All the groups in the Area welcome any visiting Rambler members or Non Members to join their walks. (and their own members!!)
It can be a bit daunting to approach a new group but in this Area the groups tend to be friendly and welcoming. So just say hi and mention you are new here.
In order to see which groups or types of walks will suit them, Non members are invited to try a few different walks before joining the Ramblers.
Membership of the Ramblers is on a UK wide basis so having joined you may enjoy any Rambler walk anywhere in the UK.
If you are uncertain of your level of fitness, PLEASE consider trying a short walk first and then decide if a longer/harder walk would suit you.
If you are not familiar with the group it is prudent to give the leader a call, say the day before, to check there have been no changes and to let the leader know to expect you.
You are free to register with the text system for late changes to walks. See the Home page on this site.
Each group tends to have their own style and pattern of walks, but in general the following is a guide.
Afternoon Only Walk:
Likely to be between 4-7 miles. Unlikely to involve more than about 500ft ascent (if any).
There will be a rest break about half way through the walk. Perhaps 10-15 mins.
Typically grade is Leisurely or Moderate. Assume 2-2.5 miles/hr including break - but can vary on the group.
Most commonly they start at 1pm or 1.30pm.
Morning Only Walk:
These tend to be a short walk leading to a pub lunch.
Unlikely to be more than about 4 miles and limited ascent.
Typically starting at 10am and 2 hrs duration.
Full Day Walk:
These can vary widely but are likely to be 7+ miles. Occasional "challenge" walks of say 15 miles.
They are unlikely to be classed as Leisurely, rather mostly Moderate or Strenuous.
There will be a break for lunch, perhaps 30 mins (depending on weather and location)
There will be other short breaks as appropriate.
Tend to work out at around 2miles/hour overall though challenge walks could be faster.
What to Bring With You:
ALWAYS bring enough water. Very variable. 1/3rd Litre per hour?
More in hot weather or strenuous walks.
For afternoon walks a minor snack if wanted.
All day walks, a sensible lunch and perhaps snacks for breaks.
Morning walk, probably nothing needed other than water.
PLEASE NOTE that the leader is expected to notice if a walker is inappropriately dressed for the walk. The leader has the absolute right to decline to allow people on a walk if dressed inappropriately as this can be a risk to the whole group.
There is no need to buy expensive walking gear. However, clothing does need to be appropriate.
Only leisurely walks are likely to be suited to simple trainers and never for less than that (other than hot weather proper walking sandals).
It is best to assume that proper walking boots are needed. They don't have to be expensive, but should support your ankles.
Waterproof clothing. There are relatively few days in the UK when you can assume there will be no rain.
Gloves and headwear appropriate to the time of year. In winter, mud should be expected on many walks.
An appripriate rucksack. Again no need for expensive gear but it's imporant to be comfortable over hours of walking.
A small first aid kit is useful though others will probably have one.
If you are new to walking please tell the leader or someone as soon as you feel the start of a blister or some other small injury.
The leader or others will have suitable plasters that should prevent the injury developing into a problem that can affect the whole group.
Apart from "assistance" dogs, it is up to the leader whether dogs may come on a walk.
It is best to check with the leader, say the day before, if dogs are permitted.
Some groups disallow other than assistance dogs.
Please check with the leader before letting you dog off a short lead.
Most leaders have a great deal of experience and if relatively new will have the support of other leaders.
Leaders are suited to the type of walk, perticularly on serious hill walks.
The group will walk at the speed of the slowest walker and there should be ample stops to let the walkers re-group and catch their breathe.
The leader has absolute discretion on the route and may vary this to suit conditions.