Walking Etiquette

This guide is intended to help us all make walking a better experience for everyone - after all, someone said walking was meant to be fun!

Preparation

  • Please consider your level of fitness when choosing the walk that you would like to attend. We grade the walks from Leisurely to Strenuous and for those new to hiking, it would be best to start with shorter, leisurely/moderate walks, on flat terrain, or with drop-out points.
  • Check the weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing. Walking in the rain without waterproofs is not fun and could end your day early. Footwear should be walking boots or trainers and the walk leader may turn you away if you are not appropriately dressed.
  • Bring a packed lunch as we do not generally have time to order meals during the walk.
  • Bring a torch in winter. We do plan to end walks in daylight, but delays can happen, and there is always that section to the station from the pub.

When Walking

  • Walk leaders should make regular stops to allow everyone to catch up. Do ensure that you allow the last walker time to have a rest as well before you commence walking.
  • Walk leaders should also stop when they turn off a main path unless all walkers are in clear sight. Equally, the rest of the walk can assume to go "straight on" if the leader isn't waiting.
  • Please try to keep the person in front of you (and behind you) in sight to stop you (or them) becoming lost. If you are struggling to keep up, then speak to the walk leader who can advise on possible escape routes or arrange support.
  • If you want to leave the walk, then please let the leader know so that they are not waiting for you in some random field! Leaders will do a headcount and need to know not to include you in the count.
  • In pubs, please do not consume your own food or drink. This is likely to lead to less friendly behaviour from pubs to us, and other walking groups. After all, most of us would not dream of cracking open a packed lunch in pubs or restaurants at home! (Of course, if you have a specific medical situation e.g. diabetic glucose tablets, this is fine, just as it would be at home.)
  • If you end up in front of the walk leader, it is your responsibility to look behind. Please stop at path junctions or you may find that you are now on your own walk.
  • Make space for cars to pass on roads, and bikes/walkers to pass on footpaths.
  • Remember, many country lanes are proper roads, so don't stop in the middle of them! If there is no pavement on a road, it is usually safest to walk on the right (against traffic), however, on blind bends it may be safer to come to the outside.
  • Please close gates behind you, unless it is obvious that it is a farm gate that was already open.
  • When approaching livestock, please avoid contact and do not get between mother and calf. An adult cow weighs up to 700kg and moves much faster than you do when startled!
  • If you find yourself walking around all four corners of a field, try to keep the sarcastic comments to a minimum - we all get lost sometimes, normally within 30 seconds of the start.

Afterwards

  • Buy the walk leader a drink if you see them with an empty glass. Most walk leaders have spent time and money doing a walk recce and a drink makes them feel more appreciated.
  • When someone has had 3 walks with the group and wishes to continue, then they are expected to join the Ramblers' Association. The Ramblers are a charity and successfully campaign on walkers' behalf.
  • If you are inspired by the wonderful walk leader, then please get involved by leading your own walk. In that part of the website that no one ever visits, there is a guide for new walk leaders including tips for finding routes.
  • Tell the world how wonderful we are on Twitter (@metwalkers), Facebook and Instagram (metwalkers).