Each season we aim to run a walk every weekend (Saturday or Sunday depending on the walk leader) and we rely heavily on our members to volunteer to lead the walks. Those who have led walks before range from people who have been members for 6 months to those who have been with the group many years. Without members volunteering to lead a walk we would not be able to offer a full programme each season. We will soon be looking for walks for our Spring programme (April to June 2017) so please let us know if you’re interested in leading a walk.

We have a general no dogs policy due to routes with livestock. If you are leading a walk that is dog friendly let us know and we’ll make sure we mention this in the walk description on the meetup page.

Leading a walk is simple and a very rewarding experience. To help you, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks.

Choosing a walk

Walking websites
There are plenty of websites that have a range of walks in Kent. Here are a few to start you off:

You can always adapt the walk to make it longer or shorter. Many of the walks in this group are around 6 to 10 miles.

Ordnance Survey (OS) Maps
If you’re feeling brave you can use an OS map to plan your walk. Some leaders have turned to these handy maps when they’ve had to adapt their walks. The West Kent Walking Group has purchased a few OS maps for our members to borrow when planning a walk to lead. Just get in touch with us if you are interested in leading a walk and would like to borrow an OS map for a few weeks.

Walking books
Walking books have tried and tested walking routes and are great for first time walk leaders. We have purchased a small number of Kent walking books for members who wish to lead a walk to borrow. Get in touch with us if you are interested in leading a walk and would like to borrow some books for a few weeks.

Walking out the walk / recce

Once you’ve chosen a walk choose a date and get it logged in the calendar as soon as possible so that you don’t lose your chosen date. Then you’ll want to walk out the walk / do a recce.

Find a friend or a fellow member to do this recce with you. You may choose to do the whole walk or part of the walk then do another recce another day. Look out for the following:

  • The start point with somewhere for people to park. If there are any parking charges (e.g. at a train station) make a note of this so that it can be updated on the Ramblers website and on meetup.com
  • Look out for a lunch spot. If possible try to find somewhere that has shelter (as a first or second choice) in case it is wet on the day of your walk.
  • Optional pub stop part of the way on the route or at the end. This is a great opportunity for people to chat to each other over a pint.
  • Toilet stops along the way.

Remember to update the details for the walk on the Ramblers website if any of the details have changed when you do your recce. The information will also need to be updated on meetup.com – if you don’t have the right permissions to make amendments on the event on meetup.com, contact one of the co-organisers who will be able to update the details for you.

On the day

Count how many people there are. If you have a large turnout you may want to ask someone to back mark (people can take turns) to make sure that no one gets left behind.

Remember to stop every now and then to allow people to catch up, especially after a big climb. This also gives people a chance to take off jackets if they have warmed up, or to have a drink of water or to grab a snack out of their bag.

Above all, have fun! There are plenty of regular walkers who are more than happy to help support you on the day.