Frequently Asked Questions

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Are the walks really free?

Yes Bill's Polzeath Free Walking Tours are free. They are tip based and your generosity allows this initiative to continue for future visitors so any donations are welcomed but not a requirement of the walk! Advance booking is required by all walkers so DO PLEASE request a Private tour if the Free Tour times don't suit your visit to Cornwall.

I'm walking solo and don't want to book a whole private group walk for just me.

If you are walking solo or find the cost of booking a whole private tour too much for your family or friends then select a "Pay-what-you-can Deal". It's the second option under "Payment Details" at the end of the Booking Form. I'll get back to you with help.

How fast do you go on a Free Walk?

As fast as the slowest member of the party is the short answer. No one will be left behind and we'll make frequent stops so people can go at their own pace. A reasonable level of fitness is required to cover the whole walk but I am in my 60's so we won't be running.

If you are a slow walker you may prefer to join a shorter Private Walk where you can dictate the pace of your walk and not hold others up!

Do I have to walk the whole way on a Free Walk?

No one is made, for instance, to climb Brea Hill if they don't feel up to it. The Pentire walk is slightly more strenuous and comes closer to the cliff edges than the other walk but both walks are essentially along public footpaths. If at any time you want to drop out, or go back, then you are just asked to let me know so we don't send out a search party!

Do I really have to book a place for a Free Walking Tour?

Tours do not run unless there are enough pre-bookings 24 hours in advance. In the event that you have already booked and there are still not enough pre-bookings you will be contacted the day before the tour.

If you are a large group, school group or hen party for example, please get in touch in advance, as there is not always space for such groups on the public tours. Overcrowding the public footpaths can cause disruptions to others so priority will be given to those who have made an advanced booking and numbers are kept low. Unfortunately, you may have to be turned away without a booking if the tour is deemed full and you just turn up.

Can I bring a group and just book you for the whole day?

Yes, you can book me for your group either on a half day or full day basis. This gives you flexibility as I will come to you and organise your group walk from where you are staying if you want. We can combine a number of walks or I will suggest a walk that will suit you and your interests.

Is there space for large groups of children, school groups or student groups on a Free walk?

Preferably, any large groups (e.g. school groups, university groups, wedding party etc) will make contact in advance. A private tour would be more helpful for everyone and can be arranged to suit you better.

What footwear do you recommend?

You'll be walking over uneven surfaces and rocks and steps can be slippery. Wear sensible footwear. If you have walking shoes and it is wet I suggest you wear them as the path can be muddy especially on the Pentire route after rain.

Do the tours take place in all weathers?

Usually Yes, but very occasionally, if there is a risk to life or limb,

No! John Ruskin, who lived much of his life up in the Lake District where it rains as much as Cornwall, said that "Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

Whatever your views, it's not a bad thing to know what the weather is up to and I know a few places to stop on the way where you can take shelter from squalls. We'll take a rain check at the start of each walk anyhow!

I'm a bit of a plant nerd and just want a short walk looking at flowers

That's fine. A specialist botanist walk leader can help you explore the amazing plants that grow here in North Cornwall. Just contact me and I will make arrangements if you want an expert in the field (no pun intended) to take you on a specialist walk.

I'd like to book a "Shooting a Cornish Sunset" walk in the early evening. What time do they go?

You can book this on the booking form along with an early morning walk too if that suits you better. The walks are sunset and sunrise times dependent so you will be told when to meet but it varies through the year! You can also book this as an Airbnb Experience and can find details and book on this link. If dates are not available don't worry as you can message me the ones that suit you and I will do my best to fit you in.

I'd like to book your "Deep Time Walk". Do I have to download the app?

If you’re interested in exploring the history of the Earth and geological time then a 4.6 km "Deep Time Walk", starting and finishing at the Orchard, Pentireglaze, is perfect! The free app can be used anywhere, including on the walk, and is a brilliant educational tool on its own! Download it from Deep Time Walk

You don't have to use the free app on my guided walk as I'll stop and tell you where you are in Earth's History as we go along!

You can also book this as a Private Walk starting at Polzeath if you don't want to start from the carpark at Pentireglaze.

This is an important walk for our planet and so I often offer it as Free Facebook Event so check Events on the Facebook page! or request I set one up for you.

Where can I find your other Free walking events?

Free Facebook Walks are advertised on the North Cornwall Facebook page!

Previous events have included: Free guided walks exploring the mining sites around Polzeath; The Maria Asumpta Memorial Walk ( May 30th); Evening Bluebell cliff walks (Spring time); All Around Hell Bay (Christmas Festival Walk); Port Isaac to Polzeath walk, Tintagel Beach Art and Walking safari (2 day walk).

Do you offer lectures and talks to groups?

Yes! I offer a talk and slide show on "The Secrets of the North Cornwall coast path". I'm happy to come to your group (with my own projector and screen) to present this award challenged screening. Please call me to discuss your requirements and let me help you explore your interests in North Cornwall.

What's the best temperature for walking?

The good news is that happiness is negatively related to temperature in a linear model, and is maximized at 13.9 degrees Celsius in a quadratic model. That's often the temperature we enjoy in North Cornwall! ~Yoshiro Tsutsui, "Weather and Individual Happiness," 2012, Osaka University, Japan [Paraphrase: The temperature of happiness is 57 °F. –tg]