From Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point on the British mainland to Lands End via the Peak District, Lake District, Pennines and the North and South Downs. From the Black Cullin of the Isle of Skye to the Blackgang Chine dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight, Footprints offers a selection of walking breaks at various locations around the country and sometimes overseas. For insurance reasons they are open to members only.
The format of these breaks varies slightly from event to event, with the classic weekend format being two or more nights’ accommodation at a country house, hotel or B&B. There are one or, more usually, two led walks each day. Most weekend breaks are full board (ie packed lunches provided) subject to availability. If a break is in your local area you are always welcome to attend as a day walker.
The weekend planned in December 2023 had to be postponed due to boiler/central heating problems at the venue. It has now been rescheduled for 1st to 3rd March 2024.
There may be spare places at the hotel – please enquire. Members are welcome to book accommodation at other venues and join the group for walks as well as evening meals at the pub.
It is proposed to offer two led walks on both the Saturday and Sunday – an A party and a B party walk. The Forest of Bowland offers some of the most beautiful and remote walking in the country, from the grandeur and isolation of the moorland hills to the undulating lowlands with their distinctive pattern of settlements, woodland cloughs and river valleys. These landscape contrasts, along with the serenity and tranquility of the area make this a walker’s paradise. As well as the fell tops and moors, there are extensive opportunities for shorter and less challenging routes in the valleys, most especially riverside walks which abound in the area.
The postcode for the location is BB7 3EP. The nearest rail station to Slaidburn is Clitheroe 8 miles away, and there are taxi firms in Clitheroe to help with onward transport. Lifts could be offered from Preston Station (on the West Coast Main Line) or Hellifield station (on the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line).
I have booked 20 half board places at The Craiglands Hotel Ilkley West Yorkshire for 4 nights from 28th March Maundy Thursday to 1st April Easter Monday (4 nights).
Last visited by Footprints in March 2019 this 60 bedroom hotel is situated on the lower slopes of Ilkley Moor and is well placed for walks some starting and/or finishing at the hotel itself. The town centre is about 10 minutes walk away where packed lunch items can be obtained.
It is hoped to offer A and B walks on Friday Saturday and Sunday taking in local landmarks such as Beamsley Beacon and the Cow and Calf Rocks and Ilkley Moor.
The charge per person per night for dinner bed and breakfast is £69 sharing twin or double and £99 sole occupancy. Priority for single rooms will be given to those staying the full four nights.
Ilkley is easily accessed by train via Leeds where connections can be made to all parts of the country. Car access is via the M1 A1 or M62 skirting Bradford and Leeds.
I have provisionally booked at the Management Centre Bangor University:
- 2 double rooms (double occupancy)
- 10 double rooms (single occupancy)
- 2 twin rooms (double occupancy)
The MBC is set on the hillside above Bangor city centre 10-15 minutes’ walk from the city centre. It has a bar and restaurant and a daytime Costa Café. It has its own free car park. For further information see here.
The address of the MBC is College Rd, Bangor LL57 2DG. It is 0.6 miles walk (mainly uphill) from Bangor Railway Station, or a three minute taxi ride. There is a downloadable map on the management website.
The booking is for Dinner (three course) Bed and Breakfast.
- 1 person in a double room £136 per night x3 = £408 per person
- 2 people sharing a twin £98.50 per night x3 = £295.50 per person
- 2 persons in a double room £89 per night x3 = £267 per person
Sorry there are no single rooms available for the May bank holiday weekend.
It is planned to put on B walks on Anglesey on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Buses may be used which depart from Bangor to a number of places on Anglesey.
Walk 1 – circular walk around Newborough sands and Forest, hopefully if the tide is right we will get out on to the Island of Llanddwyn.
Walk 2 – linear coastal walk from Moelfre to Amlwch.
Walk 3 – a shorter walk to be decided.
I have booked 20 half board places at the Ben Nevis Hotel and Leisure Club in Fort William for the week beginning 24th July which is Wednesday to Wednesday. The hotel is about a mile to the north of the town centre and is owned by the same company, Strathmore Hotels, that own the Ben Wyvis Hotel in Strathpeffer visited by Footprints in 2022. The leisure club with swimming pool is complimentary for hotel residents. There are local shops where packed lunch items can be obtained.
The charge is £96 per person per night sharing a twin or double. Please note all single rooms have been booked.
Fort William is accessed by train direct from Glasgow or by car via the A82.
It is hoped to offer A and B walks on 5 days with a free day in the middle. It is possible to climb Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis for those so inclined but there are walks to satisfy all abilities.
For the August Bank Holiday weekend I have reserved 20 places for the group to stay in student accommodation at the University of Kent. Located 1 mile from the cathedral city of Canterbury, surrounded by the lovely Kent countryside and within easy reach of the Kent coastline.
The main event will be for 3 x nights from Friday 23rd to Monday 26th August (half board – DBB).
An extra 1 or 2 nights can be booked before the event (Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd) on a B&B basis. Plus, an extra 1 x night can be booked after the core event on Monday 26th August (departing Tuesday 27th).
Keynes Campus, University of Kent, Canterbury
The university has mainly single ensuite rooms so I’ve reserved mostly single rooms plus a few double rooms (for couples only). All bedrooms are ensuite with a wet room and have tea and coffee making facilities, towels and bedding included.
