Frequently Asked Questions

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Hopefully you'll find the answer to your question on this page, but if not,
please email us. See the Contact Us page for our email addresses.

Who are the Berkshire Weekend Walkers?

We are a relatively new walking group that started up in July 2012. We are based in Berkshire (in the UK) and we are part of the Ramblers.

The Ramblers (the UK hiking association) has eight established walking groups in the county of Berkshire:
the East Berkshire Group, the Mid Berkshire Group, the West Berkshire Group, the South-East Berkshire Group, the Pang Valley Group, the Loddon Valley Group, the Windsor & District Group, and the Berkshire Walkers.

The Berkshire Walkers is a group especially for people in their 20s and 30s. The other groups are more traditional, leading walks during week days and at weekends. They also take part in valuable volunteer work such as the maintenance of the rights-of-way within their local areas.

The Berkshire Weekend Walkers, as the name implies, walk at weekends when most people of working age can get out for a walk. We also organise a few social events for weekday evenings and weekends. We are therefore quite similar to the Berkshire Walkers 20s and 30s group, but without the age restriction. Our membership is mainly made up of people in their 40s and older but people of any age are welcome.

If you are in your 20s or 30s and wish to walk with other people of the same age-group then you may prefer to join the Berkshire Walkers 20s & 30s group instead, but if you're happy to walk with people of a wider age range then you're very welcome to join our group.

The Berkshire Weekend Walkers organise walks all over Berkshire and occasionally venture into the neighbouring counties. Our programme also includes some walks organised jointly with the other local walking groups. We also share some social events and weekends away with the Berkshire Walkers 20s & 30s group.

Can I Try Out the Group Before Joining?

Yes. You should always try before you buy and you are very welcome to come along as a guest for two or three of our walks to try us out before deciding to join.

How do I Join?

To join our group you apply to be a member of the Ramblers and ask to be assigned to our group.

You can join by asking any of our co-ordination team for a Ramblers application form, or you can join on-line by going to the joining page of the Ramblers website and following their instructions. (Remember to put Berkshire Weekend Walkers in the box labelled Group)

Current annual membership prices are £34 for single membership and £45 for joint membership. (Concessionary rates are also available.)

Can I transfer to the BWWs from another group?

If you are already a member of another Ramblers group, you can transfer to our group by contacting the Ramblers Membership Services by phoning them on 0207 339 8595 or you can send an email to membership@ramblers.org.uk (quoting your name and membership number) and asking to transfer to the Berkshire Weekend Walkers (BK40).

You can also use the same phone number and email address for other queries, such as lost membership cards, changes of address, and changes to the way you pay your subscription etc.

You can now transfer between groups and manage your membership details on-line. To do this, go to the Ramblers Login Page. (If you haven't used this facility before then you will need to create an account but instructions for this are provided on the login page.)

Note that you can request a transfer from one group to another at any time. You don't need to wait until your membership renewal is due.

What do I Need to Go Walking?

If you haven't been rambling/hiking before, you may not be sure of what equipment you will need. Here is some guidance:

What do the Grades Mean?

The walks in our programme are graded to give you an idea of what you are letting yourself in for! The grades are described as follows:

Easy Grade Walk Challenging Grade Walk

Easy/Leisurely: A leisurely pace on fairly level terrain. Anyone can enjoy these walks and they are an ideal way for newcomers to try out our group.

Moderate: More variable terrain that may involve gentle hills or the occasional steep slope.

Strenuous/Challenging: Longer distances at a good pace, often involving hills and rough ground. A reasonable level of fitness and stamina will enable you to get the most from these walks.

If you're in doubt about whether a walk is suitable for you then contact the walk leader for advice.

How do I find the Start Point of a Walk?

Zoom Controls

Our Walks page on this website contains Ordnance Survey Landranger grid references for the start locations. These contain links that when clicked will cause a new browser window to open displaying a map of the area with the start location indicated by an arrow.

The scale of the map may be changed by clicking the - and + buttons on the zoom control at the bottom right-hand side of the map. The different scales range from a street plan (with road names), a 1:25,000 OS map (showing field boundaries and footpaths), 1:50,000 OS map (Landranger), and various scales of road-atlas type maps, which should help you plan your route to the start location.

Bing Map

Latitude and Longitude are also included as these can be used with most Sat Nav devices and are more accurate that post-codes for rural car parks. These contain a link that when clicked will open a new window displaying an aerial view of the area with the start location marked using Bing Maps.

Bing provide a service that allows you to plan a route to the start point of the walk. Enter your location (post-code) into box A and click the Go button. The route will be shown on the map and written directions are also provided.

Post Codes are also provided when possible but some of the walks start in places not served by post codes so Lat/Long co-ordinates should be used instead. Most Sat Nav systems will allow you to enter a destination in this form. (For example N51.1234° W1.1234°) This is more accurate than a post code as a surprisingly large area may be covered by one post code in rural areas.

When driving to a walk, please allow enough time to get to the location, to find somewhere to park and to get your boots on before the start time of the walk. Please don't hold everyone else up by arriving late.

Can I bring my Dog on the Walks?

Whilst most of our walks are suitable for dogs, some might not be. (E.g. due to the route passing through fields of new-born livestock, etc.) If you would like to bring your dog with you on a walk, please contact the walk leader beforehand to check that it's OK to do so.

Who Leads the Walks?

All of our walks leaders are unpaid volunteers from within the group. Although it is not expected that every member will lead a walk, those that do are greatly respected for their vital contribution to the walks programme, without which there would be no group!

Can I Lead a Walk?

Yes! If you are a member of our group or any other Ramblers Association group and would like to volunteer to lead a walk for us we would be very grateful. Find an empty weekend in the calendar and contact a member of the Co-ordination Team with your idea.

You can design the walk yourself or get it from a book. It is advisable to pre-walk a new walk shortly before you lead it to familiarise yourself and to check that no part of the route is unsuitable. You do not need to pre-walk it before submitting the details (unless you want to) as you do not need to specify the exact route in the walk description. However, it is important to check parking arrangements and public transport times (if applicable) before submitting the walk description.

The main details required in a walk description are the start location and time, the approximate mileage and grade of the walk, a summary of the area covered by the walk, and a contact phone number (preferably mobile).

If you have never led a walk before, why not have a go? It isn't as difficult as you might think and most people that lead a walk go on to lead many more. Talk to one of the co-ordination team or to someone else who has already led a few walks and they can give you advice and moral support. They can help you design the walk, pre-walk it with you and they can even be there with you on the actual walk - just in case.

Insurance cover for walks with the Berkshire Weekend Walkers:

"Walks organised by Ramblers Areas and Groups automatically receive third-party insurance cover, provided the leaders are Ramblers members, through the Association's national policy. This is designed to protect leaders against claims for damage to property and for injury or death which might have been occasioned on the walk." -- Ramblers Association's Leading group walks page.

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