South Lake Districts Lovely Low Fells and Lakes

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The Lake District 

-Join us on one of our "Get Active" weekend breaks

The South Lake District is an area of immense beauty, great diversity and striking contrast from its high fells to deep valleys, by its cascading rivers, tarns and great lakes, by woods, fields and its lovely quaint villages and hamlets. Cumbria’s mountainous landscape, deepest valleys and longest lakes have provided inspiration for generations of artists, poets and writers from Wordsworth, Ruskin, Wainwright and Beatrix Potter

England's largest National Park is now a World Heritage Site, home to Scafell Pike - its highest mountain, Wastwater - its deepest lake and thriving communities like Keswick and Bowness-on-Windermere.

Walking in the Lakes is a lifelong ever changing experience. It offers a vast range of very good, well maintained paths which give you full access to the hills, fells and lakes. No matter where you walk, whether it be along the valley, or to the crest of a low level hill you are rewarded with a 360 degree panorama of fells and beauty.

Whatever the weather, throughout the seasons the Lake District offers an ever changing kaleidoscope of mood and colour. It really is one of the most special places on earth and really needs to be visited and its paths walked.

Great reasons to join us

- meet new friends in a relaxed walking and social  atmosphere

- beautiful countryside to walk through and enjoy

- super value for money- no single supplement

- professional, friendly walk leaders who are passionate and knowledeable about this area

- lovely country hotel with super food

 

Accommodation

We stay at the Skelwith Bridge Hotel, close to Elterwater and the Langdales, along side the River Brathay www. Skelwithbridge.co.uk

Perfectly located just a short drive from Ambleside, away from the hustle and bustle is Skelwith Bridge Hotel. Informal gardens merging seamlessly with the surrounding countryside, real log fires in the winter months and a traditional welcome, Skelwith Bridge Hotel really is “your home away from home”. The hotel is a walkers paradise with many varied easy and more strenuous walks from the door. The hotel also has a drying room should you get wet clothes!!

Please note that due to its location mobile signal (depending on network) is not available. You will however during your walks access reception. Wifi is available and is free in the hotel in the lounge and bar areas

Rooms

Accommodation is single/double en suite rooms - no sharing. All our hotels have a bar, and a comfortable lounge. You can see the hotel accommodation by visiting www. Skelwithbridge.co.uk

Parking

There is plenty of parking available at the hotel.

Meals

Breakfast starts at 8am

Dinner is three course - . all part of relaxing in these hills. All our hotels excel in giving you value for money and very tasty evening meals - they pride themselves on their food, much locally sourced and grown. Dinner is three course at the hotel. Dress code for dinner is smart casual.

Lunch

We have lunch at some of the area’s lovely country pubs or café’s They will make sure you have tasty baguettes, baked potatoes, sandwiches or salads, with tasty soups in the colder months. We cater for vegetarians and other dietary requirements so please make sure you make these known  prior to arrival .All lunches are included in the holiday. You simply pay for your own drinks.

How to get to the Skelwith Bridge Hotel

By train - Windermere is the nearest station, some 6 miles away. Taxis readily available.See www.nationalrail.co.uk

By car -  the post code for your Sat Navs is LA22 9NJ. A good way of checking a route is using the AA route finder. www.theaa.com/route-planner

 Full detailed journey instruction will be sent with your Joining Details prior to the holiday.

Getting to the hotel on day one

If you arrive at Windermere station prior to 1.00pm, we MAY be able to transport you to the hotel. You need to arrange this with us well before the date of arrival.

 

Guided walking Programme

On weekend and five day " Get Active" breaks,

The first walk starts on arrival day at 2.30pm from the hotel foyer so please meet at 2pm in your walking clothes with rucksack. If you are unable to make the first walk please let us know.All full day walks start at 9.00 am, and we generally finish for that welcome cuppa at 4.30 pm. This will give you plenty of time to get ready for dinner. Your walks leaders will make this weekend break relaxing and the wonderful walking will stimulate your enthusiasm for the wide outdoors.

Grades and difficulty

In The South Lake District, the variety of walks available is amazing. We  will describe each walk the night before and what they entail.


Walk lengths vary but are generally between 9 – 11 miles per day. We walk at a steady pace, we don’t rush. We want you to enjoy our lovely scenery - these hills are a walker’s paradise with good paths and an ever changing landscape. There are hills to ascend which we will take slowly.  What’s the point of huffing and puffing, being exhausted then not being able to enjoy this fabulous land. This is a land of ever changing vistas - on any walk we get four or five different landscapes to enjoy. Don’t forget your camera.

Meet New Friends

Its all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress free occasion. Talking is as important as walking or discovering on Short Breaks for Single Travellers holidays. We don't go in for disco's, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekends activities - but its good, old fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.

