Updated 23/10/20

Tier three areas

If you are living in Covid Alert Level Very High areas

To protect the hotel staff, guests and leaders on our remaining 2020 holidays, in light of the recent government restrictions being put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Secret Hills Walking Holidays has taken the decision not to allow  guests living in the postcode districts which have a Covid Alert level of Very High- Tier three -   joining our holidays.

Updated OCTOBER 22, 2020

UK walking holidays - we have been running holidays since August 28 and we remain open to take you to the many beautiful destinations in the UK.

 Our clients are at the heart of our business and your safety, health and well being are the most important considerations at this time.

You have worked tremendously hard to socially distance and abide by the rules applied by the hotels and lunch venues we use and help supress the covid 19 virus- and the new government guidelines issued on June 23 give us the green light to re- start secret hills walking holidays.

Social distancing policies are there for a reason - to ensure that your holiday can be as safe as possible- and to keep you safe. as a business, we feel that some necessary restrictions will enable you to get away and enjoy the great outdoors- we hope you appreciate and embrace the "new" normal.

NOW FURTHER RULES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED- TO COMBAT A RISE IN INFECTIONS. The rule of six

Keeping all our customers safe as we battle corona virus is at the heart of Secret Hills Walking operations. We operate our trips in accordance with advice issued by the various UK governments and for European holidays, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).  So, all our decisions – changes in operating ways etc are based upon keeping you as safe and secure as possible  We must now follow again the English governments latest rules announced on Tuesday,September 22. However on checking with all the relevant government bodies - we are allowed to walk with more than six people

In England our walking holidays will be 12 clients, though we will have 2 leaders, and in Wales where the rules are different it will be a maximum of 12 clients – though we will always have two leaders in attendance here.

See below

At Secret Hills Walking, we know the importance of doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Organised outdoor sport and physical activity has an explicit exemption from the current rules, which limit other kinds of gatherings to six people. At present, organised outdoor sport and physical activity can take place anywhere in England – as confirmed in the UK government guidance.

This exemption includes all walks organised by Secret Hills Walking – which will also comply with all relevant local restrictions, including on travel.

This is explicitly stated on the Governing Body Sport England, – the government body that oversees physical and sporting activity across the country – to ensure that our activities comply with the rules implemented by the UK government. It is also explicit on the Governing Body for Hill Walking, the British Mountaineering Council’s website, and on the Ramblers website.

Our activities are subject to procedures that are put in place by Secret Hills – designed to ensure that those organising and taking part in organised physical activities implement the government requirements, to keep everybody safe. This includes a maximum number of participants up to 30 people, and requirements around physical distancing.

You can find out more about how Secret Hills are complying with government and Governing Body requirements here:

UK government guidance

gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-levels-what-you-need-to-know#visiting-public-places-and-taking-part-in-activities

Sport England guidance on ‘Return to Play’

sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus/return-play

Ramblers guidance and procedures

ramblers.org.uk/coronavirus

The British Mountaineering Council

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/new-local-covid-alert-levels

As you would expect, we will continue to review our guidelines, to ensure compliance with national and local restrictions as we all move through this difficult period together.

If you still have questions, please email info@secrethillswalking.co.uk

Yours faithfully

Alan Garner,

Secret Hills Walking Holidays

 

We are able to use the hospitality businesses who will adhere as ever to the social distancing rules, then taking a guided walking holiday remains a good way of “getting away”.

In the meantime – rest assured that any reservation you have made- or will make – is financially secure – for if there are local lockdowns, or you have to self-isolate, then we will manage your reservation professionally and with understanding

 

Our Autumn programme can be seen on www.secrethillswalking.co.uk.    Use the choice bar at the top of this page

We have introduced several new holidays – for four or five nights – in The Cotswolds, Llangollen and the Dee valley, the Shropshire Hills, the South Downs and the Derbyshire Dales.

We feel that there will be a demand not just for our weekend breaks but for longer holidays- staycation breaks, all with our special blend of guided experience.

