Porlock Weir, Lynmoth and Combe Martin to Woolacombe were outstanding. Fantastic landscapes! After that it becomes flat and physically less demanding, but quite beautiful still. Everything worked perfectly - thank you Damon and coworkers for organizing it so well.

Route: Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk - Dale to St Davids
Name: Mark Pratt
When: 15 June 2015

Flag of AustraliaFrom Australia it was a little difficult to find practical trip planning information on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk. We contacted Encounter Walking and, after some email discussion on what type of walk we were interested in, we received a great deal of background information on the walk, accommodation options and advice on an itinerary that allowed for time to enjoy the scenery. Having completed the walk between Dale and St Davids we wish to thank Damon and co. for their advice and assistance in setting up the walk. The scenery was spectacular, the suggested accommodation spot on and all arrangements worked smoothly. We will be back and would absolutely recommend Encounter to anyone thinking of the coastal walk.

Route: Milford Haven to St Davids
Name: Ann & Bernie
When: 14 June 2015

Flag of WalesA brilliant walk, rugged coastline, huge, beautiful sandy beaches. Lots of bird life and the wild flowers at this time of the year are stunning. The walking is great, some slightly strenuous sections but nothing too bad and with spectacular scenery all the way and very few people around. Good variety of accommodation and some exceptionally good food, notably The Clock House at Marloes and The Coach House at St Davids. Allenbrook in Dale, is a fabulous house, full of interesting artifacts, with peacocks and chickens wandering around the gardens and vintage cars in the garage. Some slight confusion with keys and rooms at Felingog (Solva) but otherwise everything ran like clockwork. Well worth spending a day in St Davids at the end of the walk. Looking forward to doing the next section next year!

Route: penzance to par
Name: maggie and peter schofield
When: 14 June 2015

Flag of the United KingdomAll arrangements went well. Using map and book the path was quite easy to find!. Plenty of good coffee, cream teas and pasties en route! Accommodation all great even the sun shone! St. Michaels Mount, Lizard light house and Glenduggan Gardens all worthy of visiting.

Route: Saints Way Padstow to Fowey
Name: Barbara - Australia
When: 14 June 2015

Flag of AustraliaJust a quick email.

The trip was terrific. The maps and notes were most helpful – we did not get lost.

Accommodation was splendid. The hosts were extremely pleasant and helpful.

Thanks so much

Barbara

Route: Mousehole to Falmouth
Name: Sue & Peter Hartmann
When: 13 June 2015

Flag of GermanyThis was the second time we had booked with Encounter and again everything was perfectly well organised. We were pleased with all the varied types of B&Bs and can especially recommend good food in The Kings Arms in Marazion (reservation beforehand necessary) and The Mounts Bay Inn in Mullion. We took the bridal path to reach Mullion from the coastal path, which was easy walking and a pleasant way. The next day when walking from Mullion to The Lizard make sure you allow enough time to have a Cornish cream tea at Kynance Cove, a beautiful spot. The walk from Coverack to Mawnan Smith is 13 miles. We shortened this 2-3 miles by taking the bus from Coverack (departs 9.45am) to St.Keverne, a 7min bus ride. From there we took the public footpath through the church graveyard along a lovely river valley to Trendwith Mill. Trenance is only a few minutes walk up the road where we joined the coastal path and walked on to Porthhallow.

Sometimes the footpaths make a nice change to the coastal path. This is all clearly marked on OS map. When we reached Gillan Creek the tide was going out so we were able to wade through shallow water - watch out for the crabs! When we arrived at Helford Passage it was still low tide, but this is no problem as we had a welcomed rest and drink in the beer garden at the Shipwright Arms. If you are staying at Gold Martin it's nice to walk from Porth Saxon to Mawnan Smith along the Woodland Trail. This is not strenuous at all. What made this a fantastic holiday was the weather - 8 days sunshine and pleasant temperatures for walking. Thanks Damon for arranging everything and we hope to be walking again with you.

Route: Westward Ho! to Tintagel
Name: Walter - Switzerland
When: 13 June 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandThanks a lot for your perfect organization.

We had a really great time on the SWCP.

Five days of sunshine, one with fog. NO RAIN!

Wonderful accommodations (four times with twin beds..),

Very friendly hosts. Great food.

From Clovelly to Heartland Quay and from Bude to Trevigue Farm,

we shortened our journey for about 2 miles by a taxi-drive.

We obviously underestimated the many, many Ups and Downs (I am 72 years of age!).

We shall recommend you to all our friends who are interested in a SWCP-Adventure.

Route: Lyme Regis to Poole
Name: AW - America
When: 13 June 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaSadly back home.  Each trip we make gets harder and harder to say goodbye to.

We had a WONDERFUL walk this year.

Accommodations were all on target and all solidly excellent  – not an issue to be found anywhere;  great hosts/hostesses; lovely rooms; good locations; good food;  nice service from the commercial establishments we stayed in.  Kimmeridge with the shared room was just fine – it was a nice big room and so comfortable it didn’t matter we were all together.  And as always we like the mix of B&B/guest houses and Inns.

In terms of our ability to route-find and the walking pace I think it was our best walk yet.  Of course it being a coast path that definitely helped the route-finding;  but it just was a really good pace for us too;  with all the ups and downs 7-9 miles was more than plenty each day! 

Walking notes were spot on and were helpful to make sure we didn’t miss any worthwhile diversions.  Clueless Americans – it wasn’t until we got to Tyneham and read some of the information posted there that we realized we were seeing our two countries shared history by walking through the Ranges and their association with WW2 and D-day training. 

Lyme Regis as a starting base was super fun.  We got over the disappointment of the Undercliff Path being closed by spending that day fossil hunting between L.R. and Charmouth.  Found a few treasures at least from our view.

Lunch at Hive Beach Café at Burton Bradstock was a very tasty spot – although it was very very busy when we showed up at right before noon but well worth the wait. 

The number of holiday parks along that whole stretch was amusing-annoying to us – from our point of view they spoiled the scenery although we get that people want to be in the midst of the scenery….  I just don’t recall them being so much a part of the view when we walked the coast between Boscastle and Padstow on our first walk – maybe in Cornwall they are just hidden better – or not allowed to flourish as much.

Hope the rest of the summer is good to you all!  As always – I am so very happy to have found Encounter so early on in our cycle of walking!

Route: Marloes to St Davids
Name: Mark - Australia
When: 12 June 2015

Flag of AustraliaWe finished our coastal walk yesterday, which we have both enjoyed very much.  Your advice and accommodation arrangements have been spot on.  Thanks for your assistance - it has been a holiday we will recommend to everyone.

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Name: Rebecca
When: 09 June 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had a wonderful walking holiday. Encounter helped us to custom make our itinerary (very patiently when we kept changing things). All of the accommodations were clean, friendly and comfortable. The luggage transfer was smooth. Everything was hassle free. The hiking was spectacular. Even the weather cooperated. We hiked the lower part, Amroth to Bosherton, then skipped up to St. David's and hiked from Justinians to Dogmael. The wildflowers were stunning. The path was in good condition. Thank you Encounter.

Route: Looe to Padstow over Bodmin Moor
Name: Sarah Windler
When: 08 June 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandOur walking-tour started at Looe. We walked over the Bodmin Moor to Bodcastle and along the coast path down to Padstow. Highlights were the moor sections from Minions to Jamaica Inn passing Cheesewring Stone, Sharp Tor, Kilmar Tor and Trewortha Tor. From Jamaica Inn we walked to Brown Willy and Rough Tor and reached Bodcastle in a good time. For the walks over the moor we had marked the tors with crosses and drawn lines between them. In this way we could lay down our compass along the lines during the walk and determine the right directions. With the authority of the compass in the background we were more able to enjoy the amazing landscape of the Bodmin Moor. Back at home I am wondering about the different beauties of the coast and moor walks in South-West England. The Bodmin Moor has given me the same feeling as walking in our Swiss mountains. On the coast you walk along the sea, but in the moor you are going into the power of nature. If you are getting into something powerful, you have to be respectful towards the beauty, because it can be although deceptive and dangerous. Holding this in mind you will be rewarded with the peace of your heart, as in my case. Thanks to the people of Encounterwalking who made this precious experience possible.

Route: started in Boscastle through Saints Way then to Falmouth
Name: Andie UT, USA
When: 08 June 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaAll I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! This was a fantastic journey. I took 10 days to do 100 miles plus 4 days to relax and be a tourist. I used muscles I didn't know I had and even with the training I did, it was nothing compared to the steep climbs and descents that went on and on! Loved every minute of it. It poured on my longest day - and with getting lost a few times, 15 miles turned into 20 with the end walking in mud and water up to our ankles - laughed our way through it- turned out to be alot of fun! I'd say when doing the Saints Way look carefully for signposts cause some are easy to miss. On one of my walks I took a wrong pasture and as I got closer to the end, a group of cows spotted me and started trotting toward me with two being the leaders. I knew it was wrong since usually the cows and sheep don't pay any attention to passing them. I eyed the gate and distance and hoped I'd make it over the fence before they reached me. Since I do animal communication, I hoped they got my message of what I was doing and to not hurt me. Then some turned away and a few walked with me to the gate as I climbed over. PHEW!

All the hamlets, towns, villages were beautiful. Great time of year since it was just the perfect temperature for walking. I live in the desert and am used to extreme heat, so I had to ask for heaters in some of the rooms. I loved having fruit in the morning along with a hearty breakfast. The Avalon in Tintangel has the best porridge - creme brulee. Great food places everywhere, especially Falmouth! Except for a couple of places, all accommodations were wonderful. I hated it to end. I was quite impressed I was able to challenge myself with this many miles (a year ago I couldn't walk a block without hurting - thanks to a great doctor who helped me heal) Be sure to have rain gear (NO poncho!) and two walking poles. I miss it already and if it wasn't for the US dollar exchange being so bad right now,

I'd plan another trip with Encounter Walking - Damon was fantastic with setting up my itinerary and answering my thousand questions and the services he used for luggage are wonderful. I did pass up a couple of the strenuous walks since I was alone but found my way with walking through towns on footpaths or took transportation - even still - walked many miles on those days too. Thank you, Damon, for a wonderful, exciting trip I will always remember!

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Cor Mak & Marianne Sosef
When: 08 June 2015

Flag of NetherlandsFirst time we walked with Encounter Walking. Wonderful holidays. We did the relaxed way but some days it was quite tough however. But we enjoyed each day! Accomodations very friendly and luggage transfer perfect.

Route: Bude to Newquay
Name: Louise Dunn
When: 07 June 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a wonderful week. Got the pace about right by doing homework in advance in distances and times, it would be easy to be over ambitious on this route, the distances may be reasonable, but some stretches are very hilly. Organisation by Encounter and Damon was excellent. Not a hitch. Best way to see Cornwall in my view, many of the villages are small and not car friendly, walking in is perfect as you are always delighted to fall into ice cream stall or tea shop (ok the pub too) and watch the world go by. Time to see the UK at its best. It did help that we had the most wonderful weather of course, the sea was turquoise and blue. Fab. Highly recommend the route and also Encounter.

Route: Minehead to Combe Martin
Name: Ute
When: 06 June 2015

Flag of GermanyAll information we get were very good. We alway find our way. The B&B were all very good and friendly. Only with the bus from Combe Martin to Minehead was a problem, because they didn´t go, because there was a building site on the road, so we had to take a taxi, and this was realy expansive. But all the other things was very good, and we enjoy the 4 days in devon. Thank you very much for your help.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: M & D Germany
When: 04 June 2015

Flag of GermanyWe came back from Cornwall on Tuesday . The holiday was very nice and everything worked super good . Fortunately for us, seemed the sun . I enjoyed the holiday very much , my husband, however, not so much . He is blind and it was for him but very tiring . The roads are so narrow and so we was slow , making him very angry , because he wanted to make it in the specified time . Sure, that 's just not . But now he is happy to have managed this challenge . He has for the evenings in the pub enjoyed more than I do. The variety of accommodation we also found very good. My husband has two favorites : The " Trewithian " and " Schooner Point " . All in all - thank you for the excellent planning .
 

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Name: Chris Dowse
When: 04 June 2015

Flag of ScotlandMy wife and I walked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in a total of 18 days starting on the 4th June 2015 from Amroth to St. Dogmaels. We built in a day off in the middle - at Marloes. As it happened our day off was the only wet one of the entire walk except for two hours of rain early on. Otherwise the weather was near perfect for walking - mainly sunny but not too hot and usually with a cooling breeze with on odd days was just a shade strong. The walk itself was superb with wonderful scenery every bit of the way, flowers at their best and birdlife wonderful with about 100 choughs all told! We definitely felt we were walking it in the right direction as the first half was relatively easy going compared with the remainder. The final day from Newport to St Dogmaels was 16 miles and billed as arduous and this was confirmed by numerous walkers we met going in the opposite direction. However, for them it occurred at the beginning whereas for me (my wife, because of the comments sadly omitted it) having had over two weeks to become "trail hardened" it was much easier than I expected. Unlike many people we met we chose to walk the so called boring bits through Pembroke and Milford Haven and found them very interesting and in fact anything but boring. Accommodation along the route was excellent and luggage transfer, taxis and buses all worked exactly as Encounter arranged. Our daily average distance of about 11 miles was correct for us and we would not have enjoyed the walk as much had we been doing it in less time as we had lots of time to stop, admire the scenery and take photographs. On odd occasions the signage on the ground left a bit to be desired and was often obscured by foliage and therefore easily missed if not paying attention but by and large it was fine as were the notes. We would definitely recommend this walk as one, if not the best we have even undertaken.

Route: Mevagissey to Looe
Name: Sandy - New Jersey
When: 03 June 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had a fabulous walk-and except for a little rain on Thursday morning (which helped us appreciate even more-if that was possible the glorious sun) the weather was perfect.  It was truly a memorable trip for the three of us.  Incredible landscape, perfect amount moderate and strenuous walking (though we were a little freaked out at the closeness of the path to the high cliff edge about 45 minutes before Polperro) and gorgeous seaside towns. Thanks for all your advice (i.e. not to stay overnight in Par-for one.) 

We really enjoyed all the accommodation and my only negative comment would be the King of Prussia-where they have earplugs by the bed because of the loud music that comes out of the pub at night. That might disqualify it as an upgrade option. Or at least a warning might be helpful when making a choice between it and the other accommodation.  T Gallant and the Mevagissey Bay Hotel were the highlights.

All this said, I cannot express adequately what an amazing three days we had. We have travelled far and wide, and the Cornwall coast is one of the most magical places we've ever been. And to walk along it was an extraordinary experience!

Thanks again for all your help!

Route: Minehead to Westward Ho
Name: Chris Kennedy
When: 01 June 2015

Flag of the United Kingdom5 days of walking over varied terrain which was both invigorating and physically quite challenging but also very enjoyable. I had various OS maps but mainly relied on Roland Tarr's SWCP book which I found very informative and quite detailed. I am a strong and experienced walker but found the two days walking from Porlock Weir to Heddons Mouth and then Heddons Mouth to Woolacombe extremely demanding.

For my next section of the SWCP I will reduce the daily distances. That said the walking was at times a joy with some fantastic views from the paths cut into the side of the cliffs. I particularly enjoyed the walking through Culbone and Embelle Woods. A complete contrast but equally enjoyable was the two days walking over more "flattish" terrain from Woolacombe to Westward Ho. The itinery supplied by Encounter was very detailed and thorough giving lots of relevant information. The accommodation was adequate but as I was walking quite long daily distances I would have preferred breakfast times to be a lot earlier to be able to start walking before 08:30. Overall a great walking experience which has wetted my appetite for the next section of the SWCP, hopefully in spring 2016.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Philip - Switzerland
When: 01 June 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandWe had a wonderful week in cornwall and britain. Everything worked as organised. Even the wheather, which was not organised ;), was better than expected. Half a day rain is not much for a week, I guess...

The accomodations fitted very well. The chapel in zennor was wonderful quiet and large. (In contrast was the breakfast the smallest..) The Queens Hotel in St. Ives and the Commercial in St. Just were good places to be. In Porthcurno everyone on the way seemed to get packed in the Sea View Guest House. It was more a place to sleep than to be, but in the small village didn't look like having a lot of alternatives.

Map, guide book and itinerary were more than we expected and needed. But in case of a problem we were glad to have all informations available. We had them with us and consulted them on occasions. We wanted a week away from daily work, which would liberate the head and give the body something to do and a healthy tiredness. We got that all and a wonderful coast with flowers, coves, cottages, birds and good people.

Thank you very much!

Route: falmouth-lizard point
Name: hilde morris
When: 01 June 2015

Flag of the United Kingdoma terrific walk, everything planned by Encounterwalking was well thought out and went smoothly. lots of useful info: alternative routes/taxi numbers/places to eat etc. and smashing accommodation! not knowing the area I was a little apprehensive about the walk and I particularly appreciated all the helpful, supportive emails during the planning stages. due to circumstances out of our control we finalised our booking rather late in the day but Encounter pulled out all the stops and managed to find places for us to stay. Thank you!!

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Yvonne Benzian and Ulf Olsson
When: 31 May 2015

Flag of SwedenThank you, Damon and Encounter. We had a wonderful time on our walk. The lodgings where all fine with Chy an Albany, Guernads Head Hotel and Artist Residence as the best. We also really liked Rock Ridge B&B in Portcurno. The rooms where big and really clean, maybe it was a bit noisy. Chris who owns the B&B took care of us in the best way and the breakfast with fellow walkers was fun. At The North Inn everyone was extremely friendly and the Optic Broadband something extra but unfortunately the beds both narrow and much to short for my husband who is 1.87. He had to sleep diagonally in the bed to fit between the head- and footboard. It was sometimes hard to find the path, but mostly easy.

Going between Pendeen to Sennen Cove we once took the wrong way and got very close to the cliffs. As the wind was strong and galy it was scaring. One thing we thought is that the grading of the Path must be made from different people. Sometimes the Strenghous bits where quite easy, and sometimes the moderate ones really hard. The best day was between Pendeen and Sennen Cove, the old mines really interesting. The nature and Cape Cornwall also fantastic. Also Sennen Cove to Portcurno was nice. We had a rest day at Sennen Cove and stayed at the Old Sucess Inn. A very nice hotel but the food was so so. Somehow the last days walk was the toughest.

Hiking to Lamorna Cove was first fantastic with the lush forest and then to the beach with the boulders. But then it got tough, really really tough. It was as if the path was destroyed and we had to be very careful where we put our feet. Sometimes we had to jump to the next stone and the path was also meandering not only sideways but also up and down. Then we thought it would get easier going to Mousehole and I folded my walking sticks and put them in my backpack. After a few minutes I took them out again, as it could only be called easy if you think that walking up up up and over rocks is the normal way of walking. For us usually the last hour was tough and we where quite tirad when we came to our lodgings. The transfer of the luggage run perfectly, but in the beginning we didn´t know that the luggage should be ready 9.15, that is something you maybe should mention. The Trailblazer Guide was a must, we where very happy that we had it. All in all, we had the best time ever!

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: RK - Germany
When: 30 May 2015

Flag of GermanyThis is to thank you again for any organization you did for us. You did a great job. We loved the trail along the cliffs very much. Thanks also for the accommodation we enjoyed at any time (unrivalled  Tim’s fruit  for breakfast/Cornerways St Ives; Chris’ “Minnack-pack” to stay warm for the evening play in the theatre/Rockridge House, Porthcurno; the warmth and kindness of any host we stayed with). We can recommend your company and have already done so.

 

Route: Westward Ho to Padstow
Name: Mike LJ
When: 30 May 2015

Flag of AustraliaFabulous walking. Stunning countryside and lovely villages, I highly recommend this. The organisation was faultless. The hotels were reasonable, 3-4 * type accommodation, although we found the beds quite small. If you are used to sleeping in a big bed, you may need to request this at the time of booking. Great week. Thanks.

Route: Bude to St Yves
Name: Ulrike and Erich Schmidt
When: 30 May 2015

Flag of GermanyThis was the second year of walking the SWCP organised by Encourter Walking Holidays and it won't be the last! Everything was perfect (despite relatively short notice). We had a brilliant walk, superb accommodations and using the trailblazer made walking easy. Thank you Damon for the perfect Organisation! We will definitely continue next year!

Route: Marazion to Falmouth
Name: Jenni & Deb
When: 30 May 2015

Flag of AustraliaWe had a great walk on the SWC path. At times we had a little difficulty finding the correct path and some places were not marked very well. We really enjoyed the beautiful scenery and villages we passed through and/or stayed at. All accommodation was quite good, we especially enjoyed a fabulous rest day at Coverack and Ann, owner of the lovely Fernleigh B&B even provided a Birthday Cake for me on our arrival. The Caerthillian Guest House at The Lizard was also particularly lovely. The owner there Austin was a fabulously friendly guy and nothing too much bother. I will recommend a very good restaurant at The Lizard called Coast; quite near the Top Pub but much better standard of food & wine and service. We had a really top dinner there. The lighthouse tour was also very good at The Lizard.

Route: Pembrokeshire- Dale to Porthgain
Name: Bonnie
When: 25 May 2015

Flag of the United States of Americathe hike was a fantastic vacation for the four of us. Damon did a gret job setting it up, arranging our lodging and luggage transfers. the B&Bs were all fine, good restrurant suggestions. We found the extra notes on each day very helpful. HOsts were friendly and helpful, especially our Marlos stay! We did take a day and went to Skomer Island, it was great! We never got rained on until we left our hiking. thanks for the super plans.

Route: Amroth to Pembroke
Name: Jo
When: 23 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThank you again for organising our holiday so efficiently, the holiday was great for us and the instructions you provided were great. I’ve already fed back on the recent additional lunch stop at West Angle bay. The walking distances were great for us as we wanted a relaxed holiday to allow time for catching up and socialising with each other, rather than being on a frog march and racing against the clock. Since it was a holiday and not a mission, the day we skipped when the MOD closed the coastal option, turned out to be a very enjoyable as we walked back through the NT Lilly Pond to Broad Haven and were able to spend some time down around St Govans chapel and headland, then we headed back through the Lilly Pond to the NT walled garden and tea shop at Stackpole.

Transport

We ended up leaving the cars at Tenby rail station car park as advised by the B&B owner. The cars were fine, there were spaces (and lots of other cars parked up with Sat-Sat weekly tickets), handy for the Tenby B&B address, perfect for our return train journey a week later, and there cameras in the car park. A mere £3 for the car for the week (still winter charges!) and £4.40 ea for the train ticket back from Pembroke. The taxi arrangements with Penally taxis worked well and were timely. using the info that you provided, All went smoothly with the baggage transport, the bags just appeared to move themselves along the route!

Lunch stops which we enjoyed:

Manorbier – Bosherston: Fab stop at the NT Boat House at Stackpole Quay, although well into our days walk, but worth the wait

Freshwater West – Angle: We found Wavecrest Cafe at West Angle bay a good stop, even though again well into our days walk

Amroth – Tenby: a great cake / pasty shop “Sue’s Pantry, I think at Saundersfoot – but various options around there.

Route: St.Ives to Lands End
Name: Wenche & friends - Norway
When: 22 May 2015

Flag of NorwayWe had a most enjoyable trip in Cornwall. The walking is not difficult, very good paths, although for those who like to know exactly where you are at any time, use the most detailed map you can find :-). If you are used to mountain hiking, the coast path of Cornwall is an easy path, however, there are a lot of uphill and downhill,(usually with the luxury of steps!) so for persons with difficult knees it will be best if the walks are not longer than 4-5 hrs. Many beautiful views along the path and all the wild flowers made for a lot of photo-stops. Even on a foggy day the landscapes are really something to see. As for the best view...that is possibly Cape Cornwall, as this is mostly nature and not a shopping mall as on Lands End.... The detailed descriptions received just before the trip were very useful, as we had to use the taxi-option on the last day to reach our pick-up in time the last day of walking. We have met so many kind - and fun - persons during the trip, and we will surely recommend others to use the experience from Encounter Walking to plan future trips.

Route: st ives to lizard point
Name: charlotte
When: 22 May 2015

Flag of the United States of Americathis was a spectacular walk! I can't say enough wonderful things about the scenery-around every peninsula was another amazing view. I don't know if it's typical for late May-early June but the wildflowers all seemed to be in bloom at the same time. I know count bluebells as my favorite flower. I consider myself to be a moderately fit person so the 6-8 mile average walk was perfect (I took a LOT of pictures!). The only long day was Porthcurno to Marazion but I discovered that the bus service was perfect for cutting out the "boring" beach walk around Mounts Bay. For all trip planning I credit "Encounter Walking" for perfect advice and patient responses to my random questions from this non-Brit about rail and bus service. Accommodations were likewise spot on. I am already plotting how to return to Cornwall asap and I will definitely be working with "Encounter" again. This was the best vacation I ever had. Thanks, Damon, for helping to make it a reality.

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: anthony buck
When: 21 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe were a party of elderly walkers, and had a great time,the planning notes received were spot on and helped us a lot.Our weather was not great but we are used to that. Our last days walk from Princetown to Buckfastleigh as explained in the notes is a long days walk, with the Swincombe Bridge still not back in place (work is in progress)adding further distance.

One of our walkers who had picked up an injury had a hard job to arrange a taxi from Dartmeet and relied on a good samaritan to get him back to Buckfastleigh We have been with other walking companies but this was the best accommodation we have ever had. I detail corrections you might like to include for future clients. When you mention the diversion at Swincombe bridge you mention the bridleway running from left to right there is a marker post here.The blue indicators mentioned in the guide have faded over the moor from Princetown. On day one at Goodstone woods, major felling has taken place and the bridleway resembles an assault course,and these trees looks as though they have been felled for some time, it is also heavy with mud due to heavy machinery. Thanks for a well organised holiday.

Route: Lands End Circle with St Michaels Way
Name: Lesley
When: 18 May 2015

Encounter Walking Holidays logoWe really enjoyed our trip round Cornwall. We thought the accommodation was of a very high standard on the whole, but was least keen on the b&b in Porthcurno, which was comfortable, but not lovely.
The Garrck was very good -a high standard, welcoming and friendly. The food was good there too.
I think the signs on St Michael's Way are being improved as there seemed quite a few new ones.
Our only problem was when it went along a narrow road after Trencrom. We were passed by about a dozen vehicles, including a builders truck that did not give us time to move to a wider part of the road and passed us with very little clearance at a scary speed. That part of the route seemed dangerous in view of the combination of pedestrians on a very narrow road with inconsiderate driving. Perhaps a very low speed limit would help.
The rest of the walking was fantastic and we enjoyed the flowers and wildlife, including choughs.

Route: st ives to penzance
Name: piers harrison
When: 18 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThis was our first experience of a walking holiday and we were impressed by the efficient service provided by Damon / Encounters Walking. Everything went smoothy and all 5 of the places we stayed at on the trip were of a good standard and the owners were friendly and helpful. We particularly liked Cornerways St Ives where Tim provided us with an excellent breakfast (the best of our trip!) and also the Treventon Penzance which was very tastefully decorated and a lovely building.

We probably 'bit off more than we could chew' with regard to the daily walk distances with the stretch from Zennor to St Just being particularly challenging for novice walkers such as ourselves given the pretty much constant ascents and decents. It is well worth adding a couple of hours onto the walking times shown in the guide book to allow for refreshments etc. The maps shown in the Trailblazers guide book are really useful and a good tip would be take photocopies of the relevant map pages with you on the walk rather than the whole book itself. The only places where the lack of signage for the Coast Path caused us slight problems were at Pendeen Watch near the lighthouse and near the Coast Watch tower between Lands End and Porthgwarra. Otherwise the signage was pretty clear and so long as you keep the sea to your right you cannot really go too far wrong - my brand new compass was not needed at all!

We would strongly recommend stopping off for a pasty and a well earned cup of tea at the lovely tiny cafe in Porthgwarra before you reach Porthcurno. Another nice spot for a break was Sennen as the tourist trap at Land End is best avoided! All in all we enjoyed a very beautiful (if a little tiring trip) but one we will allways remember! Piers & Claire

Route: Lands End Circle
Name: CB - USA
When: 18 May 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe have just completed our walk.  It was a wonderful experience.  Thank you for all the arrangements and suggestions.  We are pleased to report that we had no rain.  We had rather fine weather--sunny and bright on most of the north coast, overcast or sunny on the southern coast.  One day of fascinating coastal fog which cleared off the next day.    We enjoyed seeing the RAF helo flyover and a wonderful under the stars performance at the Minack.  

Route: Saints Way
Name: Pauline
When: 17 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThe Saints Way was just right first us as first time walkers. Damon at Encounter was so helpful and his recommendations were spot on. We found closely following the OS map together with guidance from the walking directions was the best. The weather was good and mostly dry and we loved the accommodation booked for us - very hospitable hosts with good standard of accommodation with the bonus of being historic places as well. Very happy to do more Encounter walks - the difficulty is what to pick!

Route: Lyme Regis to Poole
Name: Marcus
When: 15 May 2015

Flag of SwitzerlandHi all at EncounterwalkingHolidays - First of all we want to thank you for the well organized Walking holidays we passend. We had only one day with a bit rain when we left Abbotsbury and in the evening my shoes were allready dry again. So we enjoyed these days a lot.

But now to our comments on the walking days, which is more interesting for you:

No problems in Lyme Regis (beautiful place by the way) and Eypes mouth. Also in Abbotsbury, where the Abbey House is very charming with a great hospitality and very kind people. The Queen Anne House in Fortuneswell we also enjoyed a lot. For dinner we took the bus to Easton, where we ate at the New Inn, which we can recommend to everybody! The CheckIn time at Queen Anne House is from 5 p.m. after our experience.

Again in Lulworth Cove we had a very nice room with the very friendly host family Justin and Amanda. So it was perfect for our rest day. From Lulworth Cove to Worth Matravers it was a yery strong but beautiful day. Unfortunately we missed the Taxi at 5 p.m. because we are slow walkers and were not able to phone him when we recognised that we will be late. But there is a phone in the pub and they have a lot of Taxi phone numbers there so we easely could get another one for the transfer to Swanage. So this is a good hint for other walkers if they have some coins (20p. or 40p.).

The Pines Hotel is well kept with good food and even local ales so we passed two good nights there.

As the last times we walked with you, we can say that we will recommend EncounterWalkingHolidays to everybody asking us for advice in walking holidays! Thank you very much for your help and we are looking forward to our next walking holidays with you.

Route: Penzance to Falmouth
Name: Peggy and Walter
When: 15 May 2015

Flag of CanadaWe are now in London and will be heading home tomorrow. We had a great week and did not have to give in to the weather (except for an hours delay in starting one day while we waited for the rain to stop). We practically got blown off our feet as we walked from Polurrian Bay to Lizard Point but it was quite  exhiliarating! The flowers were amazing all the way. 

Our accommodarion was excellent all the way and the baggage handling was perfect. We used both the OS map and the guide book all the time as well as your notes so we had no problems with the trail. We managed to catch the ferry across Gillan Creek but we just missed the one at Helford and had to wait 2 1/2 hours for the tide to turn. The forced rest was actually a good break that we enjoyed in the end. Oh yes, the trail to go around Gillan Creek was unclear. We thought we would walk around but ended up on the wrong road, asked directions, got a bit lost but then ended up under the calling board for the ferry, which came and got us right away!

Thanks for everything. We will not hesitate to recommend Encounter Walking to others.

Route: Penzance to Falmouth - Lizard Trail
Name: DL - The Netherlands
When: 14 May 2015

Flag of the NetherlandsI had a wonderful holiday. Although the weather forecast often was far from good, on several days it turned out okay. I even went home with a tan.The hotels and B&B’s were all to my liking. Two very nice B&B’s were The Caerthillian Guesthouse in Coverack and Goldmartin in Mawnan Smith. The luggage transfer service was excellent. Every time I reached one of my sleeping accommodations, my suitcase had already arrived. 

The travel documentation I received from you (I mean the map and the Trailblazer’s guide) was excellent. But I hardly used them, because I navigated with my iPhone. I found gpx-files of all my walks on the Wandermap site I used an iPhone app called Topo GPS (about GBP 3 (!)), but I’m not sure that app is available in the United Kingdom. Without any doubt there are British equivalents though. The advantage of navigation is threefold: 

a) you know exactly where you are (navigation via satellites also works when your mobile phone is out of reach) and notice very quickly when you have taken a wrong turning

b) you know exactly how many more miles you have to walk and can decide to speed up if you are progressing too slow.

c) on one of my walking days there were gusts of wind of about 60 miles per hour. Under those circumstance holding a phone is easier than holding a map or a guide. 

I bought expensive new walking shoes (A/B) for my holiday. However, the soles of those shoes were probably too thin for the terrain, because the soles of my feet got quite painful during the last two days. Maybe it is a good thing to advise people to use shoes with a thick sole that fit the walking conditions. Hopefully some people in the area could give you advice about what kind of shoes one should use for particular walks. I could sometimes feel the stones and the rocks, although the soles of my shoes appear quite thick.

I was able to cross Gillian Creek via the stepping stones, so this is again possible.

The contact with you, as a representative of EWH, was both friendly and professional. That is the ideal combination. I thought the quotation was very clear and I appreciated the links to the places where I stayed. Your website is very good as well.

Route: St Ives to Falmouth
Name: Gareth
When: 13 May 2015

Flag of CanadaWe had a great walk. The weather was perfect and all the accommodation and luggage transfer were great. Special mention to Warwick House and the Trelawne Hotel. Both were superb! Anyway thanks for the great job on all the accommodation.

The transfers that you arranged around St Just worked out well. Of course we forgot that cell phone coverage is spotty in the valleys  but we found a pub that had a pay phone. ( we had arrived earlier than planned ). Very entertaining driver! We had no problems on the walk itself . No sign of a ferry at the Helford River but a pleasant walk around. ( its entirely possible that this is related to the time of year ).We’ll be back again next year to do another segment. Thanks again for all your help. You make it all work so well.

Route: Minehead to Combe Martin
Name: Lynne
When: 11 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomHi Damon - Thanks for the organisation of our holiday, everything went very well, as usual.

