Walk your way into the New Year in the Cotswolds

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Festive packages - Walking and Socialising - Walk into the New Year with us.  

If you want to get away to relax after a busy Christmas or you want to spend New Year with other like minded folk and walk your way into the New Year , then this is the holiday for you.

We promise you won't be disappointed and that you will have an unforgettable New Year celebration.

Check out 2019/20 Festivities .

At Secret Hills we fully understand that the Festive period can be an extremely hard time for many folk which is why we decided to offer you the opportunity  to be with others and to have a great few days away. It is no fun being on your own at such a festive time. Previous years have been a huge success so please do read the comments at Customer Reviews in the drop down bar.

The New Years break offers a full package of New Years celebrations through out the three days. See the drop down bar - New Years Package

Great reasons to join us

- meet new friends in a relaxed walking and social  atmosphere

- superb New Years hotel package of entertainment , food and those little extra's

- 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

- flexibility - extra nights stay available

- simply enjoy a New Years celebration in style.



This break starts at 2.30pm on  30 December 2020- Three nights and three days walking

We celebrate the New Year at the Stratton House Hotel – Cirencester http://www.strattonhousehotel.com/

The Hotel

With 39 en-suite bedrooms in this country hotel in Cirencester, Stratton House Hotel is full of country house charm and ideal for your short break to the Cotswolds.  Just 20 minutes from the M5 and M4 motorways, and on the outskirts of the beautiful Cotswolds, Stratton House Hotel is just perfect. And after a hard days walking, you can relax in the hotel lounge or bar,  before a delicious dinner in the Masters Restaurant.

Dinner is at the hotel and is three courses- except New Year's Eve when there is a Gala dinner with four courses.. We have lunch at one of the Cotswolds lovely country pubs, or take a packed lunch.  Walking starts at 9.30 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.


Is taken at one of the lovely country pubs

Station pick up or arrangements. We recommend Kemble - we will arrange a taxi pick up for you and return if you let us know. This is at your cost.


We offer you the opportunity to stay additional nights,  Just reserve what nights you need.

Getting to Cirencester

By train - Kemble is the nearest station, some 6 miles away. Taxis readily available. This is your cost.See www.nationalrail.co.uk. However, wherever possible, our walk leader will collect and return you to Kemble Station. Please advise the office of your train times in advance if you wish to be collected.

By car -  the post code for your Sat Navs is GL7 2LE . 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.


New Year Activities Programme

Festive programme

30th December: Arrive – an afternoon walk followed by tea, scones and cake

We dine together in the hotels restaurant.

New Years Eve - December 31st -   we take transport to one of three lovely spots in the Cotswolds and complete a super walk with lunch at a lovely country inn – 6 - 9 miles walk

New Years Evening  (dress to impress)

- Gala Dinner

- Entertainment

- Dancing

- we let the New Year in

New Year's Day1st January – a later start – about 10.00am, we walk from the hotel into the surrounding countryside and a 6/7 mile walk in the Churn Valley.

Evening – dinner in the hotels restaurant and possibly  a New Years quiz.

January 2nd – exit your rooms, walks optional (4 - 6.5 mile walks)  finishing at the hotel at 1.00pm – we say our good byes.


This festive holiday will be be hosted by the following guiding team

Keith Oxby

Catherine Ashman

Alan Garner

Places are very limited so you need to book early

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 - it is 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.



The New Year package

In addition to the walking we do, the New Year package includes

- afternoon tea and cakes on the 30th and 31st December and January 1

- - three course dinner on 30th December

- Christmas and New Year quiz on evening of 30th December or January 1

- 4 course Gala Dinner on New Years Evening

- Disco throughout the evening on New Years evening, welcoming  in the first minutes of 2020

- Breakfast every day

- 3 course dinner on New Years day



Walking Programme

The walks shown here are subject to change as weather conditions dictate.


Day one – 2 hours – Cirencester Park- mainly flat, circular walk from the hotel.


