Information

We send out bespoke route information and attendee lists ahead of every walk to those who’ve signed up. Hopefully, the information below will help answer any queries you might have prior to registering for a walk. Please feel free to ask us any questions via the contact page.

Acknowledgement of Risk

Before you participate in a walk, we’ll ask you to sign an online acknowledgement of risk form. The terms you accept within this agreement will also apply to future walks but we usually request a new signature every six months to ensure clarity around the risks involved.

Clothing & Equipment

What you bring with you is very much down to the season and weather, but here are some items we reckon are essential and some things that might come in handy.

Essential items

  • Walking boots or shoes
  • Rucksack
  • Water or bladder bottles
  • Lunch (or snacks on shorter walks)
  • Layered clothing (appropriate for time of year)
  • Waterproofs
  • Gloves and hat (in cold weather)
  • Spare socks
  • Personal medication

Recommended items

  • Walking poles
  • Clear plastic sealable bag (to keep phone or other tech dry!)
  • Small microfibre towel
  • Baby wipes
  • Hot flask (in cold weather)

If you are looking for some new kit, we recommend heading to the Manchester store of our official clothing partner, Fjallraven. They can offer you expert advice and help kit you out in hardwearing yet fashionable clothing and other equipment. You can find them at 15-17 Old Bank St., Manchester M2 7PE.

Countryside Code

We politely request that all Freshwalkers strictly adhere to the Countryside Code by respecting local communities and protecting the natural environment so that others can enjoy the great outdoors too! Read more here.

Dogs

Your canine friends are most welcome on all of our walks unless explicitly stated so. Most walks see a few dogs in attendance and they always seem to have the most exhausting fun. We’d draw your attention to the Countryside Code and insist you keep your dog on a short lead when we are near any livestock. And of course, clean up after yourself.

We can’t, however, promise that every establishment we frequent before or after a walk will always be as dog-friendly as we are. Information will be provided before each route when we’re aware of any pubs or cafes that don’t allow dogs inside.

First Aid

The walk leader is trained and qualified in Wilderness First Aid suitable for the outdoors and environments we walk in. We will bring a first aid kit, torch, compass, map(s) and a survival bag to ensure the safety of the group is given maximum priority.

Fitness

One of the most regular questions we get asked is “Am I fit enough?”.

Hopefully our grading will give you some idea as to what walks you can attempt though ‘Hard’ for one person might not be for another. If in doubt, please do contact us but we’d probably recommend erring on the side of caution initially and starting off with something definitely within your capability. This will give you a benchmark and then you can raise the bar accordingly thereafter. Some walks have ‘escape routes’ if the going gets too tough but quite a few of the mountain or moorland circular walks don’t and once out there it can be a long way back. We’ll very quickly recognise early in the walk if we feel there is going to be a problem with an attendee pitching in too high and, especially during the colder months or on a rainy day, might insist on an early retirement. The people we attract can be incredibly supportive and will offer encouragement when needed but it’s not a pleasant experience having to stop too frequently on a bad weather day as we never leave anyone behind on a Freshwalks.

Grading

We grade each route within a spectrum from Easy to Challenging to signpost you to a route most appropriate for your current level of fitness. This definition is of course quite subjective and only intended to be a topline overview, aggregating the following route characteristics – distance, terrain, ascent and general environment. Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken feedback from walkers and regraded where appropriate.

Flat Minimal Ascent Significant Ascent
5km – 10km Easy Easy / Moderate Moderate
10km – 15km Moderate Moderate / Medium Medium
15km – 20km Moderate / Medium Medium Hard
20km – 25km Medium Hard Very Hard
25km+ Medium / Hard Very Hard Challenging       

Some routes might also be graded differently dependent on the season or expected weather. There’s a world of difference between heading up Grindsbrook Clough on a fine Spring day and doing the very same on a harsh sub-zero winter day, battling hail and snow! We’ll also make note of any special considerations such as exposure for vertigo sufferers in the pre-walk information we send out.

We reckon there’s a route for everyone within our schedule.

Hydration

Every person, every route and every weather condition creates its own set of rules for how much water you should carry for a particular walk. A general rule of thumb is to ensure adequate pre-hydration – and that even extends to the day before. Don’t set off on a walk (especially long ones) feeling dehydrated from the off! We’d recommend 300ml before you start a walk and then to sip 200ml every 20 minutes while walking. For our longer walks – this of course represents a significant weight to carry so we’d recommend finding your own balance. Most of our walkers cope fine, even on long walks, with a couple of litres of water in normal weather conditions. We also asked nutrition and wellness expert, Jeannette Jackson, to share some tips on hydration in this blog.

Insurance

Freshwalks has public liability insurance cover with a £2m limit of indemnity. Policy number 444900034175 with Protectivity Insurance.

Lunch

On our full-day hikes, stopping for a well-deserved picnic lunch is another defining part of the Freshwalks experience. On most routes, we’ll have a clear idea on where we plan to stop beforehand though quite often, especially in the colder months, we’ll respond to the weather of the day seeking appropriate shelter from the elements.

The length of our stops is also weather dependent and consideration will also be made of the group’s pace. But if we’re on schedule and the sun is shining, expect a leisurely lunch in a spot where you can enjoy some amazing views with pleasant company.

Refund Policy

Freshwalks Classics

  • Refunds (or a transfer if you prefer) will be provided up to 7 days before a walk (9am the week before).
  • No refund will be provided within 7 days of a walk but a transfer to a future walk will be offered up to 24 hours before (9am the day before).
  • No refund or transfer will be offered in the event of cancellation within 24 hours of the walk.
  • One transfer per ticket purchased and this must be used within 3 months of the original walk date.
  • Any food pre-orders (which we include as part of some walks) will be refundable up to 24 hours before a walk.

Freshwalks City

  • Refunds (or a transfer if you prefer) will be provided up to 3 days before a walk (by 12pm that day).
  • No refund will be provided within 3 days of a walk but a transfer to a future walk will be offered up to 24 hours before (12pm the day before).
  • One transfer per ticket purchased and it must be used within 3 months of the original walk date.
  • The food part of any ticket package will be wholly refundable up to 24 hours before a walk (12pm the day before).

Prices and policies valid until 30 June 2019.

All queries, refunds or transfer requests should ideally be sent through the Eventbrite platform or via email to michael@freshwalks.co.uk (not social media!)

Transport

Most Freshwalks routes are deliberately organised to start and finish near public transport. Firstly, we believe in minimising our impact on the environment in the places we choose to walk but secondly, travelling together is also part of the experience and reduces the chances of individuals being delayed in traffic – which happens on nearly every walk. So we’d encourage you to join us on the train if possible but if you do need to drive also see if there’s anyone else coming you can potentially car-share with.