Despite some reservations about going to The Hunters Inn rather than Heddon Gate, in fact we had a wonderful time there & thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

After our trip to Lundy we didn't want to stop walking the coastal path, so continued on to go round Morte Point - a real highlight of this section with strong winds whipping up the sea. Once again thanks for getting the weather correct.

Route: Amroth to Freshwater West
Name: Mary
When: 10 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomJust got back from Wales - all the arrangements and accommodation were very good - we particularly liked castlemead hotel - the food at the St Govans Inn was ok but not as good. The taxi drivers were all prompt and chatty and baggage pick ups went fine.

We were very lucky with the weather - I would not have wanted to do the second day in wind and rain as it is so 'near to the edge' the rain would  have made it very slippery!  The scenery was breathtaking and exceeded my expectations.  On the rainy Thursday the army range was active so we came across fields - spoke to a few cows - but didn't get too wet.  

Route: Plymouth to Brixham
Name: Chris and Maureen and Amanda
When: 09 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomYet another excellent holiday. The accommodation was all very good or excellent. The luggage transfer was , as ever, faultless. You even got the weather in good order. Thank you again. We will be back next year

Route: Falmouth-Plymouth
Name: Christer, Marianne, Tommy, Mia - Sweden
When: 07 May 2015

Flag of SwedenThis was the first but maybe not the last time we spend a holiday like this, it was fantastic. Everything worked out perfect, luggage transfer, accommodation, breakfast and even the weather was perfect, a first walking day with some rain but after that no more rain and lots of sunshine, a lovely tan on the right side of our bodies. And it is so good to now that after a day of walking there is a room whit a soft bed waiting for you, but first a well-earned dinner and some pints of Cornish beer.

All of our accommodation was super, of course some of them felt a little bit better but it could depend on our physical condition at that time. The path was very easy to follow and we just went wrong only one time at the Tregantle fort. The contact whit Encounter Walking was friendly and very helpful, thank you Damon.

Route: Minehead to Barnstaple
Name: Gail
When: 06 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomI would like to give a huge thank you from all 7 of us who took part on the holiday.  On the whole all of us were very satisfied with the route, accommodation and food, even the weather. Your itinerary was very good and we found all the accommodation from your directions without any problems.  We even managed to catch the Steam Train from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead to get our holiday off to a good start and some even managed a cream tea! 

The SWCP route was very well sign posted and the maps supplied were very good.  I, myself, particularly liked the Exmoor and North Devon CP Book (as I am not a good map reader) and found the sketch maps really good in detailing the route and terrain.  We also found the many points of interest to sightsee and possible alternative paths very good and useful information.  Other members of the group used all the maps and one member also had a GPS.  There were a couple of small route diversions because of landslides, but all were signposted.

The weather was very kind to us and we only had one morning of showers, otherwise we had dry, even sunny weather sometimes, with good visibility.  This did make all the difference to the enjoyment of the route.

The Exmoor walk on the 2-Moor Way was beautiful and yes we did have good weather.  We saw the Exmoor ponies and one even had a foul.  Lovely!

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: WBM - Canada
When: 04 May 2015

Flag of CanadaOur walk was fantastic--absolutely fantastic!  And you needn't apologize because of the weather--that's not something in your control, after all.  It was indeed very windy on Tuesday and Wednesday, but we took it in stride.  It added quite a lot to the wild beauty of the coast--tremendous waves crashing and foaming on the rocks, whitecaps out to the horizon, all very spectacular.  Of course we had to brace ourselves and take extra care when coming around the more exposed headlands into the teeth of the gale, but it was exciting and kind of fun, actually.  It helped that we both had very snug, compact backpacks--at Pendeen we met a woman who was camping and therefore had a very bulky backpack, and she'd had to abandon the trail that day because she felt endangered by the high winds; we were fine.  I might also mention that despite the stormy conditions (and the weather forecasts calling for lots of rain), we encountered no more than a few minutes of drizzle in the whole three days--never had to pull out our serious rain gear at all.  We'll take wind over rain anytime!

We were very happy with all the arrangements--the amount of walking each day was exactly right, the accommodations were all delightful and we found the Trailblazers guide book extremely helpful, especially in those occasional places where the signposts on the trail itself are not ideally clear.  We found one point in the itinerary document you sent us a bit misleading, namely the mention of the need for special caution approaching and leaving Lamorna Cove.  We were a bit on edge after reading that--how scary is it going to be?--but then found it was nothing special, no more (nor less) challenging than many other parts of the walk.  

Hard to pick a highlight: we loved it all!  Thanks and best wishes,

Route: Pastow to Penzance
Name: Wolfgang Weber
When: 04 May 2015

Flag of GermanyMy friend and I made the 2nd hiking tour on the South to West Coast Path. We have already done 2014 from the Exmouth to Poole the Jurrasic Trail. Very interesting. This yea: From Padstow to Penzance. We had very good weather. However, two days of storm. This is strenuous. As usual, everything has fitted perfectly. The first overnight stay in Padstow with Poppies B&B was a very nice start. The last obernight in Penzance was also a nice end. All overnight stays had passed verry nice and quite well. All owners were very friendly and helpful. Also our stay in Saint. Ives in the Tregony Gusthouse was very comfortable. It is better, however, with sea look to book. The town with the bustle, was not so pretty for us. To much people and noice. Sea View House - Porthcurno area very friendly. The Boswednack Manor earned only one star. Ifen the biscuits were absent to the tea. Usually in general, it was a happy tour. Franz and Wolfgang, from Saarbruecken & Freiburg both from Germany

Route: St Ives to Falmouth
Name: Elizabeth
When: 04 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomAnother fabulous walk.    We encountered some fierce winds at the start, but the Spring flowers were just stunning - a magnificent display all the way round.   

Thank you for recommending such great accommodation; a good selection and absolutely no complaints.  The Gurnards Head Hotel was the top of my list, friendly welcome, comfortable beds, amazing breakfast and what a wine list! A most enjoyable experience thanks for your local knowledge.

Two more sections to go!!!

Route: Minehead to St Ives
Name: Karen - Canada
When: 03 May 2015

Flag of CanadaI wanted to send you a quick thank you for the terrific job you did arranging my South West Coast Path walking trip. Everything went so smoothly! I could really relax and enjoy the hiking knowing that everything had been so well arranged, The distances were comfortable and the information provided made finding my way around easy. I got lost once or twice for a short time but have no one to blame but myself for that. The luggage transfer worked amazingly well also - please pass on my appreciate to them as well. I am very impressed with everything,

I am already looking at other hiking trips to take. Maybe stringing some shorter ones together? I discovered unexpectedly that the lonelier and more rugged sections were my favourites.

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path - St Davids to St Dogmaels
Name: Edwina
When: 02 May 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThe holiday was indeed a success, I very much enjoyed my 4 days walking on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, it’s such a beautiful unspoilt coastline.  It was VERY windy on the last day, Wednesday, & I had to be careful on some of the more exposed parts of the route.  But walking south-to-north meant the wind was usually at my back. 

I found the walking itself fairly strenuous with all the ups & downs, but I managed it within the times you indicated in the itinerary. All the arrangements worked like clockwork, thank you very much.  And I was happy with all the accommodation & everyone gave me a warm welcome. I would certainly be happy to come back to you for another holiday in the future.

Route: Falmouth to Looe
Name: A. M. Norway
When: 02 May 2015

Flag of NorwayWe had a great trip! Everything worked as you had planned for us, so nice and easy!  

Weather was, well, lots of all kinds of it. But we never got really wet and really cold, by our standards, so happy enough about that J . Walking was fine, conditions on paths and routes were really good all the way. Due to some knee problem the others took a short taxi ride and a bus ride the last day, but enjoyed that too! All accommodation was good, with T Gallants in lovely Charlestown and the Portloe Ship Inn as the clear winners! Great places, both!

Bags transfer worked like magic every day! All in all we are so happy with the whole trip. Hope to do another section some time!. Thank you very much!

Route: Sw Coast path Boscastle to St Ives
Name: Jean Newton
When: 30 April 2015

Flag of the United KingdomAn excellent holiday! Route finding was very easy and accommodation was interestingly varied and, without exception, of a good standard AND our cases were always there at the right place. On the whole the weather was good. We had very little rain,lots of sunshine and two days of fierce wind when we had to revert to walking on the road for a couple of miles. We were lucky with the tides and walked on beaches whenever we could.The section from Harlyn Bay to Mawgen Porth we calculated as being 11 miles,not 9 as on the itinerary. The flowers at this time of the year were absolutely superb! It's too difficult to pick out one highlight, there were so many.So much of the scenery was a feast for the eyes. Thank you so much Damon and the team for your very efficient organisation. Everything went according to plan. We love Cornwall!!Jean

Route: Dartmoor Way and Lands End Way
Name: SB - Hawaii
When: 26 April 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe were amazed at how changeable the weather was. It reminded me of an old Montana saying - if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes! Any day it didn't rain we counted as a good day. By that measure we had twice as many good days as bad days, so we were happy.

The bag transfers and accommodation bookings were flawless. After a hard day hiking, we were always pleased to be welcomed at a cozy inn or b&b and see our bags there. We enjoyed the variety of lodgings as each provided a slightly different experience. Our absolute favorite was the Abbey Inn with its great location, excellent food, and friendly staff. It was the perfect place to start and end the Dartmoor Walk.

We were able to hop across the stepping stones at Swincombe as the water was low. Some helpful hikers pointed out the loose stones for us. Glad to hear that the footbridge is in place.

We took all your diversions and appreciated your clear, concise directions. We wished you had written the Dartmoor guide! Its quality was very uneven; some sections were crystal clear and others left you hanging. At Water we had everyone at the Kestor Inn trying to help us get back on track. The OS maps are outstanding and really helped on Dartmoor. (I write hiking guidebooks for Hawaii, so am particularly interested in guides and maps.)

Twice we took taxis on rainy days with long mileage. The first was from Chagford to Finch Foundry. We spent a couple of hours at the foundry, hiked to Belstone and had a nice lunch at the pub there and then the rain stopped and the clouds lifted, so we did the high moor diversion into Okehampton. The Okemont River and falls were raging - very exciting.

The second taxi ride was from Tavistock to Stamford Spiney. (The cab driver had to call dispatch for directions on that one.) We then had plenty of time to see the quarries and Merrivale on the way to Princetown. During the day we enjoyed high winds, rain, sun and even some hail. We arrived and departed from Princetown in the sun. Even the prison looked cheery.

We hiked the final 14 miles on an absolutely spectacular day. This last day had everything - desolate moors, lush farms, tiny villages, high ridges, and deep, dark rivers. As we approached Buckfastleigh, we took a shortcut straight to the church and Abbey Inn where we had started 13 days earlier.

It's hard to say which trip we liked better, as the two were so different. We very much enjoyed the contrast between the Cornwall coast and Dartmoor. We loved the ruggedness of the coast and the changing colors of the ocean. We loved the variety of Dartmoor, both in the weather and in the scenery. Between towns we hardly saw anyone and had the illusion we were the only ones hiking the way. Visiting London afterwards was a real shock after spending so much time in the country.

Thanks again for a great trip. The Two Moors Way looks awfully good, and I hear the coastal path is great around the Lizard toward Fowey, so we may be back.

Route: SW Coast Falmouth to Plymouth - Walking
Name: Kas Healy
When: 25 April 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaWonderful trip. Damon was great at organizing the distances and terrain. I didn't want to turn a 'walking holiday' into an oxymoron like 'airplane food'. Damon was fantastic at making that possible. The B&B's were all excellent, the luggage transfers perfect. I made some good friends along the way. The Coastal walk was spectacular. Thank you so much for arranging a walk that made such lovely memories.

Route: St Ives to Mousehole
Name: Alex Laing
When: 24 April 2015

Flag of New ZealandA great experience and up to expectations. The highlight was the Pendeen area with the heritage mining sites and the museum. The coast was harsh and awesome and spectacularly beautiful.

Route: Coast Path Lyme Regis to Lulworth Cove
Name: Barb June
When: 20 April 2015

Flag of the United States of AmericaThank you for organizing a great vacation. We had amazing weather -- thanks for arranging that, too! The hiking lengths were perfect and the routes easy to find using the guide. All accommodations were better than anticipated. We especially liked the Queen Anne House in Portland. The folks at The Gloucester House in Weymouth were super -- they gave us a view room upgrade at no cost because the weekend was slow. The luggage transfers were perfect. Thanks for arranging a last minute change to our taxi pickup from Weymouth. Everything meshed smoothly.

Route: Two Moors Way Knowstone to Lynmouth
Name: Marion
When: 09 April 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThanks for organising everything for us. Yes, great weather!   It all worked brilliantly.  All places very welcoming to the dog, which we appreciated of course.  Withypool was lovely, as was the Bath Hotel.  Eating at The Rising Sun in Lynmouth was great. We thought that if people didn’t have compass skills they might have had a lot of directional problems on Exmoor between Simonsbath and Lynmouth.  I think that might be worth emphasising.  We didn’t see a single soul, vehicle or anything…..and of course there is no signal there. We enjoyed it all hugely and appreciated all the luggage transfers by Michelle and all general friendliness and welcome.Thank you very much for all your help and for taking such trouble with all the arrangements.

Route: SWCP
Name: Simon St Clair Carter
When: 05 April 2015

Flag of the United KingdomI have arranged a party of 8 to walk the SWCP this year. Encounter walking has helped us with 5 weekends (from Minehead to Newquay) The arrangements have been faultless and I cannot speak highly enough of this organisation. Give them a try and maybe we will meet on the Coastal path next year

Route: Falmouth to Polperro
Name: Stephen Dawson
When: 03 April 2015

Flag of the United KingdomAccommodation only a few minutes from Falmouth Town station made for an easy start, and the first of four sea views from the five rooms of my holiday. A lovely walk round Pendennis Point on the first evening set things up nicely. The weather on the first full day was wet and windy throughout, and I was therefore the only person on the St Mawes ferry (whose timetable advertised on the quayside bore little resemblance to the one on their website or that in the SWCP Assocation book). But still some lovely walking in the rain to Portloe (small but lovely), and then better weather for day two to Mevagissey (a little bigger and busier, but a wonderful place) and day three to Par. Mevagissey as far as Charlestown and its gorgeous harbour and tall ships is almost all up and down (though the ups and downs aren't as big as some on the north coast), after which the walking becomes much easier but the scenery deteriorates for the last section - Par is perhaps not the ideal end to a multi-day walk as it may feel anticlimactic. For me the final day was Par to Polperro in unbroken sunshine. As far as Fowey is beautiful (Polkerris is lovely both from high above and up close) but fairly easy; although the information from Encounter warned that the second section of the walk is challenging, the hard work gradually builds from Lantic Bay onwards with two big ascents saved till last - this really is a day that gets harder from start to finish, but it is an extremely rewarding one with stunning coastal scenery and a wonderful climax at the really delightful Polperro (especially with my bedroom overlooking the harbour). In the morning a bus easily took me to Looe to catch a train home. No problems at any stage - info was helpful, directions perfect, accommodation great, luggage transfers smooth.

Route: Minehead - Woolacombe
Name: James Crawford
When: 30 March 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe walked at a leisurely pace for five days. Brilliant walk with some stunning views. The weather forecast had been poor but we only had a little rain on the final day. All the accommodation was fine, with the Heddon's Gate Hotel as the stand-out location. It also had the best breakfast. The food otherwise was disappointing except at the Hunter's Inn at Heddon's Mouth, but the beer and cider were excellent. All in all, it was a great trip and we intend to carry on next year and do another week, starting in Woolacombe.

Route: Minehead to Westward Ho!
Name: D & G - UK
When: 29 March 2015

Flag of the United KingdomWe arrived back home late last night having had a superb trip. As you indicated it was a very varied walk with a great contrast between the days walking round the estuary and the section from Westward Ho! Taking the extra days to do the walk meant that we had plenty of time to look round places and none of the days were too much for either of us.  The only day it rained was on the first Sunday when we were just riding on the trains!!! Over Easter weekend it was shorts and teeshirts.

It was a bit blowy for the first couple of days - it actually blew me over at one stage and then I had to hang on to G  as we came round the Foreland as I couldn't stand up in the wind. Still we made it without any mishaps. The accommodation was all very good and we are always pleasantly surprised how you manage to find these  lovely pubs and B&B's etc. We really want to do the next stages in due course so hopefully we will be coming back to you at the end of the year to book something for next Easter - health permitting!!!

Thank you again for arranging everything so well.

Route: Minehead - Combe Martin
Name: Rob & Jenny, Plus 2 dogs
When: 20 March 2015

Flag of the United KingdomThis was the first time Jenny and I walked the coastal path with our 2 dogs a working cocker and a border carin cross we did three days walking with four nights, all the accommodation was great, the weather was kind and we walked approx 38/40 miles overall. On the second day Porlock to lynton if you feel fit enough or have enough time detour from the official route and come down the valley via Watersmeet it is a stunning walk into Lynton and a great way to finish the day. Walking poles were a big help for the up & downs the dogs slept like logs as did we. luggage transfer etc went like clockwork We have no hesitation recommending these guys & we will use them again.

Route: Bude - Padstow
Name: Jim Grant
When: 25 October 2014

Flag of the United KingdomJust returned from 4 days walking along the coast path from Bude - Padstow. We had very mild weather for the entire trip with virtually no rain. Without doubt some of the most stunning scenery we have ever seen and has left us definitely wanting to come back to do another section soon. As novice walkers, we definitely found the going tough in places and some of the ascents and descents quite challenging but the route is well signposted all the way along and easy to follow. A few things worth looking out for or considering:- If you are intending to eat at the overnight accommodation that has been reserved for you, it is definitely best to call ahead and reserve a table. Most of our stops were able to accommodate us but some were full by the time we arrived. The walk from Port Isaac to Port Quinn is a tough one ( about 3 miles ) and took us longer than we expected, partly due to some quite slippery paths in places. The tea van at Port Quinn was a very welcome sight! It isn't always open though apparently so take provisions on this stretch. On the route from Crackington Haven to Boscastle, there is an excellent farm shop and café just outside Boscastle itself. Its easily found just off the path at the top of the steep section immediately above Pentargon waterfall ( and therefore a very welcome sight! ) a final observation - the SWCP obviously gets eroded by the elements and we came across sections that have had diversions set up around them ( close to Delabole, a set of steps abruptly ended up in fresh air! ). we never needed to make our own detour but it clearly pays to keep aware of whats around generally and adjust your route if necessary! All in all, we had a fantastic trip. Luggage transfer arrangements and return taxi to collect our car all worked perfectly and the sight of our luggage already put in our rooms at the end of a long day was just perfect! Jim and Nikki

Route: Mevagissey to Looe
Name: Farrah
When: 21 October 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThis was my first big walk and I had no clue how to plan one, but Encounter Walking recommended the perfect route and ensured that everything went smoothly for me. The views were stunning, the walk itself just the right balance of challenging and relaxed. My luggage was transferred every day without a hitch and the accommodation was unfailingly clean and welcoming, with fantastic breakfasts. I've already decided to do the Lands End route next :)

Route: Coleridge Way Full Route Nether Stowey to Lynmouth
Name: Russell
When: 15 October 2014

Flag of the United KingdomMy wife & I completed the Coleridge Way from Nether Stowey to Lynmouth in early October. Walk itself was very good; interesting & varied - weather was brilliant! Route info was excellent although I may not be the best person to judge as I've been hill walking for 60 years, love maps and can usually find my way without additional instructions. All the ancillary info was also very useful except that Luxborough Tea Gardens have been closed for some time, or so we were told. All the accommodation was either very good or excellent.

Thank-you for your efforts

Route: Lands End Way Coast Path and St Michaels Way
Name: Beverley
When: 12 October 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a very good time and overall the weather was great -one of our number went swimming twice -yup in the sea at Sennen and St Ives!

Route

We walked with the map and the itinerary sent by you choosing to leave the heavier Trailblazer book in our luggage. The itinerary largely let us to our own devices -though instructions to accommodation were detailed and we were warned e.g. of mine shafts and the boulders at Loy -we had a little trouble indemnifying Cape Cornwall and the route into St Just from there and from St Just. The St Michael's Way instructions were excellent for the most part. There was some variation around a farm before Trencom Hill, but that was highlighted as a possible.  The route around the holiday park was different and that is where we got a bit confused. The mileage per day was about right -it was sometimes quite strenuous with the ups and downs but such spectacular scenery all the was along.

Accommodation

The Chy An Albany and The Commercial were perfectly fine and welcoming  -good cream tea at the former- and The Tinners’ Arms and Treventon were both delightful with excellent dinner at the Tinners. However we would not recommend the Sea View House - 4 stars but down at heel and scruffy and not as clean as we would expect. Luggage transfers all went very smoothly.

Food

ST IVES - Sea food Cafe and the Tea Rooms -both very good especially the Tea Rooms -not cheap

ZENNOR -Tinners -great meal

ST JUST -Commercial -was OK-some menu choices better than others -very good service

PORTHCURNO -Logan Inn -very welcoming and cosy but food not so good

PENZANCE -Navy Inn -very good fish here but is changing hands

Stops

The White Hart in Ludgvan -very friendly -good coffee

Beach Cafe at Sennen Cove -food was very good -service a bit haphazard

Lamorna Beach Cafe very cosy and welcoming -huge portions.

Taxi

Ace did the station runs and restaurant pick ups on a rainy last night in St Ives and were friendly and prompt..

Route: Minehead to Barnstaple SW Coast Path
Name: Andrea
When: 12 October 2014

Flag of SwitzerlandThank you for the perfect organisation, I have had a great holiday. I really appreciated all the information you gave me, the itinerary and the guide book with map were among the best I've seen so far. The walking was fabulous, although quite taxing. Talking about the mileage I guess I forgot to ask about the altitude differences to be climbed... I think the indication of these would be more helpful than the descriptions as 'moderate' or 'strenous' as obviously these depend on your individual fitness. Other than that, I had no problems at all on the way, if I did miss one or two signposts on the way it was purely because I was either lost in thoughts or simply looking the wrong way. Maps and guide booked always helped me find my way again and the few alterations and detours were just as good. One note: On my way to Braunton I did walk all the way on the Saunton beach, there is no limitation because of the army on the beach itself as the book suggests. 

The weather was indeed quite horrible at first, but it was dry from Thursday and for the rest I bought a plastic poncho to protect my overpriced and very leaky gore tex hiking gear from the rain...:-) Accommodation was fine, some of it great (The Rising Sun), and I did have the nicest hosts at the Channel Vista Guest House. 

I hope to come back soon and continue on to Cornwall!

Route: Coleridge Way to Porlock and SWCP back to Minehead
Name: Beverley
When: 05 October 2014

Flag of the United KingdomEverything was great thank you - all worked like clockwork and arrangements perfect.  Particular high point: Notley Inn - great accommodation and food.  Also - taxi was dead on time!

We really enjoyed the contrast of each day, covering over the 4 days woodland, moors, heathland and the coast - fabulous scenery.  The signage on the Day 2 route wasn't quite as good as elsewhere but your notes guided us perfectly. 

Also, on the coastal path there were 2/3 broken (looked vandalised?) signs so we missed taking the longer route and ended up staying on the main path - actually worked out better for us as it happens but you may want to report the signs.

Route: Minehead to westward ho
Name: Julie Hodge
When: 04 October 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWe were a group of 3 ladies in our mid fifties. The first 3 days were very challenging with the ascent and descent but it did get easier towards the end of the walk. Thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and the accommodation recommended by Encounter walking. Our thanks to all the staff at Encounter for the organising this walk so professionally. Looking forward to next years challenge. Julie Hodge

Route: Dale to St Davids Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Name: Judy
When: 29 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomA stunning walk;   a very close rival to the Cornish coastal path and in fact I am loathe to say it, perhaps it is even better!!   Fantastic scenery and of course the geology around there is so interesting.   Highlight was a bay (just after the deerpark) where we say lots of grey seal pups lying on the beach - some quite young.  You have often pointed out that we might see them in Cornwall but we never have - perhaps we were just at the right time of the year this time.  We all did the 12 mile walk on the Thursday and as you said, it would have been a shame to miss it - absolutely amazing.  We experienced one short shower on the first day but on the whole the weather was good.
 
Accommodation was mostly good - the first house at Dale was a bit quirky but we were all fine with it.   Fabulous food all the way round - mainly fish.   I did find it very expensive compared with Cornwall where I had just returned from a week's holiday but  I suppose they have to make up for times when tourists are not around.    St. David's fabulous and a very nice B&B - I would go there again.   The first night we took the taxi over to Porthgain to  a restaurant called "The Shed".   Wonderful.  And we all attended  service in the Cathedral before we left.
 
Only downside was the extremely slow and long rail journey home.   But it was a Sunday.   Remind me never to travel home on Sunday again!

Route: Helford Passage to Mevagissey
Name: Di Wilton
When: 28 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomOur third walk with Encounter Walking and all arrangements went smoothly. We had perfect weather to enjoy both the walking and the coastal scenery. Accommodation was very good: we enjoyed our stay at Gold Martin in Mawnan Smith where Clare delighted us with her flower paintings. We walked down to the Helford River through Glendurgan Gardens (NT) - note that these are now open Tuesday-Sunday, with access to the coastal path. Special mention must be made of Barbara and John at Carradale in Portloe: when they realised that the Ship Inn was not providing an evening meal, they not only reserved a table at the pub in Veryan but provided a taxi service there and back. Highlights included the access to the little coves along the walk, the many birds (though some of them remain, for us, LBJs!) and the richness of the wild flowers. The view from the top of Nare Head is superb, well worth the climb. Sadly an underlying health problem meant that we had to curtail our walk at Portloe. Thank you to Damon and the team.

Route: Bude to Padstow
Name: Susan and Mitch C.
When: 27 September 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had an absolutely wonderful time. The scenery was superbly gorgeous and the weather was sunny, cool, and we got sunburnt (who knew?) The directions provided, both the book and OS map were very helpful.

Just a few minor corrections to the book- one important one is on the way to Boscastle...there is an "alternate path" that traverses ground higher than the real path for a way- it was full of gorse and we got a bit scratched up. Also, one comment about the path and dogs - there is alot of dog waste on the trail, and it was quite a distraction to keep from stepping in it- please folks, bag up your dog poop! (I have nothing against cow, horse, sheep poop, but dog is pretty nasty). Other than that, the path was FANTASTIC! Our accommodation in Bude was fine (we ate at the Olive Garden, highly recommended, best food we had all week); in Crackington Haven, the innkeeper upgraded us to their balcony room that overlooked the harbor and where we sat with a glass of wine after dinner and watched the stars..so nice of them to do that! We had time to wander around Boscastle a bit- it is very beautiful there - had a wonderful stay at the Avalon BnB in Tintagel (beautiful updated house and very nice innkeepers).

Tintagel to Port Gaverne's only downside was that the path follows a barbed wire fence very closely, and you had to be very careful (I snagged my arm on the barbed wire- good thing you told us to have a first aid kit, the anti bacterial and bandages came in handy). The last bit of directions to the Inn in Port Gaverne were a little hard to understand - I recommend adding "just keep following the path signs and you'll pass the Inn on your left" - or maybe we were just a little too tired? Anyway, wonderful time was had in Port Isaac, great drinks in the Golden Lion (nice location for view of the harbor) and very nice dinner at The Edge- highly recommend them!

The last day to Padstow was tiring but very interesting with it's changing terrain- we just took our time and had plenty of gorp and water to keep us going. We got the last ferry! The estimated walk times in the book were invaluable and we used it alot to plan our day as we went. Our only real complaints come from Padstow. The Treann House BnB was very lovely, but the innkeeper has a very noisy 3 year old that curtailed our sleeping in the morning and nixed any possibility of a nap in the afternoon. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary at Rick Stein's seafood restaurant, which was a big disappointment- the food is really not that good. But, we were celebrating our anniversary and a fantastic week of walking, so we brushed it off.

While in Padstow we bicycled the Camel Trail to the end at Wenfordbridge (a bit past Poley's Bridge) - an absolutely beautiful wooded trail, and at the end, we enjoyed cream teas at the Snails Pace Cafe - the proprietor is so nice, and the cafe is highly recommended! In all, our experience was great, and we will recommend Encounter Walking Holidays to all our friends! Thanks for being so helpful with answering questions and setting everything up. We look forward to exploring with you again someday!

Route: St Agnes to St Ives
Name: Angela & Dennis
When: 22 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThis was an excellent walk with perfect weather making the scenery even more stunning. We did not find the strenuous parts of the route as difficult as we expected and we arrived at both Portreath and Gwithian earlier than we planned. We should have spent more time watching the seals at Godrevy Point or longer over our coffee at Hell's Mouth Cafe! However the last few miles between Carbis Bay and St Ives did prove quite tiring. The accommodation was satisfactory but as it was a late booking we were not expecting the best rooms. The recommended eating places were very good. We did have a minor problem finding the way across the dunes between Gwithian and Hayle. The Trailblazer book mentions acorn posts with yellow arrows but the way was marked mainly with large upright slabs of carved stone that initially were difficult to identify. Also be careful walking into Hayle as there is a new walkway alongside the harbour and the waymarks are scarce. We would certainly recommend taking the quieter suburban route through Lelant. We had a great stop eating our Philp's pasties on the platform of Lelant station overlooking the estuary. Thank you Damon and the team for organising another excellent walk and we look forward to next years expedition.

Route: The Coleridge Way
Name: Robert Brewin
When: 22 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThe weather was excellent for our walk as was the accommodation you recommended and booked for our party of four. We found that in some cases the packed lunches could be purchased more cheaply from places where there was a village store available (we were a little disappointed at the cost/value of the packed lunch from Nether Stowey). At all stop-overs the luggage carriers were very helpful and efficient. We suggest that beyond Roadwater, where your instructions refer to 'initial path options on the left' that the two misleading signs are removed. From our initially booking the holiday through your company we have been impressed by the way you have supplied all information and updates throughout, and would not hesitate to recommend you to others or book again ourselves. Many thanks Bob and Rosemary. PS. upon our return my wife celebrated her 80th birthday in style!

Route: Crackington Haven - Padstow
Name: Richard
When: 21 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomI have often walked short stretches of the coast path whilst on holiday in Cornwall & Devon and have always wanted to do a longer stretch so when the opportunity came, how could I resist. I chose the stretch from Crackington Haven to Padstow as we have been to the area a number of times, so many of the places are familiar and as a walk it worked well as it gives you Boscastle one day and Polzeath on another day for lunch stops. This means you don’t have to carry lunch on these days. On the middle day (Tintagel to Port Gaverne), Trebarwith Strand is a little early for lunch (but still great for a coffee), so I picked up a Cornish Pasty in Tintagel before I left.

The route does have many strenuous sections with lots of steep downs and ups (Crackington Haven to Boscastle, Trebarwith Strand to Port Gaverne, Port Isaac to Port Quin, but just take your time and enjoy the views. It’s only a problem if you are in a rush. I could not pick any particular place out for the perfect view as this whole stretch is just stunning. The distances covered each day allowed plenty of time to stop and admire the views along the way as well as time to refresh yourself with a beer at the end of the walk. I had planned the trip as a solo traveller as my wife is not such a keen walker, but when I told her where I planned to go she decided to join me and make her own way from place to place on public transport. Each place we visited gave her lots to do. This worked well for both of us and this stretch of the coast is well served with buses.

Whilst walking in September, we were very fortunate to have some fantastic weather. Sunny, good visibility, but just enough breeze to be not too hot walking. The accommodation Encounter Walking booked for us was all good, but special mention must be made of the two B&Bs we stayed at in Tintagel and Padstow. Already thinking where to go next time...

Route: Penzance - St Ives - Pendeen - Sennen Cove - Porthcurno - Penzance
Name: Ita McCrory
When: 21 September 2014

Flag of the Republic of IrelandI thouroughly enjoyed the stunning scenery on this section of the SW coastal path. My luggage was moved each day and this worked perfectly. The route notes provided by Encounter for St Michaels Way (the section inland from Penzance to St Ives) were excellent and I had no route finding problems, although care needs to be taken as waymarks are not always obvious. On the SW coast path there are really no navigational problems, keep the sea on your right, although it sometimes does divert inland at times and occasionally markers dont exist where they would be useful. The section from St Ives to Pendeen is long (25km) and quite strenuous with lots of ups and downs. The section from Sennen Cove to Purthcurno is short and even with a visit to the Minak Theatre I arrived too early at the Seaview House to check in (they don't do check in until 4.00pm). As a solo traveller it's difficult to get single accommodation and you end up paying extra for single occupancy of a double room.

Route: Bude to Clovelly
Name: Sara Cooper
When: 19 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWe have walked quite a bit of the Cornish section of the South West coast path so decided to tackle 30 miles in Devon this time. There were some serious up and downs which tested the heart and legs but the view at the top was always worth it. Encounter don't provide the scenery, cliffs, wildlife and pubs, all of which were great. What they do provide is expert knowledge, brilliant organizational skills and a huge desire to make your walking holiday work for you! We will definitely return next year to walk another 30 miles of the SW Coast Path with the help of Encounter.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Charlie and Lynn Blair-Broeker
When: 19 September 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaThis was a wonderful experience for us. The route, accommodations, and luggage transfer were all good. The help Damon provided in planning was invaluable. The scenery was stunning, and even the weather cooperated.

Route: Bude through to Padstow and Mousehole to Marazion
Name: Lorraine & Laurence Philippsen
When: 17 September 2014

Flag of CanadaWeather was hot and sunny throughout the 9 days we were walking. Accommodations were all excellent. Avalon B&B was outstanding. Route finding was quite good, the guide had more than enough advice to get us wherever we were going. On average the rating of the difficulty of the sections of trail were fairly accurate and the suggested walking times were consistent. The section from Crackington Haven to Boscastle seemed more difficult than the guidebook suggested but some of the "more strenuous" sections weren't as formidable as we thought they would be. All in all an excellent holiday and all arrangements worked out very well!

