Silent walks were originally set up by people who loved walking and enjoyed doing so in the company of a group but wanted the opportunity to walk without chatting for some of the time.
There is no leader on the walks, they are self led i.e. you are responsible for printing off and bringing your own walk instructions. Chances are there will always be people on the walk with instructions. However, you are responsible for not getting yourself lost and should not rely on anyone else to lead the way!
If you are coming for the first time, all you need to do is turn up and find the group on the train or at the destination station. We always spend 5 minutes or so on the train platform on arrival, introducing ourselves. If you would like us to look out for you, by all means email (insert correct email address)and let us know you plan to join us.
Going for a walk on your own is a different experience to silent group walking. From a practical safety point of view, some people don't want to walk alone, or they don't want to spend a day entirely in their own company. Walking in silence in a group provides solitude but there is a connection between the group members even when in silence. Also the group set up allows for social interaction at lunchtime and afterwards. So for many it is the best of both worlds!
There is no typical "silent walker". The age range is typically 30-60, covering a wide range of interests and backgrounds. These are some of the comments people have made:
"After a week in a busy office in the centre of London, it is lovely to be able to walk in silence on a Sunday morning with a group of like-minded people. I do walk with other groups, but sometimes you can get caught up in conversations and then not take in anything about where you are. On the morning part of these walks, I notice more about nature and the weather, I listen to the birds and I can process thoughts. However I do also enjoy lunch and the afternoon part of the walk where I can catch up with others in the group. We always have lots to talk about! It's the perfect combination."
"I really notice more when in silence."
Membership is free. You will need to buy the Time Out book of walks volumes 1 and 2 as this is where some of the walks are taken from. They are also selected from the online extra walks on the Saturday Walkers' club site.
Full details of upcoming walks, including which train to catch and lunch/tea stops are posted on this site at least one week prior to the walk.
The first one was in October 2000 and were very infrequent until 2008. Since then they've been every few weeks on a Sunday.