Walking is one of the most popular pastimes for visitors from all over the world. The opportunity to get out and about and experience the various tracks, trails and walking routes across the UK is appealing to a growing number of people looking to escape the stresses of modern life. In fact, most people who book a cottage with us spend part of their holiday enjoying a ramble in the countryside or by the coast. So, as we move into the winter, just how do you attract winter walkers to your holiday home?
Many cottage owners have found that by making their holiday home walker friendly, bookings have increased during the winter months
For holiday home owners in some parts of the country, the winter can be a very long and quiet period. Bookings and interest might be down significantly compared to the summer months so it's important to make your property stand out by appealing to groups such as walkers.
There are several things you can do to entice winter walkers to book your property. Here are a few tips we've put together, drawing on our 35 years of experience within the holiday letting industry.
Welcome pack: At this time of year, a tailored welcome pack advising holidaymakers on the best walking routes in the area could be highly beneficial and can help them decide on any sights or local landmarks they might like to see along the way. Books and maps featuring local walks can be extremely useful items to leave for your holidaymakers.
A well-stocked fridge: Okay, you might not completely fill the fridge for your guests, but providing them with a few bits will help them to settle in and allow them to grab a bite to eat and something to drink before or after their walk. Think about key provisions such as bread, milk, tea and coffee; then consider a few more luxurious pieces like chocolates, wine and something they could cook for a first evening meal.
Comfortable bedding: At the end of a long, cold day walking in the British countryside there’s nothing quite like getting into a warm and cosy bed complete with fresh, clean pillows and sheets and a mattress you can sink into! Other attractive features to consider if you're looking to attract more bookings in winter include a log burner and a hot-tub.
Make your property pet-friendly: A lot of walkers like taking their dogs on hikes with them, so you'll be putting off a lot of potential customers by not allowing their four legged friends to stay too. By introducing a few strict house rules, you can benefit from extra bookings all year round without the damage to your property that you might expect from accepting pets.
Little luxuries: Providing items such as flasks to take hot drinks with them on their walks, hand warmers to put in their coat pockets and even relaxing bubble bath or shower gel could go a long way towards enhancing the quality of their walking holiday (even if the weather hasn’t!).