Rural Strides FAQs

A key part of the attraction of walking is the challenge of tackling the outdoors with different landscapes and weather conditions. Rural Strides makes every effort to minimize potential hazards; however, the very nature of walking involves a certain level of unavoidable risk of accident and / or injury. By taking part in Rural Strides’ organised walks, you are aware of and accept these risks.

Rural Strides’ private guided walks are tailored specifically for you or your group according to your preferences, experience and average fitness levels. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required as the outdoors environment can be demanding at times.

Rural Strides guides are qualified Lowland Area walk leaders, and are fully insured and first aid trained.

To help you have a safe and enjoyable walk with Rural Strides we have prepared the following answers to some frequently asked questions.

Where will walks/courses start?

Our walks start from a variety of locations across the Western Weald area. Sometimes this will be a town centre, other times a rural car park or train station. Walk details will clearly state the start location providing some combination of an address, post code, grid reference or Google Map pin. Please remember when searching for a start location that a post code is not as accurate as a grid reference.

Will there be any extra costs associated with walks/courses?

Walk instructions will state if there are any additional costs. These might include parking charges, lunch or drinks, or an admission charge if the walk includes a visit to a place of interest. Most of our walk locations don’t require paid parking, however, if payment is needed, please ensure that your ticket is sufficient should the walk run over time. When parking in villages please do so considerately.

How long do walks / courses last?

Every walk / course is different. Where time is a constraint for a private walk / course, we will obviously do our best to stay within the time limit. However, for scheduled group walks / courses we can only estimate how long a walk will last. In reality it will depend on group ability, size, the number of stiles / gates and so on.

Can anyone book a walk / course?
Yes, everyone is welcome to join a Rural Strides scheduled walk / course. However, if you have a particular requirement, it will always be easier to accommodate you on a private guided walk / course.
Do you have any age restrictions?

Yes. Any children on a walk or course under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Additionally, only certain scheduled walks are suitable for young children, whereas their needs can always be factored into the planning of a private guided walk / course.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, you are welcome to bring a well-behaved dog on a private guided walk where you have mentioned that you would like to bring a dog. Scheduled walks information will state if dogs are allowed or not. On all walks dogs must be kept on a non-extendable lead at all times. Your dog will remain your responsibility at all times. Rural Strides cannot accept responsibility for any injury to your dog or any damage caused by it during a walk.

What kit do I need?

It is important that you wear sensible outdoor clothing for the time of year / weather and walking boots / stout shoes with good sole grip unless otherwise stated. You also need to carry sufficient water, sun and wet weather protection as well as some energy snacks. Some walks will require a packed lunch and courses may require additional kit. We will always send you the necessary information upon booking.

Do I need to be fit?

This all depends on the type of walk / course you are joining. You can request a private guided walk to be short and flat or long and hilly. Equally, our scheduled walks all come with a pace and grading scale to help you select the best walk for your ability. Overall, you need to be comfortable that you have a reasonable level of fitness for the walk you choose to join.

Will there be toilets on the walk?

The countryside is not well-known for its modern toilet facilities. Some walks are short enough to hopefully not need toilet breaks, others pass pubs / cafes where you might be able to use their facilities if you buy something. If there is no mention of a stop in a walk description please be prepared for ‘wild-wees’. 

How do I know which walk is best for me?

All private guided walks are tailored to your requirements. For scheduled walks we provide details about the distance, duration and terrain to help you choose the most appropriate walks.

What about the weather?

We follow the old adage “there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing”. Wind, rain and cold are part of the outdoor experience. 

Consequently, we very rarely cancel walks / courses and will only do so if ‘extreme’ weather is forecast or prevails.

In extreme circumstances a walk / course may be re-routed or terminated early due to extreme weather. Once the walk has commenced then any changes to the pre-planned walk are deemed to be part of the event. The decision to cancel, change or terminate the walk lies solely with the walk leader.

I have a medical condition – can I still take part?

We are happy for people with many medical conditions to join our walks. However, it is your responsibility to disclose this information to us so we can adjust plans accordingly. Depending on the severity of the condition, it might be easier to accommodate you on a private guided walk. Please remember that it is your responsibility to bring medicines, inhalers etc with you on the day of your walk as your health remains your responsibility at all times.

How do I book?

If you are interested in a private guided walk then simply send an email to For scheduled walks or courses simply sign up online through the Open Walks tab clicking on the walk you would like to join and following the instructions.

What happens if Rural Strides cancels our walk/course?

We try to only cancel a walk/course due to illness of the walk leader, Government advice/law, adverse weather conditions/forecast or any other force majeure event. Overall, we follow the old adage “there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing”. However, occasionally other unforeseen circumstances do arise. For more information please see our terms and conditions here.

What is your refund/transfer/cancellation policy?
If you need to cancel and tell us in writing in reasonable time we will refund you as follows:

  • 30 days before the day of your walk or more – full refund/credit note
  • 29 – 15 days (inclusive) before the day of your walk – 50% refund/credit note
  • from 14 days before the walk up to the day of the walk, notification on the day of the walk or non-attendance of the walk – No refund/credit note
  • If you have already transferred your booking to a new date and wish to cancel, then there are no refunds or transfers for bookings that have already been transferred.
    • no refunds will be made after a walk has completed.

For more information please see our terms and conditions here.

What is the Countryside Code?

The Countryside Code is a code of behaviour that helps us to respect, protect and enjoy the countryside. We advise you spend a moment refreshing your knowledge of the Countryside Code.

Can you recommend places to stay?

We do not get involved in recommending or booking accommodation but can suggest that you take a look at our Useful Information page or for ideas.

Do you provide corporate walks / courses?

Grey partridge conservation areaYes, we offer corporate away days walking in our beautiful countryside, which can include a great pub or visit to a brewery / vineyard. With so many people now choosing to work from home there is no better way to bring your team together to bond and explore new ideas. If this is of interest please get in touch with your requirements.

Not found your question here? Just send us an email