My Top 3 Meetup Hiking Groups in London

Clare McLoughlin shares some of her favourite hiking Meetup groups in London with W4A. What makes Clare so inspiring is that she only took up hiking 2 years ago and has since trekked through the Sahara Desert and up Mt. Toubkal in Morocco. Over to Claire…

Your Answer to Escaping the City

Have you always wanted to try hiking, but are worried about getting lost in the countryside? Maybe none of your friends are really into that kind of thing, or maybe you’ve just moved to a new city and are struggling to find any friends.


Walk into any train station in London early on a Saturday morning and you will see dozens of people dressed in hiking gear, some will clearly be seasoned hikers, others will be there in old trainers looking terrified, they will be part of a hiking Meetup.

Meet Meetup

Meetup is an app that allows anyone to set up their own club, there is something for everyone and there are plenty of outdoor and adventure clubs for Londoners on there, with everything from getaway weekends in Wales to kayaking down the River Thames. Day hikes are probably the most popular category in the adventure Meetups for Londoners, most groups include the cost of the train ticket in their price, so all you have to do is turn up at the station with sensible shoes, plenty of water and a packed lunch. There are dozens of clubs for you to try out, I have tried many of these clubs, and here I am going to review my 3 favourite London hiking clubs.

Derbyshire

Derbyshire in the snow.

Adventureologists

Best For: The Nervous Hiker
Website here.

The leader of Adventureologist is Som, a friendly laid-back guide who has guided hikes all around the world. When I first started hiking with this group I had a serious phobia of dogs and cows, Som was incredibly understanding of this, and helped me to start overcoming this phobia. Whilst I’m still nervous around dogs and cows, I’m far from terrified. Som will always make sure he gets to know everyone on the train, but particularly anyone new to the group and will introduce you to members of the group if you have come by yourself. Som’s experience of leading all types of hikers from all around the world guarantees a relaxed and enjoyable day for everyone.

South England

Hiking in the south of England.

Trailblazers

Best For: The Curious Hiker
Website here.

This group is run by the delightful couple Tania and Keiron, who have been running the group for several years. Tania is highly efficient and organised ensuring everything runs incredibly smoothly throughout the day and will stay at the back with her trusted walkie talkie. Keiron will lead from the front – he has a wealth of knowledge, covering everything from history to nature, at every break Keiron will delight you with historical stories of the local area and facts about the local wildlife. Having 2 guides in this group allows for people to walk much more at their own pace.

Outdooraholics

Best For: The Enthusiastic hiker
Website here.

This group is probably one of the best-established groups, with at least one hike scheduled every Saturday and Sunday all year round. Outdooraholics has a very clear grading system for each of their hikes, so make sure you check before you sign up. The “Advanced hikes” are very fast paced over difficult terrain filled with very dedicated hikers, if this is your first ever hike, I’d strongly recommended you sign up for a beginner’s hike. There are several people who will lead on an Outdooraholics hike, all the leaders are friendly, organised and highly skilled and will put you straight at ease if it is your first ever hike.

About the Author: Clare McLoughlin is a Physics Teacher and Girl Guiding volunteer in Central London. She took up hiking just over two years ago and has since trekked through the Sahara Desert and up Mt. Toubkal.

While you’re here, check out our top 5 greatest long distance hikes in the UK.

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6 Comments

  1. Many established outdoor adventure clubs exist outside Meetup (although some of these have a presence on Meetup) and (unlike many meetup groups) – these are usually non-commercial (run by members on a voluntary basis).

    For example, the Central London Outdoor Group (CLOG) https://www.clog.org.uk/ – all the activities are run at cost or occasionally subsidised.

    CLOG has around 20 walking, cycling and other trips away every year. For example last year we went cycling in Puglia in the “heel “of Italy, hillwalking in the Lake district, cycling from the Alps to the Adriatic in northern Italy and walking and sea kayaking on the isle of Wight and sailing to the Red Sands Sea Forts to name a few. Photos from these and other trips can be found: https://www.flickr.com/photos/clogpics/albums/.

    We also have around 4 to 8 walking, cycling, social and other events every week

    All our trips and other events are completely non-commercial and run by individual members of CLOG on a voluntary basis. People join CLOG to enjoy outdoor adventures, make friends and put something back into the group by contributing to its activities.

    If you want to know more do check out our website https://www.clog.org.uk/ or follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CentralLondonOutdoorGroup/

    PS In 2019 our trips away include: walking in Pembrokeshire, Cycling Catalonia Greenways and Coast, Cycling and walking in the Peak District and Lake District walking, Cycling Alps to Adriatic, sightseeing in Turin and walking in Portmadoc (Snowdonia), Cycling in Brittany, Scarborough, Cycling and kayaking in Devon, walking in Lake District, cycling in Scandinavia or Baltic states, Walking in Heidleburg and Odin’s Forest, Cycling the Rhine, Mainz to Cologne and Cheddar and Walking in the South Pennines.

  2. Hi Clare,

    Which would you recommend for people in the 25-35 age range? If you have any tips for kayak/canoe touring, please throw a link in.

    All the best,

    Billy

  3. Clare you should try a walk or a trip away with my group Walks by Water – we do some beautiful walks in stunning locations by rivers, lakes, canals, ponds and the coast.
    Day walks are within an hour or two of London by train and trips away are in delightful places in British Isles and in Europe.

  4. Have hiked in Devon in Jan on retreat
    Hiked the Great Atlantic Way in Ireland with family member. Live in West London & walking alone is not always appealing. Looking for suitable group to go hiking Sundays?

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