Frequently asked questions about the group
We appreciate that going along to your first Take A Hike walk can feel a bit daunting so here are the answers to some common questions which we hope will put you at ease.
I’m not a member of the Ramblers. Is it okay for me to join you for a walk?
It certainly is! Just pick a suitable walk and come along. Many first-timers are not members and you are unlikely to be the only one on the day. We kindly ask that you join the Ramblers if, after 3 walks, you decide that you like walking with us and wish to continue doing so. It costs less than £4 per month. See How do I join Take A Hike Ramblers Group? and Why should I join the Ramblers? to find out more.
Do I need to let the walk leader know I will be attending?
No, not unless it instructs you to do so in the walk description. Just turn up on the day and mention to the walk leader at the start if it’s your first time.
What do I need to wear and what do I need to bring with me?
Click here for a list of items that are important to bring along to keep yourself comfortable and dry. We understand that you may not have the full kit to start with.
How much does it cost to join you for a walk?
There is no charge for attending a walk. However, we kindly ask that you join the Ramblers if, after 3 walks, you decide you like walking with us and wish to continue doing so. Membership costs less than £4 per month. See How do I join Take A Hike Ramblers Group? and Why should I join the Ramblers? to find out more.
Which walks are best for a first-timer?
It depends on your fitness level and hiking experience. You are welcome to attend any of our walks. Just pick a walk that sounds suitable for you and come along. Each walk is graded to give you an indication of what to expect. If you are new to hiking, we suggest you come along to an easy one to start with.
How easy/challenging are the walks?
Each person’s experience of a walk is unique and it depends on your level of fitness and the conditions. To help you know what to expect, the walks are graded. Look for the colour-coded smiley faces. If you’re not sure what grade is suitable for you, try an easy one first and see how you get on.
How old should I be to walk with Take A Hike?
We welcome people aged 20’s to 40’s (roughly). Expect to meet friendly people of a mixture of ages on our walks. We always welcome new faces and no-one is checking birth certificates! It’s more about meeting people, chatting, exploring and enjoying the outdoors together. Try a few walks to give yourself chance to meet a range of people before deciding whether we’re the right group for you. Different locations/distances attract different people.
If you’re looking for an older group there are several groups in the area which you may find more suitable. Visit www.ramblers.org.uk to find a group near you.
How will I find the group at the meeting point?
The walk description tells you where to meet. Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before the walk starts and look out for people wearing outdoor gear and rucksacks. Wander over to one of them and ask whether they’re here for the Take A Hike walk.
How many people will there be on the walk?
The honest answer is no-one knows! As booking is not required, we don’t know how many people there will be. The better the weather, the larger the group. It also depends on the location and grade of the walk, and what else is happening that day. Expect anything from about 15 to 30 for a moderate day-walk close to Leeds. Evening walks tend to have smaller numbers.
What typically happens on a full-day walk?
People tend to gather about 15 minutes before the walk start time. This is a good opportunity to meet a few people and have a chat. The walk leader will do a head count and may take a list of names either on paper or by using the Ramblers App on their mobile phone, and they will welcome the group and provide a brief overview.
The group sets off as close to the start time as possible. There will usually be a break for lunch (bring your own food and drink) and a few short breaks along the way. Often there are no public toilets along the route so if you need a comfort-break you will have to find a suitably discreet spot. A back-marker may be appointed by the walk leader to make sure gates are closed behind the group and no one loses their way.
When the walk ends there is usually a pub/tea shop nearby for walkers to enjoy refreshments before heading home.
How early should I arrive for a walk?
We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before the start of the walk. Allow yourself time to find the meeting point (and a parking space if you’re driving), plus time to get your boots on. Walks usually set off promptly so it’s important to arrive in time for the start.
How do I know what time the walk will finish?
The finish time depends on the number of walkers and the conditions on the day. The grade of the walk gives you an indication of how long it is likely to take. A general estimate is to allow an hour per 2-2.5 miles and that includes breaks. If you have a specific query contact the walk leader, although finish times cannot be guaranteed.
I’m shy, will anyone talk to me?
Contrary to what it may seem upon arrival when you see people chatting, we don’t necessarily all know each other, we’re just a friendly group. It’s generally a different mix on each walk. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before the start of the walk as it’s an opportunity to chat to one or two people whilst others arrive. If you’re feeling a bit unsure you may want to let the leader know and they’ll introduce you to someone.
I don’t drive, can I get a lift to a walk?
Public transport or car-sharing is recommended. It’s not possible for the group to arrange car-sharing for you as no-one knows in advance who is going. Public transport options are often mentioned in the walk description.
