The Walking Group is a long established Group within the Guild for Lifelong Learning. The Guild is an Independent Adult Education Centre with around 3000 members providing many lecture courses, classes, day schools with quite a number of associated clubs and societies. The Walking Group has around 35 members and provides walks on Sundays and week days of various grades to suit all abilities from easy short distance walks through to demanding long distance ones. Numbers vary from 8 to 20 on each walk and average around 12 people. Occasional weekend away are offered along with the possibility of overseas walking holidays.

Most walking by the group is done in Cheshire and Derbyshire, but sometimes they happen further afield.

Neither the Guild for Lifelong Learning nor the walk leader can accept responsibility for loss, damage or injury incurred on any of the Group activities.

The normal abbreviation for the organisation is WGWG.

The Walking Group is a member of the Walking Partnership, for more details visit the website www.thewalkingpartnership.org.uk. This aims to provide direct financial support to the grass roots of the walking community in the UK through local walking clubs and societies.


Membership of the Group for 2020/21 is £20.

The Walking Group is run by a committee of its members for the benefit of its members. Committee members are appointed for 3 years.

Non members are welcome to join any walk subject to a charge of £2 per walk payable to the leader.

Membership is paid for through the Walking Group section of Guild for Lifelong Learning website.

Members contact details

For security reasons it is not normal practice to openly display personal contact details such as a private email address or private telephone numbers on the web. Members share such information privately. In particular leaders make their contact details available privately so that they can answer questions in advance and deal with any issues that may arise.

Walk grades and lengths

Leaders are asked to provide a difficulty grade for each of their walk proposals.

  • Easy - within the capability of most average walkers.

  • Moderate - some gradients, nothing very difficult.

  • Hard - some significant ascents and descents, typically long distances, suited to regular walkers.

  • Demanding - for experienced walkers seeking a greater challenge, typically at a keen pace.

Leaders as asked to provide an estimated length with their walk proposals.

  • Walks tend to be between 6 and 9 miles long.

  • Walks tend to have a total duration of between 4.5 and 6 hours, including all breaks.

Standard procedures

  1. Neither the Wilmslow Guild nor the walk leader can accept responsibility for loss, damage or injury incurred on any of the Group activities.

  2. Walks take place irrespective of weather but in adverse conditions may be modified at the discretion of the walk leader.

  3. This item is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is visible here so that people can see what is in place under normal circumstances: If the leader has to cancel at the last minute due to really bad weather, and can not get to the starting point, please ring Peter Attwell to ask him to go there to meet any members who turn up for the walk. You should of course ring any member that has said they are going direct to the walk starting point.

  4. Unless urgent please try to avoid telephoning the leader on the morning of the walk.

  5. Transport is by member’s own cars. The Group has currently suspended our car sharing policy. There will be exceptions to this suspension at the option of the leader. This is likely because of the long distance to the start of the walk. In that case costs will be shared based on 10p/mile/person, at the discretion of the driver.

  6. Car park costs should also be shared.

  7. Strong footwear is essential. It is advisable to carry waterproofs and extra warm clothing for all hill walks.

  8. First aid: Everyone should carry their own first aid kit and any medication that might be needed on the day.

  9. Bring a packed lunch unless indicated. Dogs may be brought only with the prior agreement of the walk leader, and must be kept on a lead.

  10. Dogs may be brought only with the prior agreement of the walk leader, and must be kept on a lead.

  11. Except of the option of the leader, car sharing has been suspended. If the leader opts for car sharing, for Sunday walks, walkers shuold meet at the Wilmslow Guild. If not taking your own car please park in the rear car park.

  12. Except of the option of the leader, car sharing has been suspended. If the leader opts for car sharing, for mid-week walks meet at Lindow Common Car Park along side the Boddington Arms, Altrincham Road - unless stated otherwise.

  13. For more details of a walk and any last minute changes check this website This is usually updated 7-10 days prior to a walk. Alternatively please contact the walk leader.

  14. Any member who has not led a walk and is interested in doing so should contact a member of the committee.

Safeguarding Vunerable Adults

Folowing a one hour course on this topic by a Cheshire East lecturer arranged by the Guild, the WGWG committee want to draw members attention to the following principles to follow within our walking group activities:

  1. Adult safeguarding is what we can do to stop adults coming to harm.

  2. The focus is on vulnerable adults, who are adults at risk of abuse and who are unable to protect themselves.

  3. Proportionality is one of the key principles which is particularly relevant to the Group

  4. Any action must involve the person at risk.

For the Walking Group, I take reassurance that it is very unlikely any abuse will happen. We are not dealing with obviously vulnerable adults. Taking walkers on difficult paths is not in my view a form of abuse, unless it is deliberate to make walkers feel uncomfortable.

The only area to watch is where banter common between us turns into bullying. Could members please be sensitive to this and so as to allow quick intervention.

Maire Casey is the lead on the Committee on this topic. If any member has concerns relating to Safeguarding, please speak to Maire or any member of the Committee.

