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Absolute Escapes

Absolute Escapes Traveller Reviews

Reviews of Absolute Escapes

Overall Company Rating
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Good 18
Average 4
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Reviews Submitted: 459
Reviews Accepted: 459
Reviews Rejected: 0
459 reviews
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Absolute Escapes by Jackie LePine, 9 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

Thoroughly enjoyable whirlwind tour of Scotland

Our family of five enjoyed our 10-day tour of various points around Scotland in May 2018. We hired a van from Edinburgh Airport, and set out on the tour, staying for a night or two in Callander, Oban, Fort William, Inverness, and finally driving back for a three-day stay in Edinburgh. We made several side trips along the circuit, and enjoyed the sights along the way. The itinerary provided by Absolute Escapes included suggestions and options, ...

Our family of five enjoyed our 10-day tour of various points around Scotland in May 2018. We hired a van from Edinburgh Airport, and set out on the tour, staying for a night or two in Callander, Oban, Fort William, Inverness, and finally driving back for a three-day stay in Edinburgh. We made several side trips along the circuit, and enjoyed the sights along the way. The itinerary provided by Absolute Escapes included suggestions and options, which gave us plenty of ideas. Our first stop was at the Kelpies, where we were surprised at how good the cafe food was; it made our first tourist stop a delight, setting the tone for the rest of our holiday. We went on to Stirling Castle and enjoyed a walk through the lovely town. Our first hostess advised us on points of interest as we traveled from Callander to Oban, such as the Drover's Inn. We loved wandering picturesque Oban, the ferry to Mull, and getting used to driving the single-track roads across the glorious Isle of Mull en route to Iona. Our stay at the Ben Nevis Guest House in Fort William was great, as was the local food, and the West Highland Museum. We enjoyed taking a gondola ride for a beautiful afternoon walk in the Nevis mountain range. On our drive up the Great Glen to Inverness, we stopped for a picnic overlooking Castle Stalker, then enjoyed a short boat tour on Loch Ness, before exploring Urquhart Castle. Although we enjoyed the accommodations and food in Inverness, we only did a little bit of shopping in town; instead we made the short drive to respectfully walk Culloden Battlefield and the Clava Cairns, then took a short drive dodging the sheep and admiring the coos. Driving back to Edinburgh, we diverted to Pitlochry and enjoyed our tour of the Edradour distillery (as well as the whisky samples) before returning our van at the airport and getting a taxi to our lodging in town. Very grateful to not have to drive in and around the city, we walked a lot and relied on the public bus and the tour bus. Edinburgh Castle, while stunning and a must-see, was more crowded than we expected, so we enjoyed parts of it and left without seeing everything. With so many other things to do and places to see, we split up our party according to our various interests, then re-convened for dinner. Among our favorite Edinburgh memories are: shopping, eating, the Royal Botanical Garden, the National Museum, Greyfriars kirk yard (we did NOT rub Bobby's nose, out of politeness), more shopping and eating, and wandering aimlessly off of the Royal Mile. We capped off our Edinburgh visit by sharing a whisky while enjoying the traditional music at Sandy Bells as evening fell. Our main regret is that we didn't have more time, so we will be working with Absolute Escapes again in the future when we plan a return trip.

Rating for tour operator:

We worked with a few people from Absolute Escapes, to develop the itinerary for our holiday, and handle the bookings at each stop. We advised them of our general plan and our interests, and they developed the detailed itinerary for us. Each person was extremely helpful and patient with handling our questions and changes. We have never been outside the U.S. before and we couldn't be more pleased with how well everything was planned out for us. We were very happy with their attention to detail as demonstrated in their customized guide, with clear directions, contact information for all lodging, and points of interest along the way. The lodging that they arranged was all excellent.

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 10 Dec 2018:

Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful review Jackie. It was an absolute pleasure to assist with the planning for your family's trip, and we're so glad that you enjoyed your time here. Scotland may be small, but you're right that it's packed full of fantastic places to visit, and we would be delighted to hear from you when the time comes for your return trip. With best wishes, Megan Bruce

Absolute Escapes by Paloma, 9 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

Sunny Rob Roy Way

We had very good holidays with fantastic weather. As mentioned in web's provider, the level of the way was easy-moderate which was perfect for my first long distance walk. Logistics were perfect as well, very nice places to stay and good recommendations for dinner and for buying lunch, very useful. And we found local people very friendly.

We had very good holidays with fantastic weather. As mentioned in web's provider, the level of the way was easy-moderate which was perfect for my first long distance walk. Logistics were perfect as well, very nice places to stay and good recommendations for dinner and for buying lunch, very useful. And we found local people very friendly.

Rating for tour operator:

Since our first contact with them, the people from Absolute Escapes were very professional. All the steps on the reservation of the holidays were clear and on time and the quality of all the selected local service providers during the holidays (b&b, taxis, luggage transport) was excellent as well. We will contact again Absolute Escapes for our next holiday in Scotland.

