FAQS - guided walks and navigation

These FAQs relate solely to our 'Discover, Explore, Inspire' programme. These activities are led by volunteers and include guided walks and navigation sessions. We hope you find them helpful but if you require further information please contact us 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 moderate, hard and very hard grade walks and 30 on easy grade walks (not including leaders). Please bring correct change with you.

Booking queries and cancellation policy

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

Walk grades - what do they mean?

A walk's grade is based on the height gained, how long the walk is and the steepness and number of gradients. Please don't overestimate your fitness or underestimate the effect changing weather, hot or cold, can have on your ability and stamina. If in doubt, please check with the leaders before the start of the walk. Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Easy

Short, flat walks going at a leisurely pace around 3–5 km or 2-3 miles. Usually suitable for pushchairs (may need to lift over small obstructions). Comfortable shoes or trainers can be worn.

Easy plus

Short walks of 3-8 km or 2-5 miles. Paths may be rough and uneven with some short ascents and descents. Walking boots may be required - check listings.

Moderate

Medium length walks around 5 - 16 km or 3 - 10 miles. A reasonable level of fitness is required, on hilly ground with rising and falling levels. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.

Hard

Long, energetic walks up to 9 miles or 14 km. Some ascents or descents may be quite steep. A good level of fitness is required. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.

Very hard

Long, full-day walks of up to 11 miles or 17 km. Some steep ascents and descents. A very good level of fitness and stamina is required. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.

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. 

Cars

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

What do I need to wear?
Our uplands are beautiful places but can be cold, even in summer. For your own safety and comfort please bring with you:

  • Waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Suitable clothes for walking
  • A warm layer, including a spare fleece or insulation jacket
  • Warm hat and gloves (even in summer)
  • Walking boots
  • Rucksack (big enough to carry your own clothing and equipment)

The leader reserves the right to refuse to take anyone on the day who does not have the correct personal clothing and boots. 

Why do I need to wear walking boots, specifically? I’m an experienced walker and often where walking shoes?

Walking boots, with good ankle support and a treaded sole, are essential on most walks. Most accidents on the fells involve lower leg injuries. An injury to one person can compromise the safety of a group. To reduce this risk we require everyone to wear boots on certain routes so please check listings.

Can I hire boots?
It is possible to hire walking boots in some outlets near the start of our walks. Our information centre staff will be able to advise you.

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 most walks the maximum number is 20 people, with the exception of some easy walks. While few walks reach maximum capacity we advise you book a place to avoid disappointment.

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.

Start points

More detailed information 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.

The activity is for age 11+. Can I bring my son / daughter who is ten and a half?
On some activities there may be some flexibility, but it is down to the leader of the event so please contact us in advance so we can check this for you.

Is there a toilet at all start points?
Not necessarily

Groups 

Is it possible to have a bespoke activity? What does it cost?

For private groups
Please contact us at hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk for a quote

For voluntary groups
Please contact us at hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk for a quote

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.

Can I gift aid my donation?

It is only possible to gift aid to charities. The Lake District National Park Authority is a not-for-profit government body.

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.