Re-awakening our country houses

Life after lockdown

Re-awakening update

When the latest English lockdown lifted in early December, we re-opened four houses to welcome back guests for walking holidays. With the subsequent implementation of new Tiers and restrictions associated with them, we have been left with no choice but to review our Festive and New Year breaks. As a result, some houses have had to close, and others will close after Christmas, and New Year breaks will be cancelled. You can see the latest updates on our Coronavirus Travel Advice page.

Changes to our holidays

We have enhanced our health and safety protocols and adapted our holidays to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. By doing so, we aim to keep the disruption to a minimum while maintaining the spirit of our holidays that we know you love.

In all instances, except at our house on the Dorset Coast, our standard Guided Walking holidays are operating in addition to Self-Guided holidays. These have been adapted to have a ratio of 1 leader to 14 guests, to comply with government guidelines. We can continue to take groups walking as we conform to government guidance on organised outdoor activities and are exempt from the ‘rule of 6’. We have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19 and follow the British Moutaineering Council guidelines for groups of hill walkers. All walks are starting from the country houses in order to not require shared transport to reach trailheads, in line with government guidance. In our country houses we have adapted things to ensure that we comply to all indoor ‘rule of 6’ regulations though.

Adpating our holidays

There have had to be changes to the way we operate our holidays to adhere to government guidelines and requirements around social distancing and safety. Our team have worked hard to put new practices in place and continue to review everything that we do and every element of an HF holiday to make sure it works seamlessly. Feedback from guests has been incredibly positive and supportive, for which we're hugely grateful.

Our houses might look and work a little differently, and our dining experience has necessarily changed too. However, we have strived to ensure that we stay true to the spirit of our holidays and the HF experience that you know and love. House teams have been fully trained on new cleaning protocols and measures needed to keep themselves and you safe, and we remain committed to ensuring the safety of our guests, house teams and walk leaders, even as we welcome you back.

In England, you must currently wear a face covering by law on public transport and in certain public and communal settings, including public areas in hotels. In line with government guidance, this is mandatory for guests at our country houses. Face coverings are not required in restaurants with table service or bars though. You may remove a face covering in order to eat and drink in an area specifically for this purpose. There are some circumstances for health, age or equality reasons where people are not expected to wear face coverings. Those who have a legitimate reason for not wearing a face covering can create an exemption card or badge to display this fact. For more information visit the government web page.

We know that you have missed your holidays with HF and our teams have certainly missed you and helping to make your holidays special. With the doors open at almost all of our houses now though, and a wider range of holidays on offer as we go into autumn, we look forward to welcoming you back safely and hope to see you soon.