Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about the group?

Maybe you can find the answer below. If not, don't hesitate to contact us with your queries.

Before joining us for a walk, please read some general information about our walks including our recommended equipment list.

Q. I like the look of your group but I'm outside of your age range.

A. The group is aimed at under 40s, but that is an aim not an absolute. Our published walks are open to any age (but see question below about children). We have had people from 5 to over 50 enjoying our walks. Our social activities tend to focus on the things that 20- and 30-somethings enjoy, but we also have 40-somethings that seem to like those things as well.

Q. What is the actual age range of your membership?

A. Most of our members are in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties.

Q. Do I have to join the group before I come on a walk?

A. No. You may attend up to 3 walks as a prospective member. If you then decide to become regularly involved with group activities, you are expected to join the Ramblers' Association.

Q. Is there any time limit for prospective membership?

A. No. You might attend your first few walks over 3 weeks or 6 months depending on circumstances. We will remind you about membership if it becomes clear to us you are getting regularly involved.

Q. How do I become a member?

A. Membership is by joining the Ramblers' Association. There is no separate subscription to the group. You can join online via the Ramblers' Association web site or we can supply you with a paper form to send in the post. You will need to specify our group name 'Darlington Dales and Hills' or code 'NY50' on the form otherwise you will be assigned to one of the general groups in the area based on your postcode.

Q. Are there any membership discounts?

A. Joint membership is available for two adults living at the same address. Reduced rates are available to those who are genuinely unable to afford the full rate.

Q. Can children take part in your walks/activities?

A. Children can take part in our walks but must be accompanied by an adult who can take parental responsibility for them. Neither our walk leaders nor other group-members attending the walk can take responsibility for your child or for you if you are a child. As the group is aimed at people in the 20-40 age range, some of our activities may be adult oriented. If you are thinking of bringing a child on an activity, you should contact the group first to check suitability.

Q. Can children be members?

A. Children under 16 can have junior membership cards free of charge. However see other answers regarding children taking part in our activities.

Q. I'm a member of another Ramblers' Association group. Can I take part in your activities?

A. Yes. As a Ramblers' Association member, our activities are of course open to you. Please contact the group beforehand to let us know you may be coming along.

Q. Can I bring guests, who are not intending on becoming members, on a walk?

A. Yes. But they should be aware that they take part at their own risk as they are not covered by the Ramblers' Association's public liability insurance. If they start attending regularly then they will be expected to join.

Q. Can I bring my dog on a walk?

A. Unless the walk description or any updates to it state otherwise, dogs are permitted on group walks. Responsibility and liability for the dog and its behaviour lies with the owner at all times. Dogs must be kept under control. It is the owner's responsibility to make themselves aware of and comply with any laws and regulations applying to dogs in the area being visited. In some cases, we walk or stay in places where dogs are not permitted. If in doubt about the suitability of the activity, please contact the organiser.

Q. I'd like to join one of your walks but I'm not sure whether I'm fit enough.

A. Most reasonably active people will be able to undertake most of our walks. If you are unsure of your level of fitness then choose a short easy walk first and work up to harder longer ones as you feel you are able.

Q. What clothing/equipment to I need to go on your walks?

A. This question is answered in a separate General Information About Our Walks section.

Q. Where are your social activities published?

A. Social activities are often organised on an ad-hoc basis and at short notice. Because of this, they are not usually published on the web site but are discussed on our Forum.

Q. Why can't I see very much on your Forum?

A. Most of the forum is only accessible to members. The forum is much more useful to us if people don't have to constantly worry about their personal movements and contact information being accessible to the whole world. We are required to protect our members' personal information.

Q. Does the group just do walking?

A. Although our reason for existing is walking, other outdoor activities are arranged occasionally. Many of our members are active in other outdoor pursuits in addition to walking.

Q. Are there any other Ramblers' Association groups in this area?

A. Yes. The other groups in this region cover specific geographical areas. Our group covers the whole area but caters particularly for people in their 20s and 30s. When you apply for membership, if you don't specify our group, you will be assigned to the group which covers your postcode.

Q. Who runs the group?

A. The group is managed and controlled by a committee which is elected each year at a General Meeting of the group. A number of groups in this locality report to an Area committee which in turn reports to the Ramblers' Association national organisation.