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Any experience with the Carter Company Hiking, Walking and Biking tours?

We watched recent (2016) Rick Steves videos about the southwest and west England. We were particularly interested in some of the hiking opportunities Rick discussed. I found a company called the Carter Company that coordinates hiking and biking tours around England.
Has anyone had experience with this company or others like this? We like the idea of a self guided tour with arranged lodging. The Carter Company seems like a well organized family run company and seem to cater to many different types of trips.
Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.

Posted by
16231 posts

We do not have experience with this company, but we do with others. There are a good many UK companies that offer good selk-guided walking tours. We have used Celtic Ztrails and HF Holidays. I know others who have used Contours and Macs Adventures.

I would say the Carter Company seems quite a bit more expensive, at almost £200 per person per night for the Devon and Cornwall hiking trip. We are accustomed to paying closer to £90 pp per night, and with HF Holidays this includes all meals and very nice lodging in their own country houses. This is a member-owned cooperative but non-members can go too. You might take a look.

https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/country-houses/

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks for the reply. I did look at the hf holidays site that was suggested and it did look like a good option. I plan on corresponding with them to get more details.
Would a 5-6 day hiking trip in the Cotswolds be too much? Is there enough different or interesting scenery and towns to visit and explore?
We have been to London a couple of times and be bookending this hiking trip around our flights into and out of London
This seemed like a fun experience that Rick described. I would be interested in hearing from any other travelers that have tried this. Thanks.

Posted by
1540 posts

I have used HF Holidays twice and I really like the company and their walking trips. The accommodations are great and the food is fantastic. I think their pricing is good too.
I did the week long trip in the Cotswolds - stayed in Burton On The Water and we walked every day except Wednesday (a free day) . We were able to choose easy/medium/ or longer walks.
Each evening the guides explained where they would lead the next day and we could choose which we wanted to go on.

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks Frances, I did look at their website and it looks great. How many days did you stay and how many days did you walk? How far did you go each day?
Were they full days walking/hiking?
Thanks for any blanks you can fill in.

Posted by
1540 posts

Curt - my favorite trip was 7 days in Burton on the Water and we stayed in Harrington House. We did the medium walks they were 6 - 8 miles per day at leisurely pace, stops for breaks and to see things like churches, villages, etc. and of course a lunch stop to eat our picnic lunches that we packed each day at Harrington House (very generous table full of foods/snacks/sandwiches/etc on a large table each AM to pack our lunches and snacks - carried in our rucksacks)
(The short walks were 4 - 6 miles
Long walks were 8 - 11 miles.)
Each evening the guides (all were from Ramblers) gave a talk about where they would be going the next day and what was to be seen. Then we could decide which walk we wanted to go on.
Wednesdays are free days - no walks planned (of course you could to go on your own walk - but none were formally led.) Several people wandered around Burton on the Water and a few ordered a taxi to go to a town or village that we were not going to cover on a walk/hikes.
PS - forgot to answer about what time we got back to the manor....
We departed at about 9 or 10 AM and returned about 3 or 4, so it was not a late return. I noticed that the walkers who did the long walks returned about 4 or 5. It was not a rushed pace and we always had plenty of time to visit the villages we stopped in or churches or other sites. Each day our "medium walk" group was about 10 - 12 people. We were there in the summer.

Posted by
16231 posts

Our HF Holidays home was at the Derwentwater house in the Lake District. The house was on the lake, with a lawn sloping down to the lake. We chose a room with lake view and in the morning we would see pheasant on the lawn.

Each day there was a choice of walks and we tended to choose the strenuous over moderate, although one day I wimped out and did moderate while my husband ascended the highest peak in England with the strenuous group. There was some scrambling and exposure involved, nd after talking to the guide I decided the route was not for me. But the moderate hike was a long and lovely ramble with lake views,around 8 miles. we could also have opted out of group walk and hiked the Catbells on our own if we chose.

Next time we hope to visit Cornwall and stay and walk with them.