Walk proposals

A spreadsheet is emailed round to all members containing a list of dates 3 or 4 times a year, typically providing 2 or 3 walks for each week. Any member may propose to lead a walk on any of the dates. Where there are conflicting proposals the committee member responsible for the walking programme will discuss the issue with those involved and provide resolution.

Walks are not normally offered on Fridays or Saturdays.

There is no obligatory format for the advertising of the walks but the more detail leaders can provide the better members are at making good judgements about the suitability of a walk. Some are brief and some are long!

A detailed and comprehensive example would include the following information:

  • Heading: Date, day of the week, location, grade, length in Km and miles, ascent in metres, duration in hrs, leader's full name

  • Body: Outline, transport, walk start time and location, parking, route, ViewRanger website link, ViewRanger app shortcode

A spreadsheet containing the final programme is email to all members. Leaders supply the website administrators with the walk information where it appears on the Walks page.

For the time being details of walks should be sent to pmattwell@hotmail.com for insertion on to the website.

To meet COVID 19 restrictions all leaders are required to complete an attendance record before the walk starts. A standard form is available for Carol McLaughlin or Peter Attwell

Starting points and transport: Current during COVID-19

The current arrangements for starting points and transport are different from those before the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no meet and greet in Wilmslow. Walkers meet at the starting point of the walk specified by the leader, typically a location where people can park their cars. Cars are not currently shared except between members of the same household.

Starting points and transport: pre-COVID-19 - now suspended

The arrangements below are suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At some stage in the future it is hoped to revert back to the pre-COVID-19 system described in this text for meeting and greeting at the start of the day.


A typical walk starts at a central location in Wilmslow that provides free parking. From there cars are normally shared to a parking spot at the start of the walk. At the end of the walk cars return to the central location.

Central location on week days

The Lindow Common Car Park, Racecourse Road, Wilmslow, SK9 5LW

OS Grid Reference SJ 83351 81414

Lat./Long. 53.329425, -2.251223

Central location on Sundays

The Wilmslow Guild, 1 Bourne St, Wilmslow, SK9 5HD

OS Grid Reference SJ 84014 81076

Lat./Long. 53.326370, -2.241508

Personal safety

  • All members are responsible for their own safety and comfort.

  • Check the weather beforehand.

  • Consider the grading of the proposed walk and if you do not think you can manage it at a reasonable pace, opt out of going or discuss it with the leader.

  • Ensure that you have appropriate sturdy footwear, warm clothing including hat and gloves and waterproofs.

  • Weather can change rapidly in hilly or mountainous areas.

  • You must take responsibility for your own first aid and any medications that you require.

  • Carry sufficient liquids, especially in hot weather, and sufficient food.

  • If the walk involves a long journey beforehand, take a spare set of clothes to change into if wet.

  • Always stay with the group and keep in touch with the leader. Do not go off on your own.

  • All members of the WGWG are encouraged to carry an 'In Case of Emergency' note (ICE note).

Safety note for leaders

Ramblers Association - Group Walks: Guidance for volunteers

Ramblers Association - Group Walks Risk Assessment PDF downloadable form

Leaders Planning the walk and risk assessment

  • Carefully plan the walk and walk it beforehand. It should be done easily within daylight.

  • Assess its difficulty and the time it will take in a group.

  • Assess the abilities of the likely walkers.

  • Plan where the meeting place will be, and the place to park cars at the beginning of the walk.

  • Plan the stop points for coffee breaks, comfort breaks and lunch in a sheltered area.

  • Try to avoid long distances on roads.

For more experienced leaders and if the proposed walk is considered demanding and at a high level:

  • Consider the walk if it was to be bad weather and any alternative routes or escape paths.

  • Measure the distance and the altitude required to climb.

  • Ensure that you have a good weather protected map, compass and mobile telephone, as well as a small first aid kit.

  • A GPS could be useful in remote areas or bad weather, when landscape features cannot be seen. Consider taking a whistle and torch also.

  • A written route plan should be prepared, recording route grid references for main stops, and compass bearings along the route. A copy should be left with a responsible person at base in case of non return following an incident, for rescue purposes.

Leading the walk

  • Take account of all people on the walk and if the walk is considered demanding, check that they are reasonably equipped for the proposed walk. Consider the abilities of the walkers who are present at the start. If any walker seems likely to have difficulties with the walk, discuss this with them.

  • Ensure that everyone has transport to the start point.

  • For a party larger than say 12 walkers, appoint a back marker. preferably someone who knows the walk and has a map and compass.

  • Give a brief comment to the group on the proposed walk and any difficulty likely to be met.

  • Take note of the weather conditions and reappraise the walk if necessary.

  • Make frequent stops on the walk to allow slower members to catch up and check that all are present.

  • Allow a reasonably leisurely lunch break in a sheltered spot as possible.

  • Keep an open eye to possible distress in any members of the group especially in bad weather.

  • Adjust the pace of the walk to cater for the slower members of the party and in bad weather keep

  • the party closely together and inform them if an alternative route is to be taken due to the weather.

Peter Attwell

Social media

Many members of the WGWG take part in a WhatsApp group to share photographs of walks. It is an invitation-only 'closed' group.