Pathways Fund

For many years, our Pathways Fund has provided assisted holidays to those who could not otherwise afford one. Since 1998, the fund has helped to protect and improve the countryside where HF Holidays guests and members walk.  

We cannot thank you enough for your generous donations. 

Aims of the Pathways Fund

To preserve & protect the countryside

We aim to preserve the environment where our walks take place. And to do this we allocate grants and other funding to individuals, organisations, and groups for specific projects that can’t be readily funded elsewhere. 

A few examples include:

Putting up signposts, stiles, bridges, and way marks
Maintaining footpaths, walls, and hedges
Clearing ponds, removing trees, and planting
Providing equipment to mountain rescue teams 

If you receive a grant from us, we ask that you install a plaque at the site (or nearby) to recognise the contribution from the HF Holidays Pathways Fund. We also ask you to stock HF Holidays promotional material at a suitable location, for example a nearby visitor centre. We normally only allocate grants for projects within an area on one of our walks. 

To provide assisted holidays

We believe everyone has the right to enjoy the outdoors. With this in mind, we provide assisted holidays for people – and sometimes their families – who can’t afford a holiday due to difficult personal circumstances. 

We require a simple declaration, which must be supported by a HF Holidays member. If you are a member and know of an individual or family who would benefit from staying at one of our 16 characterful country houses located near the countryside or coastline, you can nominate them easily. Applicants can also make an offer of a partial contribution to the cost of the holiday if they feel able to do so. 

Sarah Davis, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive at HF Holidays, deals with all applications and correspondence to maintain complete confidentiality. Application forms as well as our terms and conditions are available by emailing Sarah directly  

Projects - 2024

Our fourth assisted holiday for Ukrainian families

This May, we opened doors to six Ukrainian guests for a 3-night Tread Lightly guided walking break at Longmynd House, our newly renovated country house in the Shropshire Hills. 

Over the Easter weekend, we also welcomed six Ukrainian families at The Peveril of the Peak, our charming country house in the Peak District. 

One of the family members who took part in the trip shared with us just how much it meant to them.

“I want to thank you for organizing a wonderful vacation for all of us. It was incredible. My body is a little tired, but my soul is rested. Unforgettable impressions will remain with us for a long time. Thank you again! And may the universe restore everything to you and to all those related to this journey for the Ukrainians.”

As always, we are very grateful to our guests for their generous donations to the Pathways Fund. A special thank you goes to HF Holidays Leader John Nolan for putting us in touch with Kath O’Hara – a facilitator who helped us reach out to families in need of a well-earned break.

Brecon Mountain Rescue Team's new £1 million HQ now open

Following a year-long build, the much-needed new £1 million headquarters of the Brecon Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) has finally opened on the outskirts of Brecon. The team of volunteers originally launched their public appeal in June 2022 in the hope of raising £1.1million, so we're delighted that the £7,000 donated by the Pathways Fund in 2022 has helped them to reach their goal.

The new premises has been designed to help the team respond quicker to emergency calls, store life-saving equipment properly, and conduct more training exercises as a full team. Gemma Rodgers, our House Manager at Nythfa House in the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) was lucky enough to attend the grand opening by TV presenter, Kate Humble, who lives in the region and is the official ambassador for the campaign.

Two assisted holidays in support of Fences & Frontiers

We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Fences & Frontiers – the charity that aims to make London a welcoming, supportive, and inspiring place for refugees and asylum seekers to live in and settle.

This year, we’ve hosted two assisted holidays: a 3-night guided walking weekend to Abingworth Hall in April and a 4-night family walking adventure to Peveril of the Peak in May. We’re delighted to have welcomed guests and introduced them to the beautiful landscapes of the South Downs and Peak District respectively.

We're delighted to share some photos from the recent trip to Abingworth Hall (left) and Peveril of the Peak (right).

A huge thanks to everyone involved for making these holidays possible.

Projects - 2023

£5,805 donation to The Lake District Foundation

Thanks to a £5805 contribution from our Pathways Fund, we are proud to announce completion of repairs to the popular N451 footpath between Skelgill Bank and Cat Bells – the favourite fell of our founder, TA Leonard, and home to a memorial plaque in his honour.

With our support, the Lake District Foundation’s Fix the Fells project has helped improve accessibility to this spectacular spot by resurfacing the walking route and protecting it from erosion and damage.

Fix the Fells is an initiative that aims to monitor, maintain, and repair the 350 paths that cover more than 400 miles in the UNESCO-listed Lake District National Park. Check out the before and after photos.

Renewed footpath supported by Pathways Fund - Bourton on the Water

Thanks to a £14,500 donation from the HF Holidays Pathways Fund, repairs to a much-loved Cotswolds footpath have now been completed. The well-trodden route between Bury Grange and Salmonsbury Camp is a popular dog walking spot for residents of Bourton-on-the-Water but had recently become almost impassable due to years of use and erosion.

The path also forms part of the North Cotswolds Diamond Way and features in several walks we offer from our Cotswolds country property, Harrington House.

In collaboration with Gloucestershire County Council, we’ve funded a full repair of the route and the former muddy track is now a smooth path that will help make the great outdoors easily accessible to all.