Day two - we travel to Painswick and walk via the toposcope, Haresfield Beacon and follow the Cotswold Way at high level to Painswick and back to Pitchcombe - a circular walk of 8.5 miles, with a slightly shorter version at 6 miles, ending in Painswick. Alternative walks from Bourton-on-the-Water of 6 or 9 miles, or Broadway via Snowshill might be substituted depending on the weather..


Day three – walks from hotel. Longer walk via Daglinworth / Bagendon/ North Cerney / Churn Valley. 9.5 miles.

Shorter walk via Bagendon - 5 miles with an optional 2 mile extension after lunch.


Day four – half day walks – finishing at 1pm. 6.5 miles and 4 miles - either loop via Perrots Brook or routes via Cirencester.

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the Cotswolds 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 Cirencester 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.

Holiday Highlights

- superb host hotel

- the beautiful Cotswolds countryside to enjoy on your walks

-- New Years Evening 5 course Gala Dinner- dress to impress

- New Years eve disco to see the New Year in

- champagne after midnight

- tea, scones and cakes on your return after your walks

- Cirencester - the capital of the Cotswolds - half a mile away



Customer Reviews

Please see below for Testimonials from our New Year Break’s- If you would like to read more testimonials on the area. Please see Cotswold’s in tab above



Carol Kenny - New Year Cotswolds, January 2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Another very enjoyable holiday. The leaders Keith, Catherine and Alan were very knowledgeable and catered for everybody's capability. The walks were varied and showed the different aspects of the Cotswolds.The holiday was organised very well and very enjoyable the hotel was very good, however the Gala Dinner on New Years Eve was a little disappointing. Yes, I will book another holiday and recommend it to others.


Amy Martin - New Year Cotswolds ,January 2020.
Hotel was nice and clean, with friendly staff.
Enjoyable experience. Holiday very well organised. Overall, nicely timed walk with well timed food breaks.



This was my first experience and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. Was prepared to leave on the first eve if I hated it. Lovely company. Hope other weekends will be just as friendly

Heather Kellett - March 2018


Craig was a great walking guide and kept a good pace for the group. His knowledge is amazing and he is friendly, a great conversationalist and involved everyone in the group. We had a great weekend with lots of laughs. Saturdays walk was wonderful and just what we expected for a walk in the Cotswolds- villages/views/green hills etc. 

 llyris Young - March 2018

Sheila Coombs Cotswolds New year
The hotel was in a great location, lovely rooms, easy walk into Cirencester and the food very good. Craig was a very organised leader on the shorter walks that I did, knew the area well and together with his lovely wife Carol they made a good team.
New year meal and entertainment was just what was needed and of course your fun evening on news year's night. I would definitely recommend Secret Hills and hope to do another trip myself sometime this year.

Sheila Green - January 2017

Cotswolds New year 2016/17 - It was my first time with Secret Hills and indeed my first organised walking holiday. Being on my own I was initially apprehensive, but I need not have worried as Alan and the other team members made everyone welcome. I really enjoyed meeting friendly like-minded people and the walks were good. Pity about the weather! I will certainly be joining another holiday, hopefully before too long. Well done Secret Hills!


Paul Gaskell - January 2017

Cotswolds New year 2016/17 - I thoroughly enjoyed the walking even in the mist, fog and rain! Two of my friends have taken holidays with you following hearing about how much I enjoy my time on your holidays.


Christine Paice - January 2017

Cotswolds New Year 2016/17 - The pre-holiday information was well informed so knew what to expect and appropriate clothing/footwear to bring. The guided walking was excellent, well led, well informed, sensible pace, sensible timed food stops with suitable food. Good awareness of safety for the whole group. After being on many walking holidays of various 'sorts' I have found a group/holiday that suits my needs. For the New Year celebrations, I didn't feel alone. I have been in groups before for New Year but still felt alone. It was a lovely way to see in 2017. "


Anne Barge - January 2017

Cotswolds New year 2016/17 - I enjoyed the guided walking, lovely not to have to navigate and good company.




