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Contours Walking Holidays

Westerville, OH
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63 posts
15 reviews
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Contours Walking Holidays

I am about to book a 7-day self-guided walking tour of The Cotswold Way with Contours Walking Holidays. Does anyone have any experience with them? It seems pricey but I am finding booking accomodations in some of the smaller towns difficult.

56 replies to this topic
Colorado Springs...
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49 posts
157 reviews
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1. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

We used Cotswold walks (Andrew Guppy) but Contours is supposed to be good too. You will save yourself a ton of aggravation and hassle using a company for your first tour. The extra money is worth it.

Redlands, California
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5,262 posts
46 reviews
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2. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

I've travelled with Contours several times, and in fact I have 2 more trips booked for this fall. They have always been reliable; luggage transfers all worked and the accommodations have ranged from acceptable to excellent. (As long as you realize they don't offer 5 star luxury.) The detailed route instructions are also a huge help if you aren't used to navigating by the maps. Of course you do pay a premium for the service but its still a relatively affordable holiday.

Edited to add: There's also nothing better than walking through a gorgeous landscape all day and settling down in a nice pub in the evening!

Edited: 23 May 2012, 21:36
Westerville, OH
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63 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

I have since booked with Macs Adventure and will be doing an 8-day walk from Chipping Campden to Bath in the first week of September. I had visited the Cotswolds back in 2005 and always wanted to return. Now, as a 66-year-old retiree, very fortunate health-wise, I am very excited about this undertaking.

I found nothing wrong in researching Contours but since my ultimate goal is the West Highland Way and that is in Macs Adventure's backyard I chose them.

Thank you both for your replies.

Zurich
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6 posts
28 reviews
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4. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

We personally would not recommend Contours, although our experience of them was for a walking holiday in Pembrokeshire, not the Cotswolds. Having told us that it should not be a problem to meet our request for en suite accommodation because we were booking so many months in advance, they then proceeded to book two nights with shared bathrooms. One place in particular was cold, damp and dirty - not what you need after a long day's walk in the rain, and completely unacceptable. On the plus side, the luggage transfers all worked well. I would advise to research carefully, as there are plenty of operators out there offering similar holidays, and lots of reviews you can look at online.

Derbyshire
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11 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

Dear Linds_Zurich,

Further to the negative comments you have persisted in leaving on review sites and in absence of any direct contact with our company to resolve the matter, we feel that we should provide a response to the issues you mention above.

As stated on our website and in all other literature sent to our customers, we cannot and do not guarantee en suite facilities on every night. The nature of some of the small, rural accommodations means that even if we wanted to book en suite rooms, we could not. This is not a problem that is unique to our company – it is a fact of the smaller, remote accommodations that are scattered about the countryside.

We do everything we can to factor in our customer’s preferences, which is why we always try to book en suite facilities in the first instance. As with all of our customers, you will have received a holiday information pack stating your accommodations and their facilities, four weeks prior to your departure. If you were not satisfied with having shared facilities, why did you not raise your concerns with us the moment you were notified?

With regards to the accommodation you describe as ‘cold, damp and dirty,’ we can only apologise that you experienced this poor standard of accommodation. We strive to maintain our high standards at all times. We are proud of the establishments that we use and are always concerned when we hear of reports suggesting otherwise. Naturally, we always investigate comments to this affect, but as you have failed to offer a name or any other identifying details, we have been unable to investigate your claims further.

We regret that you felt it unnecessary to contact us on arrival at this ‘cold, damp and dirty’ accommodation. Had we known of your concerns, we could have addressed them straight away. Indeed, your failure to contact us before, during and on returning from your walk, suggests that your experience was not ‘unacceptable’ as you claim. Perhaps this is something that readers would like to keep in mind when trying to find a fair and balanced review.

As we have already stated (following another of your reviews), most of our walkers return with positive feedback and praise for our service, so your comments are a cause for concern. We take all feedback, of every kind, very seriously and would like to urge you to contact our office directly and allow us to look into your concerns as we would any other customer.

Kind Regards,

Contours Walking Holidays

London, United...
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1 post
6 reviews
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6. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

To add to the above. I have done a number of holidays with Contours as a single person and have never had problems. I fill in the feed back forms honestly and if I have had any problems with any of the accommodation have always mentioned it. Contours have always responded to my comments and dealt with the problem. I would recommend them if anyone asked me to suggest a company that would do all the hard work of sorting out a walking holiday for them.