In recognition of the generous donations from our guests and members to the Pathways Fund, our logo is now proudly displayed by the finished works.

Check out the before and after pictures.

Purchase of two Stihl brush cutters for clearing works in the Cotswolds

To improve the Cotswolds National Landscape, HF Holidays has purchased two Stihl brush cutters to clear the ground around existing worn paths and provide better access. The work will be undertaken by Cotswold Voluntary Wardens in the North Cotswolds. This will benefit all walkers, especially our larger holiday groups. We're delighted to partner with the North District Cotswold Wardens on this important project.

Assisted holiday to Cornwall

We are delighted to have recently hosted a family on their first HF Holidays adventure to Cornwall. The parent shared with us what an amazing holiday they had.  

“Being around other families meant I could allow my child to enjoy the group walk. The staff at Chy Morvah (our country house in St Ives) were fantastic and Wayne the manager went above and beyond to provide alternative food when my child didn’t like what was on offer. 

My son walked a lot with the walking leaders, asking lots of questions and I found the whole experience very rewarding. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this possible.” 

HF Holidays supports Refugee Week 2023

On the last weekend of August, we hosted our very first assisted holiday in partnership with Fences & Frontiers – a charity that aims to make the UK a supportive and inspiring place for refugees and asylum seekers to live in and settle.

We welcomed 12 participants in the scheme and two of the charity’s volunteers to Abingworth Hall - our characterful country house in the South Downs. Coming from as far as El Salvador, Iran, and Kurdistan, the group enjoyed a three-day guided walking break with our HF Holidays Leader, Gill Holmes.

Gill said: “I was lucky enough to be leading at Abingworth last weekend with the first Fences and Frontiers group funded by the Pathways fund. The group had a great time and mixed well with the other guests.”

To date, the charity has been limited to offering breaks in London and the surrounding areas only. But our pilot partnership with Fences & Frontiers will now enable them to offer annual trips to some of the most beautiful parts of the British countryside. We’d like to thank everyone involved for making this weekend such a success.

Our second assisted holiday for Ukranian families

In early April we hosted our second assisted group holiday for families affected by the war in Ukraine. The Peveril of the Peak – our characterful country house in the Peak District – welcomed six Ukrainian families who enjoyed a three-night stay and a wonderful weekend of guided walking.

As always, we are very grateful to our guests for their generous donations to the Pathways Fund. A special thank you goes to HF Holidays Leader John Nolan for putting us in touch with Kath O’Hara – a facilitator who helped us reach out to families in need of a well-earned break.

Projects - 2022

Assisted holiday for Ukranian families

Following suggestions from HF Holidays Leaders and members, we hosted an assisted group holiday for Ukrainian guests. Six families enjoyed a three-night Guided Walking weekend in the Peak District.  

We are very grateful to our guests for their generous donations to the Pathways Fund, which enabled HF Holidays to host the families. A special thank you to HF Holidays Leader John Nolan for linking us with a facilitator to find the families. 

Projects - 2021

£5,000 to support Sarda (Search and Rescue Dogs Association)

HF Holidays recently approved a Pathways Fund application from the Search & Rescue Dogs Association Wales (SARDA Wales) for £5,000 to help fund key projects.  

SARDA Wales is a voluntary organisation that trains and uses dogs in search and rescue operations in mountain, rural, and urban settings covering North Wales Police and seven mountain rescue teams in North Wales (including Snowdonia National Park). Our country house, Dolserau Hall, falls within their area, too.  

SARDA Wales Chair Tim Sherlock commented that, “Like many other organisations, our usual fundraising activities over the last couple of years were largely curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the need for search dogs has remained throughout. We know that there are many equally deserving charities looking for funding and are particularly grateful that HF Holidays chose to support us”. 

Projects - 2020

£20,000 towards the reconstruction of the Keswick and Threlkeld path in the Lake District

This was the largest donation ever made from Pathways Fund to one single project -a five-year multimillion plan spearheaded by The Lake District National Park Authority. Main funding was received from Highways England, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, and the Lake District Foundation and supported by the local community, businesses, residents, visitors, and organisations.  

It aimed to rebuild a new section of the route to replace the track bed that was washed away during Storm Desmond, when floodwater from River Greta engulfed the trail and surrounding farmland. 

Previous projects

Projects - 2019

Lake District - Funding towards the reconstruction of the Keswick and Threlkeld path that was destroyed

Scafell Pike, Lake District. Footpath repair on the most popular route - the Brown Tongue to Hollowstones path

Cader Idris, Snowdonia – helping fund the repair of the eroded Moelfryn and Mynydd Moel footpaths

Exmoor - Great Bradley Bridge – helping fund the construction of a new footbridge over the River Barle on the Two Moors Way

Lake District Fell Care Day – sponsorship of events where volunteers carry out important conservation work. This will be our third year of involvement

Snowdonia Slate Trail – footpath restoration work


Most donations to the Pathways Fund are from HF Holidays guests using the donation boxes at our 16 country houses. HF Holidays Leaders are encouraged to promote the Pathways Fund with many running competitions to raise substantial sums for it. Money is also received from bequests and other sources. Note that the Pathways Fund isn’t a registered charity. 

If you would like to make donation, please use the information provided here
Thank you.