"Make new friends that turn into old friends - that's our motto."

You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding.

It doesn’t matter what your reasons for traveling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.

Don't worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday - its always a bit daunting - but we will look after you, ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again - trust us to to get you back into the swing of things"

Oh - by the way - its not a dating agency - over the years we have had people meet and fall in love - but that's just chance. Our aim is that you make like minded friends - just relax and enjoy.

Walks we choose from

Dependent on the abilities of each group, we choose an appropriate set of walks.

In the South Lake District there are endless choice of walks, so we will tell you on the first afternoon which walks we will do during this holiday.

Holiday Highlights

- Fabulous Lake District scenery- The Langdales, Grasmere, Coniston, Windermere

- somply superb vista's every day.

- some of the best walking in this country

- Lovely country house hotel and fabulous food.

- No single supplement 

- Our relaxed social approach

What's Included

What you get on a Secret Hills break

  • Expert guiding
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite
  • Three course dinner
  • Lunch
  • Sole Occupancy- no single supplement
  • Transport to walks start and from walks finish
  • Personal service
  • Flexibility
  • Our administration support from reservation to end of holiday
  • No single supplement

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the Lake District but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels. Our hotel in Skelwith Bridge is set in lovely surroundings  and the standard is really good.
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.

Customer Reviews

 

Helen Liebling – South Lakes, September 2020.

The walks were excellent we had a great variation and the views were beautiful and the weather very good. Both of the guides were knowledgeable and very helpful and friendly. They were also flexible depending on what our group wished to do which was appreciated. There was a very good variety of walk locations and types on all three days. Holiday was very well organised. The hotel was very comfortable and good location. The food was excellent and the room very comfortable with a lovely bath the shower could be improved it did not flow very well but overall the hotel was great and very comfortable. It was a fabulous weekend thanks to all.

 

Debbie Wills – South Lakes, September 2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I very much enjoyed my holiday.  It was such a friendly group of people, and I’d particularly like to thank Gill for her help and encouragement. I appreciated being picked up from the train station, and the walk leaders went out of their way to make sure we had a good experience - nothing was too much trouble.

 

Elizabeth Griffiths -  South Lakes, September 2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Guides were fantastic. Guided walking – loved it. Organisation of holiday – exceptional. Brilliant location.

 

Jayne Wood, South Lakes – August 2020. I really enjoyed the Lakes short break in Aug and am very grateful that you were able to fit me in at such short notice.  The alternative accommodation you found for me, was lovely, very clean, very obliging and I felt really CV secure.  Paul and Jill the walk leaders were excellent, friendly, informative and flexible.  I’m sure Paul’s ears are still ringing from the 8 middle-aged women cackling along behind him! Service at the Skelworth Bridge was excellent, and the food very good, staff were really friendly. The walks were well planned, stretching, and provided a great range of scenery. As always, enjoyed myself, thanks Alan and team, regards Jayne

 

Carol Kenny -   South Lakes  August 2020.   The walk leaders Paul and Gillian made for a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. The hotel was very good, particularly the food and in a good location for easy access for the walks.

 

Tina Bloch - South Lakes  August 2020.
Dear Alan, I am happy to report that I really enjoyed my recent holiday at the Skelwith Bridge Hotel. The staff couldn’t do enough and were a very cheerful bunch. The food was delicious and the choices of breakfast and dinner were nicely varied.
Paul and Gill were excellent leaders and complement each other as Paul told us lots about the landscape and history of the area and Gillian Introduced us to some new plants. The walks were spectacular, challenging and well timed.  The group was lovely and friendly.
Another wonderful holiday! 
All the bestSouth Lakes - August 2020. 
Dear Alan, I am happy to report that I really enjoyed my recent holiday at the Skelwith Bridge Hotel. The staff couldn’t do enough and were a very cheerful bunch. The food was delicious and the choices of breakfast and dinner were nicely varied to suit most dietary requirements. Regarding the packed lunch, as I don’t eat pork products or red meat I only had one choice, cheese or tomato. I asked for tuna, egg mayonnaise or smoked mackerel ( served in the restaurant) but it wasn’t possible. A tiny thing  but going forwards others may struggle and it can easily be rectified. 
Paul and Gill were excellent leaders and complement each other as Paul told us lots about the landscape and history of the area and Gillian Introduced us to some new plants. The walks were spectacular, challenging and well timed.  The group was lovely and friendly.
Another wonderful holiday! 
All the best

 

Jane Howard -South Lakes  August 2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This was my first holiday with Secret Hills, so I didn’t know what to expect by ‘moderate’. I found the pace a little slower than I’m used to, but overall enjoyed the days. Yes, enjoyed guided walking especially Sunday’s walk (to Silver How). The pre-holiday info, and the organisation was very good. Hotel - Very good – friendly staff, wonderful setting for the hotel, plenty of indoor space (so no concerns over covid). I would very probably (reserve another holiday). There are not a lot of companies offering UK guided group walking holidays, which is what I am interested in at the moment.

