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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join the club?

From our Student Union website:

You can log into using your UCL email and password, and then you will have the option to buy our full £10 membership which gives you access to all our hikes and socials!

Once you have membership, please remember to join our Facebook Members groups ( We share all event information here, after the taster period

How much is membership, and what does membership include?

All memberships include access to our four Try It! Hikes, Welcome socials, and the newsletter. If you're a new student or just want to try a hike first, the free taster membership is for you!

  1. Taster Membership (free) - Open to anyone and everyone! This is for those who would like to try some of our hikes and socials, before committing to a full membership.

  2. Full Membership (£10) – This is everything the club has to offer.  It includes all activities, a chance to sign-up for our overnight residential trips and a 15% discount from Cotsworld! You will need this membership if you wish to join us on our regular weekend hikes (after the Try It! Hikes)

What is membership money going towards?

Membership fees predominantly go towards training Walk Leaders so they are qualified to lead hikes and keep you safe.  They are also used for subsidising social events and trips, and providing the Club with high-quality equipment.

Can I still join the club even if I can't make every event?

Absolutely!  Please note that you do not have to turn up to all our activities.  You are free to attend as few or as many as you wish, be it hikes or socials.


When and where do you hike?

We have day hikes at least once every weekend, alternating between Saturday and Sundays. Some weekends will have hikes on both days, such as during the Welcome Period, so keep an eye out for announcements!

Our day hikes are mainly across South-East England - everything from close/ within London to further away like the South Coast or Chiltern Hills. Generally our weekend day hikes range anywhere from 30 min to 90 min train out of London. Hikes are generally 4 - 6 hours long including breaks/ lunch, covering ~12 - 20 km.

What is the average difficulty of the hikes?

We run a range of hikes for those of all abilities, from beginner to seasoned rambler.  All our hikes are rated out of 10, with information about distance, elevation, and terrain posted for each.  We recommend if you’re a complete beginner to start with hikes rated 4 or below, but full details about how each hike is rated can be found here. If you’re worried about your fitness level we recommend starting with beginner hikes and working your way up to the more challenging ones. Our Taster Hikes are all beginner friendly.

How much does it cost to attend a hike?

You have to pay for your train tickets for each hike (which is why we recommend a 16-25 Railcard, without one it can get pricey!)  With a Railcard, prices usually range between £8-£15 per hike, but the further away a hike, the more expensive (anywhere between £15-£30)

How do I buy my train tickets?

We recommend you buy your tickets online in advance of the hike.  Our recommended app to do this with is 'Avanti West Coast', which also gives you access to e-tickets.  You can also purchase them online on the National Rail site or ScotRail.  These all allow you to book your train without having to pay a booking fee.  The 'Trainline' app is also very good, but they ask for a small admin booking fee with every ticket.

How long does a hike last for?

This depends on the weather, the skill level of the participants, size of the group and any unforeseen issues that may be encountered on the day.  We usually reach the beginning of the hike between 09:30-10:30, and aim to finish anywhere between 16:00-18:00.  We recommend you schedule the whole day off if you’re coming on a hike, because we cannot guarantee when exactly we’ll be returning to London.  We also recommend for this reason that you always purchase “OPEN RETURN” train tickets, so you’re not committed to a certain return train time. The tickets details are always posted with hike announcements.

Do I need to book in advance to come on a hike?

Yes, please grab a ticket on the students union website. We ask you do this so that we can make sure everyone has membership, and so that we know how many people will be attending. At some times throughout the year we will have extremely high demand and may have to temporarily cap numbers, but where possible, we try to keep hikes as accessible as possible.

Can I attend a hike if I haven't paid the joining fee?

Outside of the taster sessions, you have to have purchased our Full (£10) Membership in order to attend our in-person activities.

Can I bring a family/friend/dog on a hike (if they're not a member)?

Unfortunately no non-club members can come on our hikes, as the Students' Union requires all Club activities to run with registered personnel only.  If you wish to bring a pet please ask the walk leader.

If I have already signed up for an event and I’m unable to attend, what do I need to do?

You can cancel your ticket on the events page, exactly where you bought it.

How do I get to the meeting/help point at the train station?

The hike information posted on Facebook has comprehensive details of the train you need to catch and the station where you need to meet the Walk Leaders.  We will also list the station you need to get off at for the hike, so nobody misses the stop!
If you are experienced with England’s trains, you are welcome to find the platform and train on your own and get on.  However if you are unfamiliar and would like help finding the right train, we will have a designated area in each station where you can find a Walk Leader who will point you in the right direction (  The Walk Leaders will be wearing bright red hats so you can’t miss them! 


What should I wear?  Do I need any special clothing or equipment?

You do not need any special clothing or equipment.  Wear comfortable clothes such as you would for exercise, and we recommend you do not wear cotton or jeans.  Dress according to the weather; waterproof trousers/ gaiters if it's raining or hats and sunglasses if it's hot.

Should I invest in hiking boots, since they are quite pricey?

Generally we say yes, hiking boots are always helpful. While the weekend hikes are on established trails, hikes can be long, on undulating terrain and rocky so hiking boots are great for comfort and providing stability. Many of our hikes also get very muddy, so we would recommend footwear with a good grip and waterproofing is advantageous. We offer a 15% discount from Cotswold for our members, so you can get boots at a good price. 

If you do not want to use hiking boots, wear comfortable, waterproof trainers that you do mind getting dirty.

Full hiking boots are an absolute-requirement for our residential trips, as we tackle more serious terrain and are usually walking off-tracks.

What is a 16-25 Railcard?  Should I buy one?

A 16-25 Railcard is for people aged between 16 to 25 and gives you ⅓ off rail fares while travelling in Britain. And if you connect it to your Oyster Card, you’ll save ⅓ on the tube too. The Railcard costs £30 a year, and £70 for three years. More information here: A Railcard is an amazing investment if you plan on coming to our hikes, as you make the money back within 3-4 trips and avoid paying the full-fare.


Even if you don’t end up hiking with us too much, the Railcard is a great investment as it applies to any train travel you do while in the UK.

I am a UCL Alumni/ student from another university. Can I still join the Club?

Yes, UCL Hiking Club is open for all students! First you will need to a member of the UCL Student’s Union, which you can do from here:

After that, you can obtain the Hiking Club membership from our website.

Will there be toilet breaks on the hike?

Generally no. Majority of the hikes are in the countryside so we do not pass toilet facilities. Please go before the start of the hike (at the meeting station or on the train). If the group size is large we cannot wait for everyone to go after the train!

I have a place I want to visit. Can I recommend a hike?

Of course! Share the place you’d like to visit with the Club and we will try our best to organise a hike in that area.

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