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Get Ready to Ramble - FAQs

With the New Year heading towards us (which usually brings in lots of new faces) quicker than you can say Auld Lang Syne, and with a sudden influx of new followers across the Cornish Ramblings social media platforms and mailing list, I thought I’d put together a guide on what to expect if you were to join me on a ramble, and how to book onto a walk if you’re new to the group.

Please take a look around the website and also our social media pages to get an insight into our past adventures, the places we’ve rambled so far and the wonderful people you could potentially meet if you were to join us.


Who and what is Cornish Ramblings?

Cornish Ramblings was created by me, Jody, a 35-year-old Cornish woman whose main mission is to inspire and get as many people outside for a walk - or just outside in general.

My aim is to encourage people from all walks of life and from all ages and fitness levels to come for a ramble, and to enjoy the benefits of walking, meeting like-minded people and learning what the outdoors can do for you, both physically and mentally.


I established Cornish Ramblings back in March 2016 with the main intentions of meeting like-minded people who enjoyed hiking, being outdoors and exploring. I realised my lack of confidence to go on lone long-distance hikes or to places I’d never been before, was preventing and hindering me from having proper adventures so, I decided to put together a Facebook page to try and change this.


Fast-forward five years and here we are, a growing community of novice walkers, keen hikers, sturdy stompers, active explorers, fair-weather adventurers, hill seekers, coastal lovers, woodland ramblers and most importantly; walking addicts, just like me!

To say I never expected Cornish Ramblings to grow this much is an understatement. I had absolutely no idea that five years ago I’d started my exciting and fulfilling journey to creating a niche Cornish walking group, where people would join me from far and wide on my walking adventures around Cornwall.


Below are some of the questions I am regularly asked so hopefully, this blog will answer any queries you may have before deciding whether you'd like to join us in the future for a walking adventure...


When do we ramble?

I try to organise at least three rambles a month which are usually on a weekend and split between Saturdays and Sundays. If I have annual leave or a free Bank Holiday, then I may fit in a weekday ramble too. On occasions, during the lighter evenings, I will also organise evening/after work rambles during the week.


Where do we ramble?

The locations of the rambles throughout Cornwall will vary; one weekend we could be rambling around the west coast and the next, you'll find us exploring the north coast. No matter where you are in Cornwall, there will always be a ramble for you.


How far do we ramble?

The length of the rambles I organise can vary anywhere between 3-10-miles. With each ramble I organise, I ensure to make everyone aware of the route we will be walking in advance, as well as the difficulty rating it has been graded. Usually, the rambles are graded between easy and strenuous, however, this may not impact how many miles we do in comparison to the difficulty rating. For example, we may walk an easy 8-mile ramble one weekend, but a strenuous 4-mile the next.

When choosing the routes, I always keep in mind variety and endeavour to pick routes that all abilities and fitness types can come on. If a route is more difficult than normal, I will highlight this. If I plan to encourage a speedier ramble where we hike rather than ramble, I will state this in the newsletter details. If there is a walk any rambler is unsure they can manage, I'll encourage them to get in touch so we can talk through the route together and make sure it is definitely out of limitations before saying no to being able to tackle it.


How do you navigate the group?

I use the iWalk Cornwall app for the majority of my rambles as I enjoy the easiness of using it, especially knowing it will work without a phone signal (works on GPS) and has detailed information on the directions to go, with an interactive map you can follow for the duration of your walking journey. I also use it because it pretty much does all the navigation work for me, which then gives me more time to have conversations with those I’m rambling with.


Are all your rambles circular?

Yes. Quite simply, I like the variation of a circular route. Most walks we do have a mixture of coastal and inland and I try to organise walks that take us through varying terrains. With a circular walk, it also means we end up back where we started, so no issues with having to get back to your vehicle.

Do we stop for lunch?

One of my favourite points of a ramble is when we stop for a midway sarnie and flask of tea. Usually, I’m able to find somewhere picturesque to stop, however on some rambles, we’ve been known to make do with a hedge, a graveyard, a pavement curb, the corner of a field, and even a car park to have a bite to eat! Luckily, everyone finds the humour in it and just cracks on - which is pretty much the ethos of Cornish Ramblings.


If we are able to stop at a local cafe or pub along the way then I actively encourage supporting local businesses and will endeavour to use these places as our halfway stopping point.


What are the rules?

I try to enforce a relaxed, laidback and enjoyable vibe for Cornish Ramblings. There are no “rules“ as such, only guidance on keeping safe during the walk. The culture of Cornish Ramblings is to come along, have a lovely time, get involved with conversations if you wish, make friends if you'd like, but ultimately feel under no obligation to do anything out of your comfort zone.

I don’t have a strict schedule of what needs to be achieved on a ramble. We stop when we feel we need to stop, I’ll find a convenient spot for a lunch break but usually this isn’t known until we stumble across a perfect place. I can’t always guarantee there will be facilities so be prepared to either hold it, hope for a toilet along the way or wild wee.


I advise following the highway code for walkers during all the walks I organise, and will share a blog I've written on being a Happy Hiker whilst on a Cornish Ramblings walk with everyone who has booked onto a walk, regardless of how many times they have been on a ramble with me in the past.