 

 

Monika Rost  Southern Lakes - August 2019.
I have booked with Secret Hills before. Reservation was fast, easy.  The packing list was very helpful. Beautiful hotel, good food, friendly staff. It was nice to have a choice between two different tours (guided walking). Very well organised. Very nice people in the group.

 

Helen Gorton   Southern Lakes - August 2019.

I really enjoyed the guided walking experience and Paul and Gill were brilliant, kind, patient and very informative.  I thought the hotel was great and very accommodating to everyone’s needs. The holiday was very well organised, couldn’t fault it, I would reserve another.

 

Lucie Shaw  Southern Lakes - August 2019.

Everything about the holiday was amazing from start to finish from booking and leaving. The food was really good. I was lucky enough to have a nice fun group of people. The guides both Paul Cannon and Gill were very patient, informative, funny and kind. It was a super time and just what I needed. I would book again.

Well done to everyone involved.

 

Eleanor Wotton  Southern Lakes July 2019.   My friend took care of reservation for me, she was very pleased with it, particularly the personal approach of Alan, who responded to all our queries and really made the whole process pleasurable. The hotel was perfect – it was very accommodating and were able to cater for a vegan immensely well. The guided walking was fantastic – Jill was a wonderful guide and it was a great pleasure to walk through the picturesque country side on well thought out routes with such excellent company, including Jill and the other walkers. You did a wonderful job… it was great fun. It was a wonderful holiday which I thoroughly enjoyed. Great walks, great company, just the expected amount of rain in the lakes! Thank you!

 

Marion Hinton        Southern Lakes July 2019.
Thank you for such a memorable time in the Lakes. I felt reassured and looked after from booking and for the duration of the break. Jill our guide was so lovely and immediately made me feel at ease as did other members of the group. I would urge anybody who was having doubts to bite the bullet and book with Secret Hills. 

 

Lynne Oates   Southern Lakes     July 2019.

Hotel very good and the staff were very friendly. Jill (walk leader) was brilliant. Had a wonderful weekend, great fun.

 

Janet Coates  Cumbria Way/Southern Lakes    May 2019

I’m a returning client so often check the Secret Hills website. The pre-holiday information was good, and I read through all the links on the Cumbria Way page. It was good to be able to ring and speak to Alan ahead of the holiday. I had stayed at the Skelwith Bridge Hotel before and was not disappointed. The staff were friendly and helpful.  Very much enjoyed the guided walking. It was a real holiday as all the arrangements were taken care of. Five days of walking and eating in glorious landscapes – what’s not to like?!  Although this was a small group, it did not detract from the guided walking experience. It was lovely to have Jill as our guide. She led us along the route which she obviously knew well, encouraging us when needed and sharing information about different locations. The length of walk each day was perfect for me; enough to know you had been out on a walk, purposeful but not hurried with time to take in the surroundings and lots of photos. At no time did I feel rushed (even when we were asked to get a wiggle on!) or asked to do things beyond my capability. Good organisation. The taxi company used to transport us to and from the walk were very good. We were kept very well informed of arrangements by Jill.
Yes I would reserve again and yes I would recommend to others, no question. I’ve been singing the praises of Secret Hills Walking to everyone and I’ve already been browsing the website …  I’ll be back! A fabulous holiday. Thank you!
 

 

 

 Kay Gaitskell Lakes August Bank Holiday

I have just returned from The Lake District bank holiday break in Skelwith Bridge with Jill and John as leaders.

What a fabulous time we all had, despite the weather! as per usual everything from booking to checking out was smooth and efficient.

Great hotel, yummy food, and fantastic walks led by Jill and John, who are friendly, approachable and very informative leaders. The group gelled really well and it was a great

 

 Christine Stevens Lakes August 2018

I cannot fault any aspect of this holiday. We were unlucky with the weather, but the friendly group of people made up for it.
The walks were well planned and the 2 guides were excellent.
 

Tara Burgess Lakes August 2018

I went on a trip last year after searching on the website.  Secret Hills came up and I thought I would give it a try.  After a lovely trip to Seven Sisters and South Downs a visit to the Lake District was next on my list. Loved the location, off the beaten track and food was delicious.  Staff very friendly. My stay was in the lodge and I had a beautiful twin room with great views from the bathroom and bedroom and was peaceful.Thoroughly enjoyed the walks and the views were to die for! 

