Rambling routes in the Cotswolds and surrounding areas
Calculating walk times


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How long will it take?

Times given for the Littlebeams Rambles are based on a speed of 2½ miles/4km an hour excluding stops, plus added time for steep ascents or descents and longer distances, where appropriate. Tested formulae have been used for calculations, but please read the notes below.

Apart from basic walking speed, there is a huge variety of factors that can influence the total route time. For example, the number and length of stops taken, weight carried, fitness levels, age (especially in the case of children) and terrain or conditions underfoot - natural or man-made barriers, bogs, mud, snow and ice, loose stones, etc. - must all be considered. Weather conditions may be an influence, for example, variable conditions needing clothing adjustments, extreme heat or cold, strong wind or poor visibility.

However, various formulae have been developed to help calculate walking time, and modified through experience, the best known being Naismith's Rule and Tranter's corrections. These provide a rough guide to a minimum route time, but obviously do not take into account the many variables such as those above. As a very general rule, reasonably fit walkers will average about 2½ miles/4km an hour, not taking into account stops, or steep ascents or descents which will slow you down; above, say, 10 miles/15 km., stamina becomes an important factor in maintaining this speed.

Naismith uses 5km an hour, but this does not allow for activities which, while they may not involve stopping, do affect speed: enjoying views; looking at flora, fauna, interesting buildings or natural features; glancing at a map ... and chatting!

An automatic calculation of an estimated time can be made here; but when walking an untried route, the golden rule is to remember that more often than not, we will take longer than we think. Then we shouldn't get caught in the dark.