Meet The Team

We have a dedicated group of walk leaders and administration staff who work together as a team to ensure your holiday is the best we can give you. We are constantly seeking to improve our walking product and add new areas of walking interest to you. We also constantly review our hotel facilities and underpinning services that make the walking programmes work.

Take a look - but pictures alone cannot tell you about our individual skills and personalities - you only get that on each holiday.

Alan Garner

Alan Garner founded Secret Hills Walking Holidays in 2002, and has built a superb team of walk leaders who run the walking breaks. A walker all his life, Alan started the company in the Shropshire Hills - "it's called Secret Hills Walking because I rarely found many walkers on the Shropshire Hills, it was very much an unknown area for walking, yet it is a superb natural landscape, with so much to offer"

" I am proud of what we have achieved and hopefully we can continue to develop new areas  of superb walking for you in the future."



Barbara Vickery

Barbara manages our client administration system which is attached to the web site. She transfers your reservation into the various sub systems we have that help manage your holiday, and liaises with our walk leaders as they plan your holiday.

Barbara started as one of our first walk leaders, in 2005, and has run many holidays in Shropshire, Derbyshire, Llangollen and the Dee Valley, the Black Mountains of South Wales and The Malverns. She now concentrates on our administration function, and has been instrumental in the design of this system and our web sites.


Pamela Greenwood

Pam is our Groups Administrator and looks after many group reservations. She is a Yorkshire lass, living in Shropshire with Paul Watts, one of our senior leaders. Pam sometimes acts as second guide to Paul.

Pam’s responsibilities extend to hotel reservations, transport management, liason with group leaders and Secret Hills guiding staff.

Ian Cartwright

Ian has been with Secret Hills almost from the beginning, and leads walking holidays in Shropshire, Derbyshire, The Black Mountains, Llangollen and the Dee Valley,  the Wye Valley and in Majorca. Recently retired form the Civil Service, Ian has a wealth of experience leading group holidays. Born in the Black Country, Ian now lives in Shrewsbury.

Ian relaxes by cooking, growing his own vegetables and fruit, and enjoying the restaurants in Shropshire's premier town of Shrewsbury.

Keith Oxby

Keith has a wealth of experience in running group holidays - walking and fishing in particular. He returned from working in the USA a couple of years ago, and joined our team in 2015 as a senior group leader. Keith covers the Derbyshire, Dales, Castleton, West Yorkshire and the Cotswolds.  East Midlands born, he now lives in Chesterfield

Jill Pinkerton

Jill works for us in the Lake District, Majorca, Slovenia, Gran Canaria and Tenerife and brings her own brand of caring leadership to every holiday she runs. An experienced mountain guide, she also hosts holidays in Nepal, having had many years of experience in working in that wonderful country.

Jill also contributes to Secret Hills Walkings marketing, promotions and selling operation, and has a superb knack of responding to clients needs.

Craig Sawyers

Craig joined us after a lifetime in engineering, and brings his sunny personality and organisational skills to help with managing our holidays. A  keen walker all his life, now walk leading is another stage of his career and we value his professionalism on our many programmes. Craig lives in Oxford.

Mike Smart

Mike runs our Malverns,  Llangollen and the Dee Valley, and Dolomites holidays. Mike lives in the Dee Valley and has specialised  in outdoor pursuit leading for many years.

Paul Watts

Paul walks for Secret Hills in Shropshire, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, The Cotswolds, Ironbridge and the Lake District. He is an expert in moths and butterflies, and also a magician, who occasionally entertains us with a trick or two.

Paul lives in Shifnal with his partner Pam, and has walked with Secret Hills since 2009.

Paul and Lesley Godwin

Paul and Lesley joined the Secret Hills team in 2005. They are a magnificently caring couple who look after all our clients so well. Living in Shropshire, they are involved with our Shropshire holidays including Ironbridge as well as the Derbyshire Dales, Malverns, South Downs and Dorset excursions.

Catherine Ashman

Catherine joined the team in 2017 as backmarker to her partner Keith Oxby. A born and bred Lancashire lass, she now helps Keith lead walks in West Yorkshire and Derbyshire

Tristan Blanchard

Tristan lives in Abergavenny where his love of the South Wales Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons was born. He works in tourism in Monmouthshire and was a prime mover in setting up the Monmouthshire Walking Festival and Walkers are Welcome scheme.

Tristan works for us in the Wye Valley, Black Mountains, Mid Wales, Cotswolds and the Shropshire Hills.

Lou Stone

Lou runs Secret Hills Walking's South Downs and Dorset's Purbeck Hills holidays. Living in Brighton, she knows the area extremely well. Lou has taken a giant step into outdoor pursuits management after a career in financial services and general administration.

Pete Sherman

Pete lives in Exmouth in East Devon. His first love is Dartmoor, but also loves the devon coastline as a fantastic area to walk.

Ann Allman

Ann leads our team of walk leaders in Scotland. She has lots of experience in leading tour groups and arranging holidays. Passionate about Scotland's beauty her enthusiasm for her country shines through.

Christine Paice

Christine lives in Derbyshire and walks regularly with a local group in that area. Until recently she was a Nordic walking leader and still practices this. She enjoys being outdoors and sharing sights, sounds and views with others. Her developing involvement with Secret Hills. is based in the Derbyshire area.

Simon and Nina Foster

Simon and Nina are based in South Wales near the Brecon Beacons National Park where they walk regularly. They have years of experience in leading groups on guided walks all over the UK and Europe and joined the Secret Hills team in 2018

Amy Porter

Amy  resides close to the Shropshire Hills in Shrewsbury. She is happiest when in mountains scrambling, bouldering and hiking and Passionate about conservation, ecology, wildlife and geology. Qualified in Biosciences and Equine Science. In her spare time you’ll find her in Snowdonia , the Shropshire Hills and the remoter parts of mid Wales. Amy is part of the guiding team in the Shropshire Hills


Ing Fischer

Ing lives Church Stretton and loves the Shropshire Hills where he walks and cycles continually. After a career in Civil Engineering Ing swapped offices form indoors to the outdoors. An outdoor enthusiast- Ing and his wife love exploring the Alps and Gozo – where they have a home.

Paul Cannon

Paul has worked with the  Secret Hills team for three years and will be working mainly in The Lake District where he was born and raised and  lives. He has been hiking all his life and has a great deal of experience, both in the UK and abroad. He has been working as a mountain leader for 5 years.


Neil Holmes

Neil lives in Brighton and has spent a career in  the voluntary sector. He has extensive experience in counselling. His love of the outdoors has taken him all over Europe and the UK. In his spare time Neil is learning to play the piano and enjoys sea swimming and cycling.

Wayne Singleton

Cumbrian born and bred, Wayne lives and works in the South Lakes. A keen runner, walker and swimmer, he regularly uses many of the trails we use on our holidays there. He's full of useful (and useless) facts about the culture of the Lakes and particularly loves the Viking and Roman history we have.

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What Others Said...

Beautiful hotel, lovely location, very relaxing. All the walks were superb, A brilliant week led by superb guides. As usual with Secret Hills a lovely holiday, well organised and led superbly by Jill and Tom. We wouldn't consider booking with any other Company and we would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone. Many thanks Alan and the team and particular thanks to our guides Jill and Tom.

Harry & Penny Smith Gran Canaria