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Activity Grades

Our grading guidelines should give you a better idea of what to expect on your trip; how challenging the activity (or activities) will be. The grade applies to the overall intensity of the holiday, so some days may be a little tougher than stated and some a little bit easier.

You know your own capabilities best, so whilst we are all for challenging yourself, it is very important to consider your fitness and experience carefully while selecting a trip.

The activity grade will help you choose the right adventure, and enjoy it comfort and safety (whilst having a lot of fun). If you have any questions or concerns, we're always here to offer advice.

Easy Walking

Easy

Daily Distance: 0-8km (0-5 miles)

Short distances on low level, relatively flat paths that are well maintained and easy to follow. Perfect for those with little or no previous experience of walking holidays, or those looking for a relaxing experience. Browse Easy Walking Holidays.

Easy - Moderate Walking

Easy - Moderate

Daily Distance: 8-16 km (5-10 miles)

Some longer distances on varied terrain but mostly well-maintained trails, and/or quiet country roads and paths. Some ascent and descent but nothing too strenuous. Perfect for those with a relatively good level of fitness, browse Easy - Moderate holidays.

Moderate Walking

Moderate

Daily Distance: 16-20 km (10-12 miles)

Longer distances on rugged and varied terrain with regular steep ascents and descents. Ideal for regular walkers with a good level of fitness or beginners looking for a challenge. Browse our Moderate walking holidays

Moderate - Strenuous Walking

Moderate - Strenuous

Daily Distance: 20-24 km (12-15 miles) 

Long days with significant and consistent steep ascent and descents on varied terrain which is often rugged underfoot, requiring a good level of fitness. There may be some exposed sections that require a head for heights. Navigation could be more difficult in poor weather conditions. Browse Moderate - Strenuous walking holidays here.

Strenuous Walking

Strenuous

Daily Distance: 24-28 km (15-17 miles)

Full days on challenging terrain, distances, ascents and descents suited for experienced walkers with a high level of fitness. Terrain is rough and could be Alpine or mountainous in nature and remote. Possibility of exposed sections and/or sections with cables/chains/ladders to aid ascent and descent, a head for heights is required. Navigation could be challenging in poor weather conditions and some trips may include higher altitudes. Browse Strenuous grade holidays.

Extreme Walking

Extreme

Daily Distance: +28km (+17miles)

Designed for very fit hikers looking for their next challenge; a head for heights, a sure foot and experience required. Rough, mountainous terrain including narrow scree and rocky paths, light scrambling, exposure and use of cables/chains/ladders to aid ascent and descent. Navigation could be challenging in poor weather conditions. Location may be remote, with extreme temperatures, weather and high altitudes adding to the challenge on these Extreme grade holidays.

Easy Cycling

Daily Distance: Less than 30km (18 miles)

Ideal for beginners on their first cycling holiday, or those who simply wish to take it easy. There’s plenty of time to explore en route with daily distances under 30 km. Sometimes there will be an occasional longer day, on almost completely flat or slightly rolling terrain. You will either be cycling on dedicated cycle path/routes or on quiet country roads, coming onto busier town roads only to reach your accommodation. Browse Easy cycling holidays.

Easy - Moderate Cycling

Easy - Moderate Grade Cycling

Daily Distance: 30-40km (18-25 miles)

Perfect for occasional riders seeking to discover a region from the saddle, and comfortable riding up to 40 km / 25 miles each day over a few consecutive days. Shorter daily mileages allow time to stop and take in the scenery, visit wineries, museums or stop for a long lunch before arriving at your destination. You may be cycling on dedicated cycle paths or quiet country roads with very occasional stretches on busier roads. Terrain will be largely easy-going but may be rolling or include 1 or 2 short steeper ascents/descents. View more Easy - Moderate cycling trips.

Moderate Cycling

Moderate Grade Cycling

Daily Distance: 40–65 km (25 – 40 miles)

Designed for relatively fit regular cyclists seeking an active holiday. Spend much of the day in the saddle experiencing a region and discovering its variety over longer daily distances. The terrain will be varied, and usually rolling with some longer or steeper ascents/descents on quiet country roads with the occasional short stretch on busier roads through towns. View Moderate graded cycling.