It was my first time to the Lake District and I was certainly not disappointed.   We had fantastic guidance from Jill and John who were very supportive to each and everyone one of us and certainly made it a memorable trip for the whole group. 

 

Maggie Murphy Lakes August 2018

Both Jill and John were excellent guides . With a great deal of knowledge of the area and routes.

They also were very considerate and walked at a pace to suit all abilities and encouraged everyone to make the most of every opportunity.

 I had never considered a singles holiday before and was quite apprehensive about it. I spent a long time on various web sites looking for inspiration before finding Secret Hills.  I liked the enthusiastic and straightforward presentation of your web site and that ethos pervaded the short break I took with you. Your guides were knowledgeable, friendly and obviously committed to ensuring everyone was comfortable  and well equipped for the walking conditions and led at a pace suitable to the various abilities of the group.

 

Jayne Wood Lakes May 2018

Well organised, nice range, gorgeous scenery, views explained. Jill was very informative, and the walks were well organized .The hotel food, bar and public areas very nice, my room was a bit small but then it was a single.

 

Sarah Trevis Lakes May 2018 

Loved the guided walking.  Jill is v passionate about the area and Tom was helpful about plants and birds

I have to say for me personally the pace and the level of walking was just right.  And the guides were fantastic.

Sally bouwman Lakes Easter break 2018

Some of the best walking I have ever done. Felt in really good hands the walking guides were fantastic... knowledgeable, friendly, sensitive, supportive, fun, very approachable....

Once again I would like to stress how thoughtful and lovely Gill and Tom were. They really made everyone feel at ease, it was great to see their passion for the area. They were sooo helpful and inspiring. I now have a confirmed passion of my own! Loved that Gill leant me her jacket for the weekend. Thought we were so lucky with the group of 9 lovely women and one delightful young chap.

 

 

Glenys Thompson Lakes Easter break 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed the guided walks. Jill is very knowledgeable of and enthusiastic about the area, which was great. She clearly explained the walks and the options and was flexible in terms of changing things around to suit guests and/or the weather.

Freda Caslin Easter 2018 

Wonderful,  the guided walking experience was excellent, both Jill and Tom were extremely knowledgeable on the area, wildlife and vegetation. They were friendly and very professional,  excellent guides

Philip Veit Lakes New Year 2017/18

Food very good, customer service good, my room very good. Drinks at the bar reasonable. good selection of local ales. I must conclude and say how I was impressed with Jill and Tom's leadership qualities. Briefings explained well and regular checks during walks if everyone was alright, also I thought the number in group was just right for this walking holiday. thank you.

 

Ray Ducker Lakes New Year 2017/18

Very good holiday. Hotel room was comfortable. Had a great time as usual with Jill and Tom.

 

Michael Smith  New Year 2017/18

The staff were very friendly and efficient, there were different walks available. The guides were very knowledgeable

 

John Pallot Lakes October 2017 - October 2017

My second Secret Hills holiday and the second time with Jill. I cannot fault the leadership of her, Joe and Di. I felt safe at all times and their local knowledge was extensive. Unfortunately, it was rather boggy in numerous places, which made the going difficult. However, this did not spoil the overall experience which I can only describe as incredible. Thanks to everyone involved in the planning and running of this holiday."

 

Dr Keith Stonier-Lake District August 2017

The substantial benefit was the proximity to the walks, all of which could be accessed from the front door of the hotel without car travel. The room (in an outbuilding, close to my car) was just right for me. I felt very much at home. The meals were extremely satisfying (especially the ‘sticky toffee pudding’!). I rate the hotel highly – among the most comfortable and convenient of any in which I have stayed. Jill and Tom explained, guided, supported and socialised to the highest levels. I cannot think of anything that they could have done better. I have the highest regard for how they organised the entire experience.

 

Debbie Tasker- August Bank holiday Lakes

Very straightforward. I had a couple of chats with Alan beforehand, who was very helpful in providing useful information as well as handy hints and tips on travel etc.

 The Skelwith Bridge hotel was a great base for the holiday. All the staff were friendly and welcoming.

The room was comfortable and clean - not that you spend a lot of time in it, making the most of a full day’s walking. Special mention about the evening meals - the quality of the food was excellent during the entire weekend

Jill and Tom were excellent throughout the weekend - very friendly, welcoming and have great local knowledge to make the experience even more special. Each day we were given a clear explanation of the day's walking locations, as well as the option of a low/mid level or higher level walk. This enabled all levels in the group to be catered for. Jill was very good at checking that we were ok throughout the weekend, so I always felt well looked after. For me, Jill and Tom made the weekend special - thank you both

 

Claire Houchin - August Bank holiday Lakes

The hotel was excellent. Staff friendly and helpful.

