A brand new walking holiday- from a founder’s perspective

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A new walking holiday is always exciting for us all here at Foot Trails. And Journey Across the Cotswolds is the latest in our collection.

Making a walking holiday involves a process which begins some considerable time before we are ready to announce anything publicly.

Meeting with my team we decide the location and theme for our new holiday. Our focus is always our guests, however I do have a personal interest in this particular trip which makes it interesting for me to work with. My mum and many of my family grew up in the Cotswolds, so did my husband. And about three of my cousins farm in the county. I am very fond of it.

This particular holiday was created by our Director David. Growing up in the Cotswolds he has tremendous local knowledge and the ability to create a trail which takes our guests off the beaten track and away from the well known national trails from years of personal experience. We choose local trails for all of our holidays.

The trouble with the national trails in my view is that they are extensively walked. This often means lots of people and crowds. Not the best atmosphere if you want a nice peaceful walk. I also don’t believe you need our help to follow a national trail. We want to show you something different.

David spends a lot of time pouring over maps and drawing on his local knowledge before pencilling out a possible route. David and I often discuss options together at this stage. Several days are spent on the ground walking his ideas through. Sometimes they will work out and other times a re-think is required because things are often very different on the ground.

Once complete the trail has to be written in language and a way which is possible for someone with no knowledge of the trail to follow.  With Foot Trails our trails also need to stand up by themselves without a map so the directions must be clear and precise, whilst still leaving some element of adventure and discovery. This writing element has its own particular skill to it and once this part is complete the route has to be checked and tested before it can be enjoyed by a guest. (and checks continue by the team in the future)

Within all this there is also the accommodation of course and this is an aspect of our trips I am still very much involved in myself. Whilst we may have particular country inns in mind there is a slight chicken and egg scenario to this as both the trails and country inns have to be absolutely right for our guests and meet Foot Trails precise criteria.

Again, I think experience plays its part and I certainly know almost instantly on entering a country inn for the first time if it will be right for our guests. Further visits and stays will either confirm this or not. If not I start again!

When everything is ready, the photographs are taken and the brochures are written we can launch our new holiday publicly. And the enquiries and bookings start. Very exciting. I look forward to receiving feedback from guests.

If you would like to find out more about our latest new walking holiday, Journey Across the Cotwolds, please email us at enquire@foottrails.co.uk to ask for a brochure. Meanwhile I leave you with a few more photographs from our new trail.

Warm regards Alison

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