This is part two of our recent family walking holiday with HF Holidays. The first post featured the attractive accomodation, fabulous food and the lively leaders so now I am going to detail the walks and what is on offer on these fab breaks.
HF holidays do self walking holidays or guided walking holidays and we were on a family guided walking holiday. The title speaks for itself and the walks were designed to accommodate families of all ages. Now not only do we have a teen, tween and little person our little person has some mobility issues. She is hypermobile and has had extensive hip surgery and still wears orthotics in her shoes. To be fair and honest this is the first summer we have not used a buggy with her even though she is nearer six than five. Therefore I was a little concerned about how she would fare but I knew the family walk was only five miles and I thought with breaks this is achievable for her.
Each evening there is a short meeting where the three walks are introduced, there is a family walk for five miles. An easy walk of 6/7 miles and a hard walk of 10 or so miles. You sign up in the evening to the walk you plan to do. Obviously the walks are not compulsory so if you decide to duck out of a day no-one will mind! On a family break the activity leaders also come on the family walk to help encourage children and to play games during the walk. One thing I had not realised initially is that you really get out and about on the holiday. A coach is used to drop and collect you from places of interest that you are walking to and from. It is not all done from the house you are staying at. Also on the family walks there is often another point of interest, be it a funicular lift at Lynmouth or an owl display on the way home.
Our first family walk took in the local area of Selworthy, Bossington and walking in the forest. This pretty walk included plenty of stops for younger walkers and we happily played on the common area at Selworthy for a good 40 minutes. I hadn’t really considered how long we would be out, but it this walk left at 10.30 and we were back about 3.30.
We then walked some more and stopped for lunch and a cup of tea at bird and animal place (the name has gone from memory). The children had time to pet the goats and piglets and play in the field. Of course it was Erin that decided to copy some of the other children and jump the tiny stream. And of course it was Erin who can’t jump and landed in the said water! of course it was this mum that was unprepared and didn’t carry spares, thankfully another mum helped me out! We also watched a bird of prey show where we had some close encounters with birds and owls. These extra attractions are all paid in advance and are part of your package.
The second day’s walks were a little different as we left the forest and headed for the coastal walk. We also decided to split up with Lee and Chloe doing the harder walk and myself doing the family walk with Erin and Dylan. Lee and Chloe were dropped off in a layby and spent a full day walking. They really enjoyed the challenge and arrived home exhausted but both enjoyed the views and the day.
The rest of us were dropped off in Lynmouth and took the furnicular lift up the cliff where we walked the Crinoline Path.
The views were spectacular and as we walked to The Valley of the rocks were saw cliff goats which Erin liked watching. After arriving at the Valley of the rocks we stopped for a long break. We were there over an hour and had an early lunch and sit down. The guides again entertained the children with a story on a rug before pulling out a huge parachute and playing all sorts of games with the children. the weather was lovely and it was wonderful just to sit and admire the view.
After lunch we started the walk back but because the path down was steep and a little uneven we were given the choice to take the cliff lift back down because Erin was feeling pain in her knees. We took the guides advice on this and enjoyed a more gentle descent down!
Once back in Lynmouth we all had an hour to do as we wished. I headed for a cream tea for me and ice cream for the children. However soon enough we pretty much all ended up at the park before the bus took us home.
The walks take place on all the days bar The Friday which is arrival and departure day and also on Mondays which was a free day. A would not have the confidence to do self guided and this break really ensured that we saw some great sights and were safe at all times. I thoroughly recommend the break and as I said in the last post I would love to go again – maybe even abroad with HF Holidays.
hoosing a walking holiday was very different from our usual breaks but we are all agreed we would do it again. Stepping outside our comfort zones is challenging and good for everyone.