Food excellent, and good choices.

Brill, after my visit last August I returned Easter and again this August. Jill goes out of her way to accommodate all levels and is very perceptive. There were plenty of stops to look at the scenery which is emphasized by both Jill and Tom. To add Toms knowledge of the local plants.

 

I did feel more relaxed returning, but only did so because of my previous experience.

Thanks for a great time. It felt it was  like going home. Two great people who put everything into making the holiday great.

 

Thanks Jill and Tom, see you in the new year.

 

 

Judith Hanks Lakes April 2017 - May 2017

Jill and Tom were so enthusiastic,and took great care to ensure flexibility, choice, and safety at all times.Really excellent guides!"
 

 

 

Harriet Aitchinson - Lakes March 2017

Gill and Tom were magnificent and were constantly attentive to our comfort and safety in adverse weather conditions; whilst ensuring we were actually offered walks.

 

Joanne French Lakes March 2017

This was my first Secret Hills holiday and I am almost certain I will book another. My concern before booking was that I would find the distance difficult, as it's been many years since I've walked over about 8 miles, but my mind was put at rest so I booked! From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and included. The whole group were very friendly. The service at the hotel and the food were excellent. The full day walk on the Saturday was probably the furthest I have walked for many years and although I was mostly the 'back marker' I was encouraged by Jill and Tom all the way and therefore didn't find it as difficult as I thought I might. It is a shame that the weather was so wet as another member of the group mentioned that there are usually a few more stops to admire the view etc. along the way. The rain also meant the walk had to be cut short on the Sunday but it didn't spoil my enjoyment in any way!! Thank-you everyone for a most enjoyable weekend

 

Graham & Morag Hartwell Lakes March 2017

We have just returned from our weekend walking in the lake district. Our first Secret Hills holiday...Won't be the last. The weather was awful but if anything it added to the experience. We would of never ventured out on our own. We felt safe and supported by Tom and Jill and saw some sights in the rain that we would of never seen any other time. I have to say that the rain soaked Sunday was our favourite. Thank you for a wonderful time.

Pauline Nicholson Lakes New year 2016/2017
The two guides Jill and Tom did a fantastic job. They explained the plan for each day and gave options. They were excellent company and looked after everyone in the group very well. Excellent organisation so that I didn't have to worry about anything.
Keep up the good work. As someone who has done a lot of group travel over the years, it is a challenge to get the balance of these trips right.
 But you seem to work your magic to make these trips a really enjoyable experience for everyone.

Elaine Millar- Lakes New Year 2016/17

The holiday was very well organised as always and as always a brilliant time with Jill and Tom . Thank you for the choccies and everything else 

 

Judith Mulcahy Lakes New Year 2016/17

Hotel was excellent. Room was comfortable and the standard of food exceptional. New Year’s Eve entertainment was just right & created a very lively party atmosphere. The walks were superb and enhanced by wall to wall blue skies and sunshine. Tom & Jill provided interesting & varied walks along with informative snippets of information en route without information overload!

Jill & Tom as ever went the extra mile to ensure the trip was enjoyable for everybody. It is obvious they care about their clients. A thoroughly enjoyable trip at Newby Bridge & I’d be very happy to return there next New Year. It was a nice size group of 10 which was much more manageable & easier to get to know people. Also Jill & Tom definitely know how to arrange a good party!!

 

John Pallot Lakes October 2017 - October 2017

My second Secret Hills holiday and the second time with Jill. I cannot fault the leadership of her, Joe and Di. I felt safe at all times and their local knowledge was extensive. Unfortunately, it was rather boggy in numerous places, which made the going difficult. However, this did not spoil the overall experience which I can only describe as incredible. Thanks to everyone involved in the planning and running of this holiday."

 

Dr Keith Stonier-Lake District August 2017

The substantial benefit was the proximity to the walks, all of which could be accessed from the front door of the hotel without car travel. The room (in an outbuilding, close to my car) was just right for me. I felt very much at home. The meals were extremely satisfying (especially the ‘sticky toffee pudding’!). I rate the hotel highly – among the most comfortable and convenient of any in which I have stayed. Jill and Tom explained, guided, supported and socialised to the highest levels. I cannot think of anything that they could have done better. I have the highest regard for how they organised the entire experience.

 

Debbie Tasker- August Bank holiday Lakes

Very straightforward. I had a couple of chats with Alan beforehand, who was very helpful in providing useful information as well as handy hints and tips on travel etc.

 The Skelwith Bridge hotel was a great base for the holiday. All the staff were friendly and welcoming.

