What to expect on your first walk
So, you’d like to join us for a walk? We look forward to meeting you! Our walks are very straight forward, however here is a little more information on what you can expect.
We’re a friendly bunch of people and are always pleased to welcome new members. Chances are you won’t be the only person who’s on their first walk.
You’re welcome to join up to three midweek or weekend day walks to see if the group is for you before joining the Ramblers.
How do I pick a walk?
Each week, we offer a post-work leisurely evening stroll in London which takes around an hour. At the weekend, we offer a wide variety of walks in length, pace and difficulty.
It’s important to pick something within your ability, so if you haven’t done much countryside walking before, we recommend trying a leisurely or moderate walk first. Our strenuous walks are recommended for those who have a fair amount of walking experience.
Leisurely - Any walk up to around 10 miles where the terrain is relatively easy and the pace relaxed.
Moderate - Any walk up to around 16-17 miles, where the terrain may be undulating and a generally good pace will be kept up.
Strenuous - Any walk over 11-12 miles where the terrain is likely to be more challenging and/or the length is at the upper end of the scale. This can also be where the pace is fast throughout, even though the walk may be relatively flat.
Are all your walks online?
Yes. Our programme is organised on a quarterly basis, however we will often add ‘extra’ walks, so do check back a few days before if you don’t see something you like.
I’ve picked my walk! Do I have to let the leader know I’m coming?
No, just turn up. It’s that simple…
Our walk leaders are all volunteers who lead walks in their spare time. This, coupled with the time it takes to plan a walk, means they are unable to keep a register of walk attendees.
Looks like it might rain! Will the walk go ahead, do I need to call the leader?
Our walks take place in all weather, and there is no need to reconfirm. As long as the train is going, we will! After all, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. In the event of particularly severe weather, the leader will make any decisions regarding shortcuts.
In the event of unexpected disruption to trains on the day, we will share updates via our Facebook page (members only) and Twitter.
The train’s running a bit late, do I need to call anyone?
For weekend walks, the walk will start when the train mentioned in the description arrives. So, if this train is delayed, there’s no need to worry (more often than not the leader will be on the same train).
Midweek walks start when stated on the website. If there is widespread disruption, we’ll allow a few minutes, but are unable to keep a large group waiting for one individual. Please allow plenty time to make your journey.
Can I drive to the walk?
Yes, although this isn’t recommended for walks within London, due to parking restrictions.
For circular countryside walks this is easy, but please check parking arrangements. For linear walks you’ll need to get the train back to your vehicle, most of the time this is fairly straightforward. Do keep an eye on the progress of the train mentioned in the walk details.
What should I wear/bring?
For midweek walks, most members are coming straight from work. Do consider bringing shoes you can walk the distance in. The walk description will mention if it takes place along anything other than urban paths.
For countryside walks, sturdy walking shoes or boots are strongly advised. Please also bring clothing appropriate for the weather, such as waterproofs/extra layers/hat/suncream/sunglasses.
At the weekend, please bring a packed lunch and enough snacks/water, especially in warmer months. Many walks will make a pit-stop in a pub or café, but these are for drinks only (there isn’t time for our whole group to order meals).
How do I find you?
For midweek walks, the group gathers outside the station (for larger stations, a specific exit will be mentioned).
At the weekend, the group will meet at the named station – look for the people in hiking gear getting off the train – and head for the station exit. The leader will introduce themselves and then it’ll be time to walk.
Please read our page on walk etiquette.
What happens at the end of the walk?
All walks will end somewhere close to the station where refreshments are available, usually in a pub. This is a great chance to get to know and relax with other Metropolitan Walkers’ members.
Pubs have been mentioned rather a lot, but I don’t drink alcohol…
In common with many walking groups, we find that pubs are usually the only places conveniently located that can handle groups of varying size in the middle of the countryside, without us having to pre-book. After a walk, our members enjoying drinking drinks of all varieties, including tea and cola, there is never any pressure to consume alcohol.
We look forward to meeting and welcoming you!