What we're about

Who should join:

I'm new to meetup.com and I noticed that most hiking groups do walks often with 10+ people. As someone who has some social anxiety (and anxiety in general), this isn't hugely appealing. Plus I want to be sure that people will be understanding of my social anxiety.

I love hiking/walking because I feel that discovering new interesting places and being in nature is not only exciting, but also great for my mental health and physical fitness. I love going on hikes with good friends, just not loads of people I may have nothing in common with.

I wondered if anyone else out there is like me, and so here we are!

Provisional requirements:

- you like hiking/walking

- you have anxiety and/or depression

- you are compassionate and empathetic

- you are looking to make new friends

- you are against racism, homophobia, sexism and any other prejudices

Goals:

In the long term I'd like this to be a loving community for those who want to make real friendships with understanding people that they can relate to. Eventually I'd like members to be able to reliably call on such friends to do walks/hikes outside of the group as well as within.

Events would involve going on hikes/walks, or meetups, with smaller groups of people below 10 and preferably around 5. I tend to go on day hikes of around 10-15 miles (5-6 hours?) usually somewhere within or just outside of London (nearby in Kent or Essex for example). So perhaps this could be a provisional initial format. I'd eventually like to share the responsibility of organization with others as I'm often very busy.

I'm new to this so I'll be learning as I go, so I hope you can be understanding if there are some hiccups along the way!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional and those who attend these meetups do so at their own risk and are responsible for their own wellbeing and safety.

Upcoming events (5)

Colne Valley - Uxbridge to Rickmansworth

Uxbridge Underground Station

A canal/river/lake walk through colne valley that is easy going and flat all the way. The walk starts at Uxbridge station and ends at Rickmansworth station. Both stations are on underground lines. See the following link for all technical walk details https://www.komoot.com/tour/54205014?ref=wtd (you shouldn't need to sign up, just scroll down for the route and stats). Agenda: -[masked]:00 meet at Uxbridge station - 12:00 Start walk - 16.00 finish walk at Rickmansworth - Optional drinks at a nearby pub I'm not a professional in any capacity so those who attend are responsible for their own wellbeing and safety.

Hainault Park to Gidea Park via Havering-atte-bower

Grange Hill Station (Stop A)

A walk from Hainault Park to Gidea Park via Havering-atte-bower, the highest point in the borough of Havering. The walk has some gentle hills and goes through a multitude of areas including Hainault forest Country Park, Havering Country Park, Bedfords park, Rise Park, Raphael Park etc. There are also some great views (especially near Havering-atte-bower). This is a very varied walk which I have done before and loved. The walk starts at Grange Hill station and ends at Gidea Park station. Both stations are on lines which accept oyster card. See the following link for all technical walk details https://www.komoot.com/tour/48446756?ref=wtd (you shouldn't need to sign up, just scroll down for the route and stats). Agenda: -[masked]:00 meet at Grange Hill station - 12:00 Start walk - 14.45 Optional drink at Havering-atte-bower pub The Royal Oak -[masked] Finish at Gidea Park (optional drinks at Gidea Park Micropub just before you hit station) I'm not a professional in any capacity so those who attend are responsible for their own wellbeing and safety.

Canvey Island (Benfleet Circular)

Benfleet

A walk around the Canvey Island sea wall starting and ending at Benfleet station. I believe there are multiple stations including Stratford and Fenchurch Street that run trains to Benfleet from London. Benfleet is not oyster zone. All details can be found here https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/walk/benfleet-circular-via-canvey-island/index.html Agenda:[masked] Meet at Benfleet station 12.00 Start walk -- optional stopping points at Labworth Beach Bistro or Smugglers Inn[masked] End at Benfleet station I have done this walk before and I highly recommend it for those who like their naturally beautiful landscapes complimented by old imposing abandoned industrial stuff. Plus you get to walk along the Thames estuary, which is massive at this point, and see across to kent on the other side. Copied from the link above: "A flat walk, that starts and finishes with a busy road stretch, features a fair amount of hard surface paths and some A-road noise near the end, and passes - in succession - a golf course, a static caravan park, an ex-landfill site, housing estates, another caravan park, a sewage plant, an LNG terminal, an oil product terminal, an oil refinery, the site of a never-finished oil refinery, another oil terminal and another - larger - landfill site?????? And yet, and yet... This is one not just for the Industrial Romantic, or for fans of the Pub Rock legends Dr. Feelgood, or for students of the lives of the ex-East End White Working Classes. Without navigational challenges (as all you do is: walk to the seawall and follow it) you experience an ever-changing scenery of tidal creeks and mud flats, river marshes, salt marshes, flood barriers, sluices and sandbanks, get views of the Benfleet Downs, of Hadleigh Castle & Country Park, the Essex cliffs, Southend with its Pier, the North Sea and the busy river traffic, of ships big and small, boatyards, yacht clubs and marinas, pass sandy beaches and enclosed pools on the foreshore, jetties, extensive seawall murals telling Canvey Island stories and - post lunch - long tranquil stretches past grassy marshes with abundant birdlife. The recommended lunch options are the iconic Labworth Beach Bistro in its modernist building with panoramic views of the Thames estuary, or the legendary smugglers' inn the Lobster Smack. A walk like no other? Most certainly." I'm not a professional in any capacity so those who attend are responsible for their own wellbeing and safety.

Broxbourne To Hertford along River Lee Navigation

Broxbourne Train Station,Broxbourne,Hertfordshire,EN10 7AW

A river/canal-side walk From Broxbourne station to Hertford East station along the River Lee Navigation. The walk should take around 4 hours 15 minutes at a moderate-to-high pace and it starts and ends at a train station. I believe both stations accept oyster cards. See here for all technical walk details https://www.komoot.com/tour/34205523?ref=wtd (you shouldn't need to sign up, just scroll down for the route and stats). Agenda: - 11:45 meet at Broxbourne station - 12:00 start walk - Potentially stop off at pubs - 16:15-17:00 finish walk at Hertford East - Optional drinks at nearby pubs There are a number of places to stop off but I would recommend the Jolly Fisherman at Stanstead Abbotts. There are also a number of pubs at Hertford if people are interested. I'm not a professional in any capacity so those who attend are responsible for their own wellbeing and safety.

Photos (7)