The room was comfortable and clean - not that you spend a lot of time in it, making the most of a full day’s walking. Special mention about the evening meals - the quality of the food was excellent during the entire weekend

Jill and Tom were excellent throughout the weekend - very friendly, welcoming and have great local knowledge to make the experience even more special. Each day we were given a clear explanation of the day's walking locations, as well as the option of a low/mid level or higher level walk. This enabled all levels in the group to be catered for. Jill was very good at checking that we were ok throughout the weekend, so I always felt well looked after. For me, Jill and Tom made the weekend special - thank you both

 

Claire Houchin - August Bank holiday Lakes

The hotel was excellent. Staff friendly and helpful.

Food excellent, and good choices.

Brill, after my visit last August I returned Easter and again this August. Jill goes out of her way to accommodate all levels and is very perceptive. There were plenty of stops to look at the scenery which is emphasized by both Jill and Tom. To add Toms knowledge of the local plants.

 

I did feel more relaxed returning, but only did so because of my previous experience.

Thanks for a great time. It felt it was  like going home. Two great people who put everything into making the holiday great.

 

Thanks Jill and Tom, see you in the new year.

 

 

Judith Hanks Lakes April 2017 - May 2017

Jill and Tom were so enthusiastic,and took great care to ensure flexibility, choice, and safety at all times.Really excellent guides!"
 

 

 

Harriet Aitchinson - Lakes March 2017

Gill and Tom were magnificent and were constantly attentive to our comfort and safety in adverse weather conditions; whilst ensuring we were actually offered walks.

 

Joanne French Lakes March 2017

This was my first Secret Hills holiday and I am almost certain I will book another. My concern before booking was that I would find the distance difficult, as it's been many years since I've walked over about 8 miles, but my mind was put at rest so I booked! From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and included. The whole group were very friendly. The service at the hotel and the food were excellent. The full day walk on the Saturday was probably the furthest I have walked for many years and although I was mostly the 'back marker' I was encouraged by Jill and Tom all the way and therefore didn't find it as difficult as I thought I might. It is a shame that the weather was so wet as another member of the group mentioned that there are usually a few more stops to admire the view etc. along the way. The rain also meant the walk had to be cut short on the Sunday but it didn't spoil my enjoyment in any way!! Thank-you everyone for a most enjoyable weekend

 

Graham & Morag Hartwell Lakes March 2017

We have just returned from our weekend walking in the lake district. Our first Secret Hills holiday...Won't be the last. The weather was awful but if anything it added to the experience. We would of never ventured out on our own. We felt safe and supported by Tom and Jill and saw some sights in the rain that we would of never seen any other time. I have to say that the rain soaked Sunday was our favourite. Thank you for a wonderful time.

Pauline Nicholson Lakes New year 2016/2017
The two guides Jill and Tom did a fantastic job. They explained the plan for each day and gave options. They were excellent company and looked after everyone in the group very well. Excellent organisation so that I didn't have to worry about anything.
Keep up the good work. As someone who has done a lot of group travel over the years, it is a challenge to get the balance of these trips right.
 But you seem to work your magic to make these trips a really enjoyable experience for everyone.

Elaine Millar- Lakes New Year 2016/17

The holiday was very well organised as always and as always a brilliant time with Jill and Tom . Thank you for the choccies and everything else 

 

Judith Mulcahy Lakes New Year 2016/17

Hotel was excellent. Room was comfortable and the standard of food exceptional. New Year’s Eve entertainment was just right & created a very lively party atmosphere. The walks were superb and enhanced by wall to wall blue skies and sunshine. Tom & Jill provided interesting & varied walks along with informative snippets of information en route without information overload!

Jill & Tom as ever went the extra mile to ensure the trip was enjoyable for everybody. It is obvious they care about their clients. A thoroughly enjoyable trip at Newby Bridge & I’d be very happy to return there next New Year. It was a nice size group of 10 which was much more manageable & easier to get to know people. Also Jill & Tom definitely know how to arrange a good party!!

 

John Pallot Lakes October 2017 - October 2017

My second Secret Hills holiday and the second time with Jill. I cannot fault the leadership of her, Joe and Di. I felt safe at all times and their local knowledge was extensive. Unfortunately, it was rather boggy in numerous places, which made the going difficult. However, this did not spoil the overall experience which I can only describe as incredible. Thanks to everyone involved in the planning and running of this holiday."

 

Dr Keith Stonier-Lake District August 2017

The substantial benefit was the proximity to the walks, all of which could be accessed from the front door of the hotel without car travel. The room (in an outbuilding, close to my car) was just right for me. I felt very much at home. The meals were extremely satisfying (especially the ‘sticky toffee pudding’!). I rate the hotel highly – among the most comfortable and convenient of any in which I have stayed. Jill and Tom explained, guided, supported and socialised to the highest levels. I cannot think of anything that they could have done better. I have the highest regard for how they organised the entire experience.