Route: Zennor to Penzance
Name: Marcia Monaghan
When: 16 September 2014

Flag of CanadaI just did a 3 day walk as recommended by encounter walking. It was one of the BEST experiences of my life. It was challenging physically , which I totally enjoy. The views were breathtaking and I often found myself with a big smile of pure joy of the nature surrounding me. The rocks, cliffs, hidden beaches, lovely flora and the trail itself were all wonderful aspects that contributed to my thrill of this trek. The accommodation recommend was always just right. The reading material was very helpful and for the most part the trail was quite well marked. U can say I was pretty grateful to have my luggage in my room as I arrived at each destination as I thoroughly enjoyed a shower, clean clothes and a pint. I did not remember to bring a walking stick or a hat. While I managed, both would have been an asset.

Route: Lyme Regis to Weymouth
Name: Brenda
When: 14 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a really enjoyable 4 days walking. The weather was fantastic and the scenery just breathtaking in places. The accommodation was variable but finished on a high in Lulworth Cove which was very comfortable and clean, with great attention to detail. The B&B in Lyme Regis was a bit 'tired'. For lunch along the way the Anchor pub was excellent as was the Hive Beach Cafe. We definitely recommend those.

We did have a few issues with the distances quoted which seem to be shorter than our various gps gadgets indicated, even taking into account the various detours and we found the steepness of the final few miles into Lulworth quite challenging as there is not much purchase or grip underfoot on those slopes. However we did have a great sense of satisfaction and achievement on finishing unscathed!

We had the good fortune to meet a Coastal Path Ranger called Dave as we were leaving the Smugglers at Osmington Mills and he accompanied us along the path to Whitenothe. He pointed out lots of interesting features and historical information along the way and added greatly to our enjoyment of the day.

So thank you to your team for a successful trip!

Route: Coleridge Way to Lynmouth and Coast Path back to Minehead
Name: Chris + 3
When: 14 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomJust got back from a really great walking holiday. Many thanks, it just went like clockwork.

A wonderful range of landscapes.  Rain only on one day, and our trip up Dunkery Beacon was in low cloud so we could only see 100m - A bit of adversity creates some variety! Excellent places to stay, where we really felt comfortable and welcome.

Highlights for us were The Gables, The Notley Arms and the Millers at the Anchor. The Bath Hotel at Lynmouth was the least impressive - a bit dated and faded.  Probably not much choice in Lynmouth, though we wondered if some of the B and B’s on the way in would be keen on business. Very good suggestion to leave Culborne Church to the trip back along the SWCP.

Thanks again for your help and organisation.

Route: Lyme Regis to Poole
Name: Claudia Meyers
When: 14 September 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaI had a wonderful time, great weather and great places to stay. The only direction problem I had was finding Worth Matraverrs off the path. I am guessing I left the trail too early and missed the appropriate signs. The ratings of the day's walks were very helpful. The rating of the Lulworth range section was probably too severe but that just made it seem a bit easier

Route: Boscastle to Penzance
Name: Sally
When: 13 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWow!  Was I ever a lucky bunny sunshine all the way! Walk was fantastic tho I do prefer the rugged coastline of the north to the surfing beaches of the south.

Highlights probably St Ives to Zennor – Porthcurno beach where I swam in crystal cxlear water on a hot afternoon – walk from Perranporth when I set off early in the fog and it was just magical – Cape Cornwall another early morning when I was the only person there.

All the stopovers were good – definitely prefer B and Bs to hotels. Nanterrow farm was amazing and the lovely Linda took me swimming at Godrevy Point where we swam with seals she also upgraded me to the nicest room  in the house as I was the only one there what an amazing place.  Tinners Arms at Zennor was special also loved Carden Cottage at Crantock.  Low point was probably the B&B in Portreath – v sterile and a poor breakfast.  Much prefer staying in small places than towns – St Ives and Padstow all a bit much but I did love Port Isaac.

All in all it as just wonderful and the weather made the whole thing a complete indulgence – loved it. So next section May 2015 when you have time to put something together.

So thank you for putting such a wonderful package together again for me and am looking forward to next time.

 

Route: to Lime Regis to Abbottsbury
Name: Nichola Hammett
When: 12 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomFirst time for a walking holiday with friend and it was fantastic organised to perfection. All instructions and recommendations given did not fail from luggage transfers to transport information and all the accommodation was perfect and chosen well, not forgetting the coastal walk which was wonderful. I have already recommended Encounter Walking to others and can't wait to do again. Thank you Nichola Hammett & Janet Ling - Wiltshire

Route: Minehead to Westward Ho!
Name: Jonathan
When: 10 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomFirst of all can I thank you and Encounter Walking Holidays for arranging what turned out to be an excellent holiday walking from Minehead to Westward Ho! Although I have done four other long distance walks in the last four years in other parts of the country, this was my first walk with Jasper (my two year old Border Collie). It turned out to be the best walk yet, and I thought that some of the others would take some beating! The weather couldn’t have been better - walking in T Shirts everyday, no rain and glorious sun on four of the seven days! The coastal scenery was brilliant and varied with cliffs, sea vistas, woodland (especially between Porlock Weir and Lynmouth) and estuary. Jasper behaved himself impeccably all week - on the walk itself (off the lead about 75% of the time), as well as in the overnight accomodation and in the pubs during the evenings.

So onto feedback:

I found the walking straight forward, if a little strenuous at times, but for me it was ideal. The distances walked each day were fine, and route finding was never a problem. I used two guidebooks - the one you supplied, Trailblazer “Exmoor & North Devon Coast Path”, and my own Aurum/OS “South West Coast Path Minehead to Padstow”. Both complemented each other and were very good.

The general standard of accomodation was fine. The Bath Hotel in Lynmouth, Channel Vista Guest House in Combe Martin and The Wayfarer Inn in Instow were the pick of them. The Old Ship Aground in Minehead and The Smugglers Rest in Mortehoe were OK too. The Bottom Ship in Porlock Weir and The Laurels in Braunton were OK for one night only, but I wouldn’t have wanted to stay at these two for more than one night each - they being a bit basic. I ate my evening meal at all of these establishments, except the Braunton one, and found them all to offer good food. At Braunton I had my evening meal at The Black Horse pub, a few doors down from The Laurels, and had a superb meal. Breakfasts in general at all of them were fine, although some were better than others.

The luggage transfers seemed to work well, in that my luggage never failed to be waiting for me at each destination when I arrived! As regards being dog friendly, all were very good, with in this respect The Old Ship Aground in Minehead being the very best. So thanks again, and I’ll certainly use Encounter Walking Holidays again to arrange my annual walking holiday at some time in the near future.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Sally and Nick
When: 10 September 2014

Encounter Walking Holidays logoBrilliant organisation (you did that)

Beautiful weather and views and walks

Path generally well marked (the dunes approaching Hayle were a little troublesome, but we were warned about that, and it wasn't that difficult because the location of the sea was a good clue)

Newquay and Hayle rather less scenic (but I guess you have to go through them to get to the other side)

I suggest that you advise future walkers to RUN through them as fast as possible,  but maybe they just aren’t our sort of places)

Accommodation excellent throughout

Special mention to Janet at Padstow and Mary at Porthcothan – very friendly and welcoming and helpful

Extra special mention to Linda at Nanterrow Farm, Gwithian – exceptional welcome, truly tasty breakfast, and a lovely farmhouse atmosphere. At all our stops, everyone  seemed to go out of their way to be helpful and friendly -  these three went even further. Lovely “attic room” at Cornerways in St Ives – brilliant view across the harbour. A delightful place to stop walking !

Bassett Arms, Portreath also deserves a mention – there was some sort of private function on-going when we arrived for an evening meal. Despite  being very busy, the staff were quick to welcome us, friendly, and attentive. Excellent service and a pleasant meal. And the (busy but excellent) cafe at Hells Mouth en route into Gwithian – never was a cafe so well-located !!

Baggage transfers faultless

Itinerary and information provided by you was everything we needed, detailed and accurate.

It left us free to ‘walk’ not ‘think about anything’

Seriously – it was part of the holiday to be able to just walk and eat and sleep.........................nothing else needed doing

One thing we did (and nobody minded – hope I wasn’t being a nuisance)  was to ask all our overnight stops to freeze a couple of small ice packs in their freezers. In hot weather (we were lucky),  it was good to carry a small cool bag in my rucksack so every day we had a couple of cold drinks with us.

Cant think of anything that was a problem or negative. Sorry – this isn't much of a feedback, more of a commentary !! We had a really enjoyable week.  Memorable, relaxed and stress-free.

Thank You again

Route: Saints Way and SW coastal path
Name: Darren
When: 07 September 2014

Flag of GermanyBeing unfamiliar with Cornwall, I appreciated the expert advice on where to walk and the detailed itinerary to follow on a daily basis. The juxtaposition of the Saints Way walk and the coastal path was nice, and while the experiences differed, they were both great. After the happy absence of people on the Saints Way, the relative busyness of the coastal path was a little disappointing. There's no obvious way to avoid this, but I'd imagine that in high summer it's crawling with people. I might recommend including a suggestion of departing earlier in the day to avoid the crowds.

Route: Coleridge Way, then SW Coast
Name: Penny
When: 07 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomI would thoroughly recommend the Coleridge Way, a wonderfully varied few days taking in the Quantocks, Brendon Hills, Exmoor and the coast at magical Porlock Weir. My only comment was that I did it too fast, if I did it again - and I well might!- I would take a day longer, in order to enjoy and explore more of the villages and just sit and enjoy the surroundings. The organisation was caring and efficient. Just be aware that with the extension to the Path the 'walking notes' need rechecking, some of the direction posts have obviously been renewed as the Path was rethought and some are different from that stated. But with the help of the OS maps I only overshot the mark once (just after the viewpoint at the top of the hill out of Monksilver) Most of the accommodation was excellent, luggage transfer went well, favourite resting places: Bottom Ship at Porlock Weir for kindness, location and a BATH, and Penny and John at Mellstock House in Combe Martin - spot on! Thank you, Damon, for also providing wonderful Indian summer weather and many memories to take me through the winter months.

Route: Two Moors Way - Ivybridge to Lynmouth
Name: Andrew
When: 06 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThree of us walked this during the first week of September over 7 days. The weather was perfect and the holiday couldn't have gone any better. The luggage transfers worked faultlessly. We had an absolute blast and the walking was straightforward. I've put accommodation reviews on Trip Advisor. The Sportsman in Ivybridge was a little tired and in need of refurbishment but the food was fine. Other places were great. Tip for day 2. Eat at the Rugglestone Inn! It's only a 5 minute walk from Manor Cottage. The landlord at the Tradesman Arms in Scorriton phoned ahead and booked us a table. The steak and stilton pie is highly recommended. The burgers at Sandy Park on day 3 also come highly recommended. The Devonshire Dumpling was fine, but sufferred with a lot of road traffic from the adjacent A road. The hosts were great though.

Lunches:- we bought food at Ivybridge for day 1. Day 2 was short so wasn't required. Packed lunches were ordered for days 3, 6 and 7. We bought hot pasties from the village shop at Drewsteignton on day 4 and Morchard Bishop on day 5. The path was well way-marked in the central sections but not so in the National Parks, which we were expecting. Use of a compass and GPS helps the stretch from Crossways to Chalk Ford on day 1 and over Exe Head on day 7. We heard tales of two Australian ladies having to be airlifted off the moor the week before due to getting lost on this stretch in bad weather. All in all, a fantastic week. Thank you. We all wanted to just turn around and do it again!

Route: Saints' Way (Cornwall)
Name: Frances & Madeleine
When: 06 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomOverall we thought everything was very good. All the organisation worked: great to have such in-depth info on refreshments en route, getting to and from the area, and concern to make sure the route was followed. Instructions on the first day: the issues with the route that you highlighted may have been fixed. Clearer advice on how to find the trail at Padstow would be welcome and maybe confirmation of where it ends? There was no signage to indicate at Fowey to indicate start/finish. The bit around Pen Poll Pill was a bit confusing so some guidance/more signs would have been welcome there.

We walked quite slowly and took longer than you estimated each day. This isn't a criticism, just you might find this useful to know. However, we felt all three days were of a similar difficulty level (ie, a perfectly acceptable one) although we recognise that people walking in bad weather might feel differently about this! Overall we found the accommodation arrangements worked very well: everyone was welcoming and friendly and our luggage was transported perfectly. At Tregolls Farm we were told that packed lunches were not an option so perhaps this should be amended in your information. Her evening meal was excellent -- we couldn't eat it all! At the Crown Inn we were accommodated in the medieval building at the back. The electricity flickered from time to time and the hot water ran out quickly in the shower, also there were some stains on the sheets. Encounter Walking Note !  Thank you and sorry ...we have been in touch with the Crown to ask that a new set is bought rather than reusing !

The Well House was a wonderful treat for the end of the walk -- with a BATH, so welcome to have a long soak! Other walkers should perhaps be aware that non-pub food options in Padstow will probably be all booked up, so they have little chance of sampling those cool bistros, let alone the Stein establishments! We got packed lunches from the Golden Lion and the Crown Inn which (especially on the first day) were much appreciated. For the first time in 7 years of walking, we decided to bring thermos flasks which we filled with coffee at breakfast (all hosts were happy to do this) and brought flapjack from home. This was a great success so we offer it to others!

Best thing: We had wonderful weather and the countryside is breathtaking. It was well worth takinh the time on the last morning to cross over to Bodinnick on the ferry and walking the first (waterside) section of the Hall Walk, it is spectacular.

Worst thing: On two occasions the route takes you along an orange/red road without a pavement or verge. Some drivers really seemed to object to walkers and we flung ourselves flat against the hedgerows time and again. If people were walking with children or a dog this would be quite challenging. We would also stress that you do need to be able to read an Ordnance Survey map for this walk -- if you weren't used to reading field boundaries and contour lines it could be difficult. Overall a great experience and we will certainly recommend your company to others without hesitation.

Route: Two Moors Way (coast to coast)
Name: John Bradley
When: 06 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThis was a rewarding walk with a large variety of differing scenery and history. The services of Encounter Walking Holiday and their nominated luggage carrier were first class and everything worked like clockwork. Navigation is relatively straight forward, although close attention to the guide book is required at times, as the quality of signage varies considerably. Special attention is needed in two sections on Dartmoor where it is easy to go off course. The first of these is north of Ivybridge when leaving the old tramway just below Red Lake Mire going towards Petre's Cross, as the correct path is easy to miss and the second is after Ponsworthy when you need to make sure that you turn left at the road junction in Jordan, as the guide book is a little unclear here. As mentioned on Encounter's web site, the final day across Exmoor and down into Lynmouth is just a stunning finish to a great walk.

Route: Minehead to Clovelly
Name: Birgit
When: 05 September 2014

Flag of GermanyAfter a short stay in London and enjoying some groovy pieces of Art I'm back home again.

Some comments on the walk:

 -To stop walking when you enjoy it just so much is the most difficult aspect of the whole jouney.

- Accomodation was really cool, enjoyable that they were so different! There was honestly no one in which the people were not at least very!!  friendly.

- Lost my way completely between Saunton Sands and Braunton. It was raining heavily, I wanted to walk across the dunes, was in the part used by army vehicles (which were not around at that time) and didn't know which path might lead out of that area. Problem was that I couldn't look at any map because they were not covered in plastic...I managed anyway because it was any path I could take, I just had to walk straight on and not in circles.

- Your comments for every day are very precise and helpful. Together with the Guidebook I could improve and learn to read the map. Hints which animals etc. can be seen are super and good to get a feeling that there are lots of animals around. And most of them could be seen...sometimes you could walk an hour before meeting the next human.

- The distances and walks you suggest for every day were precisely what I could manage. It's a good idea though to give further hints where to walk to in addition.

- I think I've learned what it was all about for me: to find solutions myself and see that I can manage and organise things on my own.

Route: 100 Mile Challenge from Looe via Boscastle and Padstow
Name: Ken
When: 05 September 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThe holiday was a success. The weather was mostly OK if rather cold at times. The last day however I did not manage as it was very wet and foggy and it is a holiday not a competition. The accommodation was all good (with the exception of the meal in Boscastle in the hotel in the evening). Probably the best was the old school in Port Issac.

I only got lost once although there were a couple of other points that might be of interest.

Day 1 - Where the insert is in the Smugglers way it was slightly confusing as it said go west (rather than left) and there is no sign. Then it says go left uphill and there are two turns left one straightaway and one later neither of which is correct. 

Day 2 - It might be worth mentioning to stay further left than the compass guidance (follow the dim sort of path with the fence visible on the left) as you set out onto the moor after Jamaica Inn if you follow the compass you end up in some very long reeds as I did briefly. 

Day 4 - Near the church before Padstow the path to the beach has been re-routed as it is crumpling away which is slightly confusing, The detour to the church is worthwhile at this point anyway. Also at low tide you can walk right round to Rock on the beach if you want to. 

Day 5 - I got lost trying to get out of Padstow - the sign has been put back up just before the campsite but appears to point to someones driveway or if not then to the path that leads to the bridge - finally I went into the campsite and round a field before coming back and going past reception and left (not into the field) and slightly up by what I think are some toilets and hence to the path. 

Day 5 - The part with the field and going across one too early is actually I think caused by the sign on the gate and the map being wrong and showing the diagonal rather then straightdown and then right (and the sign the other way points straight up . The actual way is fairly obvious however.

Day 6 - At some point when the path leaves the road into a wood (I need to check where) the OS Map shows a path on the left and on the right where the correct path is. However I did not see the left path and turned right off the actual path which I think is to someones wood shed - its only about 50m so not a big deal. (took the east route by the way)

This does not mean that I spent most of the time lost - only about 10 min in a field full of campers near Padstow. Very pleased with the mixed sea/countryside route , it was a shame about the last day but I think I will be back to look at more of the coast at some point. 

Thanks for all the arrangements.

Route: SW Coast Path Par to Poole
Name: Sheila - USA
When: 03 September 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaThanks for the superb assistance you gave me so I could complete my walk of the SWCP. The accommodation you booked for me was far better than I could have booked for myself. And you couldn't have ordered better weather!

Also the timing you gave me in the route notes about the timings for crossing the Erme (knee deep at 12:30) and the "ferry" at the Avon (this is the only place my boots got wet - getting out of the boat).

There were a couple of spots that could use some clarification. One was getting out of Torquay. I followed the guidebook carefully, found the markers in the pavement, then nothing. I finally found a gap in the wall with steps leading off to the left (not marked) and further on the acorn signs. Finally ending at an unmarked (from the west) cliff fall in process of repair. Others had climbed over it, as I did, as it was dry. I was a little rattled by this and did not mark it on my map, so I can't really tell you where it is. The same day at Oddicombe Beach, the cliff fall was not passable to get to the path to Petit Tor Road. You have to take the steps by the Cliff Railway (or the railway itself) to get past that section of path.

The seawall at Dawlish is mostly open, with a signed diversion around the section that is still being worked on. It is quite small.

I think the Old Mill Cafe in Branscombe is well worth the extra walk, only I would suggest going to Branscombe Mouth and taking the river path to the village rather than the turnoff to Branscombe Church. Your knees will thank you!

I loved the Ridgeway walk. I wonder why more don't do it. It was like having a time machine. And the views ... ! Just watch the map carefully - the signing can be confusing, after-the-fact or non-existent.

I could write pages on the accommodation. Marvelous. The proprietors' suggestions as to where to eat (The Swan, in Sidmouth), or a footpath instead of a road, or the "spoiling" (Annette at Kimmeridge Farm brought me a bottle of cider and some ice cream in the evening in addition to all the luxury)!

Even though there is much development on the coast, so much of the walk was open vistas taking your breath away (literally and figuratively). I felt as if all should "whisper" as the coast is such a special place. Now that I'm back in Colorado, I'm still dreaming of the lovely three weeks you made possible for me. Thanks again.

Route: Padstow to Penzance
Name: Jane & Gary Carlson
When: 03 September 2014

Flag of CanadaThis is our 6th long distance walk and the second one done with Damon at Encounter. Exceptional customer service and support. Thank you! We had paid to upgrade our accommodations and were extremely pleased with pretty much each of our stops. The trail was not as difficult as the Minehead to Padstow section and was not as well waymarked. Too bad Land's End is such a circus.

In Penzance, we strongly recommend The Turk's Head for dinner. The very best meal we had on the trip hands down. Also had an exceptional meal in St Ives at the Waterfront Café, thanks Carl. Our favorite B&B's Portreath B&B Seaforth B&B St Ives Warwick House Penzance Symply Padstow Not only were these accommodations excellent but the hosts were caring,and very helpful. Hope to do the next section next year and will look forward to dealing with Damon and the rest of their team again.

Route: Erme-Plym Trail and Two Moors Way
Name: John Walsh
When: 29 August 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThis is a very fine walk with a great range of scenery and terrain. Fine long views from the Moors, beautiful coast at each end and a lovely mix of picturesque river walks and country villages in between. Good weather too - just one damp morning. And only 106 miles! Navigation was mostly straightforward, though we did have the compass out on a few occasions and found ourselves going completely the wrong way on Hamel Down - quickly sorted! There are plenty of places on the moors where the waymarking is poor and you do need to be able to navigate with map and compass - or maybe GPS these days. The information and organisation from Encounter was spot on and all the accommodation was exactly as described/expected. All the transfers worked very well. Thanks to Damon and all for a great success.

Route: Minehead to Poole
Name: Colin
When: 27 August 2014

Flag of the United KingdomDid the whole SWCP over a two month period including a week and half break at falmouth on my own The organisation was faultless with luggage transfer every day from luggage transfer south west always at your accommodation with out fail The tour notes were detailed and full of useful information and more importantly bang up to date with latest path issues I stayed in a total of 48 different accommodation over the walk and with out exception all were as a minimum of good standard. Bearing in mind that in certain areas the accommodation is limited and I was walking in the school holidays. There were some in my opinion really great places either because of its location, the staff or just the way the place was set up and i feel they need a mention - the cottage porlock a lovely small b&B really we'll done out and friendly owners - heartland quay hotel just for its brilliant location and remoteness when every one else has gone but if you want an early start you need to get your pack lunch the night b4 they will give you a fridge to keep in your room - Wellington hotel Boscastle for its character - driftwood spa near st Agnes brill location and very good fish restaurant - honeycombe house mevagissey b&B really nice room with views and good breakfast - worswell Barton farmhouse noss mayo farm b&B but probably best breakfast on route with virtually everything locally made on site -the tower inn slapton what a brill pub room was great with great evening food and breakfast Mariners hotel Lyme Regis really nice room Manor hotel west bexington lovely set up with a great room and good food Lulworth mill house Lulworth cove arrived soaked through and early but could not be more helpful to get my gear dry again good evening meal Over all I could not fault the logistics of this tour and a big thanks must go to encounter for organising even down to getting you across 5 rivers crossings in three days with tidal gate issues This is the 3rd time I have used encounter with out a single issue On the walk it self it is with out doubt one of the best it is tough in places especially the section up near bude to port Isaac were you have tough days consecutive but a lot of the time you have easier days following tough sections

Route: Fowey Day Walks and Saints Way
Name: John
When: 26 August 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThanks we had a great time absolutely no problems even the weather was ok if not perfect, good walking weather. 
 
The Old Ferry Inn was spot on for us much better situation than being in Fowey.Pity they don't do day tickets for foot passengers on the ferry as it became a bit of an extra fiddle at times.
 
Best walk was the one from Polperro superb scenery .It was very quiet walking met few fellow walkers which was great .Nice selection thanks very much.
 
Passed the very muddy and flooded bit on the Saints Way by clambering up the bank and walking along the side of the hedge, which somebody had done before us .

 

Route: 100 mile Challenge from Padstow via Looe and Boscastle
Name: Hans-Georg
When: 26 August 2014

Flag of Germanyone week at home today. Time to give you a personal feedback. Our time in Cornwall really was one of the best holidays in our life. We enjoyed the walk, allthough it was rather straneous, especially for my wife, but she enjoyed too. We loved the variety of the walk, the marvellous coast path on one hand, but also the moor, the fields, the woods and little villages and cottages on the other. This gave us very good impressions from all sides of Cornwall.

The organisation of the tour was perfect, the accomodations were very well chosen.

But above all, we met a lot of wonderful, friendly people and perfect hosts.

Thank you very much for your personal help in planning the tour and during the walk, this was very essential for the success of it. Next time, I am sure there will be one, we would immedately start the walk after the arrival and schedule some days of rest instead, also to stay longer at fantastic places like Fowey or Padstow.

I'm glad to have found the number one provider for invidual travelling in Cornwall, it was often confirmed during the walk. The last days in St. Ives were a good finish, Debbie and Carl were perfect hosts in Seaforth. But now it's all over and new dreams can begin. On the walk we met someone, who told us about the beauty of Southern Wales. Perhaps this is one....

Route: Mevagissey to Looe
Name: Charlie
When: 21 August 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThe walk went very well and we were extremely fortunate with the weather. Although the Sun didn’t shine all the time ,there was only a 15 minute heavy shower by the Carlyon Bay Hotel and golf course when we donned wet weather gear. About a couple of hours after reaching Looe the weather closed in and we drove back the following morning in mist and rain.

The scenery on the walk was wonderful,being by the water ,almost the whole way is a real bonus.

The walk was perhaps strenuous for longer than we expected ,but good for fitness.

The accommodation, baggage arrangements,maps etc were all excellent,which made for a very stress free holiday.

Route: Falmouth to Looe
Name: Judy
When: 17 August 2014

Flag of AustraliaFlag of the United States of AmericaWe are back from our overseas holiday and we want to thank you for helping us organise the walk which truly was the walking highlight of our holiday. For we five walkers, two Americans and three aussies, the walk was  just about perfect. The scenery was absolutely wonderful, the weather perfect, and the connections between places via transport were excellent. The taxi driver from Falmouth was an absolute delight…and gave us lots of helpful local info.

Overall the accommodation was great…authentic, great customer service from some truly wonderful hosts, and great locations. As older travellers, we were portably looking for a little more comfort and space re bathrooms and room size, but we’d ask for that next time. A couple of highlights…Warwick House room was great, ocean view, and sensational breakfast. Hard to find in a car though. Harbour Inn was a bit run down, frankly, but the staff were nice enough. We loved the host at Caerthillian guest House, but the rooms were small, and a non en suite took the edge off our enjoyment. Great spot, though, and great local pubs. Gold martin B and B was so lovely and quaint, and another super breakfast, but again, sharing a bathroom was a bit tedious for us oldies. Loved clare’s botanical art…and great local pub. Lerryn Hotel….great rooms…and the new owner, Lyn, was absolutely wonderful to us. Great personalised customer service. A gem!

Honey combe House was great…food lovely, view sensational, but the toilet bathroom was simply too small. What a pity. Million dollar views. TGallants was fine too, but the owners weren’t super helpful or friendly.

Galleon Inn was great…nice big room and right in the middle of everything. We asked for an early breakfast and they were so obliging. Schooner Point was frankly hard to get too with heavy bags, and not ideal. But the owners were simply delightful, gave us so much help with planning, and lovely cakes and breaky that we forgave them the location.

Some thoughts on the walk. We managed the distances pretty well, but on reflection, we had underestimated the toll of the ups and downs, and next time would go for 10 mile days, not twelve.

My goodness, though, the scenery was so worth all that climbing.

Damon, we really appreciated the outstanding service you gave us as a group, and me in particular. All your advice was wonderful, and we’d love to do another section of the walk with you another year.

Thanks again for making our holiday so special.

PS We can’t believe how good the food is now in England. We lived in London/Bedfordshire for 6 years in the late 70’s and pub food was pretty ordinary then. We had some simply marvellous meals in magical settings, thanks to all the good suggestions in your notes. When the food was outstanding, I wrote reviews on Trip Adviser….

Thanks again!

Route: saints way 3 days
Name: Penny
When: 15 August 2014

Flag of the United KingdomVery well organised, thank you very much. Accommodation : Day 1, Woodlands House, near Padstow. 20 minutes walk into Padstow . Easy to find with plenty of car parking. Large and clean room. Very helpful hosts, Pippa and Hugh who let me keep my car there for the duration of my walk. Outstanding breakfast. Day 2 , Tregolls Farm B&B. Very, very friendly and helpful owner Marilyn who greeted me with a large glass of squash and a plate of biscuits and supplied an ice pack for my sore ankle. Old fashioned style farmhouse but spotlessly clean and great views .There were cute pet goats. Marilyn cooked me a delicious meal of roast chicken followed by apple tart and clotted cream. Very good breakfast. Very quiet and peaceful, this is where I had the best nights sleep. Day 3, Crown Inn , Lanlivery. Room ok, cleanish, but quilt and pillows very, very stained. No excuse for this and made me feel uncomfortable. Food quite good and staff friendly. Day 4, King of Prussia, Fowey. Room surprisingly nice with a great view of the quay and river. Noise from the town but not too bad and noisy seagulls in the morning, ear plugs were provided ! Good breakfast.

The transfers all worked like clockwork and Graham from Fowey coastal taxis was there on time to take me back to Padstow, friendly, chatty and a good driver.

The walk : There were some nice parts of the walk, for me these were when the walking was on high ground and the downs. I didn't mind walking on the lanes because it was peaceful and easy to navigate. However a lot of the walk wasn't particularly ' nice ' or pretty and I really didn't like the bridleways with high hedges, very claustrophobic. The walk has to be seen, in my opinion, as kind of a means to an end i.e. coast to coast rather than a picturesque walk. There was one part, just coming out of Withiel, where I am pretty sure the map or the signs or both are wrong. I had to walk around the perimeter of two fields to try to find where I was even though I had strictly followed the field boundaries on the map. This was followed by a ' green lane ' which was ankle deep in mud for quite some distance, high hedges both sides and thousands of horse flies, very unpleasant indeed. The Saints Way signposts on the roads were very good and even though the navigation was easier on the roads it was still reassuring to see the signs. The signposts were not as prolific across the field sections which is where they were most needed.

Overall I am pleased I did the walk because a coast to coast gave me a sense of achievement. The history and facts were interesting but I think a religious person would find it much more interesting than I did. The logistics from Encounter Walking worked perfectly and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again or recommend them to anyone. From a personal point of view in the future I would rather walk on coastal paths. Thanks very much.

Route: Land's End Track
Name: Penny Jose
When: 15 August 2014

Flag of AustraliaWe really enjoyed our walk along the Land’s End Trail and benefited from the strong input from Encounter. The itinerary was well organized and distances each day were manageable. In total we walked approximately 85km from St Ives to Penzance with an extra walk to St Michael's Mount, over 6 days. The Trailblazer guidebook supplied by Encounter was very informative and provided an excellent and accurate narrative as we walked. The luggage transfers worked well throughout.

Day 1 - Arrival at St Ives On arrival at our accommodation at the Cornerways B&B we were warmly greeted by the proprietor, Tim who was a very hospitable host. He showed us to what he described as our ‘petite’ room – a polite term for a very small room, and a particularly small bathroom. We were in the Jeanne room, although we had booked the Jamaica room (not sure if there was any difference) The room was a bit cramped really and not large enough for our luggage. It was also right next to the road, so not quiet. Despite these shortcomings, Tim and Shelley, were very friendly, helpful and hospitable hosts, and the breakfast was great.

Day 2 - St Ives to Zennor 10.6km The first day was an easy walk with lovely views and no rain. Our accommodation at the Tinners Arms was comfortable, a large double ensuite and breakfast options were good. However, unfortunately the walls were paper thin, and we were kept awake by a snorer in the bed on the other side of the wall.

Day 3 - Zennor to Pendeen, 17.8km The second day of our walk started at Zennor and soon joined the Cornwall Coast Path to go past Gurnards Head and other coastal features. This was a particularly spectacular day. We diverted to the Gurnards Head Inn for a coffee and also into Morvah where we had some afternoon 'cream tea'. These diversions changed what was supposed to be an 11km walk to a much longer day (nearly 18km). Accommodation at The North Inn was comfortable. The meals were very much in a pub atmosphere and the meals reasonable.

Day 4 - Pendeen to Sennen Cove, 13.5km We had showers, and cold and grey conditions during the morning of our third day of hiking. But the weather improved as the day progressed. We enjoyed stunning views of Cape Cornwall and also the many ruins associated with the tin mining for which the area is famous. The grey weather added to the eerie atmosphere of the area contrasted with lovely purple colour from the heather on the hills. Sennen Cove is a popular surfing and swimming spot and by the time we arrived the weather was hot enough to contemplate a swim (even if the water drove most to wet suits). The day finished with a lovely sunset from our room at the Old Success Inn. We enjoyed our upgrade to the Sunset Room, on the top floor with good views. The meal and location were good.

Day 5 - Sennen Cove to Porthcurno, 10.8km This was an easy day and included walking through Lands End, a (very) touristy spot that marks the western most point of England. Despite that blot on the landscape, the vistas were great and we had a very restful afternoon at the seaside town of Porthcurno. The accommodation at the Seaview House was another ‘petite’ room but breakfast was very good and the hosts friendly.

Day 6 - Porthcurno to Mousehole and Penzance, 18.3km The last day of our Cornwall hiking tour was a quite long day. First 8-9km was up and down along the coast to a small village, Lemorna where we had a well-earned coffee (not bad latte) and scones with clotted cream. Then a 3-4 kms to Mousehole (pronounced Mowzell). We didn't stop there but it seems a pleasant, if busy, town. The last 6km was flat and pretty plain along the road (or cycle path where possible) as we came through Newlyn to Penzance. The Artist Hotel was the best accommodation of our trip, a lovely room and great service.

