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Cycling Holiday Grades

Welcome to the official grading page for our gravel riding holidays, the best place to find out which trips match your cycling ability.

The below grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Use these grades alongside the daily distance and ascent information on each holiday and the terrain sections which give more information on the surfaces you'll be riding on. You can also find more information on riding on gravel surfaces here in our Guide to Gravel Trails.

Of course, if you’re still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we’ll be more than happy to help! For more information about our grading system click here.

Grade 1

Grade Help
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For those new to gravel cycling or who don't have a high level of fitness. All of the non-paved sections will be vehicle width and not technically demanding. The gravel trails will generally have a hardpacked and smooth rolling surface. If you’re bringing your own bike, we would recommend a minimum tyre width of 35mm. 20-40 miles / 30-60 kms per day.

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Is this suitable for you?

You’re new to gravel riding or are trying a gravel riding holiday for the first time. You might not own your own gravel bike, but you might have ridden non-paved bike paths or gentle off-road trails. You are interested in seeing what gravel riding is like and are looking for gentle riding, with very low levels of traffic. You might also have tried our lower grade road, leisure cycling or cycling adventures trips.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

Grade 2

Grade Help
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For semi-regular gravel and off-road riders wishing to gain experience and fitness. The riding will be on undulating or rolling trails, with occasional moderate/challenging climbs. The gravel trails are primarily vehicle width and have a looser or more variable surface. You might encounter small patches of loose gravel/stones/sand. The surface will be pretty uniform across the whole width and there’s no real need to choose a line to ride. If you’re bringing your own bike, we would recommend a minimum tyre width of 35mm. 30-45 miles / 50-70 kms per day.

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Is this suitable for you?

You have done some gentle riding on non-paved trails previously. You really love being away from traffic and riding off-road on wider gravel trails. You ride regularly at weekends, although not necessarily off-road. You’re happy to include some climbing and descending into each day’s route. You might have also tried our higher-grade leisure or cycling adventures trips.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

Grade 3

Grade Help
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For gravel and off-road riders with experience, good fitness and a decent level of skill. Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher-grade tour. The gravel trails encountered are a mix of vehicle width and non-technical singletrack. Trails can vary more in width and in surface type. You will need to choose your line more carefully and might need to move from one side of the trail to the other to find the smoothest line and the best grip/least rolling resistance. Not for beginners. If you’re bringing your own bike, we would recommend a minimum tyre width of 38mm. 45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day.

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Is this suitable for you?

You regularly ride off-road, although you’re not necessarily into full-on mountain biking. You enjoy getting into the countryside and getting away from roads and traffic. You’re happy with climbing and descending off-road on vehicle width trails. The occasional cheeky section of singletrack with some roots or rocks to navigate over and around doesn’t worry you. You’re likely to own your own gravel bike, cyclocross bike or mountain bike. You might have tried one of our Grade 2 or 3 mountain bike trips or higher-grade road trips.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

Grade 4

Grade Help
0 1 2 3 4 5
For gravel and off-road cyclists with stamina and a good level of fitness. The gravel trails will be predominantly loose in nature and can include sections of much larger pebbles/small rocks. You will definitely need to pick your line carefully. Traction may be difficult on climbs and descents can be loose and a little sketchy at times. There might be sections of smooth/non-technical singletrack and the surface width will vary from one section to the next. This is gravel riding for experienced riders. If you’re bringing your own bike, we would recommend a minimum tyre width of 38mm. 40-75 miles / 65-120 kms per day.

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Is this suitable for you?

You’re an experienced off-road rider and enjoy riding on a variety of surfaces and gradients. You can happily pick the smoothest line on a trail and don’t mind some trail obstacles to navigate over and around. You have a good level of fitness and are happy with spending 6 hours and more on the bike each day. You will be an enthusiastic and fit road cyclist or mountain biker and either already own a gravel bike or are seriously considering buying one.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

Grade 5

Grade Help
0 1 2 3 4 5
Designed for gravel and off-road cyclists with good stamina and a high level of fitness. The gravel trails will be borderline mountain bike riding in places. Expect a real mix of surface types, widths and materials. You might encounter mud, roots, rocks, sand and loose gravel. There will definitely be some singletrack and some of it might have small roots, rocks or other obstacles to ride over/around. Riders with mountain bike experience will love this type of riding. Serious gravel riding for experienced riders. If you’re bringing your own bike, we would recommend a minimum tyre width of 50mm. 70-90 miles / 110-140 kms per day.

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Is this suitable for you?

You’re fully sold on the idea of gravel riding and love the combination of fun, adventure and challenge that a day spent riding gravel trails can bring. You like riding a real mix of surfaces and terrain and can happily ride routes that are borderline mountain bike trails. You will own a gravel bike and perhaps it’s even your favourite bike. You’re happy with big days out in hilly countryside and don’t mind a bit of hike-a-bike if necessary.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.