FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Whether it's your first-time with HF Holidays or your are a regular with us, you never know what piece of information you might require and when, so here is our comprehensive guide to anything you might need to know in the months and weeks before your departure. Click on the links to the subject you are interest in.

If you can't find what you're looking for then please let us know! You can email us at info@hfholidays.co.uk or call us on +44 (0)20 8732 1250.

Booking & Administration

Accommodation at our UK Country Houses

Accommodation at our Europe partner hotels

Our Guided Walking holidays

Our Self-guided Walking holidays

Our Leisure Activity holidays

Our Worldwide Journeys

Flights & Travel

Contact Us

Working for us

After your holiday

Brexit


Booking & Administration

How do I make a booking?

You can book your holiday:

  • Via our website – we offer secure on-line booking for all holidays
  • Call us on 0345 470 7558 (local rate) or +44 (0)20 8732 1250 (standard rate)

Once you have booked you will receive a confirmation invoice either by email or post.

When are you open?

Monday to Friday:  09:00 – 19:00
Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays: 09:00 – 13:00  
Sundays: 09:00 - 13:00      

How do I get the best price for my holiday?

Our best prices and offers are always displayed on our website; you may be able to make a great saving on the price printed in our brochures. You’ll always get the best deal by booking early – our price promise guarantees that you’ll never lose out if you book early. If you’re booking at the last minute, check out our Late Availability holidays, where you may still be able to take advantage of our offers.

How does your price promise work?

We promise that the prices available to early bookers will always be the best. If we subsequently reduce our holiday price after your booking has been confirmed, we will pass this reduction on to you. Full details.

How do I cancel my holiday?

If you wish to cancel your booking, you must notify our customer support team so that we can process your cancellation request. You can call 020 8732 1220 or email cancellations@hfholidays.co.uk . Cancellation charges will apply; these will vary depending on how far away your departure date is. For more information on cancellation fees please refer to our Conditions of Booking.

How do I amend my holiday?

If you wish to amend your holiday this is possible for an amendment fee of £20 for UK holidays (£25 for 2017 bookings), as long as it is before the balance due date. The same applies for overseas holidays however a further administration fee may apply if flight tickets have been issued.

Do I need insurance?

Travel insurance is recommended for all holidays, but is a requirement if you are travelling overseas. You can buy insurance from HF Holidays – see full details are here.

When do I have to pay for my holiday?

A deposit is payable when you book you holiday, with the balance due as follows (full payment is due if you book within this date):

 

Deposit

Final balance due

Holidays at our Country Houses

£150 per person

4 weeks before your holiday

Walking or Leisure Activity holidays in Europe

£150 per person

8 weeks before your holiday

Trail & Island Hopping holidays

£150 per person

10 weeks before your holiday

Worldwide Journeys

£250 per person

10 weeks before your holiday

How do I pay the balance of my holiday?

You can pay for your holiday in the following ways:

  • Using the Manage My Booking section on our website - you will need your booking number and your email address you used when booking
  • Call us on ++44 (0)20 8732 1220 to pay by credit or debit card – ask for Holiday Services
  • Send a cheque made payable to HF Holidays Ltd with your booking reference written on the back
  • If you’re booking from overseas you can pay by international money transfer to:

HF Holidays
Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), 3 Thomas More Square, London, E1W 1WY
Account Number: 35923304
Sort Code: 40 – 51 – 62
IBAN: GB92HAND40516235923304
Swift/Bic Code: HANDGB22

What credit and debit cards do you accept?

You can pay using Visa or Mastercard – a charge of 2% is made for payments by credit card and any cards issued outside the UK. There is no charge for using a UK-issued debit card. For overseas guests a fee applies to all card transactions.

When will I receive my holiday documents?

Your documents and flight tickets will normally be sent approximately 3 weeks prior to your holiday; however in peak periods these may only arrive 7 days before travel.

If you haven't received your tickets and are travelling in the next 7 days, please call our customer support team on 020 8732 1289.

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Accommodation at our UK Country Houses


What are the Country Houses like?

Our Country Houses all occupy great locations in Britain’s prime scenic areas. The houses vary in style with many being historic buildings. All have good facilities that you might expect in a hotel including comfortable lounges, a bar, boot and drying rooms; many also having extensive gardens and swimming pools. We try hard to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where our guests can relax in each other’s company. Find out more about the facilities at each Country House, on their individual page of this website – see here.

What meals are provided?

All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and an evening meal included.

  • Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between
  •  Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish. Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc)
  • The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities

Do you have a bar?

Yes – all our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar.

Can you cater for special diets?

