Re-awakening our country houses

Life after lockdown

Re-awakening update

Following the abrupt closure of our country houses in March, we have undergone a phased re-opening of properties and now have 17 country houses open again across England, Scotland and Wales. You can see the full list of houses now open below. 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 houses on the Dorset Coast and in the Scottish Highlands, 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. You will also see that we have started to operate Gentle Walking Holidays, Solos Walking Holidays and Guided Trails Holidays where possible. We also have Family Walking Adventures available in October half term. 

Special Interest Holidays in 2020

At this time, it is only possible to operate a very few Special Interest holidays, due to the guidance in place. We are currently reviewing these holidays though and aim to update guests travelling during this period as soon as possible if their holiday is likely to be cancelled. We respectfully ask that, if you have a holiday departing, please DON’T contact us at this time; we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Adpating our holidays

Re-opening our houses and starting up again was always going to be a challenge and 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. Initial feedback from guests has been incredibly positive and supportive, for which we're hugely grateful.

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.

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.

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.

Country houses open now

Derwent Bank, Derwent Water, Lake District

Derwent Bank

Close to Keswick and situated slap bang on the shore of Derwentwater, with the glassy lake on one side and the razor-edged ridges, humpbacked fells and muscular mountains of the Lake District on the other. With views of Cat Bells and Grizedale Pike, the inspiration for adventure is never far away.
Guided walking in the Lake District
Newfield Hall, Malham, Yorkshire Dales

Newfield Hall

Situated close to Malham in South Yorkshire’s portion of the famous Dales, Newfield Hall offers country-pile atmosphere amid beautiful rural surroundings. The Dales and countryside on the doorstep are a rambler’s paradise, with easy access to Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Pen y Ghent as well as Grassington and Kettlewell.
Guided walking holidays in the yorkshire dales
Chy Morvah, St Ives, Cornwall

Chy Morvah

Sea, sand and (hopefully) sun await at Cornwall’s Chy Morvah. This coastal bolthole, whose name means ‘House by the Sea’ in Cornish, basks in the famously lovely light of this artist-retreat town on the north coast of one of England’s most desirable holiday destinations. Beyond the house, the Cornish Coast is the gateway to exploring the area.
Guided walking holidays in cornwall
Harrington House, Bourton, Cotswolds

Harrington House

In one of the prettiest spots in the Cotswolds, Harrington House provides a stylish escape in the form of a traditional country retreat. Quintessential English countryside is just a short stroll away with pretty villages such as Chipping Campden and the Slaughters, rolling landscapes and classic trails.
Guided walking holidays in the Cotswolds
Longmynd House, Church Stretton, Shropshire

Longmynd House

Hidden in plain sight, there’s a well-kept countryside secret in the heart of England that might just surprise you with its wonderful upland walking, trails, history and heritage. Discover the heart of Shropshire from striking Longmynd House, stood on a wooded hillside above Church Stretton.
Guided walking holidays in the Shropshire Hills
Alltshellach,, Glen Coe, Scottish Highlands


Situated in a stunning location on the shores of Loch Leven, Alltshellach is a stately Scottish house set amid a rugged landscape. The house is ideally situated for accessing the Mamores, the mountains of Glen Coe and tackling Ben Nevis as well as bagging munros and spotting local wildlife.
Self-guided walking holidays in the Scottish Highlands
Nether Grange, Northumberland

Nether Grange

Sitting pretty in the centre of the quiet harbour village of Alnmouth, Nether Grange stands in an area rich in natural beauty and historic gravitas. Easily accessible from the house are the coast path while inland lies the Northumberland National Park. North are the Farne Islands and their spectacular seabird colonies and close by is Lindisfarne.
Guided walking in Northumberland
Larpool Hall, North York Moors

Larpool Hall

Escape to Whitby, whose handsome harbour and medieval streets are famously the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and home to the world’s best fish and chips, for a stay in Larpool Hall. Step out to explore the coast, Captain Cook country or walk on the Cleveland Way.
Guided walking holidays in the north york moors
Peveril of the Peak, Peak District

Peveril of the Peak

The Peveril of the Peak stands proudly in the Peak District countryside, close to the village of Thorpe. Backed by the cone of Thorpe Cloud, which guards the entrance to Dovedale Gorge and the famous stepping stones at the entrance to the gorge, it’s an ideal base for people hoping to explore the Derbyshire countryside.
Guided walking holidays in the peak district
Holnicote House, Exmoor

Holnicote House

Lying near the attractive village of Selworthy, in the heart of the Exmoor National Park, historic Holnicote House stands within a series of peaceful gardens with spreading lawns. Outside the house, explore wild Exmoor, walk in the Quantocks, climb Dunkery Beacon and stroll on the Somerset Coast Path.
Guided walking holidays in Exmoor
Abingworth Hall, South Downs

Abingworth Hall

Tucked away in the village of Thakeham, Abingworth Hall stands at the foot of the South Downs. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking here; go for a lazy amble around the wildlife rich chalk Downlands, visit the Seven Sisters, explore Goodwood or the Devil's Dyke and Chantonbury Ring.
Guided walking holidays on the South Downs
Monk Coniston, Southern Lake District

Monk Coniston

Wrapped in manicured gardens with stunning views over Coniston Water, Monk Coniston combines country house grandeur and romantic, gothic-style charm with contemporary touches to great effect among the rugged landscapes of the Lake District.
Guided walking holidays in the Southern Lake District
Thorns Hall, Western Yorkshire Dales

Thorns Hall

Situated in Sedbergh, in West Yorkshire’s portion of the famous Dales, at the foot of the Howgill Fells, Thorns Hall offers cosy, country-pile atmosphere amid beautiful rural surroundings. From every aspect the hills can be seen rising around the house and a short hop takes you from the house to the fells and upland scenery.
Guided walking in the Western Yorkshire Dales
Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight

Freshwater Bay House

Holidaying on the picturesque Isle of Wight doesn’t get any better than at Freshwater Bay House. Stood atop the island’s classic white cliffs and dominating the bay that it is named after, Freshwater Bay House has a gorgeous location.
Guided walking holidays on the Isle of Wight
Craflwyn Hall, Northern Snowdonia

Craflwyn Hall

In the heart of Snowdonia, Craflwyn Hall at the foot of Mount Snowdon, close to the picturesque village of Beddgelert, is a glorious story of recovery; once a substantial 19th century house in the heart of the Nan Gwynant Valley, the property was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair before being acquired by the National Trust and painstakingly restored. Now a walkers’ mountain retreat in a picture-perfect spot, it’s the ideal base for exploring northern Snowdonia.
Guided walking holidays in Northen Snowdonia
Nyftha House, Breacon Beacons

Nythfa House

Pretty country pile Nythfa House stands above the traditional mid-Wales market town of Brecon and sits within easy reach of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Having spent its early life as a large private house, the building has been converted into a comfortable country hotel.
Guided walking holidays in the Breacon Beacons
West Lulworth House, Dorset Coast

West Lulworth House

Set just 200 yards from the sea, West Lulworth House has a highly coveted location just above the lake-still expanse of Lulworth Cove on Dorset’s iconic Jurassic Coast. As well as 22 delightful bedrooms, there’s a south facing garden and elevated terrace with cracking views, an outdoor heated pool and a pair of lovely lounges, perfect for a relaxing walking holiday exploring the Jurassic Coast.
Self-Guided walking holidays on the Dorset Coast