Walk Ratings Explained
Walks for everyone, including people with conventional wheelchairs and pushchairs, using easy access paths. Comfortable shoes or trainers can be worn. Assistance may be needed to push wheelchairs on some sections: please enquire with the walk leader beforehand.
Walks for anyone who does not have a mobility difficulty or a specific health problem or is seriously unfit. Suitable for pushchairs if they can be lifted over occasional obstructions e.g. styles & gates. Comfortable shoes or trainers can be worn and will be fine if it doesn't rain. If, however, rain is forecast or sections of the route are muddy (usually mentioned in the route description), boots will be far more comfortable (and waterproof!).
Walks for reasonably fit people with at least a little country walking experience. May include unsurfaced rural paths, with some sustained ascents or descents. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are recommended
Walks for people with country walking experience and a good level of fitness. Mostly, if not all, on unsurfaced rural paths and can be over rough terrain and through open country, including steep ascents and descents. The walk may be at a brisk pace. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.
Physically demanding walks for experienced country walkers with an above average fitness level. Will most likely include hills and rough country and will likely proceed at a brisk pace, at three miles per hour or more for sustained periods. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are absolutely essential. Extras such as spare food and a torch (check the batteries!) are also recommended. People in doubt about their fitness are advised to contact the walk leader in advance.
Walks for experienced and very fit walkers with additional technical skills, which may include scrambling, ropes and the use of ice axe and crampons. Confident movement over the whole range of terrain in the UK including steep and exposed ground is often required. The right footwear and warm waterproof clothing for all weather conditions is essential. A sign-up system is usually in place for these walks and if you have any doubts, we strongly recommend you contact the walk leader in advance for further details.
IMPORTANT Ratings are provided as a general guide only: If you have any doubt about your fitness for a particular walk, please contact the walk leader in advance. You should also bear in mind:-
- the distance of the walk - perhaps you can happily walk three miles per hour, but can you keep it up with few breaks for 4-5 hours?
- regional differences - semi-urban walks around Greater Manchester are very different to countryside and hill walks in the Pennine hills. The Yorkshire Dales are a step up again, with higher summits and steeper ascents and descents, before the mountains of Snowdonia, the Lake District and Scotland.
- the possibility of bad weather - sunny dry days make you wonder why you're wearing boots and carrying a backpack, when people around you are trotting past in trainers carrying only a small bottle of water, but bring in the rain and wind and you'll be the one smiling and warm, with your waterproof boots, jacket and trousers, sitting in the wild and beautiful countryside enjoying your tasty lunch accompanied by a flask of hot drink!
If you're unsure of your level, try a short and easy walk first. It's much better to find a walk a little too slow and easy, rather than make yourself miserable and exhausted. Walk Leaders may also refuse to accept participants who in their opinion are inadequately equipped or unfit.