West Kent Group
Welcome to the West Kent GOC Group!
My name is Colin Turner, I am the Group Coordinator for the West Kent group. I formed the group in 1993 and our first walk was in July that year. I have lived in West Kent all my life and I am a keen rambler, having acquired the love of walking as a child through Sunday afternoon walks with my father and grandfather.
Why go walking with the West Kent group?
When it comes to walking, the West Kent group has a rich variety of areas to explore, from the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the High Weald landscape, along the banks of the River Medway, Ashdown Forest (just over the county border in Sussex), the South Downs National Park, and Kentish and Sussex coastal areas. Then there are historic properties such as Chartwell, Knole, Leeds Castle, and Ightham Mote to name but a few.
Who is welcome?
West Kent GOC welcomes members both old and new. Most members are men, aged between 40 and 70 but we welcome lesbians, younger men, trans men and women, as well as people from minority ethnic groups. If you’re considering joining us but you’re not sure, there is a free four-month trial membership with the option to cancel before your trial ends, so you can come on a few walks and decide if it is for you. We recognise it can be daunting to turn up on your first walk without knowing anyone so, if you would like to discuss ways we can make that easier for you, please get in touch.
What do we do?
We are a friendly group and walk on the first Sunday of each month from February to December inclusive. A typical West Kent GOC event will be a walk of about 7-9 miles in the winter months, and may be up to 13 miles during the summer months. We cater for all levels of fitness so there’s no need to worry about your ability, we wait for slower members to catch-up without losing them! Our walks usually start at 11am on a Sunday, we walk for about two hours before stopping for lunch, either a picnic/packed lunch or a pub stop, we then walk for another for another couple of hours before returning to the start at about 4pm. Where possible, we then usually meet for an optional drink and/or snack either in a pub or tea shop where you can socialise and get to know you fellow walkers.
In August, we hold an informal planning meeting to organise the following year’s walks. If you would like to lead a walk or have any suggestions for future walks, please speak to me at one of our events or send a message via the group contact form below. We welcome new walk leaders to keep the group thriving, make the walks as varied as possible and to make sure the walks reflect the kind of event members enjoy the most.
In December, we hold a short morning walk followed by our popular annual Christmas carvery lunch. Booking beforehand is essential, you won’t be disappointed with the food, just ensure you have a small breakfast!
You can see the details of all our scheduled forthcoming monthly walks below as well as reports of some of our previous events.
What do I need to bring?
The most important thing to wear are a reasonable pair of stout walking boots to provide adequate ankle support with good grips on the soles. A good waterproof coat and/or fleece is essential if the weather turns wetter and colder. It is a good idea to wear quick-drying clothes, rather than denim which, if it gets wet, can take a long time to dry and can make you cold in the process. You may wish to bring an extendable walking pole if you would find this would help you when climbing hills or trying to get down slippery slopes. On occasions, especially in the winter months, it may be very muddy underfoot, you may want to bring a change of trousers and/or footwear for your journey home.
Please bring a packed lunch, a flask and/or a bottle of water. Don’t forget you’ll have to drink as much liquid as you would normally do in a day plus extra because of the exercise, about one litre in winter, more in summer. You’ll find it useful to bring a rucksack to carry your bits and pieces. Remember to wear sunscreen and a cap or wide-brimmed hat in the summer to protect you from the strong sun.
Who do I contact should I have further queries?
Please contact the West Kent group using the contact form below with your query and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for visiting our page.
West Kent GOC Coordinator.