Day 7 - Penzance to St Michael's Mount, 15.7km (rest day) Our 'rest day' we decided to do an easy and flat walk to St Michael's Mount that included a ferry ride to the island (due to the tide being in), an informative free walking tour of the buildings and a castle viewing. There was some rain and spectacular grey clouds in the morning over the Mount, but the weather cleared up for our return to Penzance. Thanks again Damon for arranging a great walk which was a highlight of our UK travels.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Rod & Denise
When: 14 August 2014

Flag of AustraliaWe enjoyed the experience and found most of the walk quite reasonable. The weather was fine but had quite strong northerly winds which made the going a bit tiresome at times. But the weather is uncontrollable. Just want to point out the buses were expensive and few and far between. Due to a foot problem we attempted to shorten the walk on a couple of occasions. The one bus timetabled for the day at Portreath and Gwithian did not turn up. Overall we found the accommodation very comfortable, and the hosts were very helpful. In particular the host at St Georges Country Hotel cooked a special gluten free meal just for our party as one of our friends is gluten intolerant.

Route: St. Ives - Lyme Regis
Name: Hans & Monique
When: 12 August 2014

Flag of the NetherlandsIt was a nice and long walk. Everything was very good thanks to Encounter Walking Holidays. They planned our trip, gave advice and were very helpful.

Route: Dartmoor Way and Two Moors Circle from Buckfastleigh
Name: Jo
When: 12 August 2014

Encounter Walking Holidays logoDear Damon and Prue,  Just to let you know that we've returned safely from our fabulous Dartmoor Adventure.  I don't know how you did it but the weather was perfect, especially on Saturday when crossing the top of the Moor. 

Fabulous views and some really interesting archaeology right on the route.  Our navigation was pretty good, even after all these years, although our legs were pretty tired after the late afternoon steep decent to Fingle's Bridge on the second day.  We did have a problem picking up the route at the top of the descent as the landowner has recent re-fenced the fields and the bracken was at it's highest.

Thank you for all your help.  The route books and maps and your additional information was spot on, the accommodation was good and in keeping with what we were expecting.  The Globe at Chagford is a little eccentric and, in hindsight, perhaps I should have gone with your original recommendation of the Ring'o'bells, but it added to the overall experience!  The food at the Cromwell Arms in Bovey Tracey was the best and the bed the softest. We would have no hesitation in whole-heartedly recommending Encounter Walking and it's knowledgeable, friendly and patient staff.  All in all a great experience!

Who knows where we'll go next!

Route: St Ives - Penzance
Name: Samantha
When: 11 August 2014

Flag of the United KingdomJust back from walking from St Ives to Penzance, and it was beautiful and exhilarating! In particular the stretch from Gurnards Head to Pendeen Watch, Cape Cornwall to Sennen, and the stretch from Lands End to Porthgwarra. I was very lucky with the weather, managing to find shelter twice under rocks when heavy rain came down on the first day, but warm and windy on days 2 and 3. Also found somewhere to swim on those days, Portheras Cove and Porthchapel - worth having the bikini in the backpack! Pretty miserable walking from Mousehole to Penzance in the pouring rain along the road, but by then the walk had become a challenge and I didn't want to get the bus! Walking times were spot on, maps in the book were very good. Got a bit lost approaching Botallack with all the mines to stop and look at, so was pretty knackered by the time I got to Cape Cornwall but hitched a lift into St Just, which was very welcome! Was walking alone, and therefore in tiny single rooms in the various places. If I did it again, it might be worth paying a bit more for a double, especially if the accommodation doesn't have a general area to sit and relax, otherwise you're stuck in a small box with nowhere to unwind after a long day, and baths seems to be few and far between to ease the aching muscles! Also I found that I didn't need a packed lunch, thanks to huge breakfasts, so I tended to just start early, take water and biscuits and then find a nice place for a cold cider or a cream tea when I got to my destination! A must - if you're planning a stop over in Porthcurno, book ahead and get tickets for the Minack. What an experience. The most amazing setting. Thanks to the guys at Encounter, for all the organisation and coordination. Bags always there at the next stop over, all the information I needed to hand, and no need to do anything except turn up and walk!

Route: Fowey to Plymouth
Name: David
When: 08 August 2014

Flag of the United KingdomAnd so some feedback on our first holiday in Cornwall:

We thought your construction of a bespoke itinerary for us was excellent, as was the luggage transfer arrangements. We loved Fowey and The Fowey Hotel and really appreciated the fantastic view from our upgraded room (room 102).

In Looe we did find it a bit of a slog out of the town to Barclay House and would ideally have preferred something in West Looe. We thought Rame Head was spectacular and Cawsand/Kingsand quite delightful. We also very much appreciated both the welcoming text message from Alibetts and Mike’s efforts to arrange an evening meal for us.

We also loved the Mount Edgcumbe Estate and found Plymouth very interesting. In particular we can highly recommend the tour of the Plymouth Gin Distillery which was very educational and good value (with a complimentary gin & tonic at the end) and the tour of the Citadel (with the fantastically knowledgeable guide).

And we also appreciated how lucky we were with the weather! Best regards,

David

Route: Falmouth - Looe
Name: Evelyn Hilbeck
When: 05 August 2014

Flag of GermanyThere ist nothing to complain about our tour! You organized everything perfectly, our Hosts were all very friendly, humorous and the b&bs were originally, comfortable, beautiful and clean. We´re glad that the weather was perfect for Walking, though we had to realise that the distances were exhausting for us. After all we can say: It was an unforgettable trip! Thanks for all!

Route: Lynmouth to Woolacombe
Name: Paul
When: 05 August 2014

Flag of the United KingdomJust to let you know that we had a wonderful weekend walking between Lynmouth and Woolacombe. All the arrangements worked perfectly thanks. We found a great Thai restaurant in Lynton on Friday evening and enjoyed perfect walking weather, including a swim on the Tunnels Beach in Ilfracombe.

Thanks for organising - we will be back for more soon!

Route: Clovelly to Tintagel South West Coast Path
Name: Jan
When: 04 August 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaOur walk from Clovelly to Tintagel was wonderful.  Your descriptions prior to the walk were very accurate, and all the arrangements went marvelously.  We liked all of the accommodation. One minor detail was that The Hartland Quay hotel was pretty slow at making our lunches in the morning, even though we had ordered them the night before.  This meant we got a rather slow start on our longest walking day. We liked the New Inn but would recommend the pub on the quay for anyone who was a light sleeper, as the Inn was a little noisy with people coming and going at all hours.

Thanks for planning such a great time, we are looking forward to the next walk.

Jan

Route: St. Ives to Penzance
Name: Susanne and Franz
When: 04 August 2014

Flag of GermanyWe walked the first week of August from St.Ives to Penzance. It was a good idea to take time to look around. Our restday in Pendeen was a great experience. We learned much about the hard work in the mines in past times. Worth to spend a whole day!

The weather was rather good except one day, when heavy storms were promised (Porthcurno to Penzance). So we and the other walkers – we met the days before – decided to take the bus. The next day with sunshine again we turned back to Lamorna cove by bus and walked the stretch.

What remains: a wonderful week with great experiences, many friendly encounters, good accommodations (sometimes with small rooms but always decorated very lovly, delicious english breakfasts, breathtaking landscape, no problems with our limited English skills and a hope to return soon!

Daman's help and advice were essential to making the trip as good as it was. Thank You Damon! We also suggest to read the available guides and maps before starting the walk.

Route: Marazion to Falmouth
Name: Linda
When: 03 August 2014

Flag of the NetherlandsJust a few lines to let you know that I had the most wonderful trip on my walk around the Lizard.

The weather wasn't just kind, it was fantastic, almost too warm. Accommodations perfect, lovely people.

When I reached Falmouth last week Tuesday, I felt ready to do it all again.

Must say I didn't do the whole distance, days 4 and 5 were too long for me, following the first part. I sorted that through alternative transportation.

But I must say, this first time walking alone and finding my way, meeting all sorts of beautiful people along the way and on the other side, hours on end with nobody but me, was the best choice I could have made.

Thanks for all your help and advice and see you next time.

Route: SWCP: Westward Ho!-Padstow
Name: Thea Lousen
When: 01 August 2014

Flag of DenmarkAs always everything was arranged as I wanted and expected. All accomodations were very good, and the luggage never failed to be waiting for me. The route was as beautyful and challenging as I remember, and the weather was perfect for walking. Not many walkers on this section, so if you want solitude this section is perfect for you. All the dogs on the route were friendly, and some of the even let me have some of their flees. I can only recommend Encounter. This is not the last time I will use you for booking my walking.

Route: Minehead to Lynmouth
Name: Grant
When: 01 August 2014

Encounter Walking Holidays logoWe had a great weekend, all went very smoothly and weather was perfect. Really enjoyed ourselves and sad to be back at my desk working now!!

Route: 100 mile challenge
Name: Alex Degeling
When: 31 July 2014

Flag of the NetherlandsFirst of all many thanks for the excellent organisation (B&B's, luggage transfer, material). The accomodations were perfect with the exception of Jamaica Inn. That was okay but very commercialised and as a result not very client minded. At lesat that is what we felt. Except for one rainy day and some local showers the weather held quite good. Our first stage was the Smugglers' Way from Looe to Boscastle. Thanks to decent weather conditions crossing Bodmin Moor was not too difficult but I can understand that when foggy this bleak place can be very dangerous. The area around Davidstow is ugly and is best passed through quickly. Closing in on Boscastle the walk along the river Valency is beautiful. The second stage was the south west coast path between Boscastle and Padstow. The coastline is astounding. It being the most strenuous part of our walking trip it did not deter us from admiring the surroundings and the unexpected beauty of the small villages along the route. The third stage was the Saints' Way. Till Withiel there is not much to be seen or admired. Beyond Withiel the Way becomes more exciting. A visit to Lostwithiel is worth the detour. Especially when you return to the Way by the footpath along the railtrack (actually between two railtracks). Fowey is a nice little place with an excellent B&B (the Well House). Terrific breakfast and very nice owners (including Frank the Labrador, when he's awake that is). The last stage was the coast path from Fowey to Looe. Not as rough as the Atlantic coast but also very beautiful. All in all, this was a great experience. The variety is surroundings makes it a surprising and very enjoyable tour. Some stages were tough going but the whole route was doable. Minor issue: we think the booklet on the Smugglers' Way needs a complete new and updated version. Encounter Walking Note -  Sadly Frank Squibb the local creator of the Smugglers Way and the Guidebook passed away a couple of years ago - we are looking into options to keep his vision and work on that route going and the information from his guidebook up to date - so just ask for an update on this -

Route: Plymouth to Falmouth
Name: Peter
When: 30 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThanks to all at Encounter for a very enjoyable trip, even the weather was playing ball. The luggage transfers also went without a hitch which was much appreciated. On the accommodation front all was in order and the hospitality was excellent throughout. Special mentions to those at Sea Breezes, Schooner Point, King of Prussia and Tregorran.

We’ve started now so I’m guessing we may not have finished…

Route: The Saints Way (2 days)
Name: Richard Harvey
When: 26 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThis years charity walk went very smoothly thanks to your excellent organisation. A real professional service with a very personal touch. The hotel location was perfect (albeit the seagulls were a little noisy with their dawn chorus!!), the transfers where spot on and very flexible (please pass on my thanks to coastline) which was important due to our inability to judge what pace we were walking. The actual walk itself was challenging but doable despite the youngest walker being 12 and the oldest 71! It was also very picturesque. My colleagues and family all really enjoyed the whole experience which wouldn't have been possible without your support. Thanks from all of us!

Route: Two Moors - 7 days
Name: Heidi Wasch
When: 26 July 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe were blessed with many days of glorious weather. This walk was a great combination of wide open moor walking with river and field walks through beautiful little villages. We were a party of 6 and all of us used the taxi option to cut down the daily mileage at least one day (14 miles to 9 for example). Between the maps, directions and an iPhone GPS app (View Ranger with downloaded maps) we found our way without significant difficulty and just a little bickering. One day we had thunder and lightning and a high walk over Exehead which was a little scary. We didn't need any extra support from Damon during our walk, but we were very pleased with the thoroughness and seamlessness of his advance planning. The lodging was comfortable and food options were great!.

Route: Porthleven to Falmouth
Name: Charlie - Australia
When: 24 July 2014

Flag of AustraliaSorry for delay in responding - the walk was great. Excellent organization; bag transfer went without a hitch and the accommodation was lovely too.  The weather was superb (almost too hot at times and we're from Australia!), had some unexpected swims, most notably at Kynance Cove. Looking forward to coming back and walking further next time!

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Jean and Chris
When: 23 July 2014

Flag of AustraliaDear Damon and team, We are happy you enjoyed the biscuits and that we were able to thank you personally for our magnificent walking experience. All our accommodation was great – clean and comfortable just what what we needed after a long day of walking.  The hosts were always welcoming and helpful ( some going above and beyond what we expected).  The transfer of our luggage worked perfectly as well.

We found the walking/distance took longer that we expected, based on the indications of an average walker.  Particularly the second day Zennor to St Just which was quite treacherous in parts due to the rain and difficult terrain.  We had one lady pass us that day and then met her about an hour later with facial, hand and leg injuries after a fall.  On average it took us 8 hours to do each section.

At times there was difficulty in navigating which was the correct coastal path until one of the other walkers explained to us that the yellow acorn AND the yellow arrow was the coastal path and not to follow the yellow arrow only – which was the public footpath. In one case it was difficult to see  through heavy rain a definite path across a paddock containing cattle, rocks and slippery mud sections.

We enjoyed meeting up with walkers each night who were doing the same daily sections as ourselves ( the majority with Encounter Walking) and comparing notes and experiences – even if it was just confirming it was a very hard section that day !  Your advice regarding walking clothes and footwear was extremely useful and we found we had sufficient appropriate clothing without being overburdened.  We did take collapsible walking sticks which we would recommend to anyone attempting this walk as they helped so much with balance and stability particularly on the steep rocky descents during rain.  We can report an accident free walk !

It was a challenge and an experience we thoroughly enjoyed and we appreciate the organisation and effort which you put into planning these walks.  We would certainly ask you to arrange another walk if we get a chance.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Jason - Coventry
When: 19 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomHi Damon, fantastic week and got unbelievable weather, simply could not have had better weather

Highlight of the week was the afternoon walk from Fowey to Polperro, probably the best scenery on the entire Cornish coast path ? Really enjoyed overnight in Mevagissey & Fowey, lovely places

Had a swim on Cawsand beach before Cremmel & Polbean beach before Polpero, nice and quiet

The path was general easy to follow with the book but you can get a bit lost in places if you don’t keep your eyes open, lots of paths lead off to dead ends in places and look like the proper path !!

Fantastic week though and look forward to booking Minehead to westward Ho with you next year.

Route: penzance to falmouth
Name: john and chris
When: 17 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThank-you for the organisation of everything-our accommodation was great,our luggage with fresh clothes was always waiting for us and was a very welcoming site!! The weather was absolutely beautiful which made the scenery even more stunning. We've got home expecting to have lost weight only to find we've gained!! What do they put in the cider I wonder?? We will definitely book another walk if the knees will hold up. Thank-you!

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: Carolyn & Mike
When: 15 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThis was our second walk with Encounter, and as before we found the organisation excellent from beginning to end. Our luggage was always waiting for us at the end of the day, a very welcome sight (sometimes in our room which was even better). The detailed walking itinerary was invaluable and we found that by paying great attention to this (aided and abetted by an OS map and a compass) we found our way relatively easily even on the stretches over fields and moorland where the path wasn't so clearly defined. Although not a difficult walk, we were pleased that we chose to do it over 4 days. For us, on this type of terrain, around 10 miles a day was ideal. We were extremely lucky with the weather, the scenery was varied and ranged from ancient forest tracks (rides) to undulating heathland with far reaching views in places. We passed through some beautiful villages. Unfortunately some of these no longer have anywhere to buy refreshments (warning that this was the case was given in Damon's walking notes) so it was essential to ensure we had adequate provisions for that day when setting off. On those days where we did find an open pub we thought the food at The Windmill Inn at West Quantoxhead was rather disappointing and The Notley Arms at Monksilver was rather expensive with a "compulsory" 10% tip added to the bill. The open tea gardens at Horner were a welcome sight and very popular with walkers. Overall the accommodation was very good. Starting our walk from The Coleridge Suite at The Old House in Nether Stowey seemed appropriate. This was a beautiful character filled place (and an enormous room) with a fabulous garden. The only downside was that in order to retain the character of the accommodation our bathroom was not ensuite, but actually located across a landing. It would have been nice if bath robes had been provided. We would recommend The Ancient Mariner pub just up the road for an evening meal, again full of character and atmosphere. Our room at the Masons Arms in Williton was very comfortable (it even had a fridge) with a modern bathroom,complete with bath. It was also surprisingly quiet considering it was located adjacent to the car park. We enjoyed an evening meal in the pub and a good breakfast to send us on our way the next morning. Woodadvent Farm at Roadwater was yet another wonderful old building, this time located in the middle of the countryside. We had an enthusiastic greeting from Diana (and the 2 spaniels!) and were made to feel very welcome. We particularly enjoyed the evening meal she provided which was beautifully cooked and served in the atmospheric dining room. Our next night was spent at Exmoor House, Wheddon Cross. This was originally a tailor's shop and the original dark wood panelling is still in place throughout. Unfortunately, we were the only guests that night which made it feel rather lifeless. This was also not helped by the fact that there are no televisions in any of the rooms. We felt this to be a drawback as we like to be able to check the weather forecast for the following day's walk. Although we enjoyed the homecooked evening meal we had pre-booked, we did feel it was somewhat overpriced. Our favourite B&B was The Gables at Porlock, where we ended our walk,with it's picture postcard looks and charming garden to relax in. Our room was prettily and comfortably furnished and the bathroom (complete with bath) was spacious and bright. Breakfast was plentiful and excellent. All our hosts throughout the walk were friendly and welcoming and had positive comments to make about their dealings with Encounter. This all made for a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable holiday with no hitches. We would definitely recommend to friends and certainly hope to use your services again.

Route: Falmouth to St. Yves
Name: Monika Bolz Preisig
When: 15 July 2014

Flag of SwitzerlandWe fully appreciated our walking trip on the South West Coast Path. We had absolutely good luck with the weather. We enjoyed all the overnight bookings and very comletely satisfyed with the quality of the accomodations. In St.Ives we discovered a small Restaurant close to the fisher port which is called "Tea room". We can highly recommend it, as all the menues are prepared with fresh ingredients and dishes are really from outstandig quality.

Route: St Ives to Porthcurno
Name: Jenny
When: 14 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomExcellent walk. Varied scenery and interesting mines, ruins and rock formations. The route from St Ives to Zennor is really for mountain goats and I wish we had walked the fields here. The track was usually well marked but sometimes we found the signposts just a bit beyond track options which was sometimes confusing. Our accommodation was excellent everywhere and everyone was extremely helpful. We especially enjoyed The Old Success at Sennon Cove. The Encounter instructions were clear and detailed. The luggage moving was well done.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Teresa Hinton
When: 14 July 2014

Flag of AustraliaWe had a wonderful week and all the arrangements worked splendidly. The weather was also with us. I would recommend Encounter Walking to everyone (and indeed have). Many thanks for such a good trip.

Route: 100 mile challenge from Looe
Name: Kathrin - Switzerland
When: 12 July 2014

Flag of SwitzerlandThank you very much for the detailed notes and organising everything so perfectly well.

All our hosts were informed that we are coming and our luggage was always there when we arrived. Also were your notes regarding refreshment facilities very helpful.

We are very happy to let you know that we made the 100 Mile Challenge Our girls are almost fitter than we are, so we made all sections right in the time you indicated on your notes. The weather was wonderful, almost no rain, just two or three hours in total during our 10 days walking holiday which is probably hardly surpassable.

The only thing that we would think about next time when we will be planning walking holidays is taking a day or two off during the walk for example at a "beach" town (e.g. Padstow), so that the kids could go swimming and we could relax and read a book or so.All in all the 100 Mile challenge was a success and we enjoyed it very much.

Route: St. Ives to Lizard
Name: Volker + Monika Schmid
When: 12 July 2014

Flag of GermanyHello Damon, we have finished the hiking tour in good condition and without any injuries. The organization was great, regarding that there is nothing to complain. We were told, that the weather in Britain is always bad, we don´t understand this announcement, we have had the best weather conditions you could imagine. On and off an appearing cloud, which disappears a few minutes later in order to give the sun space for shining. All accommodations were really recommendable, their staffs were friendly and in any case supportive. The hiking stages were sometimes exhausting, but the stunning landscape, the steep cliffs, the beautiful coves and the sea view were the compensation for the efforts. I have told you, that the German women are eager to look Rosamund Pilcher movies in TV, from now on I will accompany my wife during the broadcasting – so I/we will be remembered to a impressive week in Cornwall – a great place with friendly locals. All the best! Volker + Monika

Route: Crackington Haven to Padstow
Name: David - Somerville USA
When: 11 July 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaJust a quick note to tell you what a spectacular trip we had to Cornwall. Your proposed route, plus the additional hike from Crackington Haven, was great and the accommodations were excellent. Thanks so much!

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Angela & Dennis Quantrill
When: 11 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomAnother great holiday even though we had to cut it short by stopping at St Agnes. We had no real problems with the route although we missed the easy route down to the Perran beach -probably due to our own incompetence. As someone else has said just keep the sea on your right and you can't go far wrong! Crossing the Gannel was no problem and being mercenary we were pleased to cross by the footbridge for free. The accommodation was good at all the stops and we especially enjoyed the view from the room at Driftwood Spars. The luggage transfer once again was excellent with no problems whatsoever. The information provided by Damon and his team about refreshment stops and where to eat was very helpful. We have full confidence in the arrangements made by Encounter Holidays and would recommend them to anyone planning a walking holiday in the Southwest

Route: Torquay to Poole
Name: John and Anne
When: 10 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomFirst a big thank you to you and your staff for all your help and arrangements that enabled us to finish the SWCP on Sunday. As last year we were blessed with great weather (not that we hold you accountable for that!)

The arrangements were excellent and the accommodation of a high standard throughout. The Abbey House at Abbotsbury and Eypesmouth Hotel were outstanding. The latter really deserved to be a lot busier - it was quite quiet when we were there.

Your directions were accurate and helpful throughout. If you’re directing people to the Royale Best Western in Bournemouth again, note there is a bus stop for the 50 bus immediately on the left as you come off the Poole Harbour ferry, and that the Belvedere Hotel is now closed and, at the moment, empty and boarded up.

Route: St. Ives to Padstow - 6 days
Name: Cees & Ineke
When: 08 July 2014

Flag of the NetherlandsIt has been a few weeks since we returned from our walking holidays in Cornwall and we enjoyed it sooooo much! From the first contact with Encounterwalking we were quite confident that this would be the best choice of agency if you choose not to organise the lot yourself. The advice on which section to walk and which direction was adequate since we have seen quite some of your beautifull country but had a hard time choosing which part of Cornwall to walk... Walking the reverse route was a good option, in general we did not walk facing the sun which is quite pleasant and the wind was in our back on most of the days. Another plus: the tide was usually low when we had to cross the beach area and we could avoid the dunes which would have made it tougher for sure. One disadvantage though, if we must find one, is that we had to use a separate reverse guide book next to the standard guide book of the coast path. Both give adequate information, added with the Itinerary of Encounterwalking we could not miss on any info. We made copies of the concerned pages to avoid taking all books with us every day in the backpack which was a handy solution. The description of Encounter was very complete, in any way, each morning you simply read what's up for the day and you can decide on having to fill up with sandwiches in your backpack or wait for a nice stop on the way. Accomodations were enjoyable, some spacious some quite tight and could not have catered for 'bigger' persons. Some spotlesslly clean others rather dusty and we must say that the appearance of Certificates of Excellence tended to get quite annoying sometimes. One of the B&B's had all Certificates framed on the wall but served quite a standard breakfast with prepacked jams, no fresh fruit, quite basic. No problems but no reason to be proud of certificates. Whereas another B&B may have been more basic but served a very jummie and extensive breakfast as we had never seen before, without any Certificates at all. Do not always rely on the number / appearance of Certificates! The first day walking to Hayle was quite a short one and may have been a few miles longer. The less interesting part too but Damon already promised it would only get better each day and indeed it did! Apart from this first stretch, the distance was just fine for us and made it possible to enjoy the beach, enjoy scones, enjoy a cliff top lunch in the grass and not only spend the day walking. One 'refreshment suggestion' you should not miss and can be added to the list of Encounter is ' Rest A While Tea Garden' in Hawkers Cove near Stepper Point. About 2 miles away from Padstow, this was a very welcoming stop after quite some miles without other opportunities and tough hiking. Very tasty scones! Many many thanks for the organisation of our trip, even tough the Coast Path is open to all, this felt like a personalised version!

Route: Lyme Regis to Portland
Name: John
When: 06 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomJoe and I had a super time on the Dorset Coast Path last week, thanks to your sound advice and impeccable organisation. The map, guidebook and route instructions were first-class, easy to follow and intelligently informative; the accommodation was very good; and our bags arrived effortlessly and safely each evening at our destination. We did not know this part of the coast previously (although we climbed Golden Cap last November when en route for a rugby match at Exeter) and very much enjoyed the area’s variety of geology and landscape, from sandstone cliffs to the mysterious Fleet and limestone Portland. We would like to do more of the South West Coast Path in the future and will be in touch with you when we can identify an opportunity.

Route: Minehead to Westward Ho!
Name: Jackie
When: 05 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a fabulous holiday, thank you everything was really well organised and we had on the whole good weather also which was even better.

For the most part we found the route well marked, however we got lost twice both times in the woods (this could have been our fault although we didn’t see the markers) once on the first day in the woods outside Minehead there had been a tree down and we climbed around it and followed what we thought was the correct path going through a gate and then saw a runner who directed us to take the path that turned up and back on itself which she advised took us to North Hill, however we ran out of path completely and ended up climbing directly up through the ferns to the top of the hill and found the path over the other side of it ( in hind sight I think we should have gone straight on after going through the gate – but we had a giggle and no harm done just a few sore muscles.

Then it was smooth sailing until day 4 where we past Lee Abbey correctly and then decided to take the inland route through the woods, but once inside the woods the signs disappeared and we obviously picked the wrong path and walked miles out of our way and once again ended up “off piste” but managed to join again across country (thanks to some red deer who ran away as we approached through some hedging and we followed them out and ended up on a lane that took us to Slaterslade and we found our way to the Hunters Inn where the beer went down very well!

The views were outstanding and the accommodation was all welcoming, clean and friendly.

I would like to mention in particular the hospitality of the hosts at Chanel Vista Guesthouse, one of our dogs picked up some ticks the previous day which I had removed and again had picked up some more on the route to Chanel Vista and I asked the landlady whether there was anywhere that I could get some “spot on” or equivalent to deter them. She said there was nowhere local but she had one spare that she had not yet used on McFee and offered it us to use. We thanked her and offered to pay for it, but she refused to take any money and just wanted the dog to be safe from Limes disease – above and beyond what was necessary and I just wanted to mention how lovely they had been – they also baked muffins to take for a snack for the guests along the next days walk

The Ship Aground and the Bottom Ship were both really lovely and the Bottom Ship had a beer festival on which was an added bonus and the hotel in Instow that we spent two nights at was really lovely the room was the best of them all with an enormous bed and best of all a bath.

The taxi was there promptly and took us back to Minehead and we saw a lot of what we missed of the villages and towns which were mostly beautiful We will definitely be doing this sort of holiday again, maybe further along the coastal path or maybe the two moors, however I think it would be nice to add a couple of rest days in the middle somewhere and extend the holiday so that there is more time for sight seeing.

Thank you once again for organising what was a wonderful week away.

Route: Minehead to Bideford
Name: Janet & Judith
When: 04 July 2014

Flag of the United KingdomOur holiday on the first stage of the South West Coast Path was absolutely fantastic.  The weather was really good and the maps and Trailblazer Guide which you had provided helped to make route finding and planning our day easy.  Your itinerary was also really useful - particularly the guidance notes for finding our overnight accommodations.  

The B & Bs were all of a good standard - but we would particularly like to mention The Cottage in Porlock and The Yeodale Hotel in Barnstaple as being outstanding.  We would also like to mention The Harbour Lights in Ilfracombe for the warmth of the owners' welcome and for their delicious packed lunches...which included strawberries and clotted cream, Devon fudge and chocolate brownies amongst other things....yum!

It's hard to pick out highlights from the route itself as we enjoyed all of it - but perhaps the area around the Valley of Rocks near Lynmouth (for stunning cliff scenery) and paddling for two miles along the sands at Woolacombe Beach should get special mentions.

Many thanks for all of your help in making our holiday possible.  It has been a truly wonderful experience which we shall never forget.  Now...time to start saving for the second stage of the Path!

Janet & Judith - Belfast

Route: Zennor to Lizard Point
Name: David
When: 28 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomOverall the walk was excellent and well marked, with good weather and hence brilliant views (the highlight of our walk) on 3 out of 4 days. Day 1 was the most challenging walking, not helped in the morning by the rather wet weather.  We had to go quite a way off the path to Pendeen for lunch (not aware of better positioned opportunities), but it was worth the extra 15 minutes each way.The other days were reasonably straightforward - we even added some extra distance at the end right around Lizard, which will save us time on our next instalment along this part of the SWCP.

Comments on Accommodation & Eating Places:

- Seaforth in St. Ives was just as good as last time - Debbie & Carl even gave us the same room with its amazing view.  We dined at Seagrass this time - another top notch place to add to the growing list here.  The Vintage Store & Coffee Shop is very good for lovers of good coffee.

- Next day, we lunched at The North Inn in Pendeen - well worth the detour.

- The Old Success Inn at Sennen Cove was OK (I note the options here are limited) but nothing special - and I wish we had decided to eat elsewhere e.g. The Beach Restaurant, but we took the easy option after a rather tough day.

- We stopped next day at Logan Rock Inn at Treen for lunch - they served a superb crab sandwich.

- The Old Coastguard Hotel in Mousehole was very good with a great breakfast that made us almost wish we had dined there (we will do so on our next visit there).  However we had managed to get a table at 2 Fore Street, which was excellent.

- Sandbar at Praa Sands was our next lunch choice - their seafood linguine was just as good as the guide book said.
- The Harbour Inn in Porthleven was another OK rather than very good place to stay, a little noisy as our room was over the bar.  We dined well at Kota, although there are some very good alternatives in the town.  The Brew House here serves amazing coffee - but beware that they close at 5pm!
- Delicious at Marazion is a must for their cakes - and the coffee is pretty good too!
- Porthmellin Cafe was another stopping point that day for a very good crab sandwich.
- The Top House Inn at Lizard was very good accommodation (they upgraded us to a 'seaview' room), and also served up good evening meals.

Route: Penzance to Falmouth
Name: Corinne Davies
When: 28 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomOne of our best holidays ever! Encounter were extremely efficient despite very short notice - thank you Damon! Particularly enjoyed the scenery (and seals!) at Cudden Point, the beautiful coastline from Porthleven to Lizard Point and crossing Helford River on the ferry. Didn't realise the sea could be turquoise in this country! Would recommend the cappuccinos at Poldhu Cove and the friendly welcome at The Top House in Lizard Town. Only became 'locationaly displaced' at one point walking around Gillan Creek - just after the walk up out of Gillan the directions said to proceed diagonally across the second field however sweet corn had been planted and the path was obscured - eventually spied the ladder over the field edge but retraced our steps a couple of times before we saw it. All in all a fabulous, fabulous trip!

Route: St Ives to Padstow
Name: Lena - Sweden
When: 28 June 2014

Flag of SwedenWe're back home again, but recently walked from Padstow to St Ives. All in all we're quite happy with our holiday – luggage transfers worked perfectly and all B & B:s were really good, with the possible exception of the one in Hayle.

Hayle, however, is not a great place to stay the night; too grey and industrial, and too far away from the sea. This was the only disappointment as far as locations go – all the other places were charming. It was also a bit depressing having to walk so far inland into Hayle and then out again. How come nobody thought of building a footbridge for walkers to cross the river closer to the sea? This, of course, is not your fault.

Occasionlly it was also tricky to know where the path went and how to proceed out of the town/village, for example it was unclear how and where to cross the Gannel coming from Newquay. A few more signposts wouldn't hurt.

The views were sometimes lovely, sometimes stunning, and I will certainly recommend Encounter Walking to any friends who might be up for this kind of holiday, and who knows, we may be back for more another year...

Route: Minehead-Barnstaple
Name: DAV Sektion Hochtaunus Oberursel
When: 28 June 2014

Flag of GermanyEine grossartige Wanderwoche! Die Landschaft ist unbeschreiblich schön und abwechslungsreich, die kleinen Ortschaften am Meer und die netten Menschen so typisch englisch. Diesen Coast Path soll man aber nicht unterschätzen, auf diesem Abschnitt hatten wir über 4000 Höhenmeter zu bewaeltigen! Dafuer wird man aber mit atemberaubenden Fernblicken auf Buchten, Felsen und Meer belohnt. Ein Highlight war sicherlich Lynmouth, wo wir 2 Naechte verbrachten und eine Tagestour auf Exmoor gemacht haben. Ein grosses Kompliment an Encounter Walking Holidays, denen es gelungen ist, sehr angenehme Bed & Breakfasts für 13 Personen zu finden, auch für die professionelle Organisation sowie detaillierte Wegebeschreibungen und gutes Kartenmaterial. Und das einzige kleine Problem mit dem Koffer von einem in der Gruppe wurde schnell und unbürokratisch behoben. Vielen Dank. Wenn es geht, kommen wir wieder.

Route: Bude to St Ives
Name: Mary
When: 25 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomOn our more recent walk from Bude to St. Ives:-

Best B&B: Simply Padstow for the room, Cornerways for the breakfast

Best days walk: Tintagel to Port Gaverne, and the Harbour Lights cafe in Boscastle deserves a special mention as the best cafe on the whole trail!

Best evening meal: Fresh char-grilled Mackerel and heritage tomatoes at the Port Gaverne Hotel. Delicious!

Looking forward to exploring the 'industrial wasteland' of the Cornish tin mines on our next visit!  Will be in touch later in the year for your help in organizing St. Ives to Falmouth.

