Frequently Asked Questions

Membership and the email list:

What we do:

Practicalities:

Miscellaneous:

Membership and the email list

How do I subscribe to your mailing list?
To be added to our email list, send a quick email to rambling@cusu.cam.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can subscribe yourself by visiting https://lists.cam.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/soc-curac.

Can I still join the club if I'm not a Cambridge University student?
Yes! University staff, former students, Anglia Ruskin students and people completely unconnected to the university are all very welcome! While the majority of our members are current Cambridge University students, we do have several regular members who are not.

How much is the membership fee, how do I pay it, and what do you spend it on?
Our annual membership fee is £1, and you can give it to any committee member on any ramble - they will pass it on to our treasurer. When you come on your first ramble, we'll probably ask you if you'd like to join the club and pay the membership fee. We use the membership fees to buy items such as maps and first aid equipment. Sometimes we also subsidise rambles with higher transportation costs.

What we do

What's the difference between rambling and hillwalking?
You may have noticed that there are several walking clubs in Cambridge! Generally we do day walks in the local countryside while the Cambridge University Hillwalking Club do weekend trips away to more mountainous areas. You can of course join both clubs and so get the best of both worlds!

How often do you have rambles, and do you have rambles during the vacations?
During term time, we usually have one ramble each weekend. Of course you don't have to come on every walk - you can just turn up whenever you like! During the vacations, we organise rambles on a more informal and ad hoc basis.

How long are your walks and how fast do you walk?
We usually try to have a mix of short and long walks each term, ranging from around 8 km (5 miles) right up to the 130 km (81 mile) Varsity March! Most rambles are between 10-30 km (6-18 miles). Since our main aim is to relax and enjoy the countryside, we do not usually walk very fast (perhaps around 2.5 miles per hour). It depends a bit on the walking conditions, the type of ramble, and the pace of the leader.

Where do you normally go for your walks?
Most of our rambles are in the local countryside and also in neighbouring Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Sometimes we go further afield to the south coast and the Chiltern Hills. You can get a good idea of the types of places we go to by looking at the current and past termcards.

Do you do any longer trips away?
Yes! Every Easter vacation we have a 5-7 day Easter Ramble youth hostelling trip somewhere in the UK. In recent years we have been to the Dorset coast, Snowdonia, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and more. Information about this trip is usually sent out by email towards the end of the Michaelmas term. Sometimes we also organise trips over the summer vacation on a more informal basis; in recent years these have included walking trips to the French Pyrénées, the Lake District and Hadrian's Wall.

Do you visit places of historical or local interest on your rambles?
Cambridgeshire is rich in local history, and we frequently encounter historic churches and houses, defensive earthworks, ancient burial mounds and so on. Sometimes we plan rambles specifically to visit interesting places (these are then mentioned in the ramble descriptions on the termcard), but so often the most interesting gems are those that we simply come across by chance!

Practicalities

Do I need to sign up in advance to come on any of your rambles?
There's no need to sign up in advance for the vast majority of our walks - to join a particular ramble, just turn up at the time and place indicated on the termcard! For some unusual or complicated rambles (such as the Varsity March), we sometimes ask people to sign up. This will always be made clear on the termcard.

Where do rambles start from and how do you recognise each other?
Usually rambles start from either the main Drummer Street bus station (we meet on the corner of Drummer Street and Emmanuel Street) (map) or at the train station (meet just outside the main entrance). Occasionally a ramble will have a different meeting point, but in all cases the meeting point is specified on the termcard and on the website. We are usually quite obvious - look for a group of people wearing walking shoes and rucksacks! Additionally, the walk leader will usually be holding a map and our mascot, Dylan the sheep!

How does transport to and from the ramble work, and how much does it cost?
Except for rambles starting and finishing in Cambridge, we usually take a bus or train to the start of the ramble. How much the ticket costs depends on how far away that particular ramble is going, but the cost is always given on the termcard. In all cases, we will tell you which ticket to buy when you arrive at the bus or train station for the start of the ramble.

I haven't done much walking before. Can I still come along?
Yes! Our shorter rambles are generally very gentle, relaxed and easily accessible!

What should I bring / wear?
Trainers and similar footwear are fine when conditions are dry. In the winter, however, the English countryside becomes rather muddy - if you wear trainers in these conditions, you may find yourself slipping around with wet feet. Walking boots or dedicated walking shoes are therefore a good idea. Generally you can wear whatever clothes you like, although you should bear in mind that in the winter your trousers and footwear you will get a bit muddy. And of course in the winter you should make sure you have sufficient warm clothing. We sometimes stop at a village pub en route, but you should always bring plenty of water and a packed lunch anyway (except on short half day walks). It is also a good idea to bring some waterproof clothing in case of rain.

Miscellaneous

How can I get more involved in the club?
We are always looking for people to join our committee! Being a committee member basically involves leading one or two walks per term. It's fun, allows you to learn map-reading skills in a friendly and supportive environment, and looks great on your CV! No previous experience of leading walks is necessary! Although the traditional time for joining the committee is at the annual general meeting in the Lent term, we always have space on the committee for new people. So if you'd like to get more involved, we'd love to hear from you - just email us on rambling@cusu.cam.ac.uk.

Not found the answer to your question? Please feel free to email rambling@cusu.cam.ac.uk, and we'll get back to you with an answer! Alternatively, if you have a question about a specific walk, it's usually best to email the walk leader for that ramble - you can find their email address at the bottom of the termcard or on the committee page of the website.