Grading of our walks
To ensure that your holiday is an enjoyable and successful one it is important that you choose a holiday that is within you capabilities. For this reason each of our holidays is given a grading from A to E, with E being the most difficult grading. The grading of each trek is clearly stated on the internet site and in any brochure material. You should also read the detailed itinerary for each holiday to ensure that you are comfortable with the distances and descriptions described therein.

Clearly everyone’s definition of what is comfortable and what is tough will vary and that is why we provide this breakdown of our definitions and examples for you. Things to consider when assessing the grading of the walk include distance walked each day, average daily ascent and descent, remoteness of the trail and the likely trail conditions, and likely weather patterns to be experienced. The degree of difficulty is also affected by the time of year the holiday is undertaken and we cannot account for that in our assessment. Consequently each of the treks is graded based on optimum weather conditions.

Grade A (Easy): Normally low level or coastal walking.
This involves easy walking on either coastal paths or low-level country paths with little in the way of ascent and descent. These treks are often suitable for occasional walkers.

Examples: Peddars Way and North Norfolk Coast

Grade B (Moderate): Normally hills or coastal walking.
These walks are normally in hills, low mountains or along more mountainous or tricky coasts. Experience of walking in hills or mountains is preferred but the primary requirement is good health and a reasonable level of fitness.

Examples: Cornish Coastal Path, Dingle Way, Hadrian’s Wall.

Grade C (Strenuous): Normally mountain walking.
For these walks it is important that you are reasonably fit before you embark on your holiday. Experience of walking in mountains is a must and you must be comfortable with walking in, but usually at significantly higher altitudes; climate and remoteness can also play a part. Walking days are usually between 6 to 8 hours although there may be some longer days for pass-crossing or similar. Previous trekking experience is desirable but not essential if you are confident of your physical condition.

Examples: Kerry Way and Lake District.

Grade D (Tough): Normally high mountains.
These treks are for the experienced mountain walker. You need to be comfortable with walking along ridges with a degree of exposure and in handling steep ascent and descent daily. Experience of dealing with difficult terrain is necessary as you may encounter scree, scrambling or snow underfoot. High passes or dealing with difficult paths on steep mountainsides may well be a feature. You need to be very fit and have good stamina as you will normally be walking for most of the day each day.

Examples: Pyrenees and Swiss Pass Route.

Grade E (Very Tough): High mountains / climbing.
This grading is for treks that have additional difficulty in excess of our Grade D treks. Additional factors that might give rise to a Grade E rating would include very high altitudes, glaciers or tricky river crossings, significant peak ascents or perhaps may include non-technical climbing. Any of these factors may also require the use of specialised equipment such as crampons or ice axes. If specialised equipment is required you must be experienced in its use.

Examples: We are not currently offering any treks with an E grading.

Although we provide you with detailed walking instructions and maps for each day, walking means being prepared for the unexpected, and you should be able to navigate in open countryside using a map and compass.