Route: SWCP Plymouth to Poole
Name: Pauline and Frans
When: 24 June 2014

Flag of the NetherlandsYes, we made it! 15 sunny walking days, just some showers at the beginning. One day of rest in Plymouth, one in Lyme Regis. We even made it to watch part of the Holland versus Chile football match in the Haven Hotel in Poole, even though we took a sandy path through the heather dunes close to the finish in South Haven Point! We just hadn't seen the coast path signs:-)

Compliments for Damon of Encounter Walkings who organized it for us, the luggage transfers were 100% oke, the B&B's/hotels were good, the owners friendly. Nicest moment of the day was usually the shower in the B&B/hotel:-) We managed to catch all taxi and ferries in time, sometimes just in time:-) Damon warned us. We got what we asked for; 15 miles on average a day, which turned out to be pretty heavy with all the ascending and descending. 15 miles sounded easy to us even though we knew it's 25 km, please take into account the climbing you have to do, because twice I was too tired to go out for diner in the evening. Next time we would surely try to find more time to look for fossils f.e. in Lyme Regis or look for dolphins near Swanage, we didn't sees any dolphins because we hadn't enough time to stand still and watch the sea I guess. I only swam for 1 minute in Weymouth! We used to visit nice things like Drakes' ship 'the Golden Hind' in Brixham, St. Catherines Chapel near Abbotsbury, the evacuated village of Tyneham, the ocean aquarium in Plymouth, the museum in Lyme Regis, etc.

Making 1000 pictures cost some time too. Twice we reached the next B&B/hotel at 7pm, which was rather late, the first time because we visited Drakes' ship and I lost the map on the terrace where we had coffee afterwards (which cost us another 40 minutes delay:-(), the other time was when we arrived in Portland, too tired to notice there was a more quiet footpath some 10 meters from the road along Chesil Beach.

We did the first part of the SWCP in June 2010 from Westward Ho! --> Penzance, Cornwall is more quiet than Devon and Dorset, you probably knew that but we didn't:-), holiday camps and military zones are not just an improvement from a walkers point of view. Besides that heavy rainfall caused some serous damage and erosion to the coast, there were more diversions compared to 2010. You know the Durdle Door picture on the walking guide? Well, when we reached it the beach was pretty crowded on a sunny saturday:-) People swam and canoed through the door, ofcourse I understand people enjoy to be there, it just wasn't the quiet place I expected.
The diversions were clearly marked, plenty of warnings about erosion, diversion, danger here danger there, on the whole the SWCP was clearly marked. We discussed a shortcut to Abbotsbury, somewhere in the fields/meadows you can see a path to the right straight to the village, it was a hot day, afterwards we agreed we should have taken the shortcut but we were not sure at the right moment to take the shortcut. Mostly the path is maintained oke, sometimes long trousers are handy against nettles and thisles.

We had to catch a few ferries and several taxis in time. To make the trip more relaxed (it shouldn't feel like work:-)) we would suggest to give walkers the opportunity to call the taxidriver/company at the moment you reach the location where the driver should pick you up. Advantage: No stress for walkers, disadvantage: waiting for the taxi after the call.

Places to eat: there's always at least 1 good restaurant in the neighbourhood, we recommend the Eastern Eye Indian Cuisine in Plymouth, fish and chips plus peas with minty sauce (I'll try this at home) in the Ship Inn in Noss Mayo, Masala Indian Cuisine in Swanage, sticky toffee pudding in the Ox in Poole. And plenty of carrot cake on the way. All B&B's/hotels served a good breakfast; you can always combine/choose English and/or continental breakfast, that will take You up the hills!

Compared to the Netherlands: the public toilets in Great Britain are good; clean, well maintained and available in most villages/towns!

In short; we had a great time!

Route: Bude to St. Ives
Name: Kurt
When: 24 June 2014

Flag of GermanyWe had a fantastic time on the path. The weather was fine, only one day with rain. No problems in finding our way and the organisation including luggage transfer was as perfect as it was two years ago when we already walked a part of the path. Only one of the sections was with about 20 miles a bit long, but with the help of the sunny weather and a pub 4 miles ahead of our end we made it. Accomodation was very comfortable, highlights were the Seaforth at St. Ives where we had a great room with spectecular views over St. Ives and a superb breakfast in a comfortable ambience, but the Avalon Guesthouse at Tintagel was excellent as well, there we got an upgraded room with a great view. The Carden Cottage Crantock is worth a visit as well. Eating at the different places was no problem, there were normally different choices of restaurants or pubs where we had excellent dinners, here I would point out the Port Gaverne Hotel, where we had a superb dinner and a nice room. Thanks to encounterwalking for the perfect organization, hope we will come again.

Route: Amroth to St Davids
Name: Charles - Los Angeles
When: 23 June 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe just returned from our walk from Amroth to St. David's that you arranged for us.

All parts of the trip trip (including the weather!)  went very well. We thought your arrangements were  helpful, and seemed to be better than those for any of the other walkers we encountered and shared experience with.

If we were to highlight one part of the trip that stood out especially it would be the wonderful accommodations in Dale. At the moment there is a truly outstanding exhibit of art by Peter Blake about Dylan Thomas' Milkwood at the Information center in St. David's. (Blake is known especially for the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band by the Beatles.)  This exhibit provided great insight into his work about a community in Wales

cheers,

Route: Minehead to Combe Martin
Name: Jane Jones
When: 18 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThis was our first walk not carrying our rucksacks and what a joy to arrive at our accommodation with our luggage waiting for us and to be able to enjoy walking without back ache and complete exhaustion. The organisation was excellent and we could relax and just enjoy the magnificent scenery and the walking, helped by great weather. All accommodation was good and welcoming. Porlock was one of the friendliest villages we have stayed in with everyone speaking and seeming committed to us enjoying our stay. We shall look forward to continuing on the South West coast path.

Route: Saint Ives to Penzance, Saint Michaels Way
Name: Monika
When: 17 June 2014

Flag of GermanyBeautyful and very well marked path with brilliant views, rather strenuous on the first and second day, so that we needed more time than expected. The weather was sunny and warm all the time. The organization was well done with luggage transfer, descriptions etc. We had some difficulties to find our path around Trembethow Farm and Trencom Hill on St Michaels Way, but finally discovered Bowl Rock and the path signs again. Very recreative and inspiring holidays for people who like walking. Good Eating Places for dinner: The Tinners Arms at Zennor The Kings Arms at St Just The Logan Rock Inn at Treen (Porthcurno) The Navy Inn at Penzance Porthminster Café at St Ives

Route: St Davids to St Dogmaels
Name: Liz
When: 16 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomIt was fantastic weather - can't ever complain about it being too hot! And the hottest day was ended with arriving at the lovely garden at the Manor Town House in Fishguard, a gem. The first B and B in Trefin was a bit random, and obviously the only place to stay there,  though all have been very welcoming. The Grove as you said, in St. Davids, has had the noisy fan taken out so that was fine.

The Webley was rather daunting from the outside particularly as had scaffolding up (not their fault!) and really, all was fine, with the absolute treat being the Manor Town House. Forgot to mention the Golden Lion at Newport - walked in to the one before it and tried to check in! (way more upmarket/expensive but would love to stay there one day).

Re the walking, the last day (16 miles I think in itinerary) was a bit too much, ie long and strenuous, for me so two of us walked across via minor road from Newport, via the garden centre at Moylegrove, and on to Poppit Sands.  If anyone else wants to do that, its a very nice walk, and still some very good views of the coast. 

Just as a thought - you don't do the Dorset coast do you? thinking of next year.....

By the way the taxi driver took us to the exact spot the walk starts at St. Dogmeals, and also via the Abbey there. The buses, everywhere, were very good.  Thanks very much - Liz H

Route: Two Moors Way Ivybridge to Lynmouth
Name: David
When: 16 June 2014

Flag of CanadaWe had a marvellous time.  It was very timely for us, and it went very well--thanks in no small part to your excellent work.  The weather undoubtedly helped.
 
Our assessment of the overall difficulty of the hike would place it as rather less demanding than the two week Welsh coastal walk and the two week north of England coast to coast walk we did three years ago (each of them longer).  And we had then had time to train beforehand (and were of course three years younger...--a factor in our seventies).  I quickly acknowledge that the weather was a positive element in regard to this year; it was not an issue in Wales but was to some extent (in the other direction) in the north England hike, especially in Yorkshire.
 
A truism, but it must be said: the scenery is always beautiful, and very varied within several broad patterns--such as the austere and evocative moors and the verdant, tidy, hilly farmlands between--not to speak of the small, cheerful woodlands and tall, evocative forests.  So many reminders of humanity's long interactions within, and with, their natural environment.
 
Re arrangements, i.e. your work: everything went very smoothly.  Hosts were always ready.  Our baggage moved smoothly and arrived safely.  You provided full service and responded nobly to our additional requests.
 
The accommodations were varied and interesting--quite a feat given the relatively few such resources you had to work with and our late approach to you.  They were welcoming and helpful.   Food was good--though menus acquired a certain sameness fairly soon.  We were glad to explore the varied fish dishes included among the traditional meats.  And interested to note the growing extent of broader world currents, including curries etc.
 
The one slightly minor chord on accommodation would relate to the final night.  It is a great location and building, and we make no complaints about the building, surface cleanliness etc etc.  The manager seems to have had some health problems and we were not sure about the energy being put into the direction.    We were the only ones there whereas some other places in town were full.  Nothing very specific, a bit of a sense of coasting.
 
With regard to the trail: It is a pity that some way cannot be found to place a few more--discreet--markers in spots on both moors.  We in fact had few problems: but I had my compass out frequently and made use of visual terrain markers etc; clearly, in fog and heavy cloud it could have been an issue.

In the portion between the two moors, there are several places where the markers suddenly stop--or perhaps were just hidden to us (we cleaned off quite a few).  One gets used to their being there, then finds that they are not and--whoops, where are we?  I had the impression that some farmers and other owners may be less than enthusiastic about the trail.  On the other hand, some were exceedingly helpful--one even coming after us some distance to redirect our steps onto the right trail.  With the fences and hedges, it is in some ways more difficult (than on the high moors) to follow the way without markers--and once off the track, much harder to find it again, or get back onto it if located on the other side of a bristling hedge (without of course fully retracing steps).
 
Thank you, once again, for all your help!

Route: Minehead to Bude
When: 15 June 2014

Encounter Walking Holidays logoHello,  just wanted to give some feedback on our walk ... it has been fabulous! We walked from Minehead to Bude, started on 16 June 2014 and arrived in Bude on 27 June 2014 with a small break over the weekend. The weather has been superb - something we did not expect at all! We even managed an afternoon on the beach in Putsborough ... unbelievable.

First of all a big thank you for the brilliant organisation. Everything went perfect from the booking of the accommodation to the luggage transfer. We were welcomed whereever we arrived. The standard of the accommodation was very good to excellent. A special highlight was the accommodation in Braunton (The Brookfield) - well chosen for the stay over the weekend - but also The Rocks in Woolacombe and above all 'The Gables' in Porlock.

The walk itself was just right. The distance was ok - although we sometimes wished to have been able to spend a bit more time in the village we stayed overnight. They were so beautiful and offered so much to see that it felt we could have done with a bit more time. Saying that we made up for it by returning to those places over the weekend. Public Transport was very good and we had no problem returning to our car.

The path was well signposted and we really enjoyed the book written by Henry Stedman and Joel Newton. The maps and commentries therein were excellent and easy to follow.

There was only one strech of the path which was difficult to walk as the bushes along the way had not been cut at all and we were stung by moscitos and scratched by thorn bushes badly. This was around the Radar Station before hartland Point.

We have already decided that we want to complete the whole path and next time start at Bude where we finished and continue from there. Thanks again for all your help and assistance - speak to you again soon.

Route: West Pembrokeshire Marloes to Goodwick
Name: B & K - Sweden
When: 13 June 2014

Flag of SwedenEverything was excellent, the luggage was always waiting for us when we arrived at the B&Bs, very nice people, delicious breakfasts (I love full English breakfast!) and the weather was formidable! We have nothing to complain about, on the contrary we are very, very satisfied and we will certainly come back to you again another year and walk other parts of Cornwall and Wales or somewhere else. We liked the paths in Pembrokeshire, we found them not so challenging, rather easy to walk and a beautiful countryside. We could have continued to walk for another week or two.

We visited Skomer Island and met lots and lots of puffins, we made a whale and dolphine trip from St Justinian and passed Grassholm covered with thousands of gannets, quite an experience! And we were also visited by several dolphins so everything was splendid. On the mainland we saw several choughs, passed nesting fulmars, met a fox puppy etc.

If you have any nice suggestions of good walking I would very much appreciate if you could give me a hint. Do you have any plans to extend your range of walking, for example Snowdonia?  As we think that you and your company have helped us so much we would most certainly come back to you again and we will recommend you to our friends here in Sweden. The next summer though we will probably go tho France, but that has to be in spring or autumn - to hot in summer. The summer climate in UK suits us very well, it is excellent when you are walking.

Route: St. Ives to Lizard
Name: Bob and Wendy
When: 10 June 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaFirst of all this was a great vacation. Spectacularly beautiful. We were lucky and had perfect sunny weather every day, temperatures in the low 70's (F). Damon was particularly helpful in suggesting an itinerary that matched our age (mid 60's) and level of fitness (reasonably fit). We were glad we followed his recommendation to spend a 2nd day in St. Ives recovering from a 6 hour plane ride followed by a 5 1/2 hr train ride. It was also helpful to spend a second day in Porthleven to rest a bit and wash our fetid clothes. As others have mentioned, the first 2 days out of St. Ives were quite strenuous. A lot of ups and downs, climbing over boulders, and sweating. Replenishing sun screen regularly is a must! There is no shade.

Some things we would do differently: wear hiking boots rather than sneakers mostly because of the mud; use a walking stick (or 2). It helps on the inclines and helps you to find stepping stones in the mud. Also, wear a wider brimmed hat to protect ears and neck. Favorite b&b's: Cornerways in St. Ives; Treventon Guest House in Penzance; Caerthillian Guest House in Lizard. All had warm, friendly, helpful hosts and outstanding breakfasts. Best meal on the trip was at the Porthminster Beach Cafe in St. Ives: right on the beach; interesting and delicious food. We enjoyed the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St. Ives and (surprisingly) the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum. Who would have guessed that this little town would have been the center of world-wide communication in the early 1900's?

Kynance Cove is a must! Extraordinarily beautiful. We tore ourselves away after 2 hours. We wish we'd been able to see it at low tide and to walk around and explore the caves. In a few places it was hard to follow the path either because there were multiple options or markers were sparse. One of those was in the Praa Sands area. Usually we found people coming in the opposite direction whom we could ask To return from Lizard to Gatwick, we originally booked a train that went to Paddington Sta. We would have had to transfer ourselves and our luggage to Victoria Sta to get a bus to Gatwick. Only because of signal problems that stopped us midway did we discover that there is a train that goes directly from Camborne to Gatwick by way of Reading. Overall, a great vacation. We highly recommend Encounter Walking Holidays.

Route: Pembrokeshire coast Dale to St Davids
Name: diane goldberger
When: 09 June 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaEncounter Walking (especially Damon) did a great job of tailoring our trip for us. The walks each day were great and the trip notes told us exactly what to expect. The B and Bs were just what we expected and were always clean and welcoming--even if some were tiny rooms (but were the only place to stay in some towns). Overall a great trip!!!!

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: Richard Soper
When: 08 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomGreat walk and the pubs we stayed in were excellent. Really good organisation throughout.

Route: Clovelly to Port Isaac (South West Coast Path)
Name: Fiona & Mark
When: 07 June 2014

Flag of AustraliaThis was our first walking holiday and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There were certainly some very strenuous sections (as described in the Trailblazer book) - although we're sure that the 'up' sections were longer and steeper than the 'down' bits!

Problems: We had trouble a bit of trouble finding the path after leaving Speke's Mill Mouth. We followed the signs for the coastal path over the river and thought we were following the correct path only to become worried when this path veered to the left and appeared to be heading towards a village. We could see another path off to our right which appeared to be heading the correct way so had to slog over some very marshy ground to reach this path - which proved to be correct - going up Swansford Hill. We're not sure where we went wrong, but perhaps we should have followed the path labelled 'cliff path' - although the Trailblazer book said that this was an alternate path.

We also had a little trouble finding the path once we reached the Satellite Ground Station near Harscott High Cliff (referred to as a radio station in the Trailblazer book). The grassy path gave no clues as to which way to go - there was a trail marker lying on the ground which may have been of some help if upright!

Eating: We can thoroughly recommend the Sandymouth Cafe for a light lunch. The people were extremely friendly and helpful. The information provided by Encounter for our sections was also most helpful, although the Hartland Quay charges £7.50 for a packed lunch and not £4 as stated in the itinerary!  Thank you - have updated the itinerary notes on this - EW  They stated that it had been this price for quite some time. A word of warning, if you're wanting to do your laundry at Bude, make sure you get there at 4pm - one hour before closing!!

Accommodation: It was very comfortable, we had no problems with noise, even at the busy hotels. The Brendon Arms at Bude was the stand out. Seemed like pure luxury (the room was quite large) and the bathroom was massive! Bags: Arriving at the end of a weary day to find our bags had arrived safely was just brilliant - particularly as they were delivered to our room! We're really keen to try another Encounter Walking holiday and can thoroughly recommend this group - extremely well organised and very, very flexible!

Route: 100 Mile Challenge from Liskeard
Name: Ralf Bienas, Karin Stein
When: 07 June 2014

Flag of GermanyTwo German people (Ralf 51, Karin 47) decided to walk around Cornwall. The routes of "encounterwalking" were very interesting for us. The consultation and booking at "encounterwalking" was very good and uncomplicated. Our round trip started in Liskeard, along the smugglers way to Boscastle. We walked along the north coast. Then on the Saints Way back down to the south coast of Cornwall to Fowey, Looe and then back to Liskeard. We have taken the middle price group with the accommodations. The guest houses or hotels were very good. We met on our way very lovely people. It was a wonderful holiday. We thank the employees of "encounterwalking". Everything was great.

Route: Lynmouth to Braunton
Name: Karen
When: 06 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomA belated thank you for organising our walking holiday, we all had a lovely time and the weather was great, a little dare I say too hot at times! .  Very impressed all went according to plan re bags and accommodation etc and we stayed in some really nice B & B's .  Scenery was beautiful and we can confirm that the first two stretches we did Lymouth to Combe Martin and then Combe Martin to Woolacoombe were as strenuous as the guide book said, but well worth doing. The last section from Woolacombe to Braunton was also lovely up to Saunton Sands (Saunton Sands Hotel great for lunch on the terrace), but not so nice through Braunton burrows and round to Braunton where the path is overgrown and needing attention.

We will definately use your services again.

Route: Jurrasic coast
Name: Peter Collin
When: 05 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThank you for an excellent itinerary, support service and accommodation. All staff were tremendously helpful and welcoming. We had great weather that undoubtedley helped but we were all greatly impressed with the organisation and service we received.

We took a detour from the route suggested and would strongly recommend it for future walks.i.e. on the Abbotsbury to Osmington mills - the longest walk - we detoured to a pub (the old ship inn) in Upwey. Although this was suggested , we didn't return to the ridge as suggested (FAR TOO TOUGH) but walked down the high street and rejoined the ridge at Bincombe. This detour was relatively easy with little climbing. (We had lost a lot of height dropping down to Upwey and by rejoining later on we met the original path as it came down!) The refreshment at the pub was definately needed on such a long walk. Hope this helps others! Thanks again Kind regards Peter

Route: Mevagissey to Looe (South West Coast Path)
Name: Anouk & Nadine
When: 05 June 2014

Flag of GermanyThis was our very first walking holiday, but is was a tremendous success. We will definitely do this again! Many thanks to Encounter Walking for the perfect organisation. What a luxury to have your luggage transferred and B&B's booked... something we could get used to! We were very lucky with the weather: not a drop of rain and everyday glorious sunshine.

Some feedback about out trip: Accommodation: three out of four nights were just perfect. That B&B in Mevagissey... the best room in town, no doubt about it! All the hosts were very friendly and helpful, we felt at home and welcome. Makes you wonder why we ever stay in anonymous hotels?? The stay above the pub in Fowey however was (I'm sorry, there's no other word for it) horrible. Not suitable for walkers who are tired and want to get to bed early (on top of that it was live music night...). Not as clean as the other places, not as much love put into offering guests a comfortable stay and no hot water. But we didn't let that ruin our mood!

Thanks for telling us Anouk - we are contacting the place in question particularly about the hot water and to try and establish when music nights will be happening - for those thinking of walking the route note that there are other non pub options in Fowey that can be used for those who want to avoid them.  EW.

Eating: we made very good use of the tips Encounter and our B&B's provided and that was very satisfactory. Different local seafood everyday, that's not too bad!

Walking: the combined information of the guidebook, the map, the signposts and Encounter's information got us where we wanted to go. When in doubt, the missing piece of information was usually in one of our resources. And when not, we just decided to keep the sea on our right! The only two points where we actually went wrong, was in Pentewan and in Par. The sign at the end of the village Pentewan was very well hidden and the road seemed to be somebody's driveway. We realized soon enough, but not after climbing the entire tarmac road at 20% incline... At least after that we knew even the smallest side road could be the right road. In Par we couldn't find the path at the end of the beach. Sign hidden behind parking meter... Following signs for the Saints' Way we found our way back soon enough, the detour was probably only just short of a mile.

The route: the stretch between Mevagissey and Looe is just gorgeous. The bit between Fowey and Polperro was very strenuous but doable, especially after learning this is one the toughest parts of the entire South West Coast Path! Now we know we can handle it all! For untrained walkers with an average physical condition, this three day walk was just right. A challenge that was nice to master, not exhausting or painful. The difficulty of the path was nothing like some mountain walks we have done before. All in all, very happy we went to Cornwall and very happy we booked with Encounter Walking! When can we go again?

Route: Amroth to Milford Haven
Name: Bernice Yates
When: 03 June 2014

Flag of WalesHad a fabulous walking holiday. Very well organised. Details of the walk you sent to us were clear and helpful. All hotels were very satisfactory. The views were fantastic and your help gave us a very enjoyable holiday.

Route: SW Coast Path - Ilfracombe to Westward Ho!
Name: Paul Smith
When: 02 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWonderful scenery from Ilfracombe to Croyde, especially the Ilfracombe - Woolacombe stretch. Be prepared for the contrast that follows though, as the subsequent estuary walking is, by contrast, uninspiring, particularly the 13 miles from Croyde to Instow - flat, Tarmac path well used by cyclists, that has little to commend it in terms of views. Instow is a lovely quiet spot though, and if you don't fancy the next estuary walk via Bideford, you can get a ferry across from Instow to Appledore if you are lucky with your timing (only operates a hour either side of high tide). Nice final stretch of the walk from Appledore to Westward Ho!

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: Kyra Stephanoff
When: 01 June 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe walked from Nether Stowey to Porlock (3 days) and then on our 4th day walked the Coastal Path from Porlock to Minehead. If one has only four days, I highly recommend this route. We did not meet any other walkers on the Coleridge Way which had gentle climbs and passed through only a few small villages.

The Coleridge Way was very muddy in places and despite having Gortex boots our feet did get wet. For most of the time the quill sign posts do a good job directing one but if in doubt always check the map and written directions that Encounter Walking sends out. On the first two days we managed to get off route because we were not being attentive enough, but by using the OS maps we recovered our mistakes easily.

On our third day, up on the moor, the quill markings are absent and we did go off route despite paying attention to the written instructions. Between Hanny Combe and Brockwell our instructions did not correspond to the paths present. However, if one downloads the Coleridge Way route guide (perhaps this is more up to date?) the instructions are correct, i.e. just follow the way marker to Brockwell #99 and ignore other comments about taking the second left etc. A compass and mapping reading enabled us to recover without too much difficulty.

Overall we had a fantastic walk. Damon was very helpful in putting together the places we stayed in. All the B&B's were very nice. Some we liked more than others but we would stay in all of them again. Because this walk goes through small villages one should expect to eat mostly pub food, which we like. Walkers from the USA, like us, should realize that it rains and be prepared! We were and did not mind the weather at all. We both LOVED the Scrumpy and cannot wait to come back for more. Thank you Damon, everything went smoothly and we hope to use Encounterwalking again.

Route: Coleridge Way and Coast Path
Name: Derek - UK
When: 01 June 2014

Flag of the United KingdomFollowing our mail in early January I have at last walked the Coleridge Way (not including the extension) and coast path from Porlock to Combe Martin.

Its really a lovely walk through superb countryside and I really enjoyed it. All the b+bs you suggested worked well and I particularly liked the Valiant Soldier and Mellstock where John made me feel most welcome even to the extent of getting up at some ungodly hour to cook me breakfast .

I think that I agree with you now that 4 days allowed was not enough time especially for an old man of 70 carrying his luggage but I finished up with 3 nights rest on Lundy, an island I love.

Thanks again for all your help and hope we can do some more business in future with me as a paying customer.
All the best,

 

Route: St. Ives - Penzance
Name: Cathy & Matt
When: 31 May 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaMy husband and I recently got back from walking the St. Ives to Penzance route and it was spectacular! Damon did an excellent job setting everything up for us - the inns where we stayed were very nice and luggage transfers were seamless. We would highly recommend Encounter Walking to anyone! We absolutely loved St. Ives! Lots of nice art galleries, shops, restaurants, pubs and narrow little streets to explore!

The St. Ives to Zennor walk was quite strenuous, but the views made it more than worthwhile. Zennor is a charming hamlet and we especially loved our stay at the Tinners Arms. Lovely, historic inn and great pub in an idyllic setting. We soon realized that 11 miles a day was going to be too much for us, so we hopped the bus a couple times to shave a few miles off our hike on certain days. The bus route follows the trail, more or less, so it made it easy to customize our hiking experience each day. We actually enjoyed taking the bus, as we were able to see some of the farmland a bit inland from the path itself. As for the path, it was well marked in most places, but we did run into a couple issues. We didn't see any trail sign before Cape Cornwall (around Helen's Chapel) and it threw us off the trail for awhile.

There are also certain areas along the way where it is unclear which path is the official path, as there are so many little offshoot footpaths that often lead out into areas that are a little too close to the cliff edge for my liking. I am not a big fan of heights! If you can stay to the official path it doesn't get too scary. The one exception for me was a stretch between Lands End and Porthcurno - there's an extended stretch that runs very close to the cliff edge. I couldn't handle it, so we turned back to Land's End and took the bus to Porthcurno. The beach in Porthcurno is beautiful and the Minack Theatre is definitely worth a visit! All in all, this was one of the best trips we've been on in a very long time and I would recommend it to anyone. A big thanks to Damon and Encounter Walking for all their help and guidance. My husband and I look forward to returning someday to walk another section of the path.

Route: Milford Haven to St Davids
Name: Annett
When: 31 May 2014

Flag of GermanyFirst at all, thanks again for the great organisation, like last time, everything worked out very smoothly. No problems and no issues, only good memories J.You have looked for the perfect charming overnight stays, and I had met only very nice hosts. If I should choose the less perfect ones, I would name the „Lord Nelson Hotel“ in Milford Haven, since it was a bit noisy due to a close club/drunken people…and not so personally like the B&Bs, but I had a great view from my room. And the food at the Grove Hotel was a bit overpriced and and did not fulfill the expected higher standard…

I have experienced a great walk from Milford Haven until Whitesands Bay on Pembrokeshire Coast Path and did enjoy the route very much. I did like the landscape/environment almost a bit more than in Cornwall, since it was more wild, pure and lonely, in addition I much appreciated that there have been only rarely street walks.

All your instructions and maps were very helpful again. I have been walking again alone, like last year on the South West Coast Path but I have met again nice walkers, tourists and locals and enjoyed everywhere delicious seafood and good beers.  I have even purchased two paintings from a local artist, one of the beach before Whitesands and one of Fishguard. I have planned to continue with the part up North next year, again around June.  Pls. make a note! ;-)

Weather was most of the time perfect, with exception of one heavily rainy afternoon from Broad Haven to Solva.

Most curious thing, my friendship with a horse which suprised me with his sudden company at lunch time!

Route: Coleridge Way to Porlock
Name: Andrew & Jane
When: 30 May 2014

Encounter Walking Holidays logoArrived in Nether Stowey late on a Friday afternoon just in time for a cream tea at Coleridge Cottage, run by the NT. This was a good start to what turned out to be an excellent walk though wonderfully peaceful countryside ranging across the Quantocks, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor. We were struck by the abundant bird life, the sight of red deer and an almost total absence of other walkers (three in four days).

Eating: Two of the pubs in Nether Stowey are currently closed (Rose & Crown and Ancient Mariner) but both should be open in June after refurbishment.

Accommodation: All recommendations were very good and we were entirely happy with all the arrangements. The spectacular garden at the Old House in Nether Stowey deserves a special mention as does the warmth of hospitality and first class breakfast delivered by our hosts, Manor and Ann. The Gables in Porlock was a good finishing point (for us); a pretty thatched property in a quiet location. All B and B hosts were most welcoming to us despite us arriving in boots and muddy and wet on occasion; this was most appreciated.

Route: The route notes provided were especially useful when walking across the broad expanse of Lype Common, for finding field gates in ‘over the horizon’ wire fencing to the very large fields. There are no discernible footpaths across the common, so gates can easily be missed by a wide margin. Otherwise, the route is well marked by a distinctive quill pen symbol. The Visitors Centre in Porlock issues certificates to those completing the route but there was some query about eligibility due to a recent extension by another 15 miles, finishing in Lynton. We’re already planning our assault on the final section. 

Encounter Walking Note - We have been involved in the extension which is now open, have walked and checked it and details will be on the website ready for next season however anyone needing advice on it for this year just ask as we  have it all fully logged and checked...and yes its a worthy extra day / 2 days walk !

Bill, Exmoor Taxi’s, was very flexible and efficient in transporting us back to Nether Stowey. Bill and others mentioned to us how they had appreciated working with Encounter Walking and this was reassuring to us to know how thorough the research into the accommodation etc. had been. This was our second booking with Encounter Walking, this time at very short notice, and we were not in any way disappointed with our choice.

Route: Two Moors Way and Coast Path to Padstow
Name: Sarah
When: 30 May 2014

Flag of SwitzerlandWe enjoyed the music in the London Inn in Padstow very much and all the other accommodations too. Every accommodation was special and different. We liked them all without exceptions. Great work of your side!

One note: The second day the walk from Holne to Chagfort was described with 16.5 miles and 6 – 7 hours. From our experience the walk is at least 19 to 20 miles with a lot of ups and downs, at least 800 meters totally (means additionally 2 hours). So we walked about 9 hours on this day. Maybe you could check it.

We will recommend your company  to our walking friends in Switzerland. There is a great interest for such a good service. Thank you very much this great holiday experience. I am sure we will come back again

Route: Fowey and St Ives 2 Centre Walking Break
Name: Susanne
When: 30 May 2014

Flag of SwitzerlandDear Damon

We absolutely enjoyed our walking holidays in Cornwall. Thank you very much for your patience, your excellent advice and organization, the previous detailed information, the guidebooks and excellent walking maps. All that helped us a lot. We slightly changed the walking routes: We didn't do the St.Michaels way as my partner preferred walking along the sea, so we decided to drive to Porthcurno and walked to Lamorna and back. (lovely little cafe at Lamorna Cove…fresh crab sandwiches…) Before returning to Bristol  we walked from Rosemergy to Pendeen because I wanted to see the mines and the steam engine - extremely interesting - definitely worth seeing! There are some extremely muddy patches there - I got stuck and had to 'wash' one my shoes in the sea…

The taxi driver who drove us to Looe was very friendly, even gave us a road map and showed us the best way to different places in Cornwall. He dropped us directly at the beginning of the walkway which we appreciated very much!

Our B&Bs were a good choice:

- Galleon Inn: loud on Friday evening, but we were tired enough not to mind…. a bit unpersonal due to lots of work in the pub, but nevertheless friendly. Moderate prices for excellent fresh fish and seafood. Excellent breakfast. Room was clean, good choice of tea, chocolate, biscuits in the room. The only sore point was the lack of parking space and the rather high costs for parking. In St.Ives we got a free parking card for the whole time - would be a good idea here, too!

Seaforth B&B St.Yves: Extremely friendly, made us feel welcome from the very first moment, lovely but rather small room, very clean and tidy - très chic! - excellent breakfast! An extra plus was the free parking card for the nearby parking space! Saved us a lot of money. Unfortunately, we had to look for a suitable ( not too expensive) restaurant every evening. Some of them had to be booked in advance. The prices here were considerably higher than in Fowey…

Both places, Fowey and St.Yves are definitely worth a stay.

We'll certainly walk with Encounter again! Saved us a lot of time and time consuming search for B&Bs, routes etc...Thank you very much for your excellent support.

Best wishes from Switzerland

Susanne

Route: Amroth to Bosherston
Name: Terry - UK
When: 27 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomArrived home earlier today after a very enjoyable 3 days walking in Pembrokeshire. All the arrangements worked perfectly - thank you for organising a very satisfactory trip. The weather was also kind with calm, mostly dry conditions (except an hour on Thurs pm in light rain) and a glorious sunny day on Friday.

I thought you might be interested in some unbiased feedback following our experiences:

The walks were all challenging and interesting in their own way. Day 1 (Amroth to Tenby, the least scenic) started easy but the last 21/2 miles were really quite tough. Left us feeling tired with aching legs but doubtless down to our fitness levels. Day 2 (Tenby to Manorbier) is a beautiful section with great views of the islands of Caldey and St Margaret's. Not particularly tough but there are a couple of sections (after Precipe Beach) where the path is alarmingly close to very sheer cliff edges with no vegetation barrier. This tested our nerve a little and I would not have been happy on a wet and/or windy day. Day 3 (Manorbier to Bosh, although we bailed out at Freshwater East) was my favourite. Beautifully scenic, testing ups and downs, lovely coves, rock formations, wild flowers and great birdlife. We decided to cut it short and walk to Lamphey to catch bus, (we missed a train!) collect the car and drove on to Bosherton for our last night's B&B and a walk around the stunning Lily Ponds.

