Walk descriptions are divided into several sub-categories:
- Local walks - usually suitable for a morning or afternoon expedition, possibly including a pub lunch.
- Non-local walks. Mostly 1 to 2 hour walks of modest length.
- Longer walks. You should probably allow at least 3 hours for any of these walks. Some will require more and are suitable for all-day outings with a picnic.
The terrain covered in the walks is moderately hill, with potential ups-and-downs of 600'/200m (though many of the walks involve much less that this). The routes rarely involve rough terrain, and the main hazard is usually slippy paths after rain because of mud. (Much of our limestone-based area is relatively well drained, and we get a lot of surprisingly dry walking even after heavy rain, but there are here and there outcrops of impermeable "Fuller's Earth" which are often associated with springs that can produce a glutinous, slippy and sticky mud.)
For the most part footpaths are well-signed (though this is not always the case). We always advise taking an Ordinance Survey Map and knowing how to use it, and this should be considered essential on the Longer Walks which necessarily have more involve route finding. Remember, although we do our best to give accurate guidance, it is your responsibility to stay on public rights of way. GPS systems are very convenient, but are sometimes too inaccurate to distinguish route choices on the ground - and a paper map never runs out of battery or looses its signal.
There will often be styles to cross, which are mostly well-maintained, especially on the more popular routes. However, some of the longer walks take you into less frequented country, and we assume that if you are prepared to tackle this type of walk you will have some experience of Cotswold walking and not be discouraged by the occasional tricky crossing. (We will note any that require exceptional agility.)
A shorter walk starting from Minchinhampton. It will probably take no more than two hours and will vary in length from 2 to 5 miles (3 to 8 km) - suitable for a morning or afternoon expedition.
A longer walk that may start from either Minchinhampton, or a start point within a short car ride.
Longer walks typically require more than 2 hours, more than 5 miles (8km) and may involve modest amount of up-and-down hill (500' to 1000'/180-300m).
A shorter walk that involves a car-ride (5-10 miles) to a local area with wildlife interest. The walk length will normally be up to five miles, suitable for a morning or afternoon expedition.