Guided Holiday Grading Information
We offer three grades of holidays. None of our holidays are difficult, but some are more challenging than others. Below we explain what our grades mean:
Easy. Our Easy grade holidays are designed to be accessible to most people who have a basic level of fitness. These holidays are a combination of short walks on mostly level ground combined with tours to interesting sites around the islands. The walks are never more than 2 miles in length and gradients are kept to a minimum. We will be walking on beaches, machair (grassy coastal meadows) and on short grass along clifftops. There may be occasional muddy or wet patches on the ground.
Easy / Moderate.
These are our relatively easy trips but please note that they do still require a basic level of fitness.
Distances and heights covered are not large - we generally cover between 6 & 8 miles (10 - 13km) in a day and the total ascent is rarely more than 500ft (150m). However...ground conditions on the Scottish islands can be rough, wet and frequently uneven. Paths are fairly uncommon and we will often be walking across open countryside. In addition, the weather here is often breezy which can also make walking quite tiring.
You need to be able to cope with these kinds of conditions. Clients are often surprised at how few miles they have walked, given how tired they feel. We generally explain the “Island miles count double!”.
Our Moderate grade holidays are similar but with slightly longer daily distances - 8 - 10 miles (13 - 16km) and up to 1,000ft (300m) of ascent. We do not go up mountains or expect people to be superfit, but you do need to be confident in walking these kind of distances on terrain that can sometimes be quite rough.
Moderate / Challenging
For holidays of this grade you will need to be capable of undertaking longer walks (10 - 12) miles, though not all days will be this long. Some routes will go up small hills, so you need to be capable of climbing peaks of 600m (2,000ft). You also need to be confident walking away from paths over grassy and heathery hillsides.
Whilst more difficult than our other trips, these are not primarily designed as mountain hiking holidays, so we are not looking for endurance athlete levels of fitness! If you are capable of climbing some of the smaller peaks in the Lake District or Snowdonia you should be fine on these tours.
Here are some photos of the sort of terrain you may encounter on our easy and moderate graded our holidays (the lower centre and lower right photos show typical walking on our Easy grade tours):