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 10 Dec 2018:

Thank you for your lovely review, Paloma. We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your first long distance walking holiday and hopefully it will be the first of many. If we can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us. Best wishes, Fern Urquhart

Absolute Escapes by Pia, 7 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

Wonderful walking holiday in Cumbria

I can only recommend the Cumbria Way to other walkers, as it offers such a variety of different walks and landscapes and we also very much enjoyed hiking up some higher pikes during the two extra days we put in in Great Langdale and Kesick. Another experience that we shall certainly not forget was the so called "No Festival" in Great Langdale. Apparently there had been a musical festival there for over 20 years and just this year it was not ...

I can only recommend the Cumbria Way to other walkers, as it offers such a variety of different walks and landscapes and we also very much enjoyed hiking up some higher pikes during the two extra days we put in in Great Langdale and Kesick. Another experience that we shall certainly not forget was the so called "No Festival" in Great Langdale. Apparently there had been a musical festival there for over 20 years and just this year it was not going to take place. However, some of the musicians who had become friends over the years, gathered and met there anyway this year just to play music together for three days. It was great!

Rating for tour operator:

Absolute Escapes. Very competent and very friendly, indeed!

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 10 Dec 2018:

Thank you for your lovely comments Pia. We're so pleased to hear that you and Daniel had a great time walking on the Cumbria Way and that you enjoyed the 'No Festival'! Please do get in touch if we can help with any future adventures - we'd love to hear from you. Best wishes, Katia Fernandez Mayo

Absolute Escapes by Maine Hikers, 6 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

Great St. Cuthbert's Way Holiday

This trip was amazing!! We had perfect weather...the temperature was exactly what we like and the only rain we got was shortly after arriving in Wooler. It was a bit tough walking into Jedburgh for dinner after a long, jet-lagged first day, but we did find a restaurant with a great vegetarian option...the Cafe Royal Bistro in the Royal Hotel. The accommodations were all good with several standouts... the Templehall Hotel, The Mill House and ...

This trip was amazing!! We had perfect weather...the temperature was exactly what we like and the only rain we got was shortly after arriving in Wooler. It was a bit tough walking into Jedburgh for dinner after a long, jet-lagged first day, but we did find a restaurant with a great vegetarian option...the Cafe Royal Bistro in the Royal Hotel. The accommodations were all good with several standouts... the Templehall Hotel, The Mill House and Fenham Farm. All of them were extremely friendly and accommodating with great rooms and amazing food. One recommendation that Clare at the Mill House made was, since it's such a short day (we left late, walked slowly and still arrived at 13:00 and check-in isn't until 16:00-18:00), that you catch the bus in Kirk Yetholm for an afternoon in Kelso. If you're looking for amazing scenery from mountains to the coast, we would recommend this trip. Everyone at Absolute Escapes was very helpful and answered any questions we had. The trip packet was complete and we had no unpleasant surprises at all.

Rating for tour operator:

Very helpful. Always responded to our emails in a timely manner. A well arranged trip.

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 10 Dec 2018:

Thank you for your wonderful review of your St Cuthbert's Way walk Lee. You certainly picked a fantastic walk (one of my personal favourites!) and you've summed up the diversity of the walk perfectly. We're so glad we were able to help you enjoy your time spent on the trail, and if we can be of any assistance in the future please do get in touch. With best wishes, Megan Bruce

Absolute Escapes by Graham, 6 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

West Highland Way - June 2018

I achieved a long-term wish to walk the West Highland Way. I took eight days for the walk, and enjoyed every minute. The scenery is extraordinary, the accommodation was mostly excellent. Other people on the way were friendly and interesting to meet. A truly memorable eight days.

I achieved a long-term wish to walk the West Highland Way. I took eight days for the walk, and enjoyed every minute. The scenery is extraordinary, the accommodation was mostly excellent. Other people on the way were friendly and interesting to meet. A truly memorable eight days.

Rating for tour operator:

Absolute Escapes - very helpful and friendly. Most of the accommodation they booked was very good. The bag transfer was faultless. Definitely a company I would use again.

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 07 Dec 2018:

Thank you for your great review, Graham. We're so pleased to hear that you were able to fulfil your long-term wish of walking the West Highland Way and had a great time doing so. If we can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us. Best wishes, Fern Urquhart

Absolute Escapes by CEM, 6 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

Orkney and Outer Hebrides Adventure

Our travels to Orkney and the Outer Hebrides went smoothly and were thoroughly enjoyed. We were pleased we asked Absolute Escapes to coordinate our trip on rather short notice. It is obvious that September is still a very busy time and bookings were essential as we looped around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Absolute Escapes provided a complete itinerary for us detailing activities along our routes. We had a grand time experiencing ...

