The Ramblers Association

Milton Keynes & District Group


Notes for new walkers with the Group

It is always a pleasure when new walkers join our group. Non members of the Ramblers Association are welcome to try out two or three walks before taking out membership. For your guidance, here are a few Questions & Answers to help you enjoy your first walks with us.

What should I expect on a walk?

Many of our walks go through fields which may be wet and/or muddy, over stiles and across ditches in all sorts of weather, so come prepared! We follow Public Rights of Way and maintain a suitable walking pace with breaks. Please follow the leader's directions and try not to get in front of the leader or too far behind the group.

Do I need special equipment?

Walking boots are highly recommended, however any strong shoes with a good tread or wellies should be sufficient in our local area. The main thing is to be aware of is unpredictable changes in the weather and to bring appropriate protection in the form of waterproof clothing and, particularly in the winter months, additional warm clothing. On a hot, sunny day, you may also want to bring a sun-hat, sunglasses and sun cream. The usual means of carrying items is in a rucksack.

What time do you meet?

This varies. You will find the meeting time for each walk clearly marked on the programme immediately after the date. Please aim to arrive at the meeting point 10 minutes before the time given in the programme to allow for changing footwear or organising car sharing.

Can I get a lift to the start of the walk?

It is up to members to find their own way to the meeting point for the start of the walk. Sometimes we meet locally for an onward drive to the start of the walk. You may then be able to get a car share but this is at the discretion of the driver and may not be possible if half empty cars are needed for a linear walk.

Should I bring refreshments?

Yes, you will need food and plenty of drink. Water is recommended particularly in hot weather. On all-day walks there will normally be a drinks/snack break in the morning and then a lunch stop. We occasionally stop at a pub en-route and if this is planned then the walk programme will say so. Otherwise the lunch stop will be in the open so bring something waterproof to sit on! There will be a break on shorter walks, so bring a drink and snack.

Can I bring my dog(s)?

Dogs are permitted except when indicated otherwise in the programme. They must be kept on a lead in appropriate areas, e.g. in the vicinity of livestock, near a road. Any mess must be collected and disposed of responsibly.

How do I know if I am capable of doing a walk?

All people of an average fitness should be able to manage a short walk of around 5 miles. If you're unsure of your fitness level, try a short and easy walk first: it's much better to find a walk a little too slow and easy than to make yourself miserable and exhausted. In case of any doubts contact the Walk Leader in advance to seek advice on the particular route they have planned.

Is there an age limit?

No, but under 14 year olds must be accompanied by an adult.

What else should I know?

Leaders may refuse to accept participants who in their opinion are inadequately equipped or unfit. When in doubt, contact the organisers or the walk leader in advance. For your own and others' safety please read and abide by any advice and guidelines issued by the organisers, and the instructions of the walk leader. Though walking is inherently one of the safest outdoor activities, no activity is completely without risk and it is your responsibility to behave sensibly and to minimise the potential for accidents to occur.

Please leave no litter. All litter is unsightly, including banana skins and orange peel, so please use a litter bin or take it home.

How do I become a member of the Ramblers Association?

For details of how to become a member please see Joining the Ramblers Association.

Normally you will be assigned to your local group but you can specify Milton Keynes and District as your preferred group.


The Ramblers' Association is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Company registration number: 4458492.
Registered Charity in England and Wales number: 1093577, registered charity in Scotland number: SC039799.