 

Debbie Tasker- August Bank holiday Lakes 2017

Very straightforward. I had a couple of chats with Alan beforehand, who was very helpful in providing useful information as well as handy hints and tips on travel etc.

 The Skelwith Bridge hotel was a great base for the holiday. All the staff were friendly and welcoming.

The room was comfortable and clean - not that you spend a lot of time in it, making the most of a full day’s walking. Special mention about the evening meals - the quality of the food was excellent during the entire weekend

Jill and Tom were excellent throughout the weekend - very friendly, welcoming and have great local knowledge to make the experience even more special. Each day we were given a clear explanation of the day's walking locations, as well as the option of a low/mid level or higher level walk. This enabled all levels in the group to be catered for. Jill was very good at checking that we were ok throughout the weekend, so I always felt well looked after. For me, Jill and Tom made the weekend special - thank you both

 

Claire Houchin - August Bank holiday Lakes 2017

The hotel was excellent. Staff friendly and helpful.

Food excellent, and good choices.

Brill, after my visit last August I returned Easter and again this August. Jill goes out of her way to accommodate all levels and is very perceptive. There were plenty of stops to look at the scenery which is emphasized by both Jill and Tom. To add Toms knowledge of the local plants.

 

I did feel more relaxed returning, but only did so because of my previous experience.

Thanks for a great time. It felt it was  like going home. Two great people who put everything into making the holiday great.

 

Thanks Jill and Tom, see you in the new year.

 

 

Judith Hanks Lakes April 2017 - May 2017

Jill and Tom were so enthusiastic,and took great care to ensure flexibility, choice, and safety at all times.Really excellent guides!"
 

 

 

Harriet Aitchinson - Lakes March 2017

Gill and Tom were magnificent and were constantly attentive to our comfort and safety in adverse weather conditions; whilst ensuring we were actually offered walks.

 

Joanne French Lakes March 2017

This was my first Secret Hills holiday and I am almost certain I will book another. My concern before booking was that I would find the distance difficult, as it's been many years since I've walked over about 8 miles, but my mind was put at rest so I booked! From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and included. The whole group were very friendly. The service at the hotel and the food were excellent. The full day walk on the Saturday was probably the furthest I have walked for many years and although I was mostly the 'back marker' I was encouraged by Jill and Tom all the way and therefore didn't find it as difficult as I thought I might. It is a shame that the weather was so wet as another member of the group mentioned that there are usually a few more stops to admire the view etc. along the way. The rain also meant the walk had to be cut short on the Sunday but it didn't spoil my enjoyment in any way!! Thank-you everyone for a most enjoyable weekend

 

Graham & Morag Hartwell Lakes March 2017

We have just returned from our weekend walking in the lake district. Our first Secret Hills holiday...Won't be the last. The weather was awful but if anything it added to the experience. We would of never ventured out on our own. We felt safe and supported by Tom and Jill and saw some sights in the rain that we would of never seen any other time. I have to say that the rain soaked Sunday was our favourite. Thank you for a wonderful time.

Pauline Nicholson Lakes New year 2016/2017
The two guides Jill and Tom did a fantastic job. They explained the plan for each day and gave options. They were excellent company and looked after everyone in the group very well. Excellent organisation so that I didn't have to worry about anything.
Keep up the good work. As someone who has done a lot of group travel over the years, it is a challenge to get the balance of these trips right.
 But you seem to work your magic to make these trips a really enjoyable experience for everyone.

Elaine Millar- Lakes New Year 2016/17

The holiday was very well organised as always and as always a brilliant time with Jill and Tom . Thank you for the choccies and everything else 

 

Judith Mulcahy Lakes New Year 2016/17

Hotel was excellent. Room was comfortable and the standard of food exceptional. New Year’s Eve entertainment was just right & created a very lively party atmosphere. The walks were superb and enhanced by wall to wall blue skies and sunshine. Tom & Jill provided interesting & varied walks along with informative snippets of information en route without information overload!

Jill & Tom as ever went the extra mile to ensure the trip was enjoyable for everybody. It is obvious they care about their clients. A thoroughly enjoyable trip at Newby Bridge & I’d be very happy to return there next New Year. It was a nice size group of 10 which was much more manageable & easier to get to know people. Also Jill & Tom definitely know how to arrange a good party!!

 

Ray Ducker Lakes New Year January 2017.
Another really good holiday with smashing guides and friendly walkers.
A great way to spend the new year weekend

John Kent September 2016

Definitely the best Secret Hills break yet (not easy - they've all been great) due to a combination of expert guiding (thanks Jill and Joe) and a fun group.

