What we're about
Great Outdoors has been one of the best UK based hiking group for over 10 years. If you want to get out shake off the cobwebs and get some miles in exploring some of the UK’s best countryside, national parks and coastal paths, you’re in the right place.
In this group we pride ourselves on our friendliness too, we care what your name is and you can expect to leave having met a group of lovely people and with quite likely some lasting friendships
We look after all the logistics on each of our hikes so you can just turn up for a fun day out. The emphasis is on good times and a social group.We are open to anyone regardless of colour, nationality, gender, orientation, and age. Though many of our members are 30- 50 ish, some are younger and some are older. Everyone is welcome here.
You can expect people in this group to care what your name is, and we nearly always stop for a drink or a meal at the end of each day, as that's the natural place to mark the end of the hike, and carry on the conversations you were having on route.
Please don’t be afraid to come to your first meet up on your own! Most people coming to meet ups do come on there own! That is how we roll, we meet up, and hang out with other friendly human beings and we enjoy life and spend time together, you do not actually have to know each other to do this, but many friendships are born this way. Come along and I promise you’ll love it, and after that you'll have met our friendly organisers so you won't be on your own next time!
For frequently asked questions see here (on our other groups message board): https://www.meetup.com/GreatOutdoors/messages/boards/ For anything else drop us a line :)
Upcoming events (4)
Join us for a banging weekend of Music and Camping Fun at the Hastings Beer and Music Festival 2022!
Hastings is a large town on the South East coast, with a historic old town, massive Cliff top country Park, vibrant and busy town centre and long stretch of beach and coastline. It is also my very own home town, so I am the best possible person to show you around!!
The Hastings Beer and Music festival is back for it’s first event since the Pandemic and is bound to go down with a boom.
A small group of us – starting with me, Lucy N and Aidar are going, and the more people join the merrier!
Hastings Festival has been running since the 80’s, it’s run by the local round table, and it is an awesome festival played by covers and headline acts and the best festival on the South Coast! read more here https://hbmf.co.uk/ and have a look at the quality of some of the acts here: https://youtu.be/_r9JL3Q8szs
The plan is
Go to the festival!
We have a regular hike we do on the clifftops of Hastings country park, it’s a stunner, and hangover allowing we may take the bus out and do half of this walk, it is about 4 miles but hilly and feels more like 6. Other options include the beach or sightseeing around the town and old town. We’ll pick what feels best for the group and the weather on the day.
Most of us are camping for this event if you want to do that you must bring your own tent! (if you don’t have one you can buy a pop up tent and a sleeping bag from Go Outdoors or any outdoor shop for as little as £20 each, or get loads of stuff on e bay even cheaper (search for “camping bundle”). If you don’t want to camp I can also arrange you a room at Tower House
· Ticket to Hastings Beer and Music Festival
· Camping Pitch for one night (Saturday)
o Includes space for 1 vehicle
o Non electric pitch
· Should you wish you can add additional nights camping for Friday and/or Sunday night at £20.00 per night, I will be staying there throughout this time.
Payment: When we first publish these events you can put your name down without paying, however we will switch on the pre pay at some point and unpaid places will be removed. Pay at first RSVP to avoid disappointment by logging in to pay pal, clicking “Send Money” and sending to [masked]
Once you have paid e mail me your mobile number so I can add you to the WhatsApp group for live coordination and address details.
Tent or Camping Equipment
Travel to or from location
Food and Drink
Train ticket to buy:
From London, get a five day return to Hastings – this will allow you a flexible return time on the return journey. Trains leave from London Bridge or Charing Cross.
About 2 hours away from South London traffic being well
Friday night arrivals to campsite (if you’ve paid for an extra night): Show up for 5.30pm, we’ll help you pitch your tent and we’ll either go to a pub for dinner or use the on site restaurant.
Saturday morning arrivals: Get an early train to Hastings for about 9.30 and show up at the campsite for 10.00. We’ll help you pitch your tent, then we’ll head off for the festival at Midday.
Return to London unless you’ve paid for extra nights
Things to bring:
· Sleeping bag/matt
· Swim wear (especially if it’s hot)
· Hiking gear
o Water Bottle
o Layered Clothing
o Hiking Boots shoes/ running trainers
The campsite has amenities blocks (toilets, showers, washing up area), and water points throughout the site. It also has a swimming pool, café and restaurant both serving drinks and light meals.
Any questions click on my profile and send me a message 😊
Weekend Trip – Cheap Travel by Coach (around £30.00)
This adventure takes us to the Jurassic Coast – a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Isle of Purbeck, a large land linked Penninsula formed by Poole Bay and the River Frome in Dorset.
It’s an amazing stretch of the UK, and part of the Jurassic Coast, named for the fossils that can be found on the beaches all along the stretch. We will see the most incredible panoramic vistas as we hike on the on the South West Coast long distance path, with massive gradients of strata, from the different historical levels in the cliff face clearly on display! We'll be staying in the great seaside town of Swanage, and we'll also follow part of the Purbeck Way long distance path, and take some great stretches of coastline.
We'll also pay a visit to the exterior of Corfe Castle historic ruins, and Corfe village The castle dates back to as far as 979, and stands on a hill as a strategic defence to the route through the Purbeck Hills. We’ll also explore the town and at least one pub, so rsvp now and give yourself something to look forward to!