Our Facebook page is a good place for you to post a message to see if anyone can offer you a lift for a specific walk. When you attend walks you may get chatting to someone from your area who would be willing to offer a lift to you in the future.
Can I bring my child on a walk?
Under 18’s are generally welcome to attend with a responsible adult, however it is important to remember that the group and its activities are designed for adults. Please check suitability with the walk leader in advance as some walks may not be suitable, particularly for young children.
Can I bring my dog on a walk?
The answer is often yes, however there are occasions when dogs are not allowed or the walk is not suitable for dogs (such as walks crossing farmland with livestock, or areas where dogs are prohibited, such as Simon’s Seat). Please check with the walk leader if it’s not mentioned in the walk description.
If you do bring a dog, make sure you are familiar with the countryside code with regards to walking with a dog. It is your responsibility to ensure the dog is on its lead when necessary. We ask that you are mindful that not everyone is comfortable with dogs so please don’t let your dog jump up at anyone. Also ensure that you are equipped for hiking with a dog (many walks do not have watering points along the route for example).
If a dog does cause a problem, the owner may be asked to leave the dog at home for future walks.
What is the Ramblers?
The Ramblers is Britain’s walking charity which works to protect and expand the places people love to walk and promote walking for health and pleasure. Take A Hike is one of about 500 volunteer Ramblers groups across England, Scotland and Wales. Find out more here.
How do I join Take A Hike?
All you need to do is join the Ramblers which currently costs less than £4 per month. You can pay by direct debit. Visit this link, click on ‘Join Now’ and select ‘West Riding’ area followed by ‘Take A Hike Group’.
Why should I join the Ramblers?
Joining the Ramblers currently costs less than £4 per month. Here’s just a few reasons why you should join:
- Your membership supports the charitable aims of the Ramblers which includes essential footpath/rights of way protection and improvement work. The Ramblers looks after the footpaths we all walk on and makes sure we can continue to walk on them in the future
- You can walk with any of the 500 Ramblers groups across England, Scotland and Wales
- You can attend Take A Hike member-only events which include socials and weekends away
- You receive a discretionary 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor (and other offers from a range of companies)
- You can use the Ramblers App to see what hikes are coming up next
- You receive a quarterly magazine which contains walk routes, interesting articles & kit advice
- You have access to national young ramblers events, plus free training such as first aid & walk leader training (subject to availability)
- You have access to the Ramblers map library and online route library
- You can lead a Take A Hike walk or organise a social
- You are able to have your say at the AGM and you can put yourself forward for a committee role
Please ensure that you select ‘Take A Hike Group’ when you join. See How do I join Take A Hike Ramblers Group?
Who runs Take A Hike?
We are a Ramblers group which is run entirely by volunteers who give up their time to lead walks, organise social events, manage the website and represent the group in the wider Ramblers community etc. A committee is elected at the AGM towards the end of each year. There’s a range of roles & levels of responsibility. Click here to find out more.
We are always looking for people to join – if you’d like to get involved, contact the General Secretary.
Is Take A Hike on Facebook?
Yes, here’s a link to our page. Please follow us and give us a like!
Is Take A Hike a MeetUp group?
We are a Ramblers group which uses MeetUp to advertise walks to new people, in addition to our website. Unlike other walking groups on MeetUp we do not charge people for attending a walk. If you have found us through MeetUp we kindly ask that you join the Ramblers if, after 3 walks, you decide that you like walking with us and wish to continue doing so. See Why should I join the Ramblers? to find out more.
For the full list of walks and socials always look at our website as not everything we do is shared on MeetUp.
Can I come to a social if I’ve not attended a walk yet or I’m not a member?
You are very welcome to come along to our monthly gathering at the Scarbrough Hotel in Leeds city centre. It’s on the first Thursday of the month and there are usually free nibbles available. See full details on the walks/socials page. Other socials are for members only.
I’d like to lead a walk. What do I need to do?
That’s great news! You need to be a member to be able to lead a walk. Please use your membership details to register on the Ramblers website and then contact the Walks Secretary, quoting your Ramblers membership number. The Walks Secretary will then advise you what you need to do to submit a walk.
Have a look at the Walk Leaders page for guidance about preparing for leading a walk and what to do on the day.
Other Useful Info & Tips
- You are responsible for your own safety.
- Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.
- Walk grades are provided as a general guide only.
- Check the website on the day of the walk (walks are rarely cancelled but it’s a good idea to check).
- Always follow the countryside code.
- If you need to take a comfort break, let the leader/back-marker know so they know where you are.
- Make sure you can see the walkers in front/behind you and flag to the walk leader or back-marker if there’s any kind of problem.
- Enjoy yourself.