Our travels to Orkney and the Outer Hebrides went smoothly and were thoroughly enjoyed. We were pleased we asked Absolute Escapes to coordinate our trip on rather short notice. It is obvious that September is still a very busy time and bookings were essential as we looped around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Absolute Escapes provided a complete itinerary for us detailing activities along our routes. We had a grand time experiencing the geology, archaeology, walks, people, seafood, cheeses, B&B's , and more during our 3 weeks on Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. We started with a good glimpse of Glasgow before heading north for a short time in Inverness, Driving up to Thurso for the ferry to Orkney was easy and interesting. Orkney was a wonderful discovery! Our B&B in Stromness was very welcoming, and we loved all the archaeological sites. It was fun to see Castle Mey and a few other scenic/historical spots as we drove to Ullapool for the ferry across to Isle of Lewis. On the Isle of Lewis our B& B in Ard Uig was very nice, and we enjoyed the more remote location. The beaches and walks on the Isle of Harris were lovely. We took the ferry over to Uist for a day trip; it was interesting to see the differences of the Outer Hebrides islands. Our time on Skye was a bit disappointing as the infrastructure can not handle the crowds of tourists. We had decent weather until the last few days of our holiday, but we feel that is pretty good for Scotland! Absolute Escapes did help us have a memorable and special look at Orkney and the Outer Hebides!

Rating for tour operator:

Absolute Escapes was an excellent coordinator. From the beginning they replied to our inquiries in a professional, efficient, and timely manner. They were very pleasant and easy to work with. Our 3 week itinerary did not take long to complete and was tailored to our interests in archaeology, especially on Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 10 Dec 2018:

Thank you for your kind words Christine. It is wonderful to hear that you had such an enjoyable tour of the Scottish highlands and islands. We were delighted to have been able to assist with your arrangements and hope that one day you might return to discover more of the country! All the best to both you and Michael, from Caitlin Richmond.

Absolute Escapes by Maureen from Vermont, 6 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

A wonderful vacation in Scotland on the Great Glen Way

I would love to recommend Absolute Escapes to other travelers! I could probably write a 10 page email (and maybe I will) but here are some thoughts: - was great staying in Fort Augustus 2 nights -- I was not too keen initially -- we were booked here 2 nights as no lodging in Invermoriston. BUT worked out great as Fort A. was my favorite town and since both days on either side of it were "short" in terms of miles, we had time to explore ...

I would love to recommend Absolute Escapes to other travelers! I could probably write a 10 page email (and maybe I will) but here are some thoughts: - was great staying in Fort Augustus 2 nights -- I was not too keen initially -- we were booked here 2 nights as no lodging in Invermoriston. BUT worked out great as Fort A. was my favorite town and since both days on either side of it were "short" in terms of miles, we had time to explore Fort A. 1st day we did the Loch Ness cruise and watched a group of boats go thru the locks. 2nd day, I did some wandering around and shopping. Plus Lin and Tom were probably our favorite inn keepers of the whole trip so it was great to stay with them for 2 nights - we did the High route when there was a choice - Food everywhere was wonderful!!! We ate like kings (I haven't gotten the Visa bill yet). And best part was Scottish restaurants (small, large, expensive, inexpensive ) were all very atuned to allergies and most menu items could be prepared Gluten free. We found the restaurants more advanced in terms of dealing with Gluten free than in the USA. All the B&B hosts had GF breakfast items, including home made GF break at Glen Albyn Lodge. - Sept seemed great time to hike. Not many hikers and we made friends with those we did meet. No bugs. Weather ok (shower/sun/shower/sun ... ) - We arrived day of Hurricane Ali and our train to Fort William from Glasgow was cancelled. But we switched to the bus and had a fun ride as he navigated downed trees, traffic jams, wind, etc. He was quite entertaining and also drove us back the last day from Portree to Glasgow! - We never needed to buy lunch . We ate such a big breakfast, we managed with snacks we brought with us, snacks provided at breakfast from B&B, and often made a peanut butter or jelly sandwich using leftover toast from breakfast. - most other people we met were doing the last day Drum to Inverness in 2 days. They were being dropped off at the high point each of 2 days and walked west back to Drum the first day and then east to Inverness the 2nd. So I was quite proud of myself doing the last day as ONE stretch (which was quite long). - My favorite day was 4th day Fort Augustus to Invermoriston. Great views, good weather, uphill sections but not too many miles. - we preferred the Manthorpe book to the one you provided. It was a lot more detailed and the maps made it very easy to see where you were. Also did a good job of pointing out nice places to rest or stop for lunch. That being said, we rarely used the books or maps during the day as the trail is so well marked. We tended to review things the night before and then just refer to the book once or twice during the day.

Rating for tour operator:

Very prompt response to email inquiries. Very courteous. Information packets very useful & detailed. Substituted a different book since we already had one of the maps they include.

