Walking Grades – our Goat Guide

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Walking Grades – use your goat instinct

We are here to guide you…

We design our holidays with independent adventurous women in mind. Whatever your age or ability we aim to offer a range of holidays to provide a level of challenge you can manage, exciting new experiences, alongside good quality, comfortable accommodation, so you relax at the end of the day.

Everyone is individual and our grading is to guide you to choose the right holiday for you. Our itineraries give the detailed information on what you can expect for each walk but we are on hand if you have any questions. We want our holidays to encourage you to come back for more and more.

Get Goat Fitness support

We believe it is important to prepare for your holidays and we have introduced Get Goat Fit guides, You Tube Fitness Videos and we have Get Goat Fit events where you can test fitness and meet guides. We will be introducing more and more to help those that might like to develop more confidence, more balance , better breathing, stronger legs and just generally embrace that active life.

We will be doing more holidays with more than one guide so we can do different levels of activity. We also have our “ bit of everything holidays” where you can choose the walk that suits or that you feel like doing on the day. Look out for more of these.

We have 4 ‘Goat’ grades to keep it simple
The number of mountain goats reflects the challenge – 1 being the easiest and 4 the hardest. We no longer mention hours you will walk as it depends on the group and the speed you walk and on all of our holidays you can expect to walk all day starting at around 9.30am and returning 4/5pm . This does depend on the weather and the season but do always expect a full day of walking. We love stopping and staring so there is never a rush!

As we develop our holiday range we will be listening to customer feedback and fine-tuning our Goat levels as required. Guides may change the itinerary depending on the weather and prevailing conditions,  therefore a certain amount of flexibility is always required. Our guides are the heart of WalkingWomen and you can trust they are experienced and are passionate about showing you their land and giving you the best experience possible. You come to us to be well guided.

We also expect you to be fit enough for the trip you choose: For Goat 1 ability you should be walking regularly on the flat, only needing a tea break after 2 hours. For Goat 4 ability there is no time for tea breaks and you can happily walk uphill for hours – chatting!

Be assured that our guides discuss each day’s walk with the group each morning. Weather may change over night so briefings are before you head out each day.

If you ever feel it’s not for you or you simply want a rest day this is absolutely fine.

Our goats – 5 top tips for any walk

  • Read the itinerary
  • Prepare for your trip
  • Trust your guide
  • Pack your adventurous spirit
  • Have fun
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Easy hikes – gentle.
Minimal ascents/descents and on easy paths. There is unlikely to be unstable terrain – typically 8 – 15km/5 – 10 miles  but sometimes more always with lots of breaks.

Our city walks are Grade 1 and focus on introducing you to the local area with plenty of refreshment stops. If you are rediscovering your walking legs these holidays could well be for you.


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More stretching hikes.
We know many people enjoy a bit of challenge so these walks could include some hills and even mountains. Sometimes terrain could be uneven with loose rocks – this will be made clear in information about individual holidays. You will always walk at a steady pace. There may be ascents but they will be very steady and usually less than 600m.

One of our guides describes these as mountain tortoise-style walks – slow and steady. They require some fitness and our guides can adjust the pace depending on the group. You can expect between 8 and 20km /5 – 13 miles per day as our guides want you to experience the great outdoors. Always depending on weather conditions. In a week you can expect a day off in the middle to rest and of course you can take one at any time!

Our Cross Country Skiing for newcomers is usually graded as 2 goats. Whilst you can take part never having skied before, it does require a certain level of fitness.


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Stretching hikes – for those who want a little challenge
These holidays could include more challenging ascents of over 900m.  Walks could be up to 25km/16 miles but will vary daily – it’s not so much about the distance as the height. These walks are usually to get you to higher view points and perhaps even a Munro or one of the higher mountains we want to show you.

If you are looking to challenge yourself and increase fitness these walks could be for you. You would need strong knees and ankles, stamina and a good level of fitness.


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Demanding hikes – more challenging. 
Ascents and descents could be steep . These walks are sometime shorter to allow for a steady pace where we are climbing higher. If we are hiking over 1500m these will definitely be 4 Goat walks. The terrain is likely to be varied and may be rocky and unstable in places. You need to be in good shape and have previous experience with tough walks.

Some would describe these as epic as they get you to more unpopulated places and into wilderness if possible. Our newer walks in Switzerland and Andalucia, Spain will typically be 4 Goats, as we explore more mountainous terrain with spectacular views from ridges and tops. Our treks over many days maybe 4 Goats.

‘A bit of everything’

Sometimes we will run holidays with a little bit of everything so that couples or friends of varying abilities can join. You will be able to select the walk to suit you and then join up at the end of the day to share stories. These are known as our ‘bit of everything ‘ holidays .

We don’t like to be too prescriptive as your choice depends on what you feel ready and able for. Contact us if you feel unsure. The table below is to help guide.

Goats Up Down Distance Fitness Exposure
1 gradual gradual up to 15km/9.3m Suitable for anyone None
2 600m 600m up to 20km/12.4m Average fitness Little
3 900+m 900m not more than 25km/16m Good level of fitness Possible Ridges
4 1300m 1300m not more than 25km/16m Good level of fitness with great stamina. Treks or Walks with less distance but steeper. Very likely

Note: the above is guidance please read individual holiday descriptions

Exposure means the possible exposure to height especially cliffs, ridges or areas that some people may not feel comfortable with. We aim to avoid narrow or very exposed ridges.

Up and Down – this is very general. What goes up must come down – the thing to note is how steep the ascent or descent is, which we try to give in our more detailed itineraries.

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