A vegetarian option is always available. We also have extensive experience of providing gluten-free meals, and are the only hotel group in the UK to have accreditation from Coeliac UK. We can usually assist with most special diets – please let us know when you book your holiday.

What facilities are there in a standard bedroom?

All our bedrooms have a TV, hairdryer, and tea & coffee making facilities. All our standard rooms have an en-suite bathroom with either a bath or shower.

What is special about your premium rooms?

Our premium rooms are larger; many have also been newly refurbished, or have the best views. Our premium single, twin and double rooms can be booked for an additional £15 per person per night.

Is WiFi available?

All our Country Houses have free WiFi in our lounges and public rooms. At many locations this coverage extends to the bedrooms too.

What happens in the evening?

Perhaps enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks and activities. After dinner there’ll usually be an activity which you are welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a team quiz, or perhaps a talk from a member of the local Mountain Rescue Team. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

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Accommodation at our Europe partner hotels


What are your partner hotels like?

We’ve selected amazing and varied walking destinations throughout Europe, and recognise that our partner hotels play an important part in making your holiday special. We select our partner hotels with great care – they need to be in beautiful locations, offer great food, a welcoming atmosphere and offer easy access to our walks. Some are large establishments offering a great range of facilities, which may include swimming pools and spa facilities; others are smaller, family-run hotels, which offer a more personal service and an even warmer welcome. These range from a medieval town centre hotel in France to a former olive press in rural Crete and everything in between.

What meals are provided?

Our holidays at partner hotels in Europe are all Half Board with breakfast and evening meals included. Most hotels offer a breakfast buffet, which sometimes will include hot dishes or regional specialities. In the evenings, our partner hotels offer either served or buffet meals (please see specific holiday pages to see what’s on offer at each location). There’ll generally be a choice of dishes; with some offering a set menu and where possible there will be regional dishes to ensure you can enjoy the local flavours.

What do I do for lunch?

Most guests buy ingredients for a picnic lunch at a local shop or supermarket, allowing you to further sample the local flavours. For instance, you may wish to enjoy a morning visit to a local bakery, sample cured meats or add a sweet pastry to your lunch box for a mid-walk treat – however there’s sometimes an opportunity to eat at a local cafe, tavern or mountain hut whilst on your walks and excursions.

Can you cater for special diets?

Most hotels can cater for vegetarians, and other special diets; though some are better able to do this than others.  Please let us know in advance – we’re happy to check if you have specific requirements, or simply chat through which destinations you might enjoy best.

What happens in the evening?

The main sociable activity in the evening is usually a long leisurely meal; a great opportunity for guests to swap stories about their day and enjoy delightful local fare. On some evenings there may be a stroll out to see a bit of local culture, such as live music, an atmospheric bar, wildlife or simply a great view. There may also be an informal activity such as a light-hearted quiz which you may choose to join in.

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Our Guided Walking holidays


What are the guided walks like?

The majority of our guided walking holidays offer a choice of walks each day, so there’s something for everyone. In the UK there’ll usually be three different walks on offer: an Easier, Medium and Harder route. In Europe there are usually two walks, an Easier and Harder route.

The difficulty of the walk depends on the location and is often determined by the amount of ascent in the walk, rather than the distance. You’ll find individual walks details – including distance and ascent, on our holiday web pages - see here.

We tend to be away from the hotel from approx 9.30am – 5pm. On some days you’ll walk direct from your accommodation, whilst on others we’ll use a coach or minibus to reach the walk (in Europe we may use a chairlift or cable car to get higher into the mountains).

How fit do I need to be?

We operate a vast range of holidays, from gentle strolls to challenging mountain ascents; we hope that there’s something for every level of fitness and experience. It’s worth spending a bit of time selecting a holiday that’s right for you. See our Holiday Gradings to find out more about the difficulty of our holidays.

What should I wear for walking?

To enjoy your walking comfortably and safely, your footwear, clothing and equipment need to be suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Britain in particularly is famous for its changeable weather, but even overseas you come prepared for all eventualities. You’ll need:

  • Comfortable footwear with a good grip. Walking boots are recommended, and are essential for our mountain walks
  • A waterproof jacket and waterproof over-trousers
  • Warm clothing, such as a fleece. Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer. Man-made fabrics are better than cotton or wool for walking
  • A warm hat and gloves are useful additions, but are essential for mountain walks, and walks in the autumn and winter

What else should I bring?

You’ll need:

  • A small rucksack
  • A water bottle (we’d recommend at least 1 litre)
  • We’d also recommend carrying spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar, a small torch (in spring, autumn and winter) and small first aid kit
  • Many guests find walking poles useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent, sun hat, sunglasses and sun cream may also be useful additions

Who are your leaders?