Accommodation. All 3 were fine for what we needed, though we would not stay again at the option in Manorbier The place is tired and needs a makeover. We ate dinner there also, which was disappointing compared to the other dinners we ate. We appreciate, of course, that it is the only option in Manorbier! On the whole, our accommodation on our last trip to South Cornwall was of a better standard generally but this is doubtless down to choice and the market in Cornwall.

Dining out. We ate at The Moorings in Tenby. Great little restaurant which we would highly recommend; and Coast at Saundersfoot. Coast boasts a Michelin starred chef and the food and location is superb, provided you don't mind paying a little more for a high quality dining experience. The food at St Govan's Inn was excellent pub fayre served up quickly on a very busy night in the pub. Nice room also.  

Car parking in Tenby. In the end we opted for the train station car park. Slightly more expensive (£16 for the week) than the Sainsbury's multi-storey but better located for Sunny Bank guest house.   

Luggage transfer. It was there when we arrived! 

Maps and guide were great. However, last time you also provide separate walk descriptions which had more detail than the guide book. We missed that level of detail this time round. 

So, a thoroughly enjoyable and successful trip and thanks again for the excellent arrangements and service of Encounter Walking Hols

Route: SW Coast Path
Name: Peter Guerrero
When: 23 May 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaAll was wonderful with one exception-- Porthcurno is not a good place to overnight--the B&B and the town were exceptionally inhospitable compared to the friendliness we experienced almost everywhere else. And the town isn't much to see. Admittedly we were between shows at the Minack Theater and the Telegraph Museum was closed for renovations but, without a car, we would have been stuck without dinner if it wasn't for the Logan Rock pub owner, Peter, who graciously shuttled us back and forth to his pub and then gave us an insider's tour of area. In the future I'd recommend accommodations in Treen. All other accommodations and locations were wonderful. I particularly appreciated the opportunity to stay overnight in Pendeen and to tour the tin mine the next day. It provided a wonderful historical understanding for the area. Another wonderful stopping off point was Zenor although we could have used a map to find the neolithic sites as we wandered for a couple of hours down country roads and trails and never found the sites but all was beautiful and no complaints about that. And, finally, thank you for your exceptional help with bus routes and other advice to accommodate my health issues. We found the 300 bus to be a delight. Peter & Cathy

Route: Two Moors Way
Name: Becci and Kellen
When: 23 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomFantastic - we loved every minute of it (even the rainy muddy bits). All our accommodation was clean and comfortable and we were made very welcome everywhere, special comment has to be made for Lynn at Farleigh Cottage who was truely delightful (and Kellen awarded her 10/10 for her full english). Its hard to pick a favourite day or route, but I've always loved the area around the Tarr Steps and the walk alongside the Barle was breath taking. The final days climb along the Cheriton Ridge would have to be high up there too.

Navigation was straight forward and the route well marked. The day from Withypool to Simonsbath was misty and visibility poor this made the trail difficult to distinguish. We had way marked some points and with the GPS were quickly able to find the route. But a little latter we came across a faster group of walkers who had left well before us but had got a bit disorientated. The guide book (which is generally excellent and well worth its cover price) was a bit confusing here as it has a split page (with the earlier part of the route appearing below the latter part (obvious when you look at the numbering but against convention) I think this may suggest following the river too soon?

The only other part of the trail we needed the GPS was approaching Exe Head, where boundaries have moved from those indicated in the guide book, and therefore can't be used as a reference point. Best to use the compass here if no GPS and make for higher ground until the NE boundary appears and follow this to reach the boggy ground around the ford. Best views would have to be the medieval field system at Headland Warren (near Grimspound) completely awash with blue bells. The deer and ponies on both moors were a treat but the very close sighting of a hare on route to Knowstone was wild life highlight. Luggage transfers worked perfectly, a very slick operation. Thank you for a great adventure that we will remember for many years to come.

Route: Saints Way
Name: Chris - USA
When: 23 May 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had a super time. We only got really wet one day and were dressed properly so no harm done. We cars were all on time and great. Graham was a wonderful tour guide and his local knowledge made the day better.

Dinner was great at Tregolls and Lanlivery was a fun stop at a really old inn. I would have couples take rooms with two beds, as the double beds are small for two peoples. We switched and it worked our great.

The best advice on the tour was where to avoid the mud. We took your advice and went the driest route where recommended. It could be pretty sloppy. We had no trouble following the trail, all the sign posts were up and in the right direction. The OS maps are exceptional. There was one small section, where we needed to walk on the busy road, but that was the only time cars played a role.  Almost all the country lanes were car free.

The enjoyed ourselves and truly loved the flowers on the hedgerows.

Thanks again,

Route: saints' way
Name: richard crowe
When: 20 May 2014

Flag of WalesI really enjoyed my 3 days walking. The organisation was excellent and I was grateful for the help in arranging an extra day at short notice for the end of my walk. My general points: you really do need the map and have a basic ability to read it! It is true that the Saints Way pack has interesting commentary but I actually used another set of printed instructions (http://www.yor-tec.co.uk/cornwall/saints.htm) and the maps. The luggage transfers all worked perfectly.

Day 1: accomodation in Padstow (50 Church St) excellent, really good start to walk. Walk generally good, didn't really get lost, but instructions on Dennis Hill could be clearer i.e. either take kissing gate to the left to visit monument or take stone stile to the right for Saints Way. The Saints Way posts were still knocked down. Follow the field hedge to the left. Also in Little Petherick, where the path emerges onto the track, it would be good to advise people to walk past the row of moderm holiday homes (I first turned right up the hill before realising my mistake).

I planned to have lunch at the Halfway at St Jidgey but did not ring ahead and arrived only to find it closed. I heard from the taxi driver that it is not unusual to find it closed, so as advised I should have rung. As advised, the section between Higher Bosnieves to Tregustick is tricky due to lack of signposting - it was difficult to know where the exit from the field was. I followed the line of trees (past the cattle). Tregolls Farm - very welcome! Easy to find, very comfortable, nice evening meal, lots of helpful books on Saints Way.

Day 2 - If staying at Tregolls you can start by using the lower farm trail which links up with the Saints Way at the ford. You go through 2 fields, the 1st is easy enough, but it's not clear in the second where you should go. There is now an 'official' diversion which does not go through the yard of Blackay Farm. Got lost early on leaving Withiel across the fields of Churchtown Farm. Signpost down. Had to retrace my steps and look at map and use field boundaries to find stile and footbridge at the foot of the valley. Withielgoose Lane was inundated and there was no alternative but to wade through it! Had lunch at Lanivet Inn - was Ok. I found the eastern branch of the Way south of Lanivet easily (thanks to the Encounter warning) but it might help to warn people that they will see a Wilderness Way sign first that they can ignore. The Saints Way sign looked quite clear to me. However, I found the Saints Way signs and arrows around Helman Tor quite confusing. Again, looking at the map I found the old drove road ok. It was muddy in places but it was relatively easy to go round the puddles. The Crown Inn - accomodation ok, meal there disappointing, poor quality and bad service. Tried to find St Brevyth well behind the pub but signage is misleading, you need to turn left from the public footpath through gate into a permissive path (rather than continue on public path as sign suggests). Nice little detour on artiving or before leaving next day.

Day 3 - easiest part of walk. Footpath between No Man's Land and Castle must have been recently worked on as was very dry and easy to walk on. Good tip in Encounter instructions on taking left hand lane before farm (really should be signpost here though). Stopped for drink at Fisherman's Arms, Golant. Well House - good accomodation, nice breakfast. Helpful hints on Hall Walk (i.e. slight detour to Lanteglos). Taxi Return to Padstow - Mike from Ocean Taxis, excellent service.

Route: Bude to Padstow
Name: Mark Stephenson
When: 19 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThe walk was absolutely fantastic, great views, good weather most of the time and Murphy the mutt loved it. Thanks to Encounter Walking for the organisation, the luggage transfers went like clockwork and all the accommodation was first class and very friendly. The only warning for this walk is a field of Bullocks that were very aggressive just before trig point 041 (St Illickswell gug) map 14, it was extremely frightening and I certainly would not want to go through that field again, in my opinion it is an accident waiting to happen and the farmer should be taken to task about it.

Encounter Walking -  We have reported the above incident to the SW Coast Path team to investigate 30th May 2014

Route: Saints Way East 3 days
Name: Tina
When: 15 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomJust wanted to feed back to you on behalf of myself and my  walking buddies that we have had the most fantastic few days. I feel the good weather has played a great part in this as we have seen Cornwall at its best. The walking was so varied and interesting which helped keep up the spirits with all the walking up those big hills!!

The three places that you arranged for us to stay in were excellent. We all especially loved Tregolls farm and especially Marilyn , she was so friendly and made us all feel so welcome. I think it was actually nicer to stay there the two nights than having to move on after the first night. The accommodation was between the cottages and the farm house was outstanding along with the excellent daily full Cornish breakfast... We were all very sad to leave.

The Crown and Gallion Pubs were also good . All were clean, comfortable  with excellent breakfasts. The only but was the lack of hot water at the Crown for showers , we reported this, but  perhaps to many people trying shower at the same time!!! WE would all happily stay at all three places again.

The instructions you provided for the walk were excellent, we managed to find the eastern route on day two quite easily actually stumbling  across it.. thought we had missed it as you pointed out.
Helmams tour is a must the views were breath taking.

The only problems we encountered were on the first day at the end finding the way down the last hillside to find the road to walk to the farm..probably all tired by then ...

Day two- no real problems

Day three - I think would benefit from another indicator post or mention in your paperwork as you join the junction of the A390 and B 3269 . As we made the mistake of turning right  instead of left and walked along the side of the busy main road and crossed over to rejoin the B3269  walking until could turn left down a steep hill to eventually rejoin the Saints way around mill town. Totally our mistake but could also be made by others if not paying attention....

No problems with luggage transfers or taxi picks ups
Our train journey back was considerably quieter than the one down, lots of snoozing going on!
Thanks once again to both of you for putting this trip together for us, I certainly feel better for the days away and have some fantastic memories and photos to remember it by.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Sue Hartmann
When: 14 May 2014

Flag of GermanyHave just returned from walking from Falmouth to Plymouth. We chose the 'relaxed route' ie, did it in 9 days. For anyone who enjoys walking but also wants to enjoy the beautiful views and countryside and not have a race, would recommend this time. We cheated a bit by taking the bus from Polurean to Polperro (which was an experience in itself!) in order to spend some time in the picturesque village of Polperro. If we hadn't have done this the 12 mile strenuous walk would have been a bit much in one day.

The organisation was brilliant and accommodation was superb. The view from our balcony on to Mevagissey harbour at Honeycombe House was magnificent; sleeping in the Tudor Room at The Well House in Fowey was like going back centuries; at Schooner Point in Looe we were given freshly made flapjacks to keep us going during the day and we felt like landowners staying at The Liscawn Country Hotel in Crafthole. A must here is to visit the community run village store, Basil (91) served us and was disappointed we only bought a bottle of water! Our warmest welcome was given by Anne at Sea Breezes in Hoe, Plymouth. We were a bit worried about getting to the station the next day because all roads were closed due to a cycling event, but Anne managed everything!

The map and descriptions we had were perfect (most of the time we didn't need our map because the acorn indicators were adequate). Any diversions due to the bad storms earlier on in the year are clearly marked and there is no need to take the diversion at St Anthony's Head as there are planks of wood next to the footbridge undergoing repair. We had 9 days of beautiful weather with only a couple of rain showers. This is what made our holiday so great. I wouldn't want to walk parts of the coastal path for hours in the rain. In parts it was so overgrown that you would get terribly wet legs and feet and wouldn't see the path, which I would expect to get very muddy and slippery. Thank you Encounter Walking for everything. We will certainly recommend you.

Route: Strumble Head to Moylegrove
Name: Jim - New Hampshire
When: 14 May 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaDamon:  Our feedback is all good.  Pentower in 'Fishguard and Golden Lion in Newport were perfect for our needs.  Tony and Mary are delightful, interesting, and generous people--incredibly nice, large room, extraordinary breakfast, interesting conversations, lots of special touches and tips about getting around and seeing things--Fishguard is lacking in eating options with some places apparently out of business.  We very much enjoyed the Golden Lion and glad for the extra night in Newport--used the "rest day" for another walk on the coast and a drive  to the burial chamber and to Nevern.  Also loved having great food on premises--the best and most efficient and friendly serving staff we have ever encountered. We adjusted our walking to 3-4 hour roundtrip hikes from Strumble Head, Dinas Head (should not be missed ever), Moylegrove, and Newport.  With a rental car, that worked well--stunning weather was the real gift.   When starting from Moylegrove, parking halfway between the village and the trail at the garden center and taking advantage of the delightful cafe with full day hours was a good tip from a fellow walker--the walk from the garden center down to the trail is like Robin Hood's forest--beautiful.  The next chapter in the wilds of the Brecon Beacons was also inspiring--unbelievable scenery on brief walks (although, next time, we would just spend more time on the coast).,  Brecon itself appears a bit worn out.

So thanks again for your friendly guidance. Let us know which coast Encounter 

Walking tackles next!

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Richard Donovan
When: 13 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomFabulous walk! Superb scenery, excellent accommodation, superb weather. Best section so far. Maps, guidebooks and luggage transfers worked perfectly, as usual.

All accommodation of great standard, I am loathe to name the dest or worst. Particular liked Carden Cottage, in the beautiful village of Crantock. Was made to feel really at home by Bernie and Pat, who provided an excellent room, superb breakfast and interesting conversation. Finished at St Ives in glorious sunshine, in fact the weather was warm and sunny throughout.

I only have one section to go now - Sidmouth to Poole, which I hope to do later this year - with Encounter, of course!

Route: Coleridge Way
Name: Catherine
When: 13 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomI would just like to thank you for organising our accommodation for The Coleridge Way.  Everything worked brilliantly and all went very smoothly.  The Notley Arms Inn in Monksilver was superb.  If I can persuade my friends again I may well use you again for another walk.

Route: The Saints Way
Name: Liz and Anne
When: 12 May 2014

Flag of AustraliaSome delightful scenery was experienced along the Saint's way. Accommodation was excellent and luggage transfers were excellent. A set of fit for purpose notes is really needed to enhance the experience as it is difficult to juggle maps and cards and more specific instructions are needed to help walkers re-join the trail when leaving towns. I copied notes from a guide at Tregoll's Farm written by two Americans and it was more helpful than the cards and map. Some advice to walkers on how to deal with bulls and electrified fences in fields would also be helpful as local knowledge is assumed.

Route: Ilfracombe to Bude
Name: David & Elisabeth Dirkse
When: 10 May 2014

Flag of the NetherlandsWe very much enjoyed our 9 days walking trip from Ilfracombe to Bude. Walking time predictions were pretty accurate. We add 1.5 hours a day for rests, picture taking. Weather was good. Strong wind the first 2 days, later warm. The path to / from Barnstaple is somewhat boring. Starting at Braunton (to Bideford) we took the bus to Barnstaple. 10 miles a day for us is enough. In all B&B's we found our arrived suitcases and a warm welcome from the owners. Hotels are less personal, as can be expected. We arrived from Amsterdam via Heathrow, train to Paddington, train to Exeter, bus to Ilfracombe. For the way back: bus from Bude to Exeter, then National Express coach directly to Heathrow. Saves 70 pounds. The map provided was a very convenient addition to the Trailblazer. In some cases we missed a signpost on the route, but GPS and off-line maps helped us out. Thanks for the perfect organisation, it was reassuring to know that assistance was standby.

Route: Sidmouth to Poole
Name: Mary Davis
When: 08 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomThank you for a wonderful end to my walk around the South West Coast Path. The walk along Studland Bay beach to the ferry at Poole was idyllic and certainly something I will never forget! The weather was certainly in our favour and it was magical! Big blue skies, white sandy beaches and warm sunshine! Strangely, although I felt a certain amount of self satisfaction that I had completed the walk, the overwhelming emotion was one of sadness that it was over! I just wanted to keep going - day after day of great walking, glorious scenery, good food and drink! We had supper in The Haven hotel overlooking the entrance to Poole Harbour. What a fitting way to celebrate my first completion of the South West Coast Path!

Route: Portland Circle
Name: Mary
When: 08 May 2014

Encounter Walking Holidays logoWe loved the walk around Portland - as you say it's all part of the region.   If it was all pretty fishing villages and dramatic scenery it would end up being a bit boring! It would be a strange sort of path if you avoided all the bits that weren't picture postcard.  And in actual fact although the west coast of the island was a bit stark, the east coast was stunning. We met an old man there who used to work for Portland Stone. He had been to a garden party at the palace as a representative of the company and had met the queen. (Parts of Buckingham Palace were built using Portland Stone)  He was from the North East originally and he proudly told us in a Geordie accent, the story of his day at the palace and his conversation with Her Majesty with a twinkle in his eye! Memories are made of such chance meetings and cement the 'feeling' of a place in your heart.

Route: Salcombe to Brixham
Name: Andrew and Liz
When: 06 May 2014

Flag of the United KingdomEnjoyed our 3-day trip; good weather for most of the time (one very wet and windy morning), good accomodation, especially The Cricket Inn at Beesands, and a varied mix of coastal scenery. We dined on fresh fish every night; the Rockfish restaurant in Dartmouth was excellent! All the planning, logistics, maps and guidance provided by Encounter was perfect, as always.

Route: Falmouth to Fowey
Name: Margaret Donnelly
When: 06 May 2014

Flag of CanadaArrangements were outstanding throughout our trip. Delightful B&Bs, good directions, and luggage always at our destination. This is a gorgeous part of the coast, and the little villages are picturesque. The best meal we had was at the Ship Inn in Portloe - baked cod to die for! The best b&b was the Carradale in Portloe. Thanks for the impeccable planning!

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Reg & Patricia Watts
When: 06 May 2014

Flag of CanadaOverall, this walk exceeded every expectation we had, and compared to our other hiking experiences, it is tops! Damon at Encounter Walking did a great job of dealing with all the little details that we fussed about in advance, and once on the trail, everything went like the proverbial clockwork. The weather started "iffy" - windy and a spot of rain, one bout of hail (there was a convenient cave nearby) but after a couple of days, sunshine broke out. The scenery was beautiful, and awesome in places. We found it took a little longer than the recommended times for each stage, but then we wanted to take it all in and capture the scenes photographically.

Animal life was abundant, and although puffins were not to be seen, the grey seals were and we have a few moments of them frolicking on video - a real highlight. Why, we even saw a snake on the Tippy Tappy. The spectacular views from the cliffs and the beach walk before Gwithian are our most vivid memories. As we are a bit older than most hikers, we found that hiking poles were essential, especially on the ravines. Also, good rain-gear is essential, but put it on at the first sign of change. Signage was generally good. Accommodation and food were excellent with one exception reported separately. Encounter Walking made this a perfect experience and we highly recommend them.

Route: Bude to Falmouth
Name: Bev and Wally
When: 06 May 2014

Flag of CanadaWell Damon......how can we thank you enough...a flawless adventure. We loved it......the walk, the geography, the people, the accommodations, the service, the characters we met along the way.......all such a treat!! Many wonderful memories!! Must say that arriving in Falmouth is a bit of a shock after being treated to so many small villages with lovely interactions amongst the folks who live there (and all know one another). Another reality for sure.

Sincerest thanks and know that you will receive a very high recommendation should anyone ask who facilitated our trip......a well deserved referral!

Take good care and again thanks SO MUCH!!!

Route: St Ives to Porthleven
Name: John - Scotland
When: 03 May 2014

Flag of ScotlandHi Damon

As I said earlier, we had a great walk. Some of the views from the path were incredible and the path itself was an interesting challenge. Below is some more specific feedback.

Path:

The path we found was generally in good condition and well maintained but very hard and quite risky in a few places. Your advice to only walk as far as Zennor on the first day was spot on. We would not have managed to go much further. The sign posting was confusing in a few places where the arrows appeared to point in all directions. We wandered off course two or three times and had to work hard to get back to the track. 

There was a section where livestock had obviously used the path and caused a lot of damage especially where there were steps with wooden front. I think this was near to Porthleven but can't remember. The council had posted warnings at both ends of the section.

We picked a great time of year to walk as there were brilliant wild flowers all the way along the path making it really beautiful in some places. Another thing I found incredible was there was almost no litter anywhere along the path. I think I spied one plastic bottle and one plastic bag just off the path but that was it on the whole route. This says a lot about the walkers and the people who maintain it.

Route:

We thought the section just after Land's End had some of the most beautiful views on the route especially where the path was just above the cliffs. The section with the "beach" at St Loys Cove was really hazardous and we were a little worried about crossing it. An alternative or diversion here would be useful for the more fainthearted.

The section between Penzance and Porthleven was the least interesting and perhaps we should have avoided this by taking a bus ride before starting further along the path perhaps from Porthleven to finish at Lizard. The diversion at Trevean Cove is still in place but it only extends the path by a few hundred yard and not the half mile you suggested.

Everyone we met during the walk we was really friendly and, proving yet again that it is a small world, Alistair bumped into someone he had worked with many years ago.

Information provided:

We found your notes were excellent but the book not so useful. In the book the description of many of the sections was very brief and did not provide sufficient information to give you a good idea of what conditions to expect on the path. The maps were good and your directions to the accommodation were perfect. I think we visited most of the pubs you mentioned and had some great Cornwall ales.

Luggage transfers:

There were no problems with this with everything getting picked up and delivered on time.

Accommodation:

The quality of the accommodation was really surprising. We could not fault any of them in any way. All the rooms looked like they had just been refurbished and they were spotlessly clean. This combined with the friendly service, free internet and wonderful cooked breakfasts meant we were relaxed and suitably refreshed for the next day's walk. The only problem was at a few of the places we stayed the first thing we had to do after breakfast was climb a some steep hills which was not good for the digestion.

Encounter:

I am really glad we went with Encounter to book the holiday. Everyone I spoke to was very knowledgeable and helpful and the friendly informality in calls and email communication was refreshing and enjoyable. I would not hesitate recommending you to anyone considering a walking holiday in any of the areas you cover.

Overall the walk was a lot harder than we expected but the views etc were definitely worth the effort. Eric getting injured so early on put a little bit of a damper on the holiday but he did good work scouting out the various pubs, beers and restaurants in the next destination. Thanks again for all your help. Please pass on our thanks to the rest of the team at Encounter.

Route: St. Ives to Falmouth
Name: Joan and Bob Satter - USA
When: 01 May 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe thoroughly enjoyed the walk and consider it one of our most exciting vacations. We found all of the B&B/Inn accommodations good and the hosts quite friendly ....And the food was excellent. (despite all of our walking we may have gained a pound!)...and our weather was near perfect at 55 with only an occasional rain shower. Being over 70, we did find some days of lots of ups/downs trying and decided 6-7 hours of walking was our comfortable limit...so one day we took the bus for the last 3 miles and one day we got a ride about 2 miles up the trail. You guys did a great job pre-planning our trip. Please feel free to use our name as a reference....we will be glad to discuss our adventure with potential walkers.

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: Sune - Denmark
When: 29 April 2014

Flag of DenmarkHad a great trip, beautiful landscape, especially the open moorland, lots of animals and birdlife, and weather was pretty decent, only one really rainy day. Everything went smooth, thanks to Encounters great planning and the additional route descriptions were a great help :)

Route: St Ives to Falmouth
Name: Bob and Joan - USA
When: 29 April 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe arrived in Falmouth yesterday after a wonderful walking adventure.... The walk, accommodations and pubs/restaurants were all very good.  We are headed to London for a few days but I will send you more detailed comments when we get home next week.

Again, thanks for assistance in planning our excellent experience.

Route: St. Ives - Penzance
Name: Paul and NoeMie - Zürich, Switzerland
When: 28 April 2014

Flag of SwitzerlandOur luggage transfers were seamless throughout, on each occasion already at every delightful B&B as we arrived weary but satisfied with the guidance and descriptions of the daily walks. Beautiful views and luck with the weather make this a memorable hiking holiday, added to with the obvious expertise of your company.

Route: Saints Way
Name: Helen Hyatt
When: 28 April 2014

Flag of the United KingdomOur party of 3 enjoyed the walk. The wildflowers in the banks and woods were glorious. The organisation,route directions given to us by Encounter walking were great, even to taxi numbers for tired walkers, which we didn't need. The places we stayed were fine too. Being in Padstow for the preparation for May day was quite an experience! They were still celebrating when we returned on May 2nd to collect our car. Journey from Fowey to Padstow by buses and train worked well, again helpful hints from the information. Our only slight disapointment was to do with the route, there is rather a lot of road walking, mostly side roads, but much more tiring on the feet. We would recommend this walk.

Route: Dartmoor Way from Buckfastleigh to Ivybridge
Name: Katharina Schorsch
When: 26 April 2014

Flag of GermanyMy husband and I are back home and we are full of wonderful impressions and memories. Everything went so well and the weather was much better than we had expected. Only on three days did we have rain for a short time which was not a problem. We enjoyed being on each of the walks, liked the places where we stayed - Farleigh Cottage in Chagford with Lyn and The Church House Inn in Holne were our absolute favourites. We had no problems finding the way with the good A to Z map and the route descriptions. We so much enjoyed walking through the many river valleys as well as seeing some fine bronze age sites (stone circles and rows, standing stones, cairns and burrial cists). The moor was great with wide views and a great contrast to the green valleys. In the months before our walking tour we exchanged many e-mails with Damon who advised us and created our tour according to our special wishes. Thank you so much!

Route: Minehead to Lynmouth
Name: Belinda Perry
When: 25 April 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWe have just returned from a fantastic walk along a small part of the SW Coastal path starting in Minehead and finishing in Lynmouth. We found the maps and guide books easy to follow and did not have any trouble finding our way. We stayed in the Old Ship Aground in Minehead, The Ship in Porlock and the Bath Hotel in Lynmouth. The Ship was the least favourite of our accommodation and needs updating and refreshed. The Bath Hotel was fantastic apart from the bar meals which were a bit limited but the breakfast was fabulous. Hopefully we will return someday to complete a bit more of this fantastic path. Thank you Encounterwalking.

Route: Minehead to Clovelly
Name: Gabrielle - Germany
When: 23 April 2014

Flag of GermanyDear Damon,

thanks very much for this wonderful organization of the trip. I enyoued it every day and I was very happy with the route and with the accomodations. Escpacially Hunters Inn and Culloden house were extraordinary beatifull. And the people there where so nice and friendly. I'm very happy that I walked in spring which was a new and very special experience. Wonderfull, wonderfull, woderfull!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Route: St Ives - Porthcurno
Name: Angela
When: 21 April 2014

Flag of the United KingdomGreat pre-walk organisation from Damon and team! We had a fab couple of days with more sun than we could have wished for. The walking and scenery was just fantastic! Our top 3 non-walking highlights: 1. Barbara Hepworth's Studio and gardens in St Ives 2. Dinner at the super friendly Cape Cornwall Golf and Leisure Club (the food and staff were exceptional!) 3. Visiting the Minack Theatre. We'll be back!

Route: Fowey and Padstow Walks
Name: Alex - USA
When: 20 April 2014

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had a fantastic time.  And our last day was all sun, despite the bad weather you had.  Unless you are talking about Saturday, but we were traveling that day, so it made it easier to leave in the rain.  The arrangements all went off perfectly, and we loved both B&Bs.  They were comfortable, welcoming, and the buildings were full of character.  Tim and Paula were lovely hosts, as were Janet and Ian.  Ian even drove us to the bus on our last morning.  They all gave us good advice on the walks (Janet suggested doing the Trevonne walk in the reverse, starting with the inland part so the hills weren't so bad and we got the views going into the estuary, which worked well for us.  And Tim suggested an extension of the Hall walk to Lantic Bay, if we had energy, which we did.  It was gorgeous, and worked out perfectly, since we skipped that part of the walk later in the week, when we needed a rest day.) We ended up taking an easy day on our Polperro day, and just walked from Talland cove to Polperro, then took the bus back.  Graham dropped us off at Talland and we spent the morning there.  The first of three lovely sunny days.  

Your restaurant recommendations were all excellent.  Loved the Rashleigh Arms on the beach.  Especially welcome because of the rain on the last hour of the walk.  I thought Paul Ainsworth was a bit overrated, but it was nice.  

The coastal path leaving REadymoney beach in Fowey is closed due to storm damage, as was the past leaving Talland Beach toward Polperro, but the alternate routes were well marked.  

I loved the walks on both coasts.  

Route: Coleridge Way plus extension to Lynmouth
Name: James Williams
When: 14 April 2014

Flag of the United KingdomBeautiful walk through the idyllic Somerset countryside and along the coast. We were lucky to have perfect walking weather and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The walk has a nice mix of landscapes with Moorland, coasts, woodland, streams and waterfalls, lovely Somerset villages and greens, and some farmland. We saw lots of wildlife including red deer, Exmoor ponies, highland cattle and probably Kestrals hunting along the cliffs. We finished off with a bus ride with amazing views to Minehead and then a ride on a Steam Train on the West Somerset Railway to Bishops Lydeard. All the accommodation was good and we were well looked after by each of the hosts. We stayed at Notley Arms, Monksilver (lovely country pub, very pleasant recent refurb); Exmoor House, Weddon Cross (excellent vegetarian food); The Gables, Porlock (beautiful quintessential Somerset thatched cottage) and the Bath Hotel, Lynmouth (views of the harbour and sea). We got packed for the next day at all our accommodation. All the luggage transfers went well. The walking notes and information form Encounter wer excellent as was the communication when organising the holiday. We are already looking at the other walking holidays they organise!

Route: Fowey area and Padstow area
Name: Kjersti-Norway
When: 14 April 2014

Flag of NorwayWe (2 adults and two boys, 5 and 7 years) had an amazing holiday in Fowey and Padstow. Excellent weather, very nice people and beautiful walks. Accommodation at the Galleon inn in Fowey was good, the boys loved the possibility of playing snooker in the bar. Very friendly and helpful staff. We did one walk every day while there, circular Hall walk, circular walk to Polkerris and one walk including transportation from Polperro to Fowey. Spent about 5,5 hours including breaks on the two longest walks. The walk from Polperro requires reasonably fit children that are used to walking, and should maybe not be the first one you try out on in the area. In Padstow we had transfer to Port Quinn and walked along the coast to Padstow while our luggage was taken to the hotel. Then one "rest day" on the Camel trail with hired bikes that was great fun for the boys, and finally a circular walk to Trevone with lovely beaches on the way. We are used to trekking from Norway, bur really loved the atmosphere and landscape in Cornwall. The detailed day-to day schedule we had from Damon made it all very easy for us as we spent no time planning what to do the next day,-only enjoying. Two centre walk was a good alternative for us as we got to see different parts of the coast as well as not having to pack/ unpack every day. One advice for Polkerris on a sunny day (and I think school holiday) Book table in advance, or be prepared for a possibly very long wait. Many good Padstow restaurants were fully booked long time in advance for the whole Easter, and is something you might want to check up on before going if you want to try something other than the pub-food. We hope to come back and see more!

Route: Exmouth to Poole
Name: Doreen - UK
When: 12 April 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWe arrived home safely yesterday after a superb walk along the coast. As you are well aware the scenery was absolutely spectacular. We had one wet day on Easter Sunday and a bit cloudy on the last two days with the odd shower but the first week was wall- to - wall sunshine with us walking in shorts and tee-shirts it was so warm.

Many , many thanks for arranging the trip for us - everything went very smoothly and the bags were always there before us each day. The accommodation was excellent and it was a good job we walked quite a bit given the amount we ate!!!

As you indicated the section around Kimmeridge is now open with no problems at all. The only bit we made a slight modification to was between West Bexington and Abbotsbury. Chesil Beach has clearly been remodelling itself and the path is now buried under a pile of small pebbles. After walking about a mile or so on this which was hard work to say the least!!! we decided to head inland and followed the ridgeway to Abbotsbury. The views from the top were spectacular including  a superb hill  fort on the top so it was a very pleasant diversion and better than plodding along the pebbly beach. 

Anyhow many thanks again for all your help - it has certainly whetted out appetite to do other sections of the SW path. If we do then we will certainly be in touch with you again and we will  also recommend you to anyone else who wants to do this walk if the opportunity arises. 

Route: Lizard Marazion to Falmouth
Name: Sheryl -
When: 09 April 2014

Flag of CanadaWe were completely lucky with the weather, was spectacular. Everything was great as usual. The accommodation in Marizion was wonderful and a great place to land after the long haul from Canada to Cornwall. We “cheated” a bit and took a bus one day and taxi another as we were a bit tired but still managed to hike every day. We saw a pod of dolphins and one Caugh (sp?) on the cliffs (the emblem of Cornwall bird). We really loved Lizard Town and had a wild Saturday night party at the Witch Ball with the locals. That was a definite highlight. The golf course poshy place was a bit weird but we managed OK without the proper dining attire (LOL). All in all another awesome adventure in beautiful Cornwall. Thanks so much again and talk soon !!

Route: Mevagissey-Plymouth
Name: Tom Dens-Belgium
When: 08 April 2014

Flag of BelgiumWonderful 5-day walk with splendid views and fine weather. Great organisation by Encounterwalking, including nice B&B's, luggage transfer and itinerary. Path diversions, due to cliff falls, were well indicated. Around Fowey path signs were a bit confusing. Thank you for the excellent organisation.

Route: Minehead to Ilfacombe
Name: Alan - Belguim
When: 03 April 2014

Flag of BelgiumWe have completed our walk yesterday; I commend you for all the arrangements which worked smoothly throughout.

The walk has to be one of the best you can find anywhere for scenery,interest etc-so I request  to hear from you what other itinerary -either on another section of the SWCP or elsewhere in the UK you recommend( 5-7days) so we can squeeze in a similar hike  in September .

