Grading & Difficulty

The Discerning Traveller programme of walking tours has been designed to cater for a range of abilities and preferences. ‘Difficulty’ of a walk or hike is not a single property. At least 5 distinct features of the walk itself can contribute to how difficult a walk is (or feels). These are:

  1. Distance walked per day;
  2. Gradients;
  3. Height gained and lost;
  4. The nature of the trail surface; (e.g. hard, stony, boggy, slippery, even, asphalt etc.);
  5. The skill in navigation needed.

To these one must add the varying levels of fitness and experience that the walker him/herself possesses. In spite of this complexity we try to operate a simple grading system to enable customers to select a tour that suits their level of fitness, energy and experience. None of our hikes is as easy as ‘a walk in the park’ and none of them is a mountaineering expedition!

'Easy' and 'Easy to Moderate' grade
7 tours
'Moderate' grade
7 tours
'Demanding' grade
5 tours
Moderate hiking on a narrow trail

The sections below describe how we grade our tours and also lists the tours approximately in order of increasing difficulty. However we emphasise that most days on most tours can if preferred be shortened or extended. We provide directions in the route notes to enable you to do either of these. The sections below includes additional notes to help you make a choice; simply click on the tour name to transfer to the page for that tour.

In addition to the tours listed in the sections below, our Offa’s Dyke Path tour is available as various options which range from easy to demanding. See the tour page for more more details.