Moderate - Strenuous Cycling

Moderate - Strenuous Cycling

Daily Distance: 65–80 km (40–50 miles)

For regular cyclists, looking for a sense of achievement at the end of the day. Comfortable with longer distances, taking in rolling and hillier terrain with occasional steep ascents/descents and some longer ascents/descents on largely low gradients. Cycle largely on quiet country roads while being comfortable on busier stretches where necessary. Browse some Moderate to Strenuous holidays.

Strenuous Cycling

Strenuous Cycling

Daily Distance: 80–100 km (50–62 miles)

Ideal for fit cyclists who relish hill climbs and look forward to snaking descents on switchback roads. Most trips in this grade are road cycling tours for experienced riders who enjoy consecutive days of long and hilly riding with up to approximately 1000 m per day. You should have a degree of bike handling skills and be comfortable on long/steep ascents/descents. Riding is on quiet country roads wherever possible but there maybe stretches of busier roads particularly as you pass through or cycle into towns or cities. Browse Strenuous grade trips.

Extreme Cycling

Extreme Cycling

Daily Distance: Over 100 km (over 62 miles)

For the experienced, very fit road cyclist keen to test themselves, comfortable on a variety of road types and has good bike handling skills – particularly on steep ascents/descents. Excellent stamina will allow you to enjoy consecutive challenging days in the saddle. Expect alpine cols and daily ascents which could be up to 2500 m; trips in this category include ascents of the iconic Mont Ventoux and road cycling in the Pyrenees on Tour de France routes.

Important Notes on Walking Grades

All walking grades are based not only on daily distances, but also on terrain, elevation gain and loss and altitude. Not all distances are exact within the grading system but are designed to be a guideline and best represent the trip’s level. For example, a trip with approximately 20km per day could be graded moderate rather than moderate to strenuous because the terrain is almost completely flat, or a trip with daily distances around 23km km per day could be graded as strenuous is there are some steep hill to negotiate along the way. Ask your specialist if you have any concerns at all about selecting the right trip.

Important Note on Cycling Grades

All cycling grades are based not only on daily distances, but also on terrain, elevation gain and loss and altitude. Not all distances are exact within the grading system but are designed to be a guideline and best represent the trip’s level. For example, a trip with approximately 55km per day could be graded easy to moderate rather than moderate because the terrain is almost completely flat, or trip with daily distances around 40 km per day could be graded moderate as it is particularly hilly. Ask your specialist if you have any concerns at all about selecting the right trip.