Becky White - January 2017

Cotswolds New Year January 2017 It was all brilliant. Loved the walks even in the rain and mud loved the party’s and the people were just lovely. Thank you to Alan and all the team who worked so hard to enable us to have a good time. As I know for many of us we were not looking forward to New year. But I think it is safe to say we saw it in with gusto. Not sure what the other residents of the hotel thought! Many thanks Becky White



Sonja Nagle - January 2017

New Year January 2017- Cotswolds Just wanted to send a personal thanks to you for a truly wonderful weekend. You were amazing, despite your 'little helpers' dropping like flies! We were a big group to handle virtually single handed. It was (and was on previous occasions), a perfect holiday, with apparent seamless organisation, relaxed, fun, good humour....and new friends! Thank you again and look forward to the next trip. Sonja Nagle



Lisel Simpson - January 2017

New year Break January 2017- Cotswolds. Excellent hotel and fantastic experience, good walks, well paced walks. Brilliant job and can't wait for the next one!


 Sorel Arrow - January 2017

 Cotswolds New Year Break January 2017 Hi all I would like to thank Alan and Keith for a lovely New Year at Stratton House Hotel. Despite the weather on New Year's Day, the walking was good, the hotel comfortable and welcoming, and the company fantastic! All in all, I couldn't have wished for a better New Year. Many thanks, and hope to see you again soon. Sorel



Kay Gaitskell - January 2017

Cotswolds New Year Break 2016/2017 A Really nice fun group with a few familiar faces. Please thank Alan for such a fun filled festive break, it was great. Despite the rain and mud the walking was also most enjoyable, led by smashing walk leaders, Keith, Tristan, and Cathy. Best withes Kay.




Susan Ashmore - January 2016

A Really nice fun group with a few familiar faces. Please thank Alan  for such a fun filled festive break, it was great. Despite the rain and mud the walking was also most enjoyable, led by smashing walk leaders, Keith, Tristan, and Cathy.

Best withes

"New Year December 2015 Considering the amount of walkers attending the New Year holiday it was well organized as always. Secret Hills Walking always give 100% to their customers"



Diane Blenkiron - January 2016

New Year December 2015 Choosing the right guides who not only knew the walks but are wonderful at bringing the group together. They were organised, thoughtful and multi-talented. They offer flexibility and options. When you are travelling alone it makes a huge difference having that personal touch. I love the pubs we visit for lunch.



 Louise Richards - January 2016

  1. Year 2015 Hey Paul Thanks for the resumé. It was a great New Year break, really well organised and fun. I think your magic tricks made it most memorable though ☺️ Please pass my thanks to Alan, Chris, Jill and Tom and maybe see you again one day. Best wishes Louise Richards PS: Please say hi to your lovely partner Pam and thank her for the chats.


Jane Smallwood - January 2016

New Years break December 2016 Thanks Paul It was a great few days and now that my 'trench foot' has got better the memories are even better!! Am booked on the South Downs trip and probably more over the year so will see you soon I expect. Thanks for your eternal good humour! Best wishes Jane x


 Elaine Millar - January 2016


New Year December 2015 Sorry Alan not going to make GC in jan as boss wants no leave taken during jan . Will be in touch to book an Easter break. Thanks for a great time at new year .Best way to spend new year ! Walking talking eating drinking dancing . Thanks to everyone that made it so good especially the secret hills team. Elaine. X



Cathy Curtis - Cotswold Oct 2014

The Cotswolds’ Holiday walks far exceeded my expectations.  I thoroughly enjoyed the walking for the actual walks themselves and for the beautiful countryside, friendly and fun people to share the walks with, and everyone at Secret Hills that conducted the holiday with expertise and professionalism.


Stephanie Coleman - Cotswolds October 2014

I thought your organisation of just about everything was excellent. I knew exactly
where to go. Was welcomed warmly. Everything was explained and the routes we took
were super.


Michael Smith

Thanks for a great holiday Alan - Much needed!!