Route: Minehead to Ilfracombe
Name: Christine and Urs - Switzerland
When: 31 March 2014

Flag of SwitzerlandSince a week we are already at home. We spent a really extraordinary hiking week although the weather wasn't very pleasant. It was raining quite often and it was windy and cold. Neveretheless the sun showed herself sometimes. I enjoined walking through beautiful landscapes with lovely flowers, cute lambs and having always the sea on my right.

Our accommodations were all very cosy and the people extremly friendly. I liked the possibility to have a cup of tea/coffee in our own room! I especially prefered "The Old Ship Aground " in Minehead. On our first evening we sat by the fireside and felt there very familiar. We were totaly glad having choosen the relaxed walking route. Thank you Damon, it worked all best, as well with the busses!!

At some places the signes were broken, and we were not sure where to go, but I can't remember where that was. We only once get lostfor a short moment. It was on our first day, we couldn't find the Burgundy Chapel between Minehead and Porlock. It was foggy and this made the situation difficult. But fortunately soon we refound the path.It was perfectly organised, we had all the informations we needed and it was useful to have the luggage collected.

All in all a very good experiance and I am grateful to you Damon, you were so kind to offer us a individual route! I enjoined it very much. I highly recommend your organisation to everyone, then maybe it attract more Swiss to come and visite the beautiful south west part of England.

Route: Pembrokeshire Coast Path West and North
Name: Ute - Sydney
When: 29 March 2014

Flag of AustraliaThe scenery was pretty stunning; I especially liked the views around Ramsey Island ad was sorry their was no way to get there on the day I stopped at St David's.  St David's, Solva, Newport were all very interesting

The two rest days were actually very good; I probably wouldn't have attempted the last day (Newport to St Dogmaels) otherwise. As it was the last 15 miles turned out to be quite easy: I had the wind in my back. 

Accommodation: all very good and the people very friendly and helpful. A couple of updates: Anchor Guest House in Broad Haven has new owners, Helen and Ian. The seafood pie at the restaurant next door (Ocean Cafe...) was excellent.The other very good meal I had was at St David's - Indian at Saffron. The Coach House does an excellent breakfast too.

Wildlife: didn't see all that much, apart from a few rabbits, but lots of birds whose names I don't know, lots of butterflies. The spring flowers were exquisite. My friends all liked the picture of Witch's Cauldron! 

Signage is really very good. In a few places I had to retrace my steps, but nothing serious and I can't remember exactly where. Another comment: it would be good to have a few more benches, because when it's wet you don't want to sit down in the grass. The lunch stop at the bench at Carn Ogof (map 63) was one of my highlights. 

Most of the B&B places have free wifi, which might be worth mentioning in your notes. 

That's all. Thank you so much again for organising at short notice. 

Route: Minehead to Lynmouth
Name: Krysia - Wales
When: 26 March 2014

Flag of WalesMy (all too short) break was fab!!! An excellent choice of location - haven't really done much in Devon before but shall definitely be doing more! Lovely walking and absolutely ideal for the dog, just the sort of environment he loves - trees, beaches, wide expanses, few people, and with sheep (mostly) secured behind effective barriers he was happy to be off lead most of the time.

The hotels were excellent, in fact surprisingly so - it is often difficult to find reasonably priced accommodation as good as those you arranged for me when a big dog is in the picture. Thank you for taking all the hard work out of organising my time away (I usually do all this myself and know how frustrating it can be.) You definitely came up with the goods and I'm happy to recommend your service to others.

Route: Fowey Walking Break
Name: S Clarke +1 and dog
When: 04 February 2014

Flag of the United KingdomWe are back home safely, thank you, and nothing but happy memories of our brief, dramatic Cornish getaway! We loved the walk to Polkerris and had a fabulous lunch at the Rashleigh Arms (?) pub on the beach, before walking home along the Saints Way. The Fowey Hall Hotel was also fabulous, we had a delicious dinner and wine by the fire with our labrador - heaven, and the most comfortable bed, I think, ever! The next day we took the ferry to Polruan and did the Hall Walk, which was beautiful, and then we decided to drive home that night and give Padstow a miss. We were happy not to be walking in the gales and the mud and the rain once we got home, but overall had a fantastic time, and maybe will try and do Padstow or another area soon. Funnily enough I think the dog is the most tired of all three of us, but we all really, really enjoyed it and are grateful for all your advice and help. Feeling very lucky to be warm and dry, and not flooded, and looking forward to our next trip, perhaps in the summer! 

Route: Coastal Path and St Michaels Way
Name: Eva Beazley
When: 14 November 2013

Flag of the United KingdomTerrific walking and great places to stay along the way. Particularly the Tinner's Arms in Zennor which has really, really good food which they call 'pub grub' and we rated as restaurant excellent. Lots of great advice from Damon and all really well organised, very flexible and lots of great advice.

Route: osmington mills to kimmeridge
Name: Peter Cranfield
When: 09 November 2013

Flag of the United KingdomIt was quite a short break, only 2 days walking, because my partner still has a demanding job and our free days are limited and it was a bit of a taster. We were very lucky with the weather, wet on the drive down and atrocious on the way home but very good for the walking. The first day the sting was in the tail with some steep bits before reaching Durdle Door. The B&B at Lulworth (Bindon Bottom) was wonderful, Lisa and Clive could not have been more hospitable. The following day the walk through the ranges was magnificent, blue sky, sun, light SW breeze. Bindon Hill was a steep hill but steps made it pleasant. The views were amazing and it is a walk I shall never forget. The B&B at Kimmeridge was also excellent, even driving us to the pub for dinner. Encounter did a first class job and we will be back and I wouldn't use any other company. Thank you for a magnificent break!

Route: SW Coastal path - St Ives to Penzance
Name: Mel Jays
When: 22 October 2013

Flag of the United KingdomA fantastic walk, quite difficult and tiring but well worth it. The section from Porthcorno to Mousehole was particularly good. Accommodation was very good especially the Gurnard's head at Treen, the B&B at Porthcorno was being renovated when we were there and still needs some work.

Route: Abbotsbury to Portland Bill to Fortuneswell
Name: Lisa Silver
When: 18 October 2013

Flag of the United KingdomAn easy if lengthy walk on the first day. We stayed at the fantastically comfortable Manor Hotel West Bexington, drove 3 miles down the road to Abbotsbury and parked on Rodden Row. The reason for this was that we wanted to walk almost to the tip of Portland in one day - approx. 15 miles and the light would not have allowed for such a lengthy walk if we had started from Bexington. The walk is very well signposted along the back of the Fleet Lagoon, next to Chesil beach. As one nears Portland the walk takes on a less rural feel but nevertheless interesting, walking around an MOD facility where soldiers learn to make bridges. Just before Portland we stopped at the wonderful Crab House Café where they cooked us up some food despite the kitchen being technically closed. The walk along the main road to Portland beside Weymouth Harbour is noisy as one is walking along the road, but once onto Portland one climbs a steep hill out of Fortuneswell and onto the western side of Portland for the final 5 km down to the Ocean Spa Hotel which deserves a special mention. Built as an MOD facility, from the outside it looks austere and unprepossessing, but having been bought by Verna a couple of years ago, she has transformed the hotel. It is spotlessly clean and the service was excellent as was the food. The following day we continued the walk by walking down to Portland Bill and then up the eastern side of the island past Verne prison, where one can have lunch courtesy of the prisoners and through various old quarries until we arrived back at Fortuneswell where we chose to stop our walk and take a cab through Weyline for £36 all the way back to our start point at Abbotsbury. The walking of the Fleet lagoon at the back of Chesil beach is very interesting as this is such a fascinating natural wonder.

Route: Marazion to Falmouth and a Lostwithiel Walk
Name: Monica
When: 10 October 2013

Flag of CanadaWe had a very lovely time and think the walk was absolutely beautiful! The fact that we were so

lucky with the weather did not hurt either.  I think all the arrangements you made for us were great and it all worked out beautifully. We did get lost a couple of times, but always due to our own stupidity, not lack of information. Just added to the adventure. We did find the walk a lot more strenuous than we had expected though, mainly because of the constant (and mostly very steep) up and downs. It slowed us down quite a bit, as of course did the breathtaking scenery requiring constant stopping to admire and photograph. Also we have never done anything like this, so probably most of your walkers would be in much better shape than us. But we live to tell the tale, so all is good.

Also we loved the gardens, particularly Trebah - I think anybody who does the coastal walk should take the time to see that, it is so magical. We also enjoyed Glendurgan, but if someone only wants to do one, it should definitely be Trebah.  In Lostwithiel we did enjoy Lanhydrock, but we're very glad we decided to go and see Restormel, which we thought was lovely and the more interesting and enjoyable of the two.

We would definitely recommend the walk to others - it is totally fantastic. As to the organization by Encounter - we think it is absolutely amazing how well everything was organized and everything happened without a hitch, no problems anywhere. We particularly appreciated all the pointers on what to look for, (loved those crows with the red beaks and feet, however never did see any sharks - probably basking in the Med by now) and the really good info on eating places for both lunch and dinner.

A big THANK YOU to you Damon, for doing all the organizing so well and so make it very easy for us to enjoy it all - it was very special.

Route: Coleridge Way and Coast Path Lynmouth to Minehead
Name: Barbara
When: 07 October 2013

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a wonderful holiday, thank you, and the weather was much kinder that we could have expected, bearing in mind what was going on in our home towns at the time!

I can only say that I am now completely sold on the idea of using your services for future trips. For two ladies of advancing years, it was made so easy for us in every possible way. The whole week went without a hitch. The walking was brilliant (and we did visit Dunkery Beacon and take the Rugged Alternative); the accommodation was all fun in different ways and comfortable throughout and the taxis all turned up. Your suggestion of beginning the return journey by steam train finished things off beautifully.

Route: Cornish Coast to Coast
Name: Francis Ramage
When: 05 October 2013

Flag of the United KingdomExcellent B&Bs, perfect weather and perfect arrangements. Nothing needs to be changed - very little room for improvement. Thank you very much; keep up the good work!

Route: Saints Way Padstow to Fowey
Name: Margaret Somerville
When: 02 October 2013

Flag of AustraliaWe had a great time despite the weather on the first 2 days. We got a bit lost at the beginning in the fields around Withiel, but it may have been partly because we were walking it backward, because the accommodation wasn't available. We certainly got better at reading maps! We didn't walk the 2nd day as torrential rain and thunderstorms were forecast, ,so we spent a very pleasant day in Padstow instead. We would suggest more notes with directions - especially on the field bits as it was often confusing which direction to head. The taxi and accomodation were easy and good. We really enjoyed our last 2 days walking - we were powering up the hills by the end and felt better for it. Highly reccommend.

Route: Lyme Regis to Poole / Lyme Regis to Torquay / Falmouth to St. Ives
Name: Martin
When: 01 October 2013

Flag of SwitzerlandAfterwards I can say it was quite a walk! These were four wonderful weeks and four wonderful walks. I was more strenuous than I thought but I was a great (also mentally) experience walking alone! I've seen several beautiful landscapes, met nice people and I was lucky with the weather. Most of the time it was cloudy or sunny and mild. Thank you and your team for the super-planning. The descriptions and information I received from you were very precise and guided my way well. Best wishes and have a good time!

Route: Bude to Padstow Group Walk
Name: Kevin and a group of Foreign Language Students
When: 30 September 2013

Encounter Walking Holidays logoI was planning to send you an e mail to give you some feedback as I believe your company deserves to be praised and highly recommended.

Every member of my group had a wonderful time and didn't have one negative comment about the week, even the wet weather during the first couple of days didn't deter them from enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Your organisation and choice of hotels were superb, everything went perfectly smoothly and we were all completely confident that we were in good hands.

Thank you so much for making the experience so enjoyable and thank you for your outstanding professional service. I will definitely book another group holiday with you and will not hesitate in recommending you to others.

Route: Minehead to Barnstaple
Name: Frank + 3
When: 28 September 2013

Flag of GermanyI like to give you a short feedback of our hiking tour from Minehead to Barnstable. We could find our way with the help of the guide book we got from you and the maps where very detailed. Additionally the way was marked with a lot of signs all along.

There was only one place where the signs was placed badly and we could not spot in which of the two possible ways the signs points. Unfortunately I could not describe the place exactly. It was on the way between Porlock Weir and Lynton, shortly before Lynton. In the evening we met some hikers in a pub who got lost at the same place.  Maybe you get a more detailed tip from other hikers too.

The accommodations were good. I like to emphasize The Gables in Porlock Weir which is very beautiful and the landlady was very friendly. Finally I like to laud the luggage service which works very good all the time and delivered two times things we forgot in the hotel before to the next one.

Highlights of our tour were the beaches of Woolacombe which we passed by at a cloudy afternoon, touring to sun shine, changing to light rain and end up in a tea room by Cream Tea and sun shine again and a wonderful sky. This two hours were typically for our hiking week. The weather changes very often but we had only one day were we skipped the walking and preferred to take the bus but fortunately the day with the shortest tour.So thank you for this very nice week. We all enjoyed it very much and the changes are good that we come back to see more of the Coastal Path.

Route: Fowey One Centre Walking Holiday
Name: 6 walkers from Sweden/UK
When: 27 September 2013

Flag of SwedenFlag of the United KingdomExcellent recommendation from Damon to stay in one location ( highly enjoyable Fowey ) and do day walks to the surrounding villages. Friendly and nice accommodation at the King of Prussia in Fowey. We had a fantastic holiday and were most impressed by the very professional arrangements by Encounter Walking Holidays.

Route: Mevagissey to Fowey plus circular Hall walk
Name: Karen May
When: 23 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomI had a very enjoyable two and a half days walking on the southwest coast path with my son and his partner. The weather could have been kinder but it did not dampen our spirits. The organisation and information from Encounter were excellent and so were the B&Bs at Mevagissey, Charlestown and Fowey. The owners at Honeycombe House in Mevergissey directed us to a road nearby where free car parking was available. The luggage transfer worked a treat and everyone was very helpful and friendly. From Charlestown to Fowey we did miss our route on a couple of occasions around the golf course and at Polridmouth) and were surprised that the way marking signs were not more in evidence. We should have kept a closer eye on the OS map but as it was raining we probably got lazy about getting the map out! We had a great time and want to do more.

Route: Westward Ho! to Padstow relaxed walkers itinerary
Name: Maggie - UK
When: 23 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a lovely time thanks to your organisation and that we somehow managed to coincide our rest days with the worst weather. Overall the weather was pretty good and path was fine, with very little in the way of overgrown bits. We found a couple of cafes in which you might be interested.

Morwenstow to Bude: At Northcott Mouth there is a rustic tea garden, open Easter to early October.

Crackington Haven to Boscastle: About a mile from Boscastle at the top of the steep climb out of Pentargon is Boscastle farm shop and café which opened earlier this year. They are planning to be open 7 days a week all year, so worth knowing about. Good home made food and cakes. www.boscastlefarmshop.co.uk  It's only 50 yards off the path and there is a small sign to the left of the path.

We only had one minor issue with route finding. On the leg from Boscastle to Tintagel map ref OS111 grid ref 082905 the coastal path follows a farm track (which carries on to the village of Trevalga). The CP leaves the farm track but there is no marker indicating this. So if you're not careful (which we weren't) it's easy to carry on the track towards the village.

Accommodation was fine. We loved 50 Church Street at Padstow. The Avalon Guest House in Tintagel does the best porridge ever, and Nancy at Port Isaac is a treasure. She washed our walking trousers which were plastered in mud after a slithery walk up and down the gullies.

Thanks again for another excellent walk. Will be in touch later in the year to start planning South Devon. Sounds like it will be something of a military operation with all the ferries and estuaries.

Route: Seaton to Abbotsbury
Name: Six walkers from London
When: 20 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomWe arranged a walk on the Dorset Coast path with Encounter to cover a full day with a half-day either side, the first day covering the Undercliff from Seaton to Lyme Regis, the second the coast path from Lyme to West Bexington, and the third a circular walk to Abbotsbury. Firstly, we thoroughly recommend the walk - we all enjoyed it and, although the middle section was 16 miles of up and down cliffs, found it comfortably within our abilities. The Undercliff wasn't quite as jungle-like as the descriptions we'd read had led us to believe, but was still a good walk, with occasional glimpses of the sea. Quite up and down and slippery in places but classed as a moderate walk, which seems fair.

Stayed the night in Lyme Regis (dinner at the excellent Tierra Kitchen) and the next morning set off in the fog for the main stretch of the walk. More than we'd realised of the first part was on road (probably should have checked the map more carefully) due to coastal erosion but after Charmouth started up Golden Cap. The fog didn't lift all day so not much in the way of views but the walk was very enjoyable, although quite tough in parts. Got to West Bay around 3pm but decided we'd rather wait an extra hour for refreshments away from the smell of stale chip fat and walked on to the Hive Beach Cafe, which I can't recommend enough (a slice of cake has never been so welcome!). The final stretch was fairly straightforward (and flat), along the edge of the beach and nature reserve to West Bexington.

The Manor hotel was excellent - they knew all our plans and really looked after us. We had booked to eat there that evening as well, which was a good move. The final day we decided to relax a bit and just walked to Abbotsbury for lunch, rather than the full circular walk, so that we weren't so pressed for time.

A couple of comments are that the directions would have been even better if the distances were broken down a bit more (eg: distance from Lyme to Charmouth etc) as it would have made it easier to plan. There were parts of the coast path which were badly sign-posted so the OS map was essential - we should have taken a compass as well considering the fog made finding landmarks difficult! The arrangements were flawless, however, and there were no hitches at all - it was lovely not having to think about that side of it! We'd definitely use Encounter again, as both the arrangements during the trip and the wealth of information when planning were fantastic.

Route: Bude to Padstow
Name: Mike Marshall
When: 18 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a great time and the accommodation worked very well with transfer of luggage good too. Dog thoroughly enjoyed his holiday Mike & Mary

Route: Dartmoor Way
Name: Paul Hawkins
When: 17 September 2013

Flag of the United States of AmericaGreat start and end stay at Abbey Inn, Buckfastleigh. Rain all first day, but no problems. Two good nights at Cromwell Arms. Excellent optional walk of high tors, thanks to provided notes by Damon. I did miss final turn into Bovey Tracey, but was probably distracted by sweet black berries along the Templer Way. Had rain leaving Bovey Tracy to Chagford. Had an excellent lunch at the Kestor Inn before continuing via taxi to Sandy Park Inn, due to rain and time of day. Good walking Chagford to Okehampton with improved weather. Had heavy fog on the moors just before Sourton, but was able to locate the path by following the stone wall. The Highwayman Inn was one of the best finds on the trip. The final hill into Lydford was a muddy slog after six four-wheel-drive vehicles passed before me. The Castle Inn was one of my favorite stays. Took the optional walk through Lydford Gorge and really enjoyed the waterfall. The Apple Tree B&B in Tavistock was a nice surprise. I would classify it a boutique B&B, and the owners were a lovely young couple. The walk to Princetown was made easy via the old railway. The most Dartmoor ponies on the trip. Leaving Princetown on the final leg started in heavy fog. Had an excellent lunch at the Forest Inn in Hexworthy. Completed the trip via taxi into Buckfastleigh to have time to explore the Buckfastleigh Abbey near my inn. My thanks to the luggage transfer group that performed flawlessly.

Route: Saints Way Padstow to Fowey
Name: Emer - UK
When: 16 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomOverall great holiday.

Route: - Broadly, fine but muddy and overgrown in parts (OS helpful if path not obvious e.g in some fields).
Near beginning of route sign in field below Obelisk pointing wrong way (in future could include sketch of path in notes )  Eating: - Rick Stein's cafe great and the bistro and Sam's good in Fowey - Organisation v good (no lost bags) and helpful free parking tip in Padstow

Would recommend to other, particularly if prefer a route less travelled so no crowds and queues
All B&Bs good - especially liked Tregolls Farm and the Well Inn (excellent location and family suite meant the luxury of space) - many thanks - Emer

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Andy (UK)
When: 16 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomThe holiday was a great success and your planning was almost faultless. The walking between St.Ives and Penzance was impressive, particularly when the weather was bright. Your comments about Lamorna Cove were such that I decided to go to Mousehole and do an easy walk into Penzance. I am not keen on steep cliffs and drops - I have no head for heights!

The baggage transfers all went well and I'm sure I exceeded the 20Kg limit. I certainly over packed. The accommodation was unfailingly good - indeed excellent. In Penzance I had an excellent meal at The Navy Inn which specialises in fresh fish dishes.

The accommodation at Pendeen  was good and Moira provided a tasty home cooked meal as well as a cream tea when I arrived. The Geevor Mine was well worth the time I took (it was very misty in the morning) and I followed it up with a visit to the Penlee House Gallery in Penzance, which was exhibiting some Graham Sutherland works relevant to the tin mining industry.

I would certainly recommend your company and would use it again for walking The SW Coastal Path which is a treasure, and everyone I met was most helpful. Kind regards and thanks again
 

Route: Coleridge Way - 4 days
Name: David - Western Australia
When: 12 September 2013

Flag of AustraliaThanks to you and your great team.  We had a marvellous walk in good weather with no significant issues.  As promised by Prue - Dunkery Beacon was the "high light".

Route: Land`s End-Mevagissey
Name: John Waters
When: 10 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomVery fine walk. Excellent arrangements throughout. At a few weeks shy of 80 - itineraries all well within my capabilities - most days finishing by 4-5 pm with a 9 am [ish] start. Much less strenuous than North Coast route for example - so I would estimate that the categories were all one degree excessive. Strenuous being Moderate plus and so on. Some path diversions but all very clear with no ambiguity. One or two places not so well signed and route difficult to discern. This especially approaching Kynance where I did lose my way. However as this day was marked by a very dense sea mist this might be an unfair criticism. B & Bs were almost all [tho varied] very good with helpful proprietors. The only downside was The Grove at Falmouth. The room being next to some machinery/plumbing [?] which was the noisiest operation I have encountered. Luggage transfer as well as transfer from Train all excellent. Even in mid Sept. a number of other walkers - both day trippers and half a dozen or so coastal path walkers. A very enjoyable holiday.

Route: St. Ives to Falmouth
Name: Betsy Booth
When: 07 September 2013

Flag of the United States of AmericaEncounter Walking did a great job of setting up the trip, and it was most enjoyable. Highly recommend Gurnard's Head Hotel as a place to stay and eat, as well as the Abbey Hotel and attached Slipway restaurant in Penzance. We took a day off in Penzance to visit St. Michael's Mount, and are very glad we did. Also, after arriving in Falmouth, took the ferry to St. Mawes to visit the castle and charming town, and that was delightful. Some of the 14-mile days were very long, given the number of descents and ascents around coves. We had a few days of rain and wind, and of course that made those long days more exhausting. I might limit the days to 10 miles or so if I were repeating the trip. But overall, a fantastic experience.

Route: Mevagissey to Looe; Coleridge Way
Name: Susan
When: 07 September 2013

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe made two 4-day walks one after the other. The first was from Mevagissey to Looe on the South West Coast Path; and the second was the Coleridge Way. Being from the USA, we wanted to have two different landscape experiences in the time we had to walk. The South West Coast Path offers absolutely stunning scenery, much like that of our northern California coast only without the highway running along it as we have here. We were impressed with the beauty of the broad views, how lovely the harbor villages were and that there was such an organized path the whole way. The Coleridge Way was special too. We loved that we could just walk through pastureland and woods and barely saw another walker. In fact, we saw more people on horseback than on foot. This path was far less traveled than the South West Coast Path which made it all the more special to us. One of the best nights was our stay at Woodadvent Farm where cattle, sheep and pheasant are raised. The accommodations were quite special and the hosts very friendly and helpful. In fact, we were having trouble finding the place at the end of the day and we looked up from our huddle over the map in the darkening afternoon to see our host come to find us. He drove us "home" in his utility vehicle. We recommend highly the Encounter group. They helped us decide which would be the best walks for us, advised us on how to make train arrangements to the starting points from the USA and followed our progress along the way with helpful check-ins. We also very much liked that accommodations were reviewed with us prior to booking so that there were no surprises. We would definitely set up a trip with Encounter again and I have already recommended them to others here at home as well as walkers we met along our way.

Route: Falmouth to Plymouth
Name: Andrew (UK)
When: 06 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomJust a brief (and rather late) message to thank you for another well organised holiday.  Everything went well and we had a good time.  There were no problems with the bookings, and the baggage transfer was flawless.   The accommodation was the usual delightful variety. 

Route: Padstow to Falmouth
Name: John Filby
When: 04 September 2013

Flag of CanadaA very good walk with spectacular scenery and a lot of variety. Accommodations were good to great for the most part; we had especially good treatment at Padstowe, St Georges Hotel (Zennor) and in Mawnan Smith. Directions into and out of Lizard were a bit confusing and the paths especially muddy. We hiked from Perranporth to St Ives and had a rest day in St Ives which was brilliant. Good suggestions and excellent recommendations by the Encounter team Overall - the hike was much tougher than we expected but a combination of good Cornish beer and cream teas helped us through

Route: Boscastle to Padstow
Name: Sandra, UK
When: 03 September 2013

Flag of the United KingdomExcellent walk, directions, accommodation and suggestions worked perfectly. The suggestion to include Rocky Valley and St Nectan's Kieve in first day's itinerary was ideal and I probably would not have done this without recommendation. Accommodation and food all good along the way. They could definitely do with putting a proper acorn SWCP sign where the path turns right before the gate coming in to Trevalga. I missed this and so did other walkers I spoke to. Wonderful stretch of coastline - will definitely do more in N.Cornwall. Thanks

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Russell Folk
When: 31 August 2013

Flag of the United KingdomMyself and a pal completed our Cornish coastal path walk a couple of days back, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Plenty of positives, stunning scenery, clean and friendly accommodation, problem free luggage transfers, and (luckily) fantastic weather throughout. Variations on accommodation types were very wide ranging, but the quality was first class. Specific recommendations are the food at St George's Hotel, Padstow and at The Red River Inn at Gwithian. Also, walking along the beach at Perran was a welcome relief for tired feet. I will certainly book another walk next year, and have recommended Encounterwalking to friends.

Route: Two moors way
Name: Henk van Lievenoogen
When: 24 August 2013

Flag of the NetherlandsHad a great walk. But I have to admit, the weather helped a lot! Everywhere our dog was more than welcome. Good beds and good food. And Cadleigh Manor in Ivybridge is our absolute winner.

Route: SWCP Minehead to Westward Ho
Name: Chris Lee
When: 23 August 2013

Flag of the United KingdomMy son and I really enjoyed our walk but were less enamoured of the seaside towns in August. All the good restaurants were booked up so I would recommend booking in advance during busy holiday periods. Having said that we would recommend the following: Tea rooms at Bossington, Hunters Inn, Grampus Inn, Sandleigh tea room at Croyde, The Rock at Georgeton and Fremington Quay Cafe. The best views/places we thought were The Church at Culbone, The Valley of the rocks, Watermouth Bay, Morte Point and Instow beach.

Unless like us you want to walk the entire SWCP we would recommend avoiding the SWCP between Saunton and Instow. We found it flat and boring and walking on a tarmac cycle path between Braunton and Instow was unpleasant. Accomodation arrangements and luggage transfers worked very well. The Accomodation varied but we would certainly recommend The Old Stables at Minehead, Mellstock House in Combe Martin and The George Hotel at Braunton. Overall a well organised enjoyable trip.

Route: Penzance to Falmouth and Ivybridge to Morcard Road
Name: Dan and Val Close
When: 22 August 2013

Flag of the United States of AmericaThe trip was fantastic. All of the planning and itinerary were excellent. The hotels and B and B's were all quite nice. Special kudos go to Lyn at Farleigh Cottage in Chagford, Steve and Sharon at Cadleigh Manor in Ivybridge, and Mike and the whole crew at the Tradesman Arms in Scorritan. We never met the luggage transfer people, but they performed they task on time and in the proper location. The weather was great throughout the whole two weeks. The only negative was the long 16.5 mile (plus add-on mileage due to a missing trail marker near Morchard Road) trip from Chagford to Morchard Road.

Route: Saints Way over 2 days
Name: Sandy
When: 20 August 2013

Encounter Walking Holidays logoWe thoroughly enjoyed our Saints Way walk from Padstow to Fowey and we're grateful to Encounter for their efficient and helpful advice. Luggage transfers went without a hitch and accommodation was generally very good, particularly the Old Custom House in Padstow (lovely view of the harbour, very clean room) and Willowbrook B&B in Lanivet, where Elaine was a wonderful host - I don't think I have ever seen a room so sparklingly clean! We had an extra night in Padstow and an extra night in Fowey to properly explore those towns, and that was well worth it. Fowey was the most pleasant surprise - a lovely place. We were lucky to be there during Regatta week which added a wonderful buzz.

We are reasonably fit forty-somethings and we found the Saints Way perfectly manageable over two days. In fact we felt that had we taken three days we'd have been at a bit of a loss for things to do in the afternoons/evenings outside of Padstow and Fowey, as the towns along the way are tiny. We were quite surprised at the lack of pubs or even tea/coffee shops along the way particularly on the Padstow/Lanivet stretch - we recommend taking a packed lunch, plenty of water and some snacks with you on that leg (the second leg was fine as there were more options - the Crown Inn in Lanivery and a few options in Golant).

Signposting was generally good. We used the OS maps particularly when off-road and the additional walking notes provided by Encounter were most helpful. One little surprise was how much of the walking is on roads. Generally these are very small roads - quite narrow and hedge lined. There's usually not a lot of traffic but I would strongly recommend bright clothing (fine for us as the weather was nice but I suspect tricky if you're in waterproofs) because there's often not a lot of space to get out of the way of approaching traffic, and not a lot of time for a car to spot you. The Hall Walk from Fowey (a circular walk from Fowey to Polruan and back) was a real highlight - a stunningly beautiful walk and one not to miss. It's only short but we added on a bit of strolling along the South West Coast Path to make the most of a beautiful day. Thanks Encounter!

Route: Penzance -Falmouth
Name: koen bossuyt
When: 18 August 2013

Flag of BelgiumVery well organised, thanks for that. Route very beautiful. Minor diversions well sign posted. Had a timing issue on the ferry transfer at Helmond River. Impossible to combine B&B breakfast planning with low tide break on ferry, but that was only a minor issue (approx 2 hours waiting time). Thanks for the high quality service !!

Route: Lyme Regis to Poole
Name: Marian Owen
When: 17 August 2013

Flag of the United KingdomWhat a fantastic walk, with brilliant and varied scenery, fascinating geology, lovely wild flowers and umpteen different species of butterfly. We were glad we took the South Dorset Ridgeway option from West Bexington to Osmington Mills as this added variety to coastal walking with great views, much historical interest and avoided the flat lands around Chesil Beach. Encounter's organisation of accommodation, luggage transfers and taxi pick-ups was faultless. The walk notes were up-to-date and most helpful but we did feel that the stated mileage and estimated time for completion were understated. Thank you very much to the staff at Encounter for organising a wonderful holiday for us.

Route: St Ives to Sennen Cove
Name: Glenda and Ian
When: 13 August 2013

Flag of AustraliaLovely walk with well organised walking track, great accommodation, quality food and good weather. The scenery so beautiful we did miss a few of the signs but no real mishaps. Our first and last nights were stand outs at St Ives and Sennen Cove. Room 2 at the Old Success Inn (at Sennen Cove) was magical, overlooking the water with postcard views to enjoy. Would recommend Encounter, highly professional and efficient.

Route: Lyme Regis to Abbotsbury
Name: Caroline Bagley
When: 12 August 2013

Flag of the United KingdomEnjoyed this walk very much. Accommodation arranged for us was superb and transfers all great. Just one problem was that on the first day we had to detour which added on mileage. We also walked straight past our hotel as we were lead to believe it was in West Bay which was where we were finishing the walk when in fact it was in Eypes. This meant another mile walking back. Apart from that a very well arranged holiday thanks. Will certainly use Encounter again.

Route: Falmouth to Brixham
Name: Thea - Denmark
When: 10 August 2013

Flag of DenmarkAs always, everything was arranged to fulfil my needs. Very good accommodation and beautiful walking. Diversions were not a problem, neither in number nor length. In many places I had a number of restaurants to choose between, and the food was often more up-scale compared with further west. Maybe because this area also seemed to be popular with the sailing people. I can only recommend this stretch on SWCP. Even the weather was more or less perfect, only two rainy days in 15 days walking.

Route: Minehead to Padstow
Name: Hobmeier michael
When: 10 August 2013

Flag of SwitzerlandEncounter Walking Holidays has clearly exceeded our expectations in many ways. They were very responsive to our needs, got things going and organised our trip in a marvelous, very precise way. I can only recommend them, our trip was wonderful!

Route: Westward Ho! to Padstow
Name: Alice - Zürich
When: 09 August 2013

Flag of Switzerlandwe had great holidays, everything was well planned and worked out fine. All the accommodations were very nice, we have had a marvelous chocolate cake and the best bread  at Tintagel, made by Julie Walker and we had a perfect ending ad the simply Padstow, very nice rooms with a great view and a delicious breakfast.
We had no problems with the bike and even our two boys (15, 13) were very happy. We like this rough part of the coast very much.

Thanks a lot for the perfect planning and thanks to everybody in all these nice accommodations.

Route: Penzance to Falmouth in 10 days
Name: Josep (cat)
When: 06 August 2013

Flag of SpainEverything was OK, weather was magnificent, even too sunny. All accomodation places were expecting us, rooms where ready, clean and fine etc. Luggage transfers had no incidences, etc. With plenty of signals along the path we almost did not need maps or gps tracking. The path has very good infrastructure, it is well maintained, has a lot of signals, and clean public facilities in remote places, etc. We got lost once between Gillan and Helford where the path went straight through a maize corn field! Some hightlights: * walk from Penzance to Marazion in low tide across the huge beach * take the boat trip sailing up the Fal river from Falmouth to Truro

Route: Minehead to Ilfracombe
Name: Carol Delnon
When: 05 August 2013

Flag of the United KingdomThe itinerary, maps and guides were really helpful and the path easy to follow. Our itinerary correctly advised us about when we needed to take our own refreshments e.g. for the day between Porlock Weir and Lynmouth. The luggage transfers and booking arrangements worked really well. We felt that our dog was welcome at all the places we stopped. If you're staying at Channel Vista in Combe Martin, we would recommend the evening meal as a hearty alternative to predictable pub grub. We would definitely recommend taking time to walk the Exmoor coastline which is spectacular. Thanks to Encounter for taking the stress out of planning and organising a linear walk so we could enjoy a lovely walking holiday.

