Established by David Grist in 1994, H-C Travel offers the widest selection of motorcycle tours and rentals available worldwide, and is the recognised pioneer and market leader in the UK. No other UK tour operator has the same breadth or depth of knowledge, the expertise or experience in international motorcycle travel. We are proud of our reputation for the quality of our motorcycles, tours, and advice. And we don’t cut corners just to save a few pounds on what may well be your holiday of a lifetime!
We have worked with many of our overseas partners since our inception and the bond of trust that has grown up over the years works directly to benefit you, our customers. You can be sure of professional levels of service and customer care, professional accreditation and financial prudence, and the benefits of our experience throughout the planning, booking and taking of your dream holiday. People book with us year after year because, in their own words, they ‘trust’ us.
In 2007 H-C Travel became the first motorcycle tour operator in the UK to win a national travel award, the TTA Award for Enterprise, so we think we must be doing something right.
We never forget that your money and your health are more important than a quick buck, and nothing demonstrates more clearly our attitude towards our customers than our approach to protecting you legally and financially. Yes it is boring, but so is sitting at home when someone’s stolen your money. As a member of the Travel Trust Association, we offer 100% guaranteed financial protection for your holiday money - it is held in an independently controlled client account, backed by insurance against fraud and theft, until your holiday is completed. (If you book with an overseas operator, or even some UK operators, you may find you have no financial or legal protection whatsoever! For more information about your financial and legal protection, and what unregulated tour operators ‘forget’ to tell you, please got to our FAQs). What we can say with certainty is that no other tour operator, of any size, anywhere in the world, offers you more financial and legal protection than H-C Travel. We also hold an ATOL license allowing us to arrange that all-important part of your holiday, the flights there and back, and have contracts with a number of other specialist UK travel companies to make sure we can arrange just about anything for your holiday.
We have 6 staff working in our office and shop in Overton, Hampshire (and yes, you are welcome to come and visit us to discuss your holiday plans any time!), and of course our overseas partners.
Director, expert on everything or so he likes to think. Founded H-C Travel in 1994, after an early midlife crisis. Raised and educated in Sevenoaks, Kent, David has a degree in, of all things, Marine Zoology, from UCNW Bangor. It was there he first got seriously interested in bikes and quickly learnt wet weather braking and the benefits of avoiding dry stone walls, the hard way. A career in book publishing beckoned, that took him first to London and then to the more glamorous environs of Basingstoke. Then he got struck by a bright idea, and that was the start of H-C Travel. In the midst of this and probably slightly later than most, he discovered his real motorcycle passion - noise, smoke and the occasional twitch in the backside - Kawasaki triples. David has owned a 1975 H2C 750 (now you know where our company name comes from), a 1972 S2 350 and half a garage of bits for over 20 years. All this is backed up by a rather more practical Ducati ST2. And as old age creeps up, American muscle cars also loom large in the shape of a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda 383 (Classic American Car of the Year finalist 2001). Has lived with his partner Penny for 20 years (first date was a Kawasaki rally!), and the fish in the garden pond are doing nicely as well. Favourite destinations – anywhere as long as it is on a bike, although the Rockies, South Africa and southern India stand out as highlights.
Retail Manager and South Africa expert. Carol is mainly responsible for booking more ‘traditional’ holidays and travel for our local customers. She has worked in travel for over 30 years, and there isn’t much than she doesn’t know about holidays. As a result Carol gets given the difficult motorcycle tour and rental requests, the more complicated the better. As well as being a South Africa expert, Carol is also a qualified expert on Australia, the Caribbean and Dubai, and was a finalist in the ‘Travel Agent of the Year’ competition in 1994. Carol loves to travel and her favourite destinations are anywhere in Africa – she has travelled extensively in South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia and can talk for hours on any of them – as well as Greece, Mauritius and the Caribbean. She loves motorbikes but doesn’t ride, but keeps threatening to learn! Born and bred in Winchester, Carol has been married to Robert for 30 years and has 2 grown-up sons.
Wendy is responsible for making sure you have heard about us and know what we offer for motorcycle tours. Ideas and contacts are her skill. She’s been a marketing consultant to a wide range of companies but thinks the motorcycle sector is tops! If you have any comments about the web site or tours, then let her know.
Flight consultant and Canada expert. Hannah is a local Basingstoke lass, most often the person who sorts out your flights. A thankless task, far and away the most difficult part of our service as airlines are probably the hardest people on Earth to deal with. She previously worked for a business travel agency before starting a family. She now comes to work to relax!
Dave is our resident New Zealand expert and he knows a bit about Canada and France as well, both of which he travels to regularly. Born and bred 15 minutes from Overton, he started work in 1976 as an apprentice (remember them?) with Smith’s Industries Aerospace in Basingstoke. After reaching a position of departmental management, where he got involved in the design of systems for Boeing 777s and Airbus 320s, he took redundancy when the company relocated in 2003. Deciding to pursue his interest in travel, he opened and ran his own travel agency for 3 years, specialising in long-haul and tailor-made itineraries, which makes him a great asset to us, and to you our customers. Happily married to Sue, a chiropractor, his main hobbies are cricket and skiing. Having only learned to ski in his early 30s he’s now trying to make up for lost time and enjoys nothing more than seeking out and skiing resorts that no-one else seems to have heard of.
Accountant. Rachael is our number cruncher, happily engrossed in spreadsheets, chasing invoices from our suppliers, and spending your holiday money wisely. Rachael was an analyst programmer (we all think she made that up as no-one else knows what it means) until she fell in love and settled down, and retrained as a bookkeeper. Unable to take the pace of life and glamour of Hampshire she lives way down in deepest Somerset with her family, and likes nothing more than riding pillion on her husband’s ZX6R.
Registered in England no. 4204028
VAT no. 776 0501 31& Wales