CTYuen May 2016

Guided walking experience was Fantastic.  Jill and Graham our leaders were wonderfully considerate with everyone and Jill's knowledge of the area is amazing. She knows everything!!
The guided treks suits all either "moderate" or "easy" and we all had a choice.  Well done

Jill Kent May 2016
A big thank you to Jill. She's brilliant. And Graeme too. A pleasure to meet him and his guiding skills are perfect. All together a wonderful weekend with lovely people. I'm so glad I booked.”

Jeanette Stark June 2016

I enjoyed the guided walking experience very much. Our guides were flexible and able to offer different levels of walks. They were also informative, encouraging and enthusiastic.

Ruth Holmes

Lake District June 2016

Jill and Graeme both made excellent guides and could not have done more to make it a wonderful holiday. Lovely weather and great company as well as fantastic walking. Thanks very much indeed.

Barry Gregory Lakes August Bank Holiday 2014

Very well organised by Jill and Tom.  Very clear programme with options for split walks on most days. ?  The Newby Bridge Hotel was comfortable with helpful staff and good food. It's nice to have a pool to unwind after a days walking.

Pam McEwen Lakes August Bank Holiday weekend 2014

 Fabulous weekend. Great location, lovely hotel, fabulous group of people and wonderfully attentive walk guides. The attention to detail was incredible, they arranged everything …. even the weather apparently. What more can you ask from a weekend? :) FAB, FAB, FAB xxx

Vejay Pal Lakes August Bank Holiday 2014

Thanks for email. Was a great weekend thanks . Have sent feedback form by email. 

Jane Smallwood Lake District April 2014

It was great group and the weather was excellent.  Altogether a really enjoyable break.

Shirley Turner Lake District April 2014

The holiday was very well organized, we were met by Jill as soon as we arrived and made to feel very welcome. The hotel was fantastic and our Group Leaders Jill, Tom and Dawn were great. They were friendly, encouraging and nothing seemed too much trouble. We really appreciated having options on different walks to fit individuals’ abilities’

Toni

I wanted to say what a lovely experience I had staying in the Lake District over the weekend. Jill was a fantastic guide and host, I can't praise her enough. She was knowledgeable, attentive, and ensured our holiday was comfortable and stress free. Just a lovely person! We made the most of the sunshine from Friday and throughout Saturday before the rain set in, and even then we had an entertaining tour around the lakes! Saturday was a full day and the views were gorgeous. A well-deserved mid-morning tea break was enjoyed by all on top of a mountain where the scenery could be taken in and our achievement reflected on. The Swan Hotel was great. Lovely, cosy rooms, great food and warm welcoming staff.

So, I'm afraid I have no constructive criticism! Keep doing the Lake District walks! Thanks very much for a memorable holiday.

Ruth Holmes

Hi Alan Thanks for a great holiday. Form attached.

Mary Hynes

For it was not only the direct experience of the hotel and the walks but the whole experience, from receiving information prior to leaving, to the convenience of getting to Grasmere via train. It was Wonderful relaxing experience and I would definitely recommend it to my friends and colleagues.  

The South Lake District area

The South Lake District

 Simply stunning scenary and walking - it is all here.

On this holiday we walk in the area bounded by Windermere/Coniston/Ambleside/The Langdales and Grasmere. Wonderful walking in outstanding natural beauty

At 885 square miles the Lake District is England’s largest national park just waiting to be explored.

We are home to England’s deepest lake, Wastwater; longest lake, Windermere and highest mountain, Scafell Pike. In-fact there are only 5 peaks over 900m in England and they are all here in Cumbria.

With 50 stone circles, and Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether you want to delve into our deep, sometimes dark past or simply enjoy some stunning surroundings, there's plenty of local history and heritage to keep you interested in the scenic highlights of the Lake District

 

How to book your holiday

How to book a UK guided walking holiday AND holidays in France, Algarve, Douro Valley  and Ireland

To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.

Reserve online  - once you have chosen your holiday, click on the booking button and complete the online form
OR  contact us by phone or email, and we will send by post or email, a booking form to you
OR  you can call us direct on 01694 723600, and we will take your reservation over the phone. Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone; you can, however, post us a cheque. Alternatively, you can pay via the Pay Pal system attached to our website, which allows you to pay either by debit/credit card, or by using your Paypal account if you have one.

We will also accept a Bank Transfer and on request we will supply our bank details to you.

It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.

Note - if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.

Address:

Secret Hills Walking, 35, Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH

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Our Promise To You
You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

What Others Said...

Mark Smithson Aug Bank Hol 2014 A fantastic weekend, good walking, good weather and great company.  

Mark Smithson

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