We organise four trips in both Michaelmas and Lent terms (three weekend trips and a day trip) and three in Easter term (two weekends and a day trip). Longer outings take place during each vacation. We normally go to the Lake District, Snowdonia, the Peak District and the Pennines, with less regular visits to other hilly areas such as the Brecon Beacons and Dartmoor. Trips will appear on the calendar well in advance, and are advertised on the mailing list a week or two before the trip. For recent trip locations see the Trip Locations page.
You will need a pair of sturdy walking boots, a rucksack, a decent set of waterproofs and warm clothing, as we walk all year round. There is more on this in our Kit Lists and Mountain Guidelines. While the club does have a limited amount of equipment to lend to members, note that you will need your own boots.
The committee can — and will — refuse to take people on walks whom they feel are inadequately equipped.
For term-time weekend trips, transport is generally by car, leaving from outside Churchill College Porters' Lodge (marked by the black hat) on Friday afternoon at times ranging from 2pm to 6pm (times decided after people have expressed their preferred times when signing up) and generally returning around 9 - 11pm on Sunday. This allows us to have two full days of walking. On the Friday and Sunday evenings, we usually stop at a takeaway — the time and location of the stop is up to the drivers and may be quite late.
Accommodation is usually in bunkhouses or youth hostels, with members making their own arrangements for food (often cooking communally). There will typically be 20-30 people on a trip (there will be more in Michaelmas term 2022), splitting into four or five groups doing a range of walks, all with at least one experienced club member. The cost (covering transport, accommodation, and club supplies of milk, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits) is £49. Note that this is considerably cheaper than the cost of organising a weekend away on an individual basis.
Dinner on Friday and Sunday is normally at a takeaway on the way to and from the bunkhouse. On Saturday night, people cook in groups. Before the trip, anyone can propose to cook a meal, and will put this on the club’s wiki, giving the menu and an estimated cost. Others on the trip then sign up to help cook (then eat!) one of the proposed meals. This makes Saturday evenings quite hectic and sociable, as the bunkhouse is typically small and lacking enough utensils for every group! It is a good idea for two or three people to group together when proposing a meal group, as long as you can keep yourselves organised in the kitchen. Everyone in a meal group helps out with the cooking and washing up, and pays the cook for the ingredients (this is normally £3–£5).
On the Christmas trip, the club normally organises a single huge meal group to cook Christmas dinner, with everyone contributing a dish towards that.
Day trips are usually arranged for Sundays in order to avoid Saturday lectures. They generally leave early in the morning (before sunrise, even!) to get the travelling over, and normally cost in the region of £20-25. Popular locations include the Peak District, Shropshire, and the Chilterns.
Vacation trips are longer, staying in bunkhouses or camping. This means we can go further afield, most particularly to Scotland. They are organised more informally, with the option to stay for as many or as few nights as you like. In past years, we have also helped arrange a trip abroad over the summer, which has visited destinations including the Alps, the Pyrenees and Colorado. The club does not (normally) organise transport for vacation trips, but will help to coordinate lift-sharing and advise on public transport.
Cooking on vacation trips is similar to on weekend trips, except that people are cooking every night, not just Saturday. Generally, those on vacation trips are even more responsible for their own food than on weekend trips. Don’t plan to go shopping during the trip — the nearest shop often requires a car to visit, and the drivers would rather be out walking than giving people lifts to the shops.
You will need to be a member of the club to come on any of our trips (except for the Freshers' Day Trip to the Peak District in October), but you can simply add the cost of membership onto your first trip fee. For more information about membership and how to obtain it, see the new members' page.
Sign-up for Trips
We now arrange sign-up for all trips via email, or via a form on this website. Sign-up will be advertised by email and will close at a specified time, typically around two weeks before the trip. In the (most likely) case that there aren't enough places for everyone, places will be assigned by random ballot. Sign-ups may specify the names and email addresses of up to two people with whom they'd like to go, who must themselves also sign-up and give the names of the others in the group. In the case of such a signup either all or none of the group will be assigned a place, with the same chance as an individual sign-up. Signing up will be treated as an agreement to pay the trip cost, if assigned a place.
After the ballot, we will confirm places by email, and request payment by bank transfer. If anyone is unable to pay by bank transfer, we may be able to arrange alternatives. You will need to be a member to come on the trip, but you can join when your place is confirmed. See this page for details and to download a membership form.
If anyone with a place is no longer able to make the trip, they must let us know as soon as possible, so that we can try to find someone else to take up the place. If we are unable to find anyone (more likely the later you let us know) the drop-out will remain liable for the full trip cost. While we appreciate that circumstances can change, drop-outs cause considerable trouble to the committee. Consequently, anyone dropping out may be penalised with a reduced chance of getting a place on the next trip they apply for. The same procedure will apply in the case of non-payment.
Please note that trips will go ahead whatever the weather!