About Local Walks
Important note for 2020-2021: Due to the social distancing regulations, the university has mandated that all local walks must have a maximum capacity of six participants (including the walk leader). To enforce this we will be implementing a sign-up system using SuperSaas, which will be circulated through our mailing list.
During term time the Walking Club organises a Local Walk every weekend. All you need to do is turn up on the day and enjoy a good day out! The walks either start in Oxford or use public transport to get to the starting point and there is no need to book your place in advance. Non-members are also free to turn up, so bring friends along to meet other walking club members.
Please read carefully the list below of what to bring. On Local Walks we might not turn you away if you are ill-equipped (unlike on Club Trips, where we really would do so), but it could affect your enjoyment of the walk.
For important Oxford meeting points, see the map and descriptions of meeting places. When you get to the meeting place, just look for someone wearing walking gear and a rucksack! Please try to arrive by the stated time – we may be able to save money by buying a group ticket, and we cannot wait for you if you are late.
The distances given are approximate. Because public transport is unreliable or the group may miss a connection or be delayed on the walk, the return times given are only estimates.
We are always looking for new local walk leaders. If you are interested in leading a walk next term, please contact the Archivist (firstname.lastname@example.org). We only require that you have been on a local walk or club trip in the past. You are free to plan your own route, but the club is also happy to plan one for you to lead! See Local Walk Leaders’ Advice Sheet.
Things to bring / wear
- Suitable clothing. Here are our recommendations:
- Boots or strong walking shoes. Be aware that on Club Trips we would insist on boots, but the walking around Oxford is generally on easier terrain so good walking shoes may be adequate. However, we would still recommend boots if you have them. Bear in mind that it may be very muddy.
- Comfortable trousers – NOT jeans! Denim jeans are usually unsuitable for walking because they become heavy when wet, are very slow to dry, and can rub against the skin. Trousers with a high synthetic fabric content will be the quickest drying.
- Warm clothing. You will warm up and cool down a lot while walking (and stopping!), so bring several layers so that you can progressively add or remove layers as required. Fleeces are good. Remember also gloves/hat, maybe scarf, as required.
- Waterproofs. Always bring a waterproof jacket, even if the forecast is good. We would also recommend a pair of waterproof overtrousers if you have them. Even if you don’t wear them, they can be handy to sit on! (Club members can borrow waterproofs via the quartermaster – see borrowing equipment.)
- Money – sufficient money for the fare, plus extra money just in case. The prices quoted should usually be maximums (there are often “group saver” deals, so bring along your friends and bring down the cost!), but may depend on you having a railcard, and also bus and train fares are likely to change without warning.
- Food. Usually you will need a pack-lunch – though if the walk description says a pub lunch then instead bring extra money and maybe still a snack. And although we won’t be walking anywhere very remote, it’s better to err on the side of more food rather than less.
- Plenty to drink – at least a litre as a guide, and obviously more on hot days and/or longer walks.
- Suncream as appropriate. Oxfordshire may not be the Bahamas, but it can still sometimes get sunny enough to pose a health hazard to the unprotected.
- A big enough rucksack. Kind of obvious, but you can’t remove layers of clothing if you’ve nowhere to put them…
- Any medication you normally need – particularly asthma inhaler or Epipen where prescribed, but perhaps also something for hay fever in summer if you suffer from that.
- You may also want:
- A (lightweight) camera – although we can’t promise long stops for elaborate photographic compositions, it’s nice to have some snaps, and any photos you take can be added to the club’s website.
- Possibly a torch (flashlight). Although the walk leader will usually make every effort to ensure that the walk finishes before dark (intentional night hikes excepted!), in winter it may be helpful if some people bring torches.
- A map (with map case) and compass. You are of course welcome to leave the walk leader to take care of the navigation, but why not take the opportunity to get involved and practise your skills, and maybe be leader next time! Or the club can provide spares of these; just let us know in advance if you’re interested.
A note regarding first aid. The leader will bring a basic first aid kit (but no medication). Please tell the leader in confidence if you have any relevant medical condition. Please be aware that on Local Walks (unlike on Club Trips) the walk leader is not necessarily first aid-trained.