Surrey Young Walkers

Walk Leading

All our walks are lead by our group members. Any SYW member can lead a walk - you don't need any special training or qualifications. Here's an outline of what's involved.

What's involved

Choosing a route

SYW walks are generally between 5 and 15 miles long, so you'll have plenty of choice of what type of walk you'd like to lead. If you need inspiration, there are lots of guide books giving routes all over Surrey, including AA's 50 walks in Surrey, 100 walks in Surrey, and Pub walks in the Surrey Hills. Or you can find routes online at sites such as:

Assessing a route

It's important to walk out the route in advance to make sure there are no problems. Contact the Events Secretary if you need a 'walk buddy' to walk with you. Remember the pace of a group will probably be slower due to regrouping stops, water stops, etc. Generally plan for a pace of 2.5 miles per hour on flat/easy terrain, or 2 miles per hour on hilly terrain. Plan a suitable lunch and/or refreshment stop.

You'll get higher attendance if the start/end point is a train station. Plan your start time to coincide with trains from popular hubs such as Guildford and Clapham Junction. If you can find out the parking charges for drivers then it's also useful.

Putting your walk on the programme

Look at the walks already submitted and decide on a date that you'd like to submit your walk for (please try to make it at least two weeks in the future). It's good to avoid having two similar walks on the same day, especially if they are in the same area/grade, so please be mindful of this when choosing a date.

When you're ready to put your walk on the programme simply log in to our website and complete the form. It requires the same details as you see when looking at the programme. The Events Secretary will check your submission and either approve it, or ask you for clarification of any details.

Leading your walk
  • Check the weather forecast and adjust the route if necessary.
  • Remember to take a copy of the walk attendance form. It is recommended to bring 2 copies in case you need extra room.
  • As walkers arrive, ask them to sign in. Please ensure they sign in the right section.
  • Welcome anyone who is new to SYW.
  • Check that everyone is suitably equipped and able to complete the walk, and advise dog owners of any points on the walk where their dog will need to be on a lead.
  • Make sure you can hear your mobile phone, in case anyone phones to say they will be late. You should wait up to 10 minutes if you are aware of latecomers.
  • Introduce yourself as the leader and give a brief introduction to the walk.
  • Do a headcount.
  • For a large group, appoint a back-marker and make them known to the group.

During the walk

Take regular headcounts, making sure you can see the back-marker. Pause to regroup if necessary. Keep an eye on timings, and remember to take time for drink stops. Give attention to newcomers, and watch for any walkers having difficulties.

At the end of the walk
  • Check that everyone is accounted for and has transport home.
  • Send the completed walk attendance form to the Membership Secretary.
  • Report any accidents to the Events Secretary.
  • Report any footpath problems to the Footpath Officer.

Get started

If leading a walk sounds like something you'd love to do, please submit your walk criteria for review and inclusion on the Surrey Young Walkers walks listings.