Route: Lyme Regis to Lulworth Cove via Ridgeway
Name: Susan and Chris
When: 04 August 2013

Flag of the United Kingdom Tips or useful information for other walkers ? -  Eypes Mouth Hotel,Abbotsbury Abbey House Guest House and Lulworth Cove Inn were all wonderful places to stay with marvelous hosts. RiverHouse Upwey does amazing lamb, food was brilliant Bakehouse in Abbotsbury did really good pasty, dorset homity pie and cake for packed lunch over Ridgeway. Agree with previous comments re the Ilchester Arms overpriced for what you get.

 Comments about the organisation of the trip by Encounter Walking Holidays ?  Fantastic to have luggage in room when we arrived or brought up when we arrived (Lulworth Cove Inn)-such good organisation Walking notes excellent. Really good to have Damons expertise when we booked and he sorted it out all last minute.(thank you) When our dinner bookings didn't happen, one phone call to Cathy and she sorted it straight out,she was so friendly and helpful ( thank you)

Would you recommend the walk to others ?-Definately!

What was the best thing about your walk?  The sheer variety of the terrain, not all cliffs are the same!.Seeing flowers and butterflies and those amazing vistas. Seeing Lyme Regis disapear into the far distance and knowing we walked it ourselves. Huge sense of achievement.

Route: Weymouth to Lyme
Name: P Claridge
When: 03 August 2013

Flag of the United KingdomHad a lovely walk. Well organised. Good accommodation and food. No problems with transfers. One very minor problem was making use of the guide book which assumes you are travelling west to east. More than happy to recommend.

Route: Morwenstow to Padstow
Name: Ruth
When: 03 August 2013

Flag of the United KingdomJust to say we had a wonderful time. This is the first time we have used a luggage transfer service, having always carried our own packs previously and arranged our own accommodation but I don't think there will be any going back! Our luggage was transported without a hitch, in most places we arrived to find our bags already in our room, and we really liked the selection of accommodation you chose for us (and I can be a bit picky).

I was worried the route might be too taxing for us but actually it was fine. We thought the part of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path we walked a couple of years ago was tougher - but then we were carrying our packs that time. We had a great time. We were also really impressed by how helpful and friendly everyone was; without exception the Hotel staff were very pleasant and accommodating. Its also the first time we have been on holiday with our dog and the place you booked us into really were 'dog friendly'. Overall a fabulous holiday!

Route: Ivybridge to Dunsford
Name: Simone
When: 02 August 2013

Encounter Walking Holidays logoAfter the coast path we walked the Moor for two days and then through the Teign Gorge to Dunsford. Everything was great again - Accommodations, walking instructions, luggage transfer, weather. Encounter even checked the last part of our tour as they don't have the gorge in their program. Our way through the gorge was accompanied by a steady drizzle so we didn't make Castle Drogo but went directly to Dunsford. The gorge is really beautiful, especially the first part of it. After the two days on the moor its vegetation seemed almost unreal.

Route: Padstow to St Ives
Name: Alan
When: 01 August 2013

Encounter Walking Holidays logoThanks encounter for a well planned well organised walking holiday.along the way we stayed in a fisherman s cottage b&b a seaside hotel a traditional pub a country hotel and a Cornish farmhouse all different all good The route walked was was easy to follow past stunning beaches ancient mining sites little fishing villages and the daily distance just enough to provide a daily challenge We also enjoyed the Camel Cycle trail from Padstow to Bodmin the day before our walk started just to loosen up the legs.The taxi to and from the airport was punctual friendly and informative and baggage transfers worked well Thank you all for a great holiday

Route: St Ives to Padstow
Name: Turk Ellis
When: 01 August 2013

Flag of the United States of AmericaGreat walk helped by perfect weather (it only rained at night - twice) All B&B's were approx. 3 star - rooms in most were on the smallish side (that's the UK though) but this was more than offset by the lovely people who run them. Worst accom. was Portreath Arms Hotel (ONE STAR) - they were not ready for us at 4.30pm. Quaint 300 year old pub but the beds were 250 years old - lumpy and horrible - no hot water for the basin & a very old "warm' water system in shower. They also allow drinkers to sing, yell, bark etc. at top of voices for over an hour after closing, outside, under your window. I would strongly suggest to Encounter that they find somewhere else in that town. Encounter Walking Note - We have 3 good B&B options in Portreath which were full when Turk booked and we use these in the first instance as options for walkers - ask for a quote to see them - meanwhile we will be contacting The Portreath Arms to discuss these issues in the light of Turks comments -

Best guide is the book Cornwell Coast Path, but the occasional reference to the Ordinance maps for reassurance is helpful but really unnecessary if you stay on the path. I rarely recommend organisations, however, Encounter should be congratulated for their most professional organisation of our walk. The daily walk information was spot-on and although we didn't need the telephone information provided, it removed any concerns. Their walk times were also pretty consistent and could be relied upon. It was so refreshing at the end of a days treck to find your gear awaiting you, showers ready, a welcoming smile, clean facilities and a good bed (other than the pub).

One final comment - if you are asked to stay at Nanterrow Farm in Gwithian; do so. Linda & husband are lovely people, the rooms and bed are huge, the breakfast room is a beautifull setting and the food excellent. Linda had even pre-booked us in at the Red River Inn to ensure we got dinner as it is the only eating place close by, and took us down and back. BUT it is a mile and a big long slow hill to get to the farm from the road, so be prepared for that at the end of the day. There are encouraging signs like "keep going- its worth it" and "almost there" to encourage you. And YES it is worth it. All in all, we had a fantastic time - a walk we will remember fondly for years to come.

Route: St Ives to Lizard Village
Name: Agneta Pettersson
When: 30 July 2013

Flag of SwedenThanks for a well organized walking holiday. The guide book was sufficient for us so the maps were somewhat redundant. As pointed out in the guide book there were areas that were not well marked but we managed to find our way. Places which the guide book noted as muddy really was - even if the weather had been good for a while. The walking times in the guide book was far too optimistic! And we did not agree on some of the opinions (good and bad) on cafés on the trail. As foreigners we appreciated staying at small picturesque places like Zennor, Marazion, Porthleven and Lizard Village. We took a detour from the trail to St Just for lunch, well worth the extra hour. On the other hand Sennen Cove was not more than a standard small beach resort and maybe not the best option for a rest.

Route: padstow to penzance
Name: margaret schofield
When: 28 July 2013

Flag of the United KingdomEverything was perfect! All accommodations were welcoming and good. The route to each accommodation was well explained. All luggage transfers went according to plan. The advice for refreshment stops and evening meals worked well and we had a thoroughly good time!. Encounter even arranged good weather!!! Only one problem.........which route to walk next!!!!!!

Route: Mevagissey to Fowey
Name: Jo & Steve Mead
When: 26 July 2013

Flag of the United KingdomWe had a fantastic weekend, helped of course by the glorious weather. We loved Mevagissey; the room with the balcony overlooking the bay was a bonus. The walk to Charlestown was as described - a lot of sharp ascents - but manageable and with some great views. The walk from Charlestown to Fowey was longer, but with more gentle hills and although it was a shame to have to spend time walking around the back of the china clay works, not being able to see the sea, lunch at the pub in Polkerris amply made up for this.

We took two wrong turns - one on the first route at Ropehaven where we were so busy looking at a bench on our left that we missed the sign on our right and one on the second route at the end of Polridmouth beach, when someone held the gate open for us and so we went through it! (We turned back once we realised what we'd done). The luggage transfers were effortless (for us!) - what a great idea! We had hoped to take the ferry back to the car, but unfortunately had been cancelled due to the weather. The bus was fine, and added another dimension to our holiday, although one of our fellow passengers suggested it resembled a ride at a theme park as we rounded some of the corners! All in all, great organisation and helpful advice in response to some pre-holiday emails queries led to a brilliant holiday in a beautiful part of the world. Thank you Damon.

Route: Penzance to Cadgwith
Name: Craig and Sue
When: 23 July 2013

Flag of the United KingdomGreat holiday with excellent weather. Route notes provided by Encounter were very good and enabled the map to be followed easily. Luggage transfers were smooth. Accommodation was varied. Some B&Bs were better than others, but that was probably due to our late change of dates into the school holiday period. We had the South West Coast Path almost to ourselves on many days. Only saw six other people between Mullion and Kynance! Wildflowers were great - in full bloom along the route, providing lots of colour and interest.

Route: SouthWest Coastal Path Lyme Regis to Poole
Name: Charles Greig
When: 22 July 2013

Flag of the United KingdomA very well organised holiday. The planning, paperwork and information provided by Encounter Walking was excellent. Additionally, the selection of the B&Bs was varied and very good indeed. From the very personal approach of Peaches in Abbotsbury to the smooth efficiency and presentation of the Haven Hotel on Sandbanks (which by the way is an excellent ending for a long and challenging walk). In all, the food was excellent and more than enough to keep you going for what ever walk lay ahead.

The places we chose for evening meals were also very good and the welcome and friendliness of the local people/businesses was impressive. The only exemption to this would be the Ilchester Arms in Abbotsbury where we were charged £6.00 for two Sparkling Waters with Lime and the food was very poor. I also think, that the company who moved the luggage were outstanding. We have had walking holidays before but this is the first time that our cases have always been delivered to the rooms - this makes a huge difference after a long walk! If we had to choose our favourite B&Bs, and remember they were all good, then we would definitely choose the Old Barn at Lulworth Cove and the Queen Anne on Portland. Both were outstanding and provided accommodation and services we haven't found at some 4 star hotels we have stayed in! All in all a really great holiday and we would definitely use Encounter walking again.

Route: Two Moors Way
Name: Ann, David and Vivienne - US
When: 21 July 2013

Flag of the United States of AmericaAnother successful week (plus) of walking thanks to Encounter! These are becoming our most favorite trips because they make it absolutely effortless from start to finish - all we have to do is enjoy. The accomodations on this trip were ALL spot on. The suggested diversions en route for lunches at pubs were all worth it - Warren House Inn however is REALLY busy with multiple coaches stopping while we were there so the recommendation to book a table is a wise one (that we didn't follow of course but it worked out).

The weather they arranged for us was slightly hot the first few days but wonderfully full of sunshine and breezes just at the right times. The walking notes were extremely helpful and luggage transfers of course priceless. The Way is well marked in both Dartmoor and Exmoor so it is extremely difficult to get yourself 'lost' unless you just are not paying attention. We did the REALLY slow walker itinerary due to our daughter being with us so no days were overwhelming and allowed us relaxed morning starts and the two really short days were welcome breaks.

The very last day we did for reasons we still can't figure out get befuddled going over Exe Head but with the help of passing walkers to locate ourselves on the OS map we got back on track with only a small diversion down and up that probably was not necessary. We had simply forgotten the golden rule of looking for the waymarkers is all. Subsequently because of the time we lost (and potential mutiny by said daughter if we had done differently) we did choose the 'easy' route into Lynmouth despite my secret desire for the steep ascent/decent to complete the official way. The viewpoint however of coming into town from the bottom of the river gorge was spectacular in its own right to see the town open up in front of you as you round the last river bend.

Our favorite parts were being on top of the moors with the wonderful vistas; and seeing all the ponies with their foals in tow. Along with that were the warm welcomes each afternoon as we arrived at our destination and the truely outstanding food we enjoyed each evening. As we journeyed home we were already on the website deciding which walk would be next! Pretty sure it will be Jurassic Coast Path in Dorset. Three cheers to Damon and colleagues for a job more than well done.

Route: St Ives to Pensance
Name: Heinz & Mirna
When: 19 July 2013

Flag of SwitzerlandDear Encounter-Team Excellent walk with plenty of interesting scenery, splendid weather. Pretty rooms in St Ives and Tinner Arms. Great support by all the hosts, also in St Just in the hotel. We found some routes a little bit to long, had no time to stay at the new place/village/museum. That was great, thank you, we will recommend your company to friends With kind regards Heinz & Mirna

Route: from Falmouth to penzance (reverse)
Name: Paula Bezuijen
When: 19 July 2013

Flag of the NetherlandsA very pleasant walk. Itinerary was clear and helpful. Pick up Luggage well organised. As we did the walk in reverse the coast to caost handbook was a bit hard to follow so the extra handbook was very useful. we apprciated the efford you to took in e-mailing with useful tips and extra information.

Route: Two Moors Way / Dartmoor Way - Ivybridge to Okehampton
Name: Clare Ann
When: 18 July 2013

Flag of the United States of AmericaWe had a wonderful holiday, despite the heat which did make sleeping difficult on a couple of nights.
Everything went very well for us, and we even had a bit of an adventure, when we came upon an injured walker down in a hollow who couldn't get any phone service. We helped him up a steep hill where he was able to call an ambulance. It turns out he'd broken his leg, although at the time we thought it was just a sprain! At any rate, that added a bit of excitement to our day.

There was one point where we felt the guidebook was misleading, and hopefully I can remember it. We were walking through Belstone Cleave, where there are several footbridges. At one point, the guidebook says that you come upon a footbridge, cross it, and take the path "in front" which climbed gently. Well, this confused us, because there was more than one path, and we ended up taking the path that ran straight from the footbridge clearly up a hill, when we should have taken the path to the right along the river. If the guidebook had said, "take the path that runs along the river," there would have no confusion. Sadly, as it was, we went considerably out of our way. It wasn't disastrous, just a bit annoying!

Otherwise, we found the guidebook just fine, and your company's additional notes were really handy!
We liked all the accommodations, especially the Three Crowns, which was superb.

Thanks again for arranging this for us--we'll surely use your services again!

Route: St Ives to The Lizard
Name: Susanne and Peter
When: 15 July 2013

Flag of SwitzerlandWe were very lucky with the weather of course. Everything was very well organized and we did not have any problems what so ever. The accommodation was well chosen, the walking very pleasant and the food in the evening always great. The provided maps and the guidebook were very helpful. Thank you for this perfect experience.

Route: Marazion to Falmouth
Name: Dennis & Angela Quantrill
When: 12 July 2013

Flag of the United KingdomThis was an excellent walk with plenty of interesting scenery. We had no problems with the route although in some places the signs were few and far between. However by being careful and keeping an eye on the map we had no difficulties. There were plenty of places where we could get refreshments - just as well as some days it was very hot! We did make a detour between Coverack and Porthallow where, because we were feeling pretty tired because of the heat, we cut inland along a well-marked path to St Keverne and on to Porthallow. By chance it took us very close to the Roskilly Ice-cream farm- surprise, surprise! The accommodation was generally very good and in some cases top class. We would recommend eating at Kota in Portleven - excellent food and good value on the fixed menu. We also had a great evening sitting on the terrace in the late evening sunshine at Pizza Express near the Maritime Museum in Falmouth. The organisation by Damon and the Encounter crew was first-class and we again felt we had personal service - very many thanks.

Route: Falmouth - St Ives
Name: Kurt Waldburger
When: 11 July 2013

Flag of SwitzerlandWe have been very lucky with the weather. We didn't see any raindrop. This gave a good base for a wonderful experience. Normally the walk is done the other way round, but I would it do again like this because like this we had an increase in the beauty of landscape. And I think it is better to end the walk in St Ives than in Falmouth. With a few exeptions it was very easy to find the way. It is a very good signalisation with the signs. The Explorer Maps are very helpful and we didn't need any other description. The organisation was excellent and we didn't have any issues with it. The selection of accomodations was great and between a good walking distance. Damon did an excellent job! Thanks a lot for all!!

Route: The Saints Way
Name: Sylvia Simmonds
When: 08 July 2013

Flag of the United KingdomFlag of New ZealandThe Saint’s Way Padstow to Fowey. 4 days 8th-12th July 2013 Eastern and Western Legs Sylvia and Geoff (UK) Janet (NZ) We used the £2/day parking at Trevethan Farm next to Tesco’s. Mr Hagley gave us a ticket for the park and ride into Padstow which was very convenient. Our accommodation at the Golden Lion, Padstow, Tregolls Farm Withiel and the Crown Inn at Lanlivery were all excellent with friendly helpful staff /host Marilyn, good rooms, good showers, lovely dinners and breakfasts. We did not feel that the accommodation at Trevanion Guest House in Fowey was of the same standard. The best bit there was the easy convenient access to the pub on the corner (The Safe Harbour) and the bus stop for the return journey to Padstow. We were walking in the heatwave and as a result found that the timings for each days walk were disheartening. We were taking nearly half as long again to reach the end of our day’s journey. I disagree about the description of Day 2 being easy. I would describe it as moderate. We all found walking the tarmacked roads hard on the knees and feet. We missed the turn for the eastern leg, partly because we weren’t paying attention but also there were no signs of any sort to prompt us to check which way we should be going. We thought what turned out to be the correct turning, was a driveway to a house. We made full use of the information cards. Our NZ companion was particularly interested in the history along the way. Although there were many Saint’s Way signposts, sometimes they weren’t there when they were most needed. We wouldn’t have found our way without the OS maps. They were invaluable. Due to the hot weather we had no problems with waterlogged foot paths, even the one that had been closed between No Mans Land and Castle was open. Our luggage was always waiting for us each day. We had efficient service from Graham on the last day who took us to Helman Tor for the western leg. We all enjoyed the walk through the nature reserve. South of Luxulyan (SX053575) we missed the path and followed a path to the east rejoining The Saints Way at SX055568. The diversion at Trevenney Farm was well signposted but it was not clear that we had to cross the electric fence. We had to check this with someone on the farm. At SX058555 we missed the path and ended up on the road at SX058553 Overall we found it a tough walk but as we were all fit we put this down to the heat. We certainly weren’t weighed down with waterproofs or warm clothing. Keeping cool was more our problem. Thank you for the excellent organisation and we would definitely consider using Encounter Walking again.

Route: Bude to Padstow
Name: Kevin
When: 08 July 2013

Flag of the United KingdomBack from our 4 day walking holiday from Bude to Padstow.  Everything went really well, and as mentioned before, very impressed at how quickly you were able to make the bookings considering I only contacted you the first time just 1 week before we wanted to start the holiday.  Of course the fantastic weather helped, with continuous sunshine everyday (lots of factor 30 sunblock required), and we had to ensure we carried sufficient water as opportunities to refill are few along this stretch of coastline. 

The 4 overnight hotels/pubs were varied, each with their own character, and all perfectly located for this walk, although Crackington Haven (Coombe Barton Inn) took top prize as we were able to sit outside watching the sun set all the way down to the horizon.

Notes from Encounter were excellent, very detailed and accurate eg. If sunny/hot, ensure you have plenty of drinking water, up to 2 litres per person. Fantastic organisation, particularly considering the booking was made less than 1 week before requested departure. The notes are accurate (‘strenuous’, ‘severe’ etc) and so good level of general fitness is required. Dolphins, seals, birds, stunning coastline, varied (in a good way) accommodation & locations, brilliant weather, trouble-free (for us) organisation by Encounter

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: Pieter (Netherlands)
When: 07 July 2013

Flag of the NetherlandsI had a really terrific walking holiday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. I have only seen a couple of clouds and not a single drop of rain, had most of my dinners outside and enjoyed a terrific sunset each day. The path itself and the views are more than wonderful and quite spectecular. But also the itineary of the walk (in particular the distance of the walks each day), the accomodation (the location of each accomodation was particularly good and all hosts made me feel very welcome) and generally the organisation and information were very close to perfect. The weather made it possible to fully enjoy all the wonderful beaches along the walk and the Penzance Jubilee Swimming Pool.

Tate St Ives might be a little bit small, but the architecture and the views at the ocean are astonishing.

In St Ives I had dinner in restaurant Onshore, which was very nice.In Pendeen/Trewellard I had dinner at The Field House, which was lovely. They do not have a licence, so you have to bring wine yourself. However, you could get a glass or bottle of wine at the pub on the other side of the road and bring it to The Field House.

I loved the Geevor Tin Mine, including the Underground Tour. A visit of only two hours gives a very good impression of how mine-life must have been.

In Sennen Cove I would recommend the Beach Cafe for dinner. A wonderful place to spend some time.

Visiting the Minack Theatre is “a must see” even if there is no chance to see a show. I also enjoyed the Telegraph-museum, which gives a good impression of “the internet of the 19th century”. 

I had some difficulty in finding my way from Sea View House in Porthcurno to The Logan Rock Inn at Treen. Maybe you could add to the itineary that the shortest way to get there is the first part along the coast path and then the public footpath through the fields and the camping-site (this is not very specific, but is the best I can do).

In Mousehole, I would like to suggest The Bake House (if I remember the name correctly) located at the harbour (with lovely views over the harbour) near the Bus Stop for the/coffee and wonderful homemade pastries.

I would certainly recommend the walking holiday to others, also if the weather would be somewhat less good then  it was when I made the walk. Finally I would like to thank you for your very kind and swift assistance in putting together this holiday. That was part of the fun.

Route: Amroth to Pembroke
Name: Karl
When: 06 July 2013

Flag of GermanyHi Damon, sorry for my late response but after the walking week we had a relaxed week in a holiday cottage close to Strumble Head near Goodwick. We had a fantastic walking week. Everything was well above our expectations even the weather. The walks where accurately described and planned. The accommodation was excellent.

We always received a perfect service and a warm welcome.

The best choice was the Sunny Banks Guesthouse in Tenby.

They did everything they could to make us feel as comfortable as we were at home.

For example our daughter is a vegetarian. She asked for soja milk on the first day.

On the second day the soja milk was already put on our table when we
arrived for breakfast.  You and your partners did a great job. Thank you very much for all you´ve done.

This was definitely not our last tour with Encounter Walking Holidays.
We look forward to our next event.

Route: Exmouth to Poole
Name: P W - Canada
When: 04 July 2013

Flag of CanadaOur holiday was a great success and I would like to take the opportunity to thank you and your colleagues for the great organisation.

Everything worked just perfect. A big thank you also to the multiple number of hosts, to the company who did the luggage transport, and the pick-up service in Lulworth Cove.

We had gorgeous weather, no drop of rain for the whole time, and the landscape and views are absolutely stunning.

It is difficult to point out just one thing which was the best. I think it was the great combination of all of it: the beautiful region with its well maintained walking paths, good mix of different accomodations, friendly people, great food, especially sea food, good weather, perfect organisation, good company.

Our least favorite walking day was the last 3 miles on the beach to Poole. It is rather strange to walk around people in swimming suits. We  moved over to the san dune path, but that was difficult walking on the sand.

All of us would recommend the walk to others especially if they choose Encounter walking for the organisation.

If we come back to England for another hike, we would definitely use your company again.

Thank you again and all the best.

Route: SWCP Minehead to Ilracombe
Name: Paul and Christine Smith
When: 02 July 2013

Flag of the United KingdomOur first crack at the SW Coast Path, so we went with the "leisurely walkers" suggestion, which kept most days to about 6 or 7 miles. That certainly worked best for us, as the 1 long trek that we had (12 miles from Porlock Weir to Lynmouth) proved pretty difficult in terms of terrain as well as length of time spent on the trail.

Spectacular scenery from Lynmouth onwards, but prior to that mainly woodland with little by way of coastal views, especially the Porlock Weir to Lynmouth stretch. Very well organised (thanks Damon) in terms of accommodation, route planning and supply of support maps etc. Also the luggage transfer system, which worked perfectly. Stayed overnight at Minehead, Porlock Weir, Lynmouth, Heddons Mouth, Combe Martin and Ilfracombe, with 2 day stay overs at Lynmouth and Ilfracombe. All nice spots and would recommend the stay overs in order to "settle" and take in more of what the area has to offer - lovely harbour at Lynmouth and Lundy Island option at Ilfracombe.

Long term free off road parking in Minehead, and taxi back from Ilfracombe at £65 not bad for a 90 minute trip (avoiding the much longer and inconvenient bus alternative). Will be back next year for the next leg on the walk from Ilfracombe, probably to Westward Ho!

Route: newquay-penzanze
Name: Inga
When: 01 July 2013

Flag of GermanyTolle Tour, super organisiert und das bei bestem Wetter! Im Sommer gibt es parallel zur Küste einen Bus, den wir Nachmittags manchmal genommen haben, um uns vor der Hitze an den Strand zu retten (12 Meilen waren bei 30°C viel). Es hat auch unseren Teenies gefallen.

Route: St Ives to Falmouth via St Michael`s Way
Name: Tara and Ute
When: 30 June 2013

Flag of GermanyWe had a fantastic 8 days walking. The weather started wet but got better and better and even allowed for swimming! After a day sightseeing in St. Ives we followed St Michael`s Way across land to Marazion. This was the only part of our trek that required using the map but to be honest without the fantastic notes from Encounter we would have been totally lost. Visibility was poor and many signs missing or lying on their sides!

From Marazion on signposting was excellent and it was never a problem to follow the coast path. There are too many highlights (stunning views, super beach cafes etc.) to mention them all but our meal (and the B&B) at Kota Restaurant in Porthleven was great and I would highly recommend booking a table there. Kynance Cove was superb and I regret missing low tide and a chance to explore the beach there. Lizard Village was a bit of a let down compared to other villages we saw along the way but we did see a very rare Cornish Chough at Lizard Point! Mullion and Coverack were our favorite villages.

Recommend The Cornish Curry Company (selling from a van in Mullion tues + thurs evenings) and great fish and chips in Coverack. All aspects of the planning and organisation went very smoothly. Luggage transfer was excellent and all our B&Bs gave a friendly welcome. Anne at Fernleigh in Coverack spoilt us with homemade Lemon Sponge and after many full English breakfasts we were happy to see some thoughtful alternatives on offer at Gold Martin in Mawnan Smith. Will most certainly use Encounter Walking again and have already recommended you to friends. Thanks again for a wonderful walking break!

Route: Minehead to St Ives
Name: Hans and Monique - The Netherlands
When: 30 June 2013

Flag of the Netherlands1   Any problems finding the route or areas you found confusing?

On the first day, Minehead-Porlock Weir, a few route signs were broken. We could see where they were broken, so we guessed the route and it worked well.

We were glad we've taken the rugged alternative route which was difficult for our Dutch knees on the first day, but it was worthwhile. A very beautiful part of the SWCP! The other days went all very well. We just used the Trailblazer guides and the route signs with the acorn. It was very easy. The National Trail guides (Roland Tarr and John Macadam) are brand new. We didn't have to use the maps of them.

On day 21, Crantock-Perranporth, we stayed on the coastpath and we have to look a few times to understand which inland track we have to take to the left. But that wasn't too difficult. We were happy we took this track and not took the main road, which was quite busy. In the towns, like Ilfracombe, Barnstaple (at the end), Bude and Newquay you have to use the guides, because there aren't a lot of signs (or there is a lot to see, so we missed them). 

On day 12 (Morwenstow) we didn't listen to you (sorry!). To reach the Bush Inn you wrote that when you reach Hawkers Hut you have gone too far. But on the Trailblazer guide (map 51) you see just after the hut a gate and then a path left through a field going into a kind of Tarmac road. The sign to the Bush Inn at Henna Cliff told us to took that path and we've thought to do that when we looked at the map the day before. It is an easy way to reach the Bush Inn. Just a field and a road.

2  Tips or useful information for other walkers, good rest stops, bad bits of trail, good places to eat?

The suggestions for refreshments worked good. We walked in the season, so a lot of seasonal things were open. And we've seen a few more as well. We used a lot of the places on the itinerary named. They were very nice. We also bought a lot of water in the shops.

3  Comments about the organisation of the trip by Encounter Walking Holidays, good or bad?

The organisation was absolutely perfect. Could't be any better. The daytrips were long enough. The accommodations were good or perfect and the luggage transfer was also perfect. We hope you say this to them. Damon was very quick with his answers when we booked and all worked quite well

4   Would you recommend Encounter to others>

We've already did this when we met other walkers on the track. But we will certainly do this again. We are very contented and we regret that you're only in the south west of the UK.

The SWCP itself is a very beautiful one. We enjoyed it very much.

5   And finally what was the best thing about your walk / holiday?

The weather! And the perfect organisation of out trip. And of course the beautiful part of the country with a very nice SWCP.

Route: St Ives to Penzance
Name: SA - Lulea Sweden
When: 29 June 2013

Flag of Sweden1 Any problems finding the route or areas you found confusing

There were no problems in finding the route.

We did however take alternative paths in and out of Lamorna Cove because my balance is far from perfect after a stroke, left the Coast Path somewhere near the Rosemodress Cliff. Found the footpath signs at Rosemodress Farm but no footpath to Lamorna. Not even the person living there had ever seen anything but the sign. We stuck to the roads.

The inward path out of Lamorna Cove to Penzance was nice.

2 Tips or useful information for other walkers, good rest stops, bad bits of trail, good places to eat

The dinner at The Gurnards Head Hotel was excellent. B&B likewise - Standard pub grub at The North Inn in Pendeen OK – Cosy pub “The Kings Arms” in St Just – Big hamburgers at Lamorna Cove - Cable Station Inn at Portcurno could be avoided - Turk’s Head in Penzance has a delicious fish pie – The Royal Inn at Par has tasty & healthy alternative food.

Excellent B&B at the Gurnards Head Hotel and at Warwick House in Penzance. All the others are good.

3 Comments about the organisation of the trip by Encounter Walking Holidays, good or bad

Could not be better. Thanks.

The Eden Project is amazing, overwhelming.

4 Would you recommend the walk to others

Yes – but tell them about the challenges.

5 And finally what was the best thing about your walk / holiday

The views

Route: Minehead to Westward Ho!
Name: Mary
When: 27 June 2013

Flag of the United KingdomHi Damon,

What a fabulous time we had! Weather was great (a bit too great on the last day for the leg between Hartland Quay and Bude!!)

We arrived in Bude on the West Somerset Steam Railway which was a brilliant start to the holiday and the good times just kept coming.

I really cannot think of a single thing which could have improved the holiday. From beginning to end it was fabulous and, as usual, when we arrived at our destination I just wanted to keep walking!

Best Day: Clovelly to Hartland Quay. Waking up in Clovelly, fabulous walk through the woods, and going to sleep watching the sunset over Lundy from our bedroom window at Hartland Quay. Magic!

Best B and B: Probably Barnstaple. Great room and excellent breakfast.

Worst day: Barnstaple to Westward Ho!. Long boring path along the old railway line. Tarmac is not good for my joints!

Worst B and B: There wasn't one! (If pushed maybe The Bottom Ship at Porlock Weir)

The tearooms at Mowenstow are well worth the extra mileage!

Looking forward to Sidmouth to Poole next year!

Regards,

Mary

Route: Mevagissey to Tintagel via the Saints Way and Coast Path
Name: Karen and Lance - USA
When: 24 June 2013

Flag of the United States of AmericaDamon and all...

We are back from our walk in Cornwall (and visiting other parts of England), and I wanted to let you know that everything was great.

The maps and directions you gave us kept us from being lost...even though we were doing the Saint's Way the wrong way...and the notes you made for us kept us ready for whatever came our way.

Everyone we interacted with was kind, professional and helpful.  Janet at our Padstow stop and Marilyn in Tregolls Farm deserve extra praise for their kindness and helpfulness.  We also appreciated Mike's promptness in getting us to our train on time. The only time we requested an unscheduled taxi ride...pouring rain and wind and fog from Port Gaverne to Port William led us to get a taxi to Tintagel...and Tony was entertaining and helpful and a very good ambassador for Cornwall.

Many thanks for all your help.

 

Route: St.I'ves to Penzance
Name: Chris & Liza Pickles (Canada)
When: 23 June 2013

Flag of CanadaFirst of all, we were very lucky that Damon was able to find accommodations for us given that we booked 8 days prior to our walk and there was the Golowan Festival happening in Penzance. Thanks Damon! As for our walk, we opted for a 5 day walk as our time was limited. This was our first time to do any hiking vacation and I must say that we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The walk from St. I'ves to Zennor was 7miles long (11.2km) and was graded as severe, "4hrs avrg.walking time with no breaks". First of all, you need to stop and just take in the view and explore so don't feel bad if you don't finish that stretch within the suggested time. The scenery is simply stunning!! The walk itself hugs the coast and the view just takes your breath away. There is a lot of descending and ascending. The trail is well marked at this point. Zennor is a quaint little village. We visited the tea house and the church where you will find the 600 years old "mermaid chair." Zennor to Pendeen was an 8mile trek , (12.8km) and the walk was the same, stunning coastline but a bit more rugged in terms of the terrain with it's granite cliffs. There is a bit of a walk(on the road) from Pendeen Watch (lighthouse ) to where our accommodation was located, so I would suggest to take the shortcut that is indicated on the map.

We found the Pendeen Watch to Sennen Cove(9miles=14.4km) with a more steeper descends, It felt like you just reached the bottom then starts climbing back up again! Anyways we found this stretch to have more hills. Dinner at the Old Success Inn was fabulous. Sennen Cove to Porthcurno was a nice walk along the coast with a much gentler slopes. Before reaching Porthcurno, we had to scramble up some rocks (unless there was another route ) which I found slightly unnerving because it was very close to the edge of the cliff. One just has to be very careful with the footing. The Minarck Theatre in Porthcurno cannot be totally seen from the parking lot as it is blocked off by tall hedges. You need to enter the grounds in order to appreciate the beauty of this theatre. (entrance fee 4 GBP). Once inside, you will really see the magnificent view that everyone talks about! There is a set of stone stairs leading from outside the theatre to Porthcurno itself. These stairs are along the side of the hill but with no handrails. You really have to have steady legs to go down these steps so I would caution those who are a bit wobbly on their legs to take another route. The view from these stairs is just fabulous! We stayed at Rockridge House and our host was just such a pleasur