We also think that walking in our superb British countryside – is a perfect antidote for these many months of lockdown discipline as we have reduced the risk from the deadly virus.

We will ask you to follow the social distancing policies of our hotels and transport companies, we will publish these on our web site and when we send you joining details.

AND – we offer NO DEPOSIT * when you reserve an Autumn 2020 holiday. A risk-free option. So you can reserve in the knowledge that if the virus does not abate as quickly as we all hope, you have not committed hard, earned cash to your plans.

*This applies to holidays reserved for 2020 only.

In case of cancellation/local lockdowns - or you being unable to travel due to the following reasons.

Should there be an issue/local lockdown at the hotel/area where we run our holidays which causes us to postpone our holidays, then you will be offered a similar later date holiday, If that is not suitable you will receive a full refund..

Should you be unable to attend the holiday due to the following reasons. then you will be offered a similar later date holiday. Should you be unable to accept this, then we will issue a full refund, minus an administration charge.

- you catch covid 19 and you are not able to travel during the time you are infectious and  self isolating. A medical proof will be needed.

- someone in your circle of contacts has been tested and contracted the virus, causing you to self isolate on the test, track and trace national programme.

- the area you live in is put into special measures as part of the national test, trace and track programme - again supported by suitable evidence which is in the public domain.

- in the event of a national lockdown due to increased incidences of confirmed virus cases.

Email - info@ secrethillswalking.co.uk - and discuss how we can help you get back to what you love- walking in the great British countryside with likeminded folk.

Travel to Europe with us

Unfortunately, Covid -19 and the many travel restrictions in place both in the UK  and in Europe means we have cancelled all holidays in the Autumn. A full list of 2021 European holidays is however on the web site

We cannot extend our no deposit offer to European holidays however, as these are reserved through New Experience Holidays and the ATOL/abta bonding rules apply to these holidays.

Our colleagues at New Experience Holidays have produced a set of guidelines to help you understand the various issues surrounding reserving a European holiday with us.-see https://www.newex.co.uk/coronavirus/

 

Travel Insurance

Please ensure that you obtain the travel insurance appropriate for your destination, itinerary and nature of your holiday. It is a good idea to check your travel insurance policy for the scope of cover. Many providers DO NOT provide Corona Virus cover, though new products are coming on the market that do. Remember the two aspects - cancellation of your holiday due to you contracting the virus or being asked to quarantine if you have been in contact with others and the test, track and trace unit have contacted you. Also cover for any medical treatment should you get the virus whilst abroad.

A personal message from our founder Alan Garner

After four months when the travel industry has been at a standstill, we have started walking again from August.  We believe that we have provided the perfect antidote for all the time spent in lockdown and social isolation. Yes- there are some constraints around the way hotels, pubs, cafes operate, but we feel that being disciplined in these settings is a small price to pay for being allowed in the beautiful UK countryside for tremendous walking opportunities.

If we are to enjoy the holidays we love- then we will need to make compromises like face coverings in public spaces and transport and the restrictions in the way we eat in hotel restaurants and cafes- this is the new normal and we will need to live with these restrictions for many months to come. There will be little restriction though when we are walking- just sensible precautions to keep us all safe.

Autumn is a super time to take walking holidays- and we will all need the special feeling of getting way before winter sets in.

Most of the 2021 dates are now on our website.

After 18 years of hard work by many team members past and present, I have no intention of "throwing in the towel" - so being able to re-start our holidays is a tremendous boost-  we will, in the Secret Hills community, be here when the virus finally subsides- ready to continue to guide you round our magnificent countryside. So, I hope you will continue to support us and join us in the Autumn - get those boots on again with us. See you then

Alan - and the whole Secret Hills Walking Community

 

 

 

 

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What Others Said...

Helen Grant Derbyshire Dales September 2014 A really enjoyable weekend at a lovely location. The scenery was beautiful and the walking guides knowledgeable. Good walks with good company

Helen Grant

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