When do you walk?
Almost every Sunday except around Christmas. (Occasionally the walk leader may decide that a scheduled Sunday walk should be held on Saturday). Alternate Saturday mornings with occasional extras. One weekday daytime walk a month from April to October and occasional summer evenings.
Where do you walk?
Usually Staffordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire but walks can be almost anywhere in the Midlands and we also venture into Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Powys, Wrexham County, Denbighshire and Cheshire. We have an annual coach trip which takes us even further.
How long are the walks?
The fortnightly Saturday walks and evening walks are 4 to 5 miles, the Sunday walks on the other weekends are 6 to 7.5 miles, other walks are 8 miles and upwards.
How fast are the walks?
The fortnightly Saturday walks and shorter (leisurely) Sunday walks average about 1.5 mph, the others about 2 mph. This means that the Saturday morning walks finish about noon to 1pm, the leisurely Sunday walks finish early afternoon, and the other daytime walks mid-afternoon. This doesn't include the time taken to return to Walsall. The duration of a walk is also affected by the number and condition of stiles, particularly if there are a large number of walkers.
How do I get to the start of the walks?
We usually meet at a car park in or around Walsall and share cars to the start of the walk using directions supplied by the walk leader. The list of car parks we use is on our Walks Programme Page. If the walk is in or very close to Walsall we may meet at the start of the walk. As parking at the walk starts may be restricted we encourage walkers not to drive directly to the start of the walks.
What do the grades mean?
We don't follow the Ramblers national grading system due to the long-standing description of the shorter Sunday walks as 'leisurely walks'. The grades are:
- E = easy - mostly good paths, no steep hills;
- M = moderate - boots desired, may include steep hills;
- S = strenuous - boots required, rough terrain, many hills, may involve exposed conditions.
Do I have to book?
No, just turn up at the meeting point. If you insist on going straight to the start of the walk you should contact the leader before the day of the walk to check the start time and location.
What does it cost?
There is a recommended payment from passengers to drivers of £2 for the short Saturday walks and £5 for the other walks. Passengers are also asked to pay the parking charge if there is one. You are entitled to three trial walks but after that you will be expected to join The Ramblers.
What should I bring and wear?
You will need to bring drinks approprite to the length of the walk and a mid-morning snack. Except for the short Saturday walks you will need a packed lunch. It is unlikely you wil be able to buy anything on the walk and you will not be popular if you insist on stopping on the way from Walsall to stock up, even if it is possible You will need waterproof clothes if you're not wearing them. You will need something to carry all that in, preferably a rucksack to leave your hands free. You will also need to carry your boots as muddy boots are not welcome in car passenger compartments, but you can leave your travelling shoes in the car at the start of the walk. Denim is not suitable wear as it is difficult to dry when it gets wet. You will also need money for the driver if you travel as a passenger and enough petrol for the journey if you have to drive.
If the walk is marked 'PH' there is a planned visit to a pub. This will not necessarily be at lunch time and wil not be long enough for a full meal unless advertised. As the programme is drawn up well in advance the visit may not happen on the day for various reasons.
Is there an age limit?
You have to be 18 to join The Ramblers. We regret we cannot accept unaccompanied under-18s. There is no official upper age limit and our oldest active member is 90.
Can I bring children or vulnerable adults?
You should check with the leader to ensure that the walk is not beyond their capability. They remain your responsibility and you must accompany them on the walk.
Can I bring my dog?
We regret that only registered assistance dogs are permitted on Walsall Group walks.
Who is/was Chris Bagley?
He was a campaigner who inspired the regeneration of footpaths in Shropshire and setting up the Parish Paths Partnership scheme. He died in November 2009.