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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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We are a walking group 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 20s & 30s. 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 and weekends away. 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.

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.

In some cases, yes. We have been limiting the number of people who can attend some of our walks to help with social distancing (Coronavirus pandemic). For these walks it is necessary to book your place in advance. Please do not turn up to one of these walks without having successfully booked a place.

Currently, most of our walks don't have a limit on numbers attending and so you don't need to book a place in advance. You can just turn up.
We usually take a register at the start of these walks to record contact details of everyone attending. We will keep these for 21 days after the walk in case they are needed by NHS Track and Trace (Coronavirus pandemic).

Yes you can. 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 whether to join.

We usually take a register at the start of these walks to record contact details of everyone attending. We will keep these for 21 days after the walk in case they are needed by NHS Track and Trace. (Your details will not be used for anything else.)

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 £36.60 for single membership and £49.00 for joint membership. (Concessionary rates are also available.)

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.

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

  • Walking Boots (Proper walking boots are worth every penny. Trainers are only suitable for short walks in good weather)
  • Waterproof Jacket (It can rain at any time of year! Waterproof over-trousers are also useful for heavy rain.)
  • Water (Usually a 1 litre bottle is enough during most of the year but you should bring 2 litres for long walks in high summer.)
  • Packed Lunch (We usually have a picnic lunch, even when there is a pub-stop on the walk.)
  • Rucksack (Big enough for your water bottle, lunch box and to store layers of clothing when not in use.)
  • Sun protection (A sun hat and good quality sun cream are necessary in the spring and summer months.)

Also, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there are a few extra items you should bring to a walk.

  • Face Covering to be used in the event of an emergency - Social distancing cannot be maintained while giving first aid.
  • Hand Sanitiser (optional, but recommended) to clean your hand before eating lunch, especially if you've touched gates, etc.

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

Easy 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.
Challenging Grade Walk

The start location of each walk is given in three forms at the top of the walk description. A post-code is given, which is also a link to Bing Maps. A latitude and longitude grid reference is given, which is also a link to Google Maps. (In both cases, clicking the link will not only give you an aerial view of the parking area or start location, but also provide a route planning facility to help you navigate your way there.) Finally, an Ordnance Survey map reference is given, which is also a link to Street-Map UK, showing you the location on OS maps.

If you are using the post-code in another navigation system, such as a car sat-nav, please be aware that you might not be navigated to the exact location. Post codes define areas where post is delivered and not remote rural car parks. Our links to Bing and Google maps use lat/long co-ordinates, so will show the exact location and their navigation facility will take you to that location.

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 be the one that holds everyone else up by arriving late.

You know your dog better than we do. Is your dog capable of walking the full distance without getting tired? Is your dog well behaved with people and livestock? If so, your dog is probably welcome.

However, some walks might not be suitable for dogs for various reasons, so if you would like to bring your dog with you on a walk, please contact the walk leader beforehand to check that it's okay to do so.

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!

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.

Third-party insurance cover for walk leaders is provided by the Ramblers Association. We will need to register you as a volunteer walk leader before you lead your first walk.

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