We have around 700 experienced volunteer leaders. They come from all walks of life, but share a love from the great outdoors, and helping our guests explore the countryside. They all hold outdoor first aid certificates and must pass a rigorous 4-day residential assessment before leading our holidays.

Do you allow dogs on your walks?

Sorry, we don’t allow dogs on our guided walks.

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Our Self-guided Walking holidays


What walks can I do?

You’ll find a Discovery Point at all of our UK Country Houses. These contain a great range of walks – anything from 2 to 15 miles.

For our Self-guided holidays in Europe you’ll be sent a comprehensive information pack before you go, including five pre-planned walks, allowing you to see the best of each region during your stay.

All our walk directions have been prepared by experienced leaders and contain detailed route notes, photographs and an annotated map. Here’s an example of one of our route cards: Sample route - LH Corfe Castle Round  

Do I need to read a map?

Each set of walk directions has a detailed set of route notes and photographs to help you find your way; for our lowland walks these should be all you need to find your way. If you’re venturing into the mountains then we’d strongly advise you to carry an additional map, and know how to use it.

How fit do I need to be?

Our walks vary from very short strolls to challenging mountain ascents – each day you can choose a walk that suits your fitness and experience. See our Holiday Gradings to find out more about the difficulty of our walks.

What should I wear for walking?

To enjoy your walking comfortably and safely, your footwear, clothing and equipment need to be suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Britain in particularly is famous for its changeable weather, but even overseas you come prepared for all eventualities. You’ll need:

  • Comfortable footwear with a good grip. Walking boots are recommended, and are essential for our mountain walks
  • A waterproof jacket and waterproof over-trousers
  • Warm clothing, such as a fleece. Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer. Man-made fabrics are better than cotton or wool for walking
  • A warm hat and gloves are useful additions, but are essential for mountain walks, and walks in the autumn and winter

What else should I bring?

You’ll need:

  • A small rucksack
  • A water bottle (we’d recommend at least 1 litre)
  • We’d also recommend carrying spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar, a small torch (in spring, autumn and winter) and small first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Many guests find walking poles useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent, sun hat, sunglasses and sun cream may also be useful additions

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Our Leisure Activity holidays


Do I need to have any previous experience of the activities?

We operate a wide range of holidays, most are open to all levels - from beginners to the more experienced. Others are designed for a certain level of experience or skill. This information is given in our brochures and on our website. It’s worth spending a bit of time selecting a holiday that is right for you.

What will I need to wear or bring?

The requirements for our Leisure Activity holidays vary according to the type of holiday you are booking. Please refer to the relevant web page for the holiday you are interested in and click on the ‘What to Bring’ tab for all the information. This will also be detailed in your guest leaflet which will be sent prior to your holiday.

Who are your leaders?

Our leaders are friendly and sociable but above all, are experts in their field. They all have previous experience of leading groups and running holidays or residential courses for adults and will ensure that you get the most out of your holiday.

How fit do I need to be?

The walking distances involved on our outdoor holidays are detailed in our brochure and on our website. Our touring and outdoor Leisure Activity holidays can involve walking and active sightseeing. Some holidays, such as Garden Tours and Natural World holidays, may involve steep slopes and rough terrain. You will spend a lot of time on your feet and away from the bus, but coffee stops and a chance to sit down are planned each day. For our Mind & Body and Dancing holidays you need to be able to follow instruction from the leader and participate in these active sessions.

Can I come on my own?

Singles and couples alike enjoy our Leisure Activity holidays, but due to the sociable nature of our groups our single guests feel particularly welcome. For holidays where partners are required for the activity such as dancing and bridge, our leaders will be happy to arrange a partner for you on arrival.

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Our Worldwide Journeys


What are the hotels like?

Our hotels vary tremendously depending on your chosen destination; all are carefully selected to offer a taste of the place you are visiting. Beautiful locations, a welcoming atmosphere, plus the opportunity to taste local food all contribute to making your stay special. It may be a luxury lodge in Namibia, a houseboat in Kerala or a tented camp in the Australian Outback. Full details of all accommodation can be found on each holiday’s page of this website.

Will I need a visa?

This depends on the destination. Each holiday page of this website has updated visa information for UK citizens – alternatively there’s a comprehensive list on the Foreign Office website: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.If you’re not a British citizen then please check well in advance.

What about vaccinations?

Again, this depends on where you are travelling, however vaccinations are recommended for most countries except for the USA, Canada and New Zealand. More generally we’d also recommend that your tetanus is up to date. For further information on country specific information visit www.fitfortravel.nhs.co.uk or www.traveldoctor.co.uk

Who are your leaders?