What's included

What you get on this New Year's holiday

  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite three nights
  • Dinner- three courses – three nights/Gala Dinner on New Years Eve-is five courses
  • Country Pub Lunches
  • Afternoon tea and cakes at the hotel each day
  • Personal service - includes train pickup and set downs, individual holiday planning for you
  • Transport to walks start and from finish
  • Total flexibility on when you arrive and depart - come for as many or few days as you want
  • Expert guiding/two full days and two half day walks
  • No single supplement- mainly but not exclusively a double /twin room for sole occupancy
  • Complimentary wine on December 30th
  • Entertainment on New Year's evening
  • The total New Year package offered by Stratton House Hotel
  • A social, relaxed approach

The Cotswolds and Cirencester

The Cotswolds area is one of England's finest destinations; famous for its honey-colour limestone villages in a beautiful rural setting. 

In summer time, the Cotswolds offers fantastic walking and cycling, beautiful gardens, bustling farmers' markets and a delightful cafe culture. On our New Year programme, we pick walks that allow us to get the best of winter walking and take in the best of the countryside - stunning villages and superb country pubs for lunch.

The Cotswolds is great walking country with over 5000km of footpaths and rights of way. For serious walkers, the Cotswold Way and Thames Path are on offer. For recreational walkers, most towns and villages have a choice of shorter circular routes. Find out more about Walking in the Cotswolds.

The Cotswolds are situated in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a walker's paradise. There is the rolling countrside with superb views, full of history and beautiful river valleys.



Near to our hotel is Cirencester, known as the "Capital Of The Cotswolds." It is an historic Roman town in the heart of the Cotswolds with attractions from a Roman Ampitheatre to the nearby Chedworth Roman Villa. The Corinium Museum in an important source of information on the local history. Cirencester is full of tastefully restored courtyards, alleyways and lovely old streets and many places to visit and sites to enjoy, including the magnificent Church of St John Baptist, the Abbey Grounds and St. Michael's Park. Nearby is Cirencester Park, a 15,000 acre estate owned by the Earl of Bathurst who has granted walkers and horse riders free right to roam anywhere on the estate.

Come and experience life in a real country market town full of Roman and medieval history which also boasts an amazing selection of independent shops and restaurants. Cirencester is in a great location to tour the Cotswolds making it the perfect base from which to discover this iconic English landscape and its historic buildings,.


A customers review of the event

Giovanna Mills January 2017 - a personal view of the holiday.

As a veteran of a few Secret Hills holidays, I knew that my weekend in the Cotswolds would be a  mix of good walking, conversation and food.  However, I was blown away by just how much fun and laughter was had by those of us who shared the New Year weekend.  As expected, the walks were excellent; a variety of terrain, scenery and walking pace meant that everyone was happy. Even the weather couldn't spoil our enjoyment, although it tried hard enough. The promise of a pub lunch and a gorgeous cream tea kept most of us going to the end. We finished on the Monday with a lovely walk through Cirencester town and the country park and the sun finally shone - a fitting way to end the holiday.


The hotel was very comfortable, with excellent food - did I mention the cream teas - and superb entertainment every evening.   We certainly welcomed the New Year in style: tuxedos and glitzy dresses really made the evening special. Who would have thought that I could have danced for almost four hours, having walked all day.  I just hope we didn't scare the the other guests in the hotel as we were having so much fun.  For me though, the best part of the weekend was the people.  I have made some lovely new friends and we have already planned some trips, walks and evenings out.  I don't know what 2017 will hold, but it certainly started the right way.




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.


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...

David Bailey - Group Walking Week organiser East Brekshire Ramblers Alan, Chris, Julie, I have waited nearly a week since our Group returned from our Wye Valley holiday just to see how many more acknowledgements I get from members who were on it, saying what a great holiday they thought it was! I can honestly say that everyone was very happy with what you came up with for us and they are all now anxiously waiting to hear what we decide to do next year with Secret Hills. Personally, I was so impressed with the help and encouragement I had had in the planning of the holiday during the ten months leading up to it, that I was in no doubt at all that everything would be fine when 14th September arrived. As indeed it was! Some of our members of course, having had years (and years!) of experience with HF and Ramblers Holidays - and many of whom had never even heard of Secret Hills -  were perhaps understandably a little apprehensive of something new. But their worries proved to be totally misplaced. Well done to all of you, and especially to your local leaders and other helpers who were excellent.

David Bailey