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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.

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Easy Walking


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.

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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.

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Moderate Walking


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

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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.

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Strenuous Walking


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.

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Extreme Walking


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Rodney Roadknight 20/10/2020
    Great service, put together a great holiday in a very short time in trying circumstances, Mac's map and route app, very useful.
  • Anonymous 19/10/2020
    I wasn't too impressed with Mac, for the amount the holiday cost me I was really disappointed in a few of the accomodations. We walked through the recent storm and the drying facilities weren't good at all. Also a few of them were just run down and rather uninviting. I would have expected better for the amount of money charged. I will book myself for the next section of this great walk (South West Coast Path)
  • Mr Nigel Cole 18/10/2020
    Itinerary, accommodation and baggage transfers were all fine.
  • Mrs Caroline Duncombe 14/10/2020
    Great holiday and different from our normal choices. In spite of being last minute and two hotels used by Macs Adventures not being available, they were flexible enough that we were picked up and lour uggage transferred from closeby accomodation I managed to book separately. Very functional maps provided on an app (not paper) and very scenic routes.
  • Mr David Alan Williams Williams 14/10/2020
    Everything enjoyable and the baggage transfer system s real benefit so that the holiday could be enjoyed without having to carry a huge haversack. However, my Northumberland break could have been two days longer as I to get a taxi from Lindisfarne to Berwick-upon-Tweed and never had chance to visit Berwick which seems a lovely town
  • Tom Butler 13/10/2020
    Macs adventure were exceptional both in the personal erice they offered and in the organising of the trip. Would 100% recommend and use again.
  • Anonymous 13/10/2020
    A really good holiday, I haven't given 5 stars because one of the accommodations in Criel was described as a 4 star hotel, but it was only a 2 star, so that caused some disappointment. Bag transfer service worked seamlessly. Really liked the last 2 nights accommodation in St Andrews and Newport on Tay. Didn't use the app, we prefer to use OS maps, but having the guide book was useful.
  • Anonymous 11/10/2020
    I originally booked for the end of April, but Covid intervened. Macs were very efficient at offering me a refund or a deferral, when I chose to go at the end of September they reorganised my trip and when one of my accommodations dropped out, they reorganised and if anything the accommodation was better. The instructions were good and the trip was the fulfilment of an ambition, I would certainly book with them again.
  • Mrs anne underwood 11/10/2020
    I have sung the praises of Mac's Adventure in the past as we have had some great walking holidays with them. The Isle of Wight walking holiday was different. The walk itself was terrific and I would recommend it to any walker, BUT our experience with Mac's A was not so good and we are doubtful that we would ever use them again. When I booked I don't remember being made aware that all dealings would be electronic. On previous walking holidays we have been sent maps and books on the walk which I have pored over and thoroughly enjoyed. This time after I'd paid the final invoice I was sent an email that told me that I would get nothing further from the company and that all the information was in my e-account with them. So no maps, no walking route guide, just a reference to using a smart phone and downloading information. I struggled to find what I needed. I am not technologically advanced enough to work the way the company assumed I could. I tried to print out some details which cost me a lot of time and expense. I consider I had paid Mac's A to do this work for me. They expected me to do their work for them. I was disappointed to find that the company was working differently from my previous experiences and don't believe I was warned about that when I booked. For this reason I cannot recommend Mac's Adventures unless you are young enough to cope with the demands made technologically and can use a smart phone. Of the six different accommodation experiences, 2 were excellent, 3 were merely OK, and one was not fit to be used. Th Jireh in Yarmouth was dreadful. The Host greeted us with 'No, we don't have you booked in and we're full'. When I said our luggage would have been delivered there, she said 'No, no luggage of yours'. After a lengthy silence she then said 'Oh I had you there, didn't I?'. How she thought it was funny, I really don't know. The room was like a hostel, no bedside tables etc. there was a kettle but no cups or drinks - the host said 'we don't leave anything as people just fiddle with them'. We had 2 dismal night in this appalling place. Another company we have used have offered an opportunity to upgrade accommodation albeit at an extra expense. Mac's should consider this too.
  • Mr Dave Hyde 11/10/2020
    Couldn't fault the experience fantastic accommodation and a fantastic walk. Will definitely book with Macs again and would highly recommend them.
  • Mr Barry Mitchell 09/10/2020
    I can't really fault the service that Macs Adventures provided on my recent Pennine Way walk. The accommodation was comfortable and the baggage transfer was carried out successfully and to time. I would have no hesitation in recommending Macs Adventures to anyone.
  • Anonymous 09/10/2020
    They put together a great trip and were really easy to communicate with.
  • Mr Brett Irwin 09/10/2020
    Good, clear communication in a difficult time to trail walking. I had a brilliant experience and I booked it fairly close to my departure date. It hit the reset button!
  • Pauline 09/10/2020
    Every thing went smoothly until the final week when we had not received any maps or guide as in our previous two walks. Instructions were based on owning a smart phone ( we do not own ). We were sent downloads ( 52 pages copied ). No reference to O.S. Grid ref what so ever metric measurements only.
  • Anonymous 08/10/2020
    Trip ran like clockwork. Hotels and B&Bs expecting us, luggage safely moved. Accommodation varied - some excellent, some poor, but doesn't matter when you are only staying one night.
  • Mr Graham Thompson 08/10/2020
    On our way at last from our earlier booking cancelled due to the virus, however nothing disappointed Macs handling of the re arrangement was smooth and trouble free with a price guarantee.Each and everyone of the B & Bs had their own charm and warm greeting from our hosts,nothing was to much trouble , comfy rooms great breakfasts. In hindsight we should have allowed a extra day, the route is not flat as some say and I did get a blister, but hey ho I lived to tell the tale Thank You Macs Graham and David
  • Anonymous 07/10/2020
    An excellent trip completing the Cleveland Way. Lovely accommodation and baggage transfer service
  • Anonymous 06/10/2020
    Overall we were quite disappointed with the service from Macs. You pay a premium for this type of tour but the information and communication were quite poor. I have given 4 stars because I assume in non-C19 times it would have been better. The guest houses themselves were fantastic - very helpful. The luggage transfer worked very well. However, there were long delays in confirming the booking details which we were told was due to availability. Yet when we arrived it was clear that most places were half empty. We were also put in accommodation that was several miles off the route. This resulted in having to walk an additional 6 miles on one day. No directions were provided, there was no information about where to eat and there were no local taxis available. The Guest House owner was fantastic and drove us several miles to a local pub, then came to pick us up later. Without this, there was no way of getting food once we arrived. The Mac app and information pack were perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the tour. These just have details for standard sections. They have not been adjusted for the current Covid situation (e.g. public transport, places to eat etc), nor are they adjusted for the actual places you are staying. Luckily we had the Ordnance Survey app - which is fantastic - and we used this throughout. Without it, we would have struggled to find the guest house which was way off the standard route. I would try Macs again for a long tour where I think they could probably add more value.
  • Anonymous 06/10/2020
    Macs Adventure booked a 16 day tip with only a few days notice. Although I don't recommend giving such short notice, it was achieved.
  • Mr Rodney Lynn 06/10/2020
    Our request for an organised short trip on part of the Beara Way was made at the last minute. Macs Adventures rose to the challenge brilliantly and kept us informed all the time. The spacial requests we had were readily accommodated and worked well. The actual trip when well; we were supplied with the travel information we needed - trail instructions, instructions on locating our accommodation and details about where to find evening meals - were complete and thorough. All in all, we had a wonderful time. Macs also laid on 4 consecutive days of sunshine and warm weather so that we could really enjoy the walking and the views!


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