Frequently asked questions
Top tips for new members
A lot of people are nervous about joining the group and meeting a load of strangers for the first time. I certainly was! But there's no need to be. We're a really friendly and welcoming bunch of people. There are usually a few new people on any walk, so you probably won't be on your own. So, what can you do to make it easier to join in?
- Get in touch with the walk leader beforehand, so they can welcome you and introduce you to the group at the start of the walk, and make sure you're happy as you go round
- Join our Facebook group and write a message on the wall. You'll get a load of replies from other people who joined recently who can tell you how welcome we made them feel. And we haven't bribed them to say that, honest!
- Bring a friend along with you.
If you've not done a load of walking before, you might be better to choose one of the shorter, easier walks to start with, so you don't push yourself too hard on the first one. If you aren't sure, ask the walk leader whether they think it's a good idea. But if you're an experienced walker and fairly fit, feel free to jump straight in with one of the more challenging walks!
Who leads the walks?
We all do! Many of our active members volunteer to lead walks, and we're always keen for more people to come forward. You don't need any particular qualifications, other than to be a capable walker and a member of the Ramblers - find out more about leading a walk.
What equipment do I need?
It's up to you - we've got a recommended kit list to help you get started.
What do you do for food?
You'll need to bring a packed lunch and enough to drink. Bear in mind that a lot of our walks are in pretty remote places, so there may not be anywhere to buy food at the start or en route. It's a good idea to bring snacks as well, like chocolate, nuts or sweets, to give you an energy boost if you find yourself flagging. It's better to take a bit of leftover food home with you than to go hungry while you're walking! You should take at least 1 litre of water even in winter (although you may prefer a hot drink instead!), longer walks in the summer you might want as much as 3 litres. We do not recommend taking alcohol on walks.
Occasionally we do plan a stop at a pub or other eatery for lunch - this will be advertised in advance, and you may need to place your order beforehand. Otherwise, we usually head for a pub or tea-shop after the walk for a drink or two and sometimes a pudding, if they look nice!
What if the weather is bad?
If it's cold and windy, wrap up warm. If it's raining, wear a waterproof. If it's snowing, wrap up warm and wear a waterproof!
We walk in all kinds of weather, so you should always be prepared and have appropriate kit with you. Just because it is sunny at the start doesn't mean it will stay sunny all day! In extreme conditions, or where there is a risk of flooding, leaders may change the route to a shorter or easier route, but we will always try to walk if we can.
I don't have a car, can I have a lift?
We try to make as many of our walks as we can accessible by public transport, and we will publish details of this on the information page for each walk.
Unfortunately not everywhere is accessible by bus or train from everywhere else, particularly on Sundays. If you can't get to the walk by public transport, ask if anyone can give you a lift! The easiest way is to put a message on the walk page on Facebook - say where you live, and it might be helpful to give a phone number so it's easier for people to contact you.
If someone does offer you a lift, it's polite to offer to buy them a drink afterwards or give them some money for the petrol. Make sure you know where you are meeting them and get there on time. If you have to cancel, or are running late, let them know as soon as you can. Most people are very happy to offer lifts, but we don't want that goodwill to run out!
Even if you do have a car, you probably don't want to drive on your own to every walk. Many of our members do car-share, either giving lifts to others who don't have cars or talking it in turns to drive. It's cheaper, it's better for the environment, some of the places we walk at have limited parking, and it means more people can enjoy a tipple in the pub afterwards!
How do I find out about walks and events?
- If you come back to this website, we'll list the next few events on the home page, and you can check out the full walks and events diary.
- Join our mailing list for emails about all walks and other events
- Join our Facebook group and get invitations to walks and other events (please note that some events where advance booking is required are not advertised on Facebook).
Can I bring a dog?
In general, dogs are allowed, but unless the walk description specifically says this, please check with the walk leader in advance.
Dogs must be well behaved and walk on a lead where appropriate. Many of our walks go through fields with livestock or cross busy roads. Remember that there may be some people on the walk who don't like or are afraid of dogs - be sensitive to this and don't let your dog be a nuisance. If any dogs do cause trouble, we regret that we may have to ban them from further walks.
Don't forget that dogs may need extra water on the walk, especially on a hot day, and there might not be any streams or ponds for them to drink from. Dogs may also need to be helped over gates and stiles, as we can't guarantee that they will all be dog-friendly.
Can I bring my children?
In general, we're sorry but we don't allow children on our walks. This is a group aimed at people in their 20s and 30s, and we can't guarantee that the atmosphere and topics of conversation will be suitable for children, and some of our members come on these walks precisely to get away from children!
At the upper end of the age bracket, we're not going to rigidly enforce the age guide and ask for ID (just as we don't ban people as soon as they turn 40!), and older teenagers who are sufficiently mature and self-sufficient are welcome to join us ... but please remember, we expect all our members to be able to behave as adults (yes, even Matt!) and to look after themselves on a walk.
Any more questions?
If you've got a question that isn't answered here, please do ask us, and we will do our best to help.