The campus has a restaurant on site as well as a bar and lounge areas. Each corridor in the accommodation blocks has 8-10 bedrooms plus a shared kitchen with fridges to store food. Packed lunches are not included in our package but there is a good sized Co-op on campus to obtain lunch provisions, or bring your own and store in the fridges.
How to get there
Keynes College, Giles Lane, University of Kent CT2 7NP
Free permit parking on site (permits will be issued to any car drivers). There are 2 x railway stations serving Canterbury – Canterbury East and Canterbury West. Canterbury West station is located nearest to the campus (approx 1.2 miles). There is a bus stop right outside the Keynes Campus with a regular bus service to the city which stops near both of the railway stations.
A and B walks will be planned for the main BH event (Saturday, Sunday, BH Monday) taking in the surrounding Kent countryside, Kent Downs AONB as well as the Kent coast. Offers of help to lead walks would be welcome. There will also be a walk planned for the extra days (Thursday, Friday and possibly Tuesday), depending on numbers and interest!
Note: I have moved this trip back by 3 weeks due to discovering that a Coldplay concert is taking place in Seaton during the original weekend in September. This caused the half-board cost for 4 nights to increase to over £500!
A break of up to 4 nights is planned in Seaton, arriving on Friday 11th October and departing on Tuesday 15th October. Seaton is on the Jurassic Coast in East Devon, mid-way between Sidmouth (where the group stayed in April 2019) and Lyme Regis.
Accommodation and Cost
Premier Inn Seaton Hotel, Harbour Road.
As at 18/12/2023, the cost for a double room for 4 nights occupied by 1 person is £284. It is proposed that members book themselves directly through Premier Inn. This allows each member to select the preferred number of nights as they wish. A half-board booking should be made – a ‘Meal Deal’ is available (currently £25) including breakfast, 2-course evening meal and a drink. Packed lunch items can be bought locally. There is a communal area with a bar where we can meet in the evenings.
There will be linear coastal walks on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will include the Lyme Regis to Axmouth Undercliff National Nature Reserve by catching bus 378 from Seaton to Lyme Regis. Sunday will be Sidmouth to Seaton via Branscombe and Beer Head by catching bus 9A from Seaton to Sidmouth. Monday will be an inland, partly circular (figure of 6) walk from Colyton via Parehayne Hill and Seaton Junction, returning via Colyford Common and Seaton Marshes by catching the tram from Seaton to Colyton.
Train to Axminster then bus (service 885) to Seaton. The postcode for Premier Inn is EX12 2NA.
To book, please book direct with Premier Inn and let me know when you have done so.
Red Lion Inn, Ellesmere, Shropshire. Any enquiries please contact the organiser.
How to Get There
Ellesmere is on the A495 from Whitchurch.
The walks will be decided nearer the time as there are a variety of options.
How to book
Please book directly before the end of August. Rooms will be given out on first come first serve basis. Prices range from £85 per person per night to £45 per person per night on B&B basis.
The telephone number for Red Lion Inn is 01692 622632.
31st January – 7th February 2025 (Friday to Friday)
Following an absence of winter sun walking holidays in recent years, it is time to return to Tenerife for the first time since 2015.
This is an unspoiled island with warm winters and plenty of varied walking. The north of the island has wooded slopes with good views while the Anaga peninsula in the north-east is quite different with rocky inlets. Teide is the highest mountain in Spain with a cable car up to the Miradors (viewpoints).
We will be staying in Puerto de la Cruz (the old capital) at the Hotel H10 Tenerife Playa, half board with buffet meals. Flights are available from Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. Cost including flights is about £770 sharing a twin room or £940 for a single. Hotel and flight details can be found on https://www.tui.co.uk/.
Transport in Tenerife
Although there is a good bus service in Tenerife, hire cars are required to reach many of the walks. Assuming up to 15 people go, we will need 3 cars, so will need at least 3 willing drivers but would prefer to have two drivers per car (i.e. 6 drivers) as in previous years. Car hire prices will be about £200 per car plus petrol. This is likely to be in the region of £60 to £70 per person including fuel.
Most walks are circular and will be taken from Walk! Tenerife (4th edition), published by Discovery Walking Guides, including:
- Los Organas – an amazing woodland and ravine trail traversing the south-east wall of the Orotava Valley. 11km with 750m ascent.
- Taganana Circular – a walk with spectacular landscapes, ridge-top views, a ravine known as ‘small Masca’ and a beach. 13km with 925m ascent.
- Saddle Up Laurel & Hardy – a combination of 2 walks with breath-taking views in a floriferous environment to produce one of the most enjoyable routes in western Tenerife. Including an optional ascent onto Pico de la Mesa (1,321m). 11km with 675m ascent. Shorter option: 8km with 500m ascent.
- Mighty Guajara – a spectacular walk in Teide National Park, starting from Parador (2,100m). Montana Guajara (2,717m) dominates the sharp escarpment which encloses the southern wall of Las Canadas. 11km with 670m ascent.
A linear coastal walk with great views is also planned from our hotel in Puerto de la Cruz via an excellent German café on the cliffs, Café Vista Paraiso. Out and back 12km with 500m ascent.
Places are limited to 15 so please check with me before booking. Anyone booking who is able to drive or wishes to lead walks, please let me know.