  • Mr Jonathan Smith 18/06/2021
    Hi start to finish took all the Organization out of my hands into theirs and all I had to do was turn up. Will definitely use them again and recommend to my friends.
  • Miss Hayley Middleton 18/06/2021
    We were really impressed with the organisation of the trip and when we did come across any issues or problems Macs were always readily available to answer the queries and sort out the problems! Would definitely use them again! Thank you the Macs Team **
  • Anonymous 18/06/2021
    Macs adventure booked us a lovely series of places to stay and were very efficient. The instructions for the walk were really good. In short everything was really stress-free. I cannot recommend them more highly.
  • Mrs Clare Wight 18/06/2021
    Every hotel we were booked in was exceptionally friendly, helpful and clean with close proximity to where we wanted and needed to be. Breakfasts at each were also excellent. All good choices, thanks to Macs knowledge and relationships in the area. The suggested routes were excellent with realistic timescales to complete those walks and good guidance on how tough they would be. Our luggage arrived on time every evening too which was a relief after a long day. Thoroughly enjoyable holiday and we would definitely use Macs Adventure again. Indeed, we're already planning our next trip.
  • Anonymous 17/06/2021
    Everybody we talked to at macs to get the thing set up was extraordinarily helpful and generous with their time. The trip turned out to be very much as advertised, and we really enjoyed ourselves. My only suggestions for improvement are as follows. First, it might be helpful to describe to potential hikers the varied levels of civilization that exist along the trail. Some of it is quite suburban, which might surprise people who assumed they would be in a rural setting all of the time. Second, there is part of the trail that was unavailable due to erosion of the coast. Although it might be possible for some hikers to do that walk, if the tide is extremely low, my sense is that it is basically not going to be available to almost anyone. If that is the case, it would be useful to disclose that in advance.
  • Anonymous 17/06/2021
    Well organised, good hotels used.
  • Mr Stephen Slater 17/06/2021
    I liked the challenge of completing the route. Also doing a reasonably long walk where most of the Macs UK walks are only a few days. The downside of this being routed to go coast to coast was that while parts of it had brilliant scenery passing through national parks, in between were several days of walking through less interesting flat fields. Macs arrange mostly good accommodation choices but were poor providing information. They only provided a map for half the route saying, “we were not able to get the map for the west section in time”, even though the map was easily available online for next day delivery and they’d had weeks to get it. They sent a guidebook that arrived just before I left by which time I’d already purchased one myself to read before going. Some distances on their own notes were off by several km. On other trips, the bag for luggage transfer had to be left by 10:00am and Macs provided them with a list of where to take it. For this trip Macs chose Sherpa Van who required the bag left by 8:30am, which even using the earliest breakfast times at the B&Bs usually meant packing shoes and toiletries before breakfast. Also, they require you to remember to write the next stop on the luggage tag every day, and what happens if you forget?
  • Mr Andrew Wyles 17/06/2021
    What a great holiday walking the West Highland Way. Superbly organised by Macs. We would do it again tomorrow. Only gripe was that would have preferred the excellent book they supplied to have arrived earlier to aid preparation.
  • Mr Mark Anslow 16/06/2021
    Send out paper copies of the accommodation details and both maps covering the walk. Details on "dashboard" also seemed to include details from last years holiday?
  • Anonymous 16/06/2021
    A lovely trail with spectacular scenery in places. All the accommodation was very good and near the trail. Took a wrong turning once coming off Cleeve Hill. Some of the accommodation could do with having lighter duvets on the beds, or a summer duvet in the wardrobe. Luggage was collected promptly at 9am each morning. What we didn’t realise was how tiring it would be having to lug our cases up flights of stairs to our rooms at the end of each day. We were so grateful on a couple of occasions they were taken up for us and left outside our rooms.
  • Anonymous 16/06/2021
    I would recommend and buy from you again. The support the trip organiser gives is great and questions answered quickly. However I don't like your website when selecting a holiday initially. I found the layout of your previous website better and easier to use.
  • Mr John Dawson 15/06/2021
    Loved the IOW coastal path, really great 5 days of walking but would possibly stretch it to 6 or 7 days and limit to a maximum 15 miles per leg. Having said that we loved every step, every minute. The arrangements and itineraries were great and everything worked like clockwork.
  • Mr Brian Stewart 15/06/2021
    Well organised, great communication. Will definitely use again.
  • Anonymous 14/06/2021
    Macs Adventure managed to organise our holiday at very short notice and at some lovely hotels and guest houses. Luggage transfers worked smoothly. Information pack was very useful too.
  • Gail Ashworth 14/06/2021
    Would recommend,excellent support for independent travel
  • Mrs Vicky Harris 14/06/2021
    Easy to book, fabulous trip with excellent accommodation, clear instructions on the route and smooth baggage transfers. Only one bit of negative feedback, the route from the Wall down to Brampton needs changing urgently as the road is too dangerous to walk.
  • Mr James Gibson 14/06/2021
    Just been on Macs Adventures west highland way trip ,was so good and well run that as soon as I was back home I have booked the same again for next year . Just give them some dates and they do all the rest ,and get back to you in few days with everything sorted
  • Andrew Redden 14/06/2021
    Good communication throughout. Well organised bag collection and drop off ( a damaged bag was replaced by the baggage co. the next day). A mixed choice of accomodation, but on the whole an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately Macs can't control the weather.
  • Dr. DWR 14/06/2021
    I hope to use Mac Adventures again in the future. They understood when the first trip in 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic. They allowed a change of destination for 2021 and made all the necessary arrangements on our behalf. These worked out extremely well and at all stages communications were responded to quickly and efficiently. We particularly appreciated their wealth of knowledge and expertise in making bookings including accommodation, ferries and general advice related to walks. Our trip took in Iona and Mull.
  • Anonymous 13/06/2021
    This was my first experience with Macs Adventure as well as this sort of active holidays. I only started walking last year really and therefore was keen to find an adventure journey suitable for beginners too. And I am very pleased to say that with the professional help of Macs’s staff and also the Great choice of options it became one of my favourite and surely most memorable holidays ever. Of course the absolutely stunning destinations during the tour, the lovely hosts and accommodations and spot on organisation played a great part to the overall fantastic experience too.

OVERALL SCORE

4.5
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