Walker's checklist | FAQS - guided walks and navigation | Start points for guided walks |

FAQS - guided walks and navigation

These FAQs relate solely to our volunteer-led activities and include guided walks and navigation sessions. We hope you find them helpful but if you require further information please email us at hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk or phone 01539 724 555. We are very happy to help.

Terms and conditions  

Terms and conditions apply to all our activities. Please make sure you are familiar with these before making a booking.  

Booking

Booking is recommended but you can just turn up to most of our activities. Arrive early to avoid disappointment. Spaces on walks are limited to 20 people on Easy, Easy plus and Moderate grade walks and 12 on Hard and Very Hard grade walks. 

Please see our Terms and Conditions for queries regarding bookings and cancellation policy.

Walk grades - what do they mean?

A walk is graded based on a combination of length, duration, terrain, total ascent and highest point.

Easy

Short walks of 4 – 7 km (2.5 – 4.5 miles) on level ground going at a leisurely pace. Usually suitable for pushchairs (may need to lift over small obstructions).

Easy plus

Short walks of 4 – 10 km (2.5 – 6 miles). Paths may be rough and uneven with some short ascents and descents. Walking boots may be required - check individual listings.

Moderate

Medium walks of 5 – 15 km (3 – 9 miles). On hilly ground with often rough and uneven terrain and occasional steep gradients. A reasonable level of fitness is required.

Hard

Long and energetic walks in mountainous terrain of 8 – 16 km (5 – 10 miles). Some ascents and descents may be quite steep, possibly slippery or on loose rock. A good level of fitness is needed.

Very hard

Long, full-day mountain walks of 10 – 19 km (6 – 12 miles). Expect sustained, occasionally very steep ascents and descents over loose, slippery rocky ground. Possibly some scrambling. A high level of fitness and stamina is required. If in doubt, we strongly recommend trying a hard grade walk first. Not suitable for children with limited experience of fell walking.

Buses

Why don’t all walks coincide with the arrival and departure of buses?
We try, where possible, to start walks to accommodate bus timetables. However, timetables can change after we have published our programme. Please check website listings for activity updates and Traveline for bus timetables. 

Car Parking

Do I have to pay for parking?
The majority of car parks in the Lake District are pay and display. Please see our car parks page for more details. Some car parks are operated by other organisations, such as the National Trust, so you will need to check their websites for details.

Car parking can be limited in some areas of the Lake District and during peak times.
Please ensure you have enough change for parking as not all car parks are payable by card and you may not be able to get change near the start point.

Can I pay for parking in advance?
We are currently unable to issue car parking tickets in advance.

Why don’t you advertise the car park charge on your listings?
Car park charges can change so it is best to check relevant websites close to your activity start date.

Please note, all car park charges go towards keeping the National Park special for the future.

Dogs

Why can’t I bring my dog on some of the walks?
Dogs are allowed on most of our routes but there are some which are not suitable. For instance, where we walk through fields where there are likely to be cattle with their young. Also, if there are stiles on the route which have proved to be difficult for dogs.

Do I need to keep my dog on a lead?
Dogs must be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July, to help protect ground nesting birds, and all year round near farm animals.

Countryside Code says:
It’s always good practice (and a legal requirement on ‘open access’ land) to keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and horses, for your own safety and for the welfare of the animals. A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals. However, if cattle or horses chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don’t risk getting hurt by trying to protect it. Your dog will be much safer if you let it run away from a farm animal in these circumstances and so will you.

Clothing, footwear and equipment

For your safety and comfort you'll need:

  • Walking boots with ankle support and a good tread are essential on most walks. Walk leaders have the discretion to accept alternative footwear in exceptional circumstances only. You will not be entitled to a refund if you are turned away from a walk if the leaders have deemed you inappropriately dressed or equipped for the walk.
  • Waterproof trousers and a waterproof and windproof jacket, even in summer it can get cold on the higher fells.
  • A warm top such as a fleece or jumper
  • Hat, gloves and sun protection
  • Enough food and drink for the type and duration of the activity
  • Don't forget any personal medication

Do I need walking poles?
Walking poles are not essential. Some people find them helpful, particularly when descending steep ground.

Number of people on activities

What is the maximum number of people allowed on a guided walk or navigation session?
The maximum number may differ, depending on the activity and the grade. For Easy, Easy Plus and Moderate grade walks the maximum number is 20 people, with the exception of some easy walks. For Hard and Very Hard grade walks the maximum is 12. While few walks reach maximum capacity we advise you book a place to avoid disappointment.

What are the age restrictions on activities?
Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. There is no minimum age, but please bear in the mind the grade description for younger children, who may struggle on a longer walk or more difficult terrain.

Food and drink

How much food and water do I need to bring?
Please bring enough food and drink for the duration of the activity. Don't forget to carry extra water on warm, sunny days.

Can I cope? Can I leave a walk early?

What if I’m struggling to do the activity?
Our walks are graded to help you choose one that matches your ability. Our walk grades can only be an indication as people can often over or under-estimate what they are capable of doing. Most walks include at least some steep ground. Our easy grade walks stick to flat ground.

The estimated duration of our walks takes into account the slower pace of a group and the terrain.

If in doubt, we strongly advise you choose a walk a grade below that which you think is suitable for you.

Leaders will pace the activity to suit everyone.

What if I want to leave an activity early?
You may leave an activity at any point. The leaders will ask you to sign off the activity to make it clear that they will no longer be responsible for your welfare in an official capacity.

What qualifications to volunteer leaders have?
Our leaders are all experienced fell walkers. Leaders are required to have a current outdoor first aid certificate and are competent to use a map and compass.

Starting the walk

Detailed information and descriptions on our start points can be found here

Why don’t all start points have a postcode?
The postcode system was originally devised for the delivery of letters but has since been adapted for use by Sat Navs. Royal Mail sometimes uses a postcode to cover a wider area where there may be few buildings. The postcode for the start point may therefore be inaccurate. The most accurate way to identify a start point is from a OS map grid reference.

If I have booked but am going to be late for the start of the activity, how long with the leaders wait for me?
Leaders will wait for people up to ten minutes after the advertised start time, but it is very important activities start no later than this.

Can I have a map of the route?
It is not currently possible for us to provide maps of the walk routes. All leaders carry a relevant map and compass and will be happy to show you the route upon request.

Will the walk go ahead if I’m the only customer?
Guided walks and navigation sessions may go ahead with one person. However, leaders will discuss this with the sole participant and a decision to cancel the activity may be made.

Animals and wildlife

What wildlife and / or farm animals hazards might we encounter on the fells?

Ticks
Ticks are small, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of animals, including people. Humans are most at risk of picking up ticks when brushing through tall vegetation, especially bracken.

Adders
The adder is Britain’s only venomous native snake. Adders are rarely encountered on our activities.

Cattle and sheep
Cattle and sheep are unlikely to be a problem on a guided walk or navigation sessions. The leaders will give you advice and guidance before and during the activity.