Cornish Ramblings is all about feeling comfortable and safe, and although I do my best to ensure this, it is ultimately up to the individual to not do anything that puts themselves or others at risk.


Is Cornish Ramblings inclusive?

I endeavour to create an environment that is as inclusive as possible, and I actively encourage everyone to come along. I have plans to find routes suitable for wheelchairs and prams during 2022 to encourage even more people to join us who currently are unable to because of the routes being inaccessible.

Regardless of your gender, race, sexual orientation and/or religion, I welcome you all with open arms. We are a clique free group where I do not tolerate discrimination, racism, homophobia or anything that makes someone feel uncomfortable in any way.


Is this a woman’s walking group?

Although the majority of the images I share on social media show mainly women, Cornish Ramblings is in fact open to all genders and I encourage all to come along for a walk.

I also welcome younger people and supervised children too. However, I do make it known that you are your own responsibility during the entirety of the ramble, including anyone who joins you. If you bring along children, I ask you to please supervise them at all times and do not allow them out of your sight at any point during the walk.


Can I join you even if I’m only visiting Cornwall?

Absolutely! We regularly have people joining us for a ramble whilst they’re here on their hols. We also have ramblers who live outside of Cornwall who come down specifically for a walk (even Devonians cross the border to join us!)


This group isn’t limited to just Cornish people so whether you’re a local, from over the border or here on your holidays, we welcome you all.


Can I bring my dog?

Being a dog owner, I love seeing people out walking with their dogs. I welcome them with open arms on all my rambles. However, I do have some guidance that I ask all of my ramblers with dogs to follow to ensure the safety of all those on the walk, as well as the safety of the public and the dogs themselves. You’ll find more in my blog Dogs Who Ramble.


How much does it cost?

Cornish Ramblings is a community group so to join us for a ramble, all I currently ask is for a £2 donation per person per ramble. This helps to cover any admin costs such as the website, newsletter and social media, and also my time with regards to organising and leading the rambles. This donation is not mandatory, but it does help to keep Cornish Ramblings going, and every donation is greatly appreciated.


 

How To Book On A Ramble

First things first you'll need to pop across to the Cornish Ramblings website (www.cornishramblings.co.uk) and sign up to the mailing list - you’ll find a sign-up box in the footer or at the top of the homepage.


Once signed up to the mailing list, keep an eye out for the monthly newsletter. Be sure to mark it to your safe sender's list so it doesn’t go into your junk. If you haven't received anything from Cornish Ramblings in a while then I would suggest looking in your spam folder first before contacting me to look into it for you - the little rascals can sometimes divert back to junk.


When you’ve received the monthly newsletter, please take a look at what rambles I’ve planned for the upcoming month(s) and once you have decided on the rambles you'd like to join us on, please reply to the newsletter email with the number which correlates to the ramble, the location of said ramble, and how many of you there will be booking on. I allow up to five bookings (people) per person.

The maximum number of people I will currently take on each ramble is between 20-25. Because my rambles are super popular (thank you everyone!) you need to be quick to get your spot. On occasions, I may reduce the number of bookings to just 15 - this can be for various reasons which I will explain in the newsletter.


If you’re unsuccessful with getting on a ramble, I will pop you on a reserves list and let you know if anyone cancels - hopefully you can then join us if this happens.


If you’re successful at booking onto a ramble then I will send you an email a few days after you've received a booking confirmation, which will include all of the necessary information of where to meet, what time and any finer details you may need to know.

The booking system is done on a first come first served basis, which means I book people on the rambles in the order in which I receive the emails - first to last. However, I do encourage new people to join us so if there is the opportunity to get some new faces on a ramble, I will do my best to prioritise them. Especially if some of my ramblers have booked onto all or most of the walks. I want to be fair to all.


There is a three day cancellation period but if you’re able to, the sooner you can let me know you are unable to join us the better so I can fill your spot with anyone waiting on the reservations list. Please do not book onto the walks without first checking you haven't double-booked yourselves, or haven't checked you are already busy (or out of the county!) This means more work for me in filling the spaces when you cancel so I encourage you to only book if you are certain you can make it. Of course, sickness and car troubles cannot be helped so I am understanding to this.

The only time I will cancel a ramble is if there are dangerous weather conditions that means I’m putting people at risk, I am physically (or mentally) unable to lead the ramble, or there is a reason out of my control which means I am unable to make it. I will always try to inform those booked onto the rambles in time via email, so I ask you to check your emails before setting off to the meeting point, just in case I’ve had to cancel or postpone.


I will send out two emails to those booked on, one with all the details in advance and a second reminder email the night before. These emails will include everything you will need to know.


 

And that my friends, is pretty much what you can expect on a ramble and how you can get yourself booked on. If I have missed any burning questions in this blog, please do let me know and I will add them to this guide, which I feel may be a working document.

If you would like further insights into Cornish Ramblings then I suggest you check out our testimonials page on the website, as well as our Instagram page which is where I share most of our adventures. You can also look back through my blogs which not only are an interesting read (in my humble opinion!) but are informative and a way of peeking into the world that is Cornish Ramblings :)


Jody x

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Mar 17, 2023

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