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Walk grading and fitness

Keeping healthy and fit may have been a challenge recently as we have been faced with restrictions on our movement, social lives and access to the countryside.  In considering Tryst walks we ask that walkers book walks that are within their scope of ability and fitness.

The Drovers’ Tryst provides a range of walks to interest all walkers and abilities. Drovers’ Tryst walks are graded as follows:


Suitable for most people. Mostly on well-defined paths, with easy gradients and no special difficulties. These walks will be taken at a fairly relaxed pace, and are also suitable for family groups. Typically 3 to 5 hours walking, 5 to 10 kilometers distance.


Suitable for people with at least average fitness and some country walking experience, including 12 – 16 year olds with accompanying adult. Still mostly on paths, but there may be short stretches on ground which is steep and/or rough and may include walking on uneven surfaces including grass, heather and peat bog.  There is likely to be a noticeable amount of ascent and descent, up to 350m. Typically 4 to 6 hours walking, 8 to 14 kilometers distance.


Suitable for adults with some hillwalking experience and above average fitness and stamina. The pace will be steady, there will be a significant amount of ascent and descent, and the route may involve steep sections and rough terrain and may include walking on uneven surfaces including grass, heather and peat bog. Typically 5 to 7 hours walking, 10 to 18 kilometers distance, 650 m ascent and descent.  No children under 16 years of age.

Extra hard

Suitable for experienced adult hillwalkers with well-above average fitness and stamina, who can sustain a good pace throughout a long day which also includes over 1000m ascent and descent. These walks are physically demanding and may involve long sections of steep and rough ground and may include walking on uneven surfaces including grass, heather and peat bog.  There may also be some mild scrambling. Typically 6 to 8 hours walking, 12 to 18 kilometers distance, 1100 m ascent and descent. No children under 16 years of age.

Equipment Requirements

The weather and ground conditions in Scotland in May can be challenging, particularly on higher level walks, and an ill-equipped walker can pose a threat to the safety of him/herself and of the group as a whole. So being suitably equipped is a requirement for joining a Tryst walk and ensuring an enjoyable and safe day on the hills.

For Easy walks we recommend that walkers should have the following:  Sturdy, ankle-supporting footwear, warm clothing, hat, gloves, waterproof jacket and over trousers, a rucsac to carry adequate food and drink for the length of the walk, a spare layer of clothing, and any personal medication that you might need during the walk.

For Medium, Hard and Extra Hard walks we ask walkers to make sure they have full hillwalking gear, by which we mean definitely the following:  Boots suitable for hill and rough ground, warm clothing, warm/quick drying trousers (not denim jeans), waterproof jacket and over trousers, rucsac, hat, gloves, spare fleece, packed lunch, spare food and drink, small personal first aid kit including any medications, mobile phone, headtorch, and bivvy bag if you have one.  Additionally the following equipment is also useful – gaiters, rucsac cover, walking poles, spare socks, map, compass, GPS, lipsalve,.

Finally don’t forget to bring your camera or smart phone on the walk as well to take those images of your walk experience to share with friends.  There is also the annual photography competition to enter for that captivating image!

Safety Considerations

To help you stay Safe when out on the hills – there is useful information on this SMR leaflet

Contact us on if you have any queries.

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation: SCO 47728

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