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Thanks for visiting us! Brunel Walking Group is for young(ish) people in the Bristol and Bath area who love the countryside and like to get outside on a weekend.

What is Brunel Walking Group?

Brunel is a thriving group with more than 400 members. All of our walk leaders and committee members are volunteers, dedicated to sharing our fantastic countryside with others. Walking is great fun, whether it’s to get outdoors, get fit or to meet new people – you can do all of these with Brunel!

How do I get to the walk?

Brunel has several meeting points for walks, all of which are generally accessible using public transport. These are listed on our programme pages. We will arrange car sharing from the meeting point to the start of the walk. It’s OK if you don’t drive – we normally have enough drivers who are able to give lifts. Drivers often appreciate it when a voluntary contribution is made by passengers. As a guide, 20 pence per mile (shared by everyone in the car) is considered an amount which reasonably covers the costs incurred by the driver. Any parking fees or bridge tolls are shared by everyone in the car. In order to reduce costs and carbon emissions we strongly encourage car sharing and walk leaders will help co-ordinate this on the day.

What are the walks like?

We have a range of walks on our programme from fun Sunday strolls of 8 miles to day-long yomps of 15 miles or more in the Welsh mountains. Some weeks we have three or more different walks going out from various locations. Our favourite areas include:

  • The Cotswolds
  • The Mendip Hills
  • The Brecon Beacons & Black Mountains
  • Wiltshire

We’d be very happy to introduce you to some or all of these areas. Plus we also have several weekends away each year – with regular trips to Wales, Cornwall and Devon among other places. Check out our programme pages to see what’s on this weekend.

Oh and if you fancy leading walks yourself, please do so – we’d be happy to help you with training and tips.

Do you have social events?

There are regular pub nights – the last Friday of every month for 20s and 30s and the penultimate Friday for Brunel Plus. This is a great opportunity for potential new members and existing members to meet up for a drink (or two) and we’d love to see you there.

We meet at pubs in Bristol city centre. If you have any questions about the pub night please email us or contact the host in advance. We also do lots of other social events which are very popular and give us the chance to meet up in a relaxed setting. Full details are available on our programme pages.

Do I have to join you before I go on a walk?

You’re very welcome to join us for 1 or 2 walks before you join, but we do insist that after that you join by clicking here.

How do I know what to bring? And am I fit enough?

We provide a full recommended kit list here. Please do bring water & rainproof jackets – and please, please, please don’t wear jeans on a walk, trust us, it’s in your best interests!

If you want to read some tips on choosing the right walk for your fitness level, click here.

What is Brunel Plus?

Brunel was originally set up for walkers in their 20s and 30s. When some of the early members reached their 40s it was decided to set up a separate programme to cater for them and new members in their 40s and 50s. Brunel Plus is the official name for our 40-50 age group.

I’m in my 60s, can I still walk with Brunel Plus?

Brunel is one group with two programmes: one for members in their 20s and 30s and another for those aged in their 40s and 50s who have busy working lives (Brunel Plus). It’s worth noting that the age brackets are not a reflection of how fit we expect people to be, rather they reflect the frame of mind and lifestyle that the participants are likely to share. The 40s and 50s age range gives an indication of who we anticipate would fit in and enjoy the group rather than a strict age limit. We suggest that anyone who is wondering if Brunel Plus is for them checks the websites of other Avon Area Ramblers groups here to see if there’s another group that better caters for you.

I’ve just turned 40, do I join Brunel Plus or can I still go on 20s and 30s walks?

Our target age bandings are a guideline and help us to plan activities that suit each age group. If you are close to the “40 year point”, we would suggest that you come along on both a 20s-30s walk and a Brunel Plus walk and see which suits you better.

We also have frequent joint walks and social events that are for both programmes. We have found that these help our members who are nearing the top end of the 20s-30s age band to get to know members in Brunel Plus so when they hit “the big birthday”, they are very comfortable attending Brunel Plus programme events.

Can I move to Brunel from another Ramblers Group?

Yes – you will need to email Ramblers Head Office advising them that you wish to change Ramblers group. They will then inform us that you have joined Brunel. If you are in another Ramblers group then you won’t receive our emails (including our newsletter) and you won’t be eligible to take part in our weekends away and other members-only events.

Can I walk with other Ramblers groups?

Yes, as a member of the Ramblers you are welcome to walk with any Ramblers group nationwide. A full list of groups is available from the Ramblers Website. There is also a search facility for walks that have been added to the central database (most groups do this but we don’t usually do so at present, so don’t be surprised by the lack of Brunel walks there).

I am not receiving your monthly newsletters so I’m missing out on member’s only events. How do I fix this?

There are two possible causes here. Firstly, your email provider may be automatically filing our emails in your promotions or spam folders. Check to see if that’s where they are ending up. If that still doesn’t yield any results and your Ramblers subscription is definitely up to date, then please check your communication preferences with The Ramblers. To comply with GDPR legislation, our email distribution list is driven by their central database so if you have requested not to receive electronic communication from them, we will not receive your email contact details and will not be able to send you the newsletter.

You can check your Ramblers communication preferences here.

How do I update my contact details?

You will need to contact Ramblers Head Office with your new details. Head Office will then update their records and ensure the information is also passed to Brunel – we can’t change the membership database ourselves.

Can I bring a dog on your walks?

If you wish to bring a dog on the walk that you have chosen to do, please contact the walk leader. It is entirely at their discretion as to whether a dog can come on the walk. This is because they will have pre-walked the route and will know if it is suitable. For instance, there may be livestock in fields that you cross and it would not be appropriate for a dog to be with the group. If the walk leader allows a dog on the walk, the dog must remain on a lead and be under control at all times as we have members who are frightened of dogs and there is always the chance of coming across unexpected livestock.

Are under 18s allowed on your walks?

No, Brunel Walking Group is for over 18s only as our walk leaders are volunteers with no specialised training in dealing with children.

get ready to walk