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best choices for hf holidays walking tours

Annandale, Virginia
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best choices for hf holidays walking tours

We have taken two classic walking tours in England with HF Holidays: one in the Lake District and one in Whitby. Although both were wonderful experiences, we seek a location where we'd be likely to find the least amount of rain in late June through early August. Of course we realize the weather is often unpredicatable, but...hope springs eternal!

For the summer of 2007, we're considering Malhamdale, in the Yorkshire Dales, and Selworthy in Exmoor. Would anyone have any opinions and/or advice as to which of these locations might be a better choice? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Greenwich (London)
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1. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

As you say, the weather is unpredictable - England's weather especially so.

That said, weather systems in England predominantyl (but far from exclusively) track from west to east, so the west of the country gets more rain than the east. Temperatures are generally a little higher in the south than in the north.

Ottawa, ON
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2. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

When I saw the title, I expected this was going to be a question about HF Holidays walking holidays, which I know something about. Sadly, it's about historical weather patterns in the UK, about which I know nothing.

But I have done walking holidays with HF at both Malhamdale and Selworthy so, if you any other questions about these two locations, I'd be glad to try to answer.

I preferred Malhamdale.

Annandale, Virginia
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3. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

I'd very much appreciate hearing more about your experiences at both places. Obviously no one can predict the weather, but since you're from Canada, you'd appreciate the fact that those of us traveling 3000 to walk in England hope to maximize our chances of getting good weather!

Our HF walks have taken us to Conistone in the Lake District and Whitby on the North Sea. Both were great experiences, but the rainy weather in the former (about half of the days) did detract from the overall trip. On the other hand, we were surprised and delighted to find the food at Conistone absolutely delicious. Last year we went to Whitby (Larpool Hall,) and had great walking weather. People there spoke very highly of Malhamdale, but we think the scenery and topography there might not be very different from Whitby.

If and when you have time, I'd love to hear more about Malhamdale and Selby. Thanks very much.

Ottawa, ON
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4. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

To start by providing my credentials, I first walked with HF in 1995, and have done 11 walks with them at 10 of their locations in the UK. This includes both Coniston and Whitby. All have been satisfactory, so it is hard to make a serious mistake whatever one chooses. However, I would rank Malhamdale near the top and Selworthy near the bottom amongst the ones I have been to.

Newfield Hall at Malhamdale is perhaps the grandest of HF’s country house, in terms of facilities and public rooms. The walking around there is truly superb. I would be surprised if you were to walk there and ever say, “gee, this is just like walking on the North York Moors”.

Holnicote House at Selworthy is nice enough, but the walks were somewhat disappointing. The two coastal walks were very good, as would the climb of Dunkery beacon have been, had there been any visibility. But the two inland walks, “Hills and woods around Lucott farm” and the Quantock Hills walk, were boring. The latter somewhat compensated for by ending up at a marvelous pub, the Rose & Crown, in Nether Stowey.

If you are looking for other HF options, Nythfa House in Brecon is probably my favourite, a very well run house and exceptional scenery and walking. This is the one I have been to twice.

Hope this is some help, and enjoy your walks wherever you decide to go.

Annandale, Virginia
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5. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

Thanks -- this is most helpful. I was especially interested in your comments about the (sometimes) dull scenery in Exmoor, as the pictures make it look gorgeous! At the risk of sounding obsessive about the rain, we do know that it's more frequent in the west than in the eastern sections of England.

It's good to know that you feel the scenery in the area around Malhamdale would be different enough from that of Whitby to make the trip worthwhile. So I think, thanks to your help, that our choice for this summer will be Malhamdale. Now, if we could only find a way around the horribly high air fares! They appear to have risen almost $300 from those of last summer.

Again, thanks so very much for your postings.

York
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6. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

if you were to decide by weather alone you could go for East Anglia, so Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, as the driest part of Britain. Norfolk in particular can be surprisingly scenic with picturesque villages, large houses, famous nature reserves, the Broads, but not many hils, although it gets to 300 feet or so near Cromer. alternatively, and at the risk of committing heresy, have you thought of France, which being further South, has slightly more reliable weather especially the further inland from the Atlantic you go. Areas such as the Dordogne are very popular.

Shrewsbury
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7. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

I agree with Robin - North Norfolk is particularly pretty, as is much of Suffolk - it is a very different landscape to the more northerly hills and mountains, but the villages are generally prettier and there can be some spectacular skies. I don't know Suffolk as well as I know Norfolk, but at least consider a few places like Cley-next-the-Sea, Blakeney and Holkham.

My part of the world (Shropshire) is often quite dry and sunny in June and has some lovely walking in and around Church Stretton, Ludlow and Craven Arms - quiet hills and wooded valleys and the loveliest stretch of the Offa's Dyke LDP - if you can try for early June, though, the weather is often more reliable with records showing that 5th June is the day most likely to be dry and sunny.

Annandale, Virginia
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8. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

Thanks to both of you who have provided recent information. Norfolk does sound like a very scenic area in which to walk. Yet since we've had such positive experiences staying at the HF Holiday houses, we hope to continue walking with them. For that reason, we tend to limit our searches to places where HF is located.

9. Re: best choices for hf holidays walking tours

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