Reviewer's images:
Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 06 Dec 2018:

Thank you for such a wonderful review, Maureen. We're so pleased to hear that you had a great time walking the Great Glen Way. It sounds like you had a really great adventure! If we can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us and we hope to welcome you back to Scotland soon. Best wishes, Fern Urquhart

Absolute Escapes by Filippa, 6 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

Wonderful

We loved Scotland! It was everything we hoped for our holidays. Adventure, beautiful landscape, nice people, rain:-))

We loved Scotland! It was everything we hoped for our holidays. Adventure, beautiful landscape, nice people, rain:-))

Rating for tour operator:

Our operators were reslly nice, all of our questions were answered immediately and everything turned out beautifully

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 06 Dec 2018:

Thank you for your lovely feedback Filippa. It's great to hear you enjoyed your time on the West Highland Way, and it wouldn't be Scotland without a little rain! It was our pleasure to assist in the planning of your walk, and if we can be of any help in the future please do get in touch. With best wishes, Megan Bruce

Absolute Escapes by New England Hiker, 5 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

Amazing Sept walk on the South Downs Way

It was wonderful. The scenery along the Way was amazing. Everyone I met (including the driver who drove me past a spirited dog) were warm and friendly. The lodging and all the meals exceeded my expectations and finally, the nicest surprise were other walkers that I met along the way. I enjoyed this trip very much and highly recommend it to others.

It was wonderful. The scenery along the Way was amazing. Everyone I met (including the driver who drove me past a spirited dog) were warm and friendly. The lodging and all the meals exceeded my expectations and finally, the nicest surprise were other walkers that I met along the way. I enjoyed this trip very much and highly recommend it to others.

Rating for tour operator:

Absolute Escapes were the best. Very friendly, always prompt and a pleasure to work with. They made me feel like their important client. I'm looking to using on future trips.

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 06 Dec 2018:

Thank you for taking the time to write this review Tom. The South Downs Way is indeed a fantastic walk, and it's great to hear that you were welcomed by those you met along the way. We'd love to help with your future travel plans so please don't hesitate to get in touch when the next adventure is calling. With best wishes, Megan Bruce

Absolute Escapes by Matt V, 5 Dec 2018
Holiday Rating:

Amazing Country, Amazing Holidy

My wife and I were only a few days into our journey when we both discussed how we had to make sure to give Absolute Escapes a raving review. It is glaringly apparent the amount of effort and care that your company puts into choosing lodging, the route, and offering great ideas for excursions, restaurants, and places to visit along the way. We were completely blown away with just how great our experience was. Each bed and breakfast was lovely, ...

My wife and I were only a few days into our journey when we both discussed how we had to make sure to give Absolute Escapes a raving review. It is glaringly apparent the amount of effort and care that your company puts into choosing lodging, the route, and offering great ideas for excursions, restaurants, and places to visit along the way. We were completely blown away with just how great our experience was. Each bed and breakfast was lovely, the owners of all were so accommodating, kind, and we could feel that Scottish charm and genuine nature just pouring through. It was also clear that the bookings were made to give us the best rooms available in each bed and breakfast. Just phenomenal, I cannot say enough good things about Absolute Escapes. Not to mention that everyone in your company (especially Pippa Robinson) have been so professional, prompt, and just gentle about the way you deal with your clients. Skye was amazing, as was every other location, but Skye really stood out to us. We hiked in the Quiraing and I'm not sure how many moments I'll have in my life that filled me with such wonder and joy as that hike did for us. We visited five distilleries, and each was wonderful, but Edradour was the most charming of them all, loved it. Found a new favorite malt, too! Lagavulin 16 will always be tops in my heart, but Coal Ila is just spectacular, and I finally have begun to pronounce Islay appropriately! Edinburgh was by far the culinary master of the trip, the food in that city blew us away. The bar Bramble, and the restaurant Dishoom stick out the most, excellent is an understatement. All in all, from the monumental to the nuanced, this trip was impactful and profound, and would have never been half of what it was to us if it weren't for the care and expertise that Absolute Escapes put into setting us up for success. We will definitely be back to your beautiful country soon, and thank you so much to you and your whole team at Absolute Escapes for making our trip so easy and amazing! Cheers!

Rating for tour operator:

It was a self guided tour, but I mainly had correspondence with Pippa Robinson who was just an absolute dream to deal with. I did have correspondence with one another associate of Absolute Escapes, and they were totally wonderful as well!

Absolute Escapes responded to this review on 06 Dec 2018:

Thank you ever so much for your wonderful feedback Matthew, we are so glad that you and your wife loved your trip to Scotland. I'm delighted that you enjoyed all your accommodations and were able to make such special memories on the Isle of Skye. We look forward to welcoming you back to Scotland soon, Haste Ye Back! Best wishes, Pippa Robson