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Making new friends on a HF holiday

Our guest blogger is Sally Dowling,  a travel expert who specialises in personal advice for mature travellers, writing for   She tells us about her experience on a HF holiday. 

I feel a bit of a fraud writing for togetherfriends as I usually travel with my husband, but on this occasion I met so many women who were holidaying alone that I feel justified!

My husband and I recently enjoyed a weekend summer break in  Dorset, run by HF Holidays. Situated just a few yards from the beautiful Lulworth Cove, our base for the weekend was Lulworth Lodge, ideally placed for anyone wanting to explore the South West Coast Path. The hotel has been recently renovated since becoming part of HF Holidays portfolio, and offers relaxing and comfortable accommodation.

We stayed on a Country House Break, which meant we enjoyed full board, but spent our days doing our own thing. Meanwhile the lodge was hosting a guided walking group who were bravely attempting the South West Coast path in Dorset.

During our stay we listened in to the group briefings each evening for the coastal walk and began to wish we could join in. Everything was highly organised with taxis arriving each morning to ferry the group to their starting point for the day, and then drive them back to the lodge when they had completed the hike. The group leader, John, was a fountain of knowledge about the area and we quickly realised the group were getting more out of their walks than we were.

We bonded with the group, albeit as outsiders, around the large communal dining tables at breakfast and dinner.  Everyone was so friendly, including the hard working staff, which resulted in a great atmosphere with lots of laughs. There were some couples, and quite a few singles, and most had been holidaying with HF for many years. I chatted to some of the single women, whose aged ranged from early 40's through to late 70’s and they were all fans of HF Holidays. They had taken many different trips over the years and all agreed it was a great way to meet like minded people in a relaxing environment.  Some had made lasting friendships and found travelling companions for future holidays.

Meal times were particularly enjoyable for singles as everyone ate together, around large tables and enjoyed good food and conversation. When I have travelled alone I have always found sitting alone in a big dining room quite a daunting experience and often opt for room service.  Repeat guests told me food is always excellent on an HF Holiday with hearty cooked breakfasts offering plenty of choice and interesting 3 course dinners each evening. Plus a packed lunch to take out each day that included freshly made sandwiches of your choice, snacks, fresh fruit and cakes. 

HF Holidays run a comprehensive selection of Guided Walking Holidays and Country House Breaks throughout the UK and abroad. There is a minimum 2 nights stay on Country House Breaks and prices start at just £149 per person per night in 2015 (Terms and conditions apply so see their website for details and offers

Sally is an experienced traveller who writes blogs and travel features for  Silver Travel Advisors is an award winning website for travellers over 50, run by mature travel industry professionals.

If you are looking for someone to join you on a trip or holiday remember we can help you find new friends by registering with us and being matched with similar women or using our travel shout out page to find travel companions.