This is a new group still finding its feet (in more ways than one!). When we asked members at the beginning of the year what new groups they would like to see in our U3A a Walking Group, amongst others, seemed very popular so I started a group earlier this year. Our inaugural walk was on a cool March morning when nine of us caught the D4 bus to Southminster and walked back to Burnham seafront over the fields and along a few quiet lanes. Several shortened the 7kms/4.5-mile walk by leaving at various stages suitable to them whilst five continued on to the Victoria Inn for lunch.
I had not intended to be the permanent group leader and hoped that someone would come forward and offer to lead, but they haven’t; However I am now enjoying the challenge – not only do I lead most of the walks on the 4th Tuesday (thank goodness others come forward when I cannot) but also during the month I reconnoitre new walks and nearer to the day of a planned walk I go over it again to make sure the paths are not blocked – not an arduous task as being outdoors is what I enjoy.
There are 22 members in the group but on average only seven turn out each month; they are not always the same seven but there is a core of regulars. This low number actually makes it easier for me as I don’t have to make special dining arrangements in pubs or cafes, but it would be nice to see some new faces.
The question of how long a walk should be is difficult. I have people say ‘can’t we walk further?’ and others saying the opposite. In the end I have tried a compromise with a 7kms/4mile walk in the morning and where possible a similar length in the afternoon. I have found that many opt for the morning only. The walks are usually within easy travelling distance from Burnham and for some of them we make use of the local bus services.
The only essentials for joining this group are a good pair of walking shoes or boots, suitable fitness for the walk, the ability to climb over stiles and a sense of humour when things don’t go to plan.
To see in more detail where we have walked you can read the reports in the Walking Group’s section of this website. If you feel like a jolly day out with good company do come and join us; the details of future walks are posted on the website or you can telephone me for details.