We select the best walks leaders to provide you with local knowledge and expertise. These are employed by our local agents in each country, and have a wealth of experience in leading groups. On some holidays we also send an HF Holidays’ leader who’ll travel out with the group.

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Flights & Travel

Can I book my own flights?

Yes – all our overseas holidays can be booked either with or without a flight included.

If I book a ‘no flight’ holiday, how do I get to the first hotel?

There are a few options. If your flight arrives before the HF Holidays’ group flight then you can book a place on our transfer coach – please contact our Reservations Team who’ll be happy to advise you of times and prices. At other resorts it is possible to transfer to the hotel by public transport or taxi – there’s more details on each holiday page on this website.

Can I upgrade to business class?

When we use scheduled airlines we can often offer upgrades to Premium Economy, Business, or First class. Please contact our flights team at flights@hfholidays.co.uk who’ll be happy to advise you of the options.

Can we check in online?

Yes this is possible for majority of the airlines that we work with; the exceptions being Monarch Airlines, Thomson Airways, United Airlines, Vueling and Singapore Airlines. We’ll send you details of how to do this with your tickets.

Can we select our seats in advance?

Unfortunately we can’t pre book seats in advance, however if you check in online then you can pre-select your seat.

What do I need to check on my booking confirmation and tickets?

Airlines now insist that all first and surnames on airline bookings and tickets are spelt exactly as per your passport. Where there are discrepancies passengers will be refused boarding. Please inform us immediately if names are spelt incorrectly or do not match your passports.

Can I use my Avios/Frequent flyer points to upgrade flights booked with HF Holidays?

This varies from airline by airline, so it’s best to contact them directly. In most cases the ticket will have had to be issued by HF Holidays first.

What meals are provided?

Airlines no longer offer meals on European flights. On long haul flights it is possible to request special meals (for example vegetarian or gluten-free meals) – these need to be requested at least 72 hours before departure. Please contact our flights team at flights@hfholidays.co.uk with details of your flight, and the meals that you require.

Is it possible to book a connecting flight?

If your main flight is from Heathrow or Gatwick we can often book a connecting flight from Glasgow, Edinburgh or other regional airports. Please contact our flights team at flights@hfholidays.co.uk who’ll be happy to advise you of the options. You’ll usually be booked as one continuous journey – this means that you only have to check in once. If for any reason your connecting flight is delayed then the airline is responsible for arranging your onward transportation to your final destination.

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Contact Us

How do I contact you?

Full details are here on our website

When are you open?

Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 19:00
Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays: 9:00 – 13:00    

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Working for us

How do I become a walking leader?

Our Guided Walking holidays are led by a panel of over 700 experienced volunteer leaders. We’d love to hear from you if you are an experienced walker with the skills and enthusiasm to lead our groups. To join our team of leaders you’ll need to pass a residential assessment; we hold these throughout the year at our Country Houses. More information is available here on our website.

How do I become a leisure activity leader?

Our Leisure Activities team are always on the lookout for people who are experts in their field and have experience of running holidays or courses for adults. Most of all we are looking for genuine enthusiasts who enjoy sharing their interest with others. More information is available here on our website.

Do you have any jobs available?

We’re always looking for friendly staff to work at our UK Country Houses; and sometimes have vacancies at our offices in Elstree in Hertfordshire and Penrith in Cumbria. See here for our current vacancies.

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After your holiday

How do you pass on feedback about my holiday?

We’d love you to complete our online questionnaire – each year we receive nearly 15,000 questionnaires, and these give us invaluable information about what our guests enjoy, and what we should improve.

How do I make a complaint?

We’re very sorry if your holiday left you dissatisfied. Please write to our Customer Services Manager, HF Holidays. Catalyst House, 720 Centennial Court, Elstree, WD6 3SY. Alternatively please email: info@hfholidays.co.uk

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Brexit

How will Brexit affect my holiday?

Until the UK officially leaves the EU travellers are as free to move between the UK and the EU as they were before the vote.

Am I still able to use my passport?

Yes you can use your passport. Until the UK officially leaves the EU there will be no changes to passports.

Do I now require a visa to travel?

No. Travelers are free to move between the UK and the EU as they were before the vote.

Is my EHIC card still valid?

Yes. European Health Insurance cards remain valid.

Will there be any changes to my flight or holiday?

Britain is still subject to the open skies policy, so airlines still have the freedom to fly across Europe.

What about Duty Free shopping?

Britons are still entitled to their allowances on duty-paid goods in the EU.

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