The Ramblers national grading system sets definitions for grades of walk in all parts of the country, including mountainous areas. However, the Mole Valley group has set its own definitions to suit the nature of our walks and the local terrain, as follows:
These will be shorter sociable walks, designed to be welcoming to new walkers and feasible for those whose fitness is limited, and/or who are recovering after injury or ill health.
You can expect all of the following:
- Gentle pace
- 4 miles or less
- No steep hills
- Few stiles
- Easier paths on manageable terrain
and often there will be an optional refreshment venue at a cafe or pub.
This represents the normal pace for our walks, usually around 6 miles over 3 hours for a half day walk (including coffee break), and 8-11 miles for a longer walk into the afternoon.
Look out for mention in the walk description of any particular challenges, such as prolonged or steep hills, or multiple stiles.
We invite you to bring your own drink and snack for a mid-morning break, and picnic lunch for whole day walks. The lunch break may be near a pub to allow for those wanting to buy a drink and, if so, this will be specified in the walk description.
Designed for those wishing to stretch their legs a bit more, and having an above average level of fitness to cope with a faster pace. You can expect one or more of the following:
- Steeper or more prolonged hills up or down
- Brisker pace
- 12 or more miles in length
- Might have lots of stiles
- More challenging terrain
This means that a 6-8 mile walk may be graded Strenuous if it is either particularly hilly or more briskly paced. The grading is not just to do with the length of walk.
You are expected to bring your own refreshments, and a picnic lunch for whole day walks. The lunch break may be near a pub to allow for those wanting to buy a drink and, if so, this will be specified in the walk description.
Before joining a walk, we urge you to check its grade and read its description carefully to ensure the walk is within your capability. If in any doubt, contact the leader in advance.