Yvonne

Edited: 11 August 2012, 09:35
Rochdale, United...
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7. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

i travelled with contours and walked the great glen way in scotland found them overpriced and had abrand new garmin taken from my luggage during transfer would not reccomend

Derbyshire
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11 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

Dear dennis w,

In keeping with our ongoing efforts to respond to all feedback, we felt it necessary to respond to your comments above.

We are saddened that you feel that TripAdvisor is the best outlet for your concerns, particularly as Contours Walking Holidays cannot be held responsible for either of the issues raised.

Our pricing is competitive and clear. You were aware and happy enough with our prices to go ahead with your holiday.

With regards to the missing Garmin, our office manager has spoken to you about this item and you stated that the item may not have been taken during luggage transfer, particularly as it was not locked away at all times.

You also confirmed that you did not have insurance for this brand new piece of equipment. We advise all of our customers to take out appropriate insurance and to keep their equipment safe at all times.

Following your call, our office manager personally telephoned all of the service providers that you encountered on your walk to see if she could trace the whereabouts of your equipment. We have therefore done everything in our power to assist you, but will not be held responsible for the safe keeping of your personal possessions.

Your implication that we or one of our service providers is responsible for your missing Garmin is potentially damaging and to publicise this on TripAdvisor is unfair. We do hope that future readers of these reviews will take this response into account.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact your office and we will be happy to assist you as we have done prior to this review.

Kind Regards,

Contours Walking Holidays

Moscow, Russia
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1 post
10 reviews
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9. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

From our personal experience, we would warmly recommend Contours.

A Norwegian family of 5, we chose a Hadrian´s Wall walk for this summer. This was our family´s first walking holiday and our first holiday in the UK. With three teenagers on the team a few things can go wrong if logistics fall apart. None did.

Surely, It would be unfair to credit Contours for the fantastic July weather we enjoyed all along the route but still, their efforts and service made our walk one of of our loveliest holidays - ever.

From our very first contact with Contours in March, they handled us with utter kindness and efficiency. The holiday pack arrived well in advance of our departure, and Contours were very considerate about it reaching us as we were moving between two addresses at the time. All our enquiries were answered swiftly and professionally.

When it comes to the tour itself, everything was well organized and exceeded our expectations. The accomodations were clean, good standard with friendly people everywhere. Luggage transfer, meals and all practicalities were provided without problems of any kind. Maps, guidebooks etc were good and sufficient for our needs.

All in all, we had a lovely trip, and we are more than satisfied with Contours. We surely consider travelling with them again.

Edited: 26 July 2013, 23:29
falmouth, maine
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50 posts
697 reviews
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10. Re: Contours Walking Holidays

We just finished 2 walking tours arranged by Contours, one was the Cotswold Round - 5 days, and one was the Lakeland Round (6 days). I would recommend them highly. Everything was smooth, exactly as planned, a couple times we were just so beat we decided NOT to do the walk to the next destination and we called and they arranged for the taxi transferring our luggage to take us as well, at no charge. the cost was reasonable, and every single hotel they booked for us was well rated on Trip Advisor. Our bags were reliably moved, the quality of the hotels and guesthouses was excellent and exactly as described. On the "downside" some of the walking instructions were a little dicey and while I understand that things change per their disclaimer (sign posts may be defaced, overgrown, paths may be closed or under construction), occasionally we weren't told to go left or right and distances were a little unpredictable - there were several episodes where we were told to go 20 meters (which is about the distance from a pitchers mound to home plate, so I know what 20m looks like) and it was more like 100m... occasionally the instructions were hard to follow. Is that a big deal? We were complete amateurs and we managed to get to our destination every time. If you used certain principles - following waymarks, following their instructions literally, reviewing the walk with the map the night before - it worked out. I did make some notes about certain things which I will submit to them but overall between the map and written instructions everything worked out fine. When you consider what they do - 10-15 miles of instructions through fields, woods, farms, and towns - it is amazing that they were as detailed as they were. I would deal with them again ANYTIME! My wife and I went basically for a 2 week honeymoon and we absolutely loved it...Loved it..

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