For more on the Jurassic Coast Click here: https://jurassiccoast.org/what-is-the-jurassic-coast/ and here https://www.flickr.com/groups/jurassic, for more about Corfe Castle Click here: http://corfe-castle.co.uk/locations/the-castle/
More about the rock formations we’ll see here: https://thedorsetrambler.com/2017/08/12/but-who-is-old-harry/
· Swanage Seaside Town
· Corfe Castle
· Studland Bay Beach
· The remarkable Square and Compass country Pub, with it’s own mini fossil museum!
· The famous rock formations!
o Old Harry's Rocks
o St Lucas Leap
· Glorious stetches of coastal path
· Good times with a genuinely friendly group
See the video of our group on large trip to Wales! http://tiny.cc/Wye22
Meet around 7pm for a drink/dinner in Swanage.
Hike Corfe Castle to Swanage via the Square and Compass
Distance: 11miles aprox inc varient
Walking time 5.5 hours aprox (excluding lunch)
Hike Studland Bay to Swanage,
St Lucas Leap natural arch
Old Harry's Rocks, the Pinnacles
Return to Swanage on the way back for a quick ice cream on the beach/ wander round/swim.
Distance: 7 mile (linear)
Walking time: 3 hours Aprox
Hostel accommodation where some of the group are staying is YHA Swanage, a converted Victorian Villa. Rooms are shared between 3 - 6 people. Ask to be booked in the same dorm as Kristen, or "the hiking group").
Alternatively book any Air BNB, or hotel on Booking.com that is feasible for you. We will use the hostel as our main meeting point Cluny, Cluny Cres, Swanage BH19 2BS
Purbeck House Hotel & Louisa Lodge, looks like a reasonable nearby option for hotels
Do feel free to update in the comments where you have booked.
FOOD & DRINK
Guided Hikes on day 2 and 3
Accommodation (book your own)
Train to Corfe Castle
Entry to Corfe Castle if you want to go inside
Taxi to Studland Bay (less than15 minutes and around a fiver)
Recommended coach is :
13.30 from London Victoria to Poole (then on to Swanage by local bus). Miriam + 2 will be getting on this coach.
Return: 17.55 from Poole to London Victoria.
Our events are publicised across three groups, therefore availability may be less than reflected in the numbers here. Unpaid RSVP's can be removed at any time, pay at first RSVP to avoid disappointment.
HOW TO PAY:
RSVPing confirms agreement to these payment terms:
After you have paid e mail Catherine your phone number to be added to the event whatsapp group for live event coordination.
- Worried about coming on your own? and other questions, see:
- In the unlikely event that the trip is cancelled you will be refunded in full
- You must be able to at least run 100 meters for a bus to join any of our events
- Always check the group website for live updates to meeting point and directions before leaving for an event
Needs a location
Seven Sisters! Seven Rolling Chalkland Hills, & Panoramic Views of the English Channel
Join us for the famous Seven Sisters, an epic hike over the seven large white chalk cliffs between Seaford and Eastbourne on the south coast.
This hike will give you amazing views over the English Channel, rolling chalk grasslands, and views of Beachy Head, a prominent headland visible from either side as far away as Hastings and Brighton.
We'll head out of the pretty coastal town of Seaford and cross the Cuckmere River before reaching the cliffs. Take lunch at Birling Gap, and then onward to Eastbourne, which is another great seaside town and interesting to pass through.
We will stop at a pub at the end, because it's nice to, and we'll also want a break!! but you don't have to drink alcohol, most pubs serve tea and coffee nowadays as well as soft drinks.
Please watch these two videos before coming on this hike to note the risk of cliff collapse:
Please do not walk or approach the edge of the cliff. Just because there is a path there does not mean it's safe, it just means that path has not fallen off yet!
- Distance: 14 miles + elevation and meandering
- Walking Time: 5.5 hrs aprox excluding lunch
- Lunch Break: 45- 60 mins
- End time: No fixed end time it's a full day out.
- Difficulty: 8/10, one steep climb, and many large rolling hills
- Pace, Medium, We are not a group for endurance hiking but the seven sisters is a fairly tough hike, however you can do this hike as a beginner as long as you are in good physical fitness
- You should at least be able to run 100m for the bus to join any of our walks
Please note that there is a crossing point on this hike where the beach meets the Cuckmere river. Generally, you wouldn’t notice the river, but about 1 in 20 hikes, if the tide is up high it may be necessary to divert inland to avoid the river crossing. This can add around 2 miles to the route.
We also occasionally wade through if the tide is low, if it’s safe (below knee height) if this happens flip flops/rafters are useful as it’s stony, so please bring a pair if you have them.
- Wear layers of clothes, and hiking boots/shoes.
- There is no shade on this hike so a hat is important. Equally bring an extra layer as the wind is coming straight in off the English Channel
- Return time: There is no specified return time. At the end of the hike we will get to the pub and have a drink and maybe some food before heading home.
- Things to Bring
- WATER!- at least 1 litre, 1.5 if it's hot
- Sandwiches and munchies
- There is a half way stop for lunch at Birling gap with a cafe, but service can be slow with large queues
Meet Point 1: London Bridge overland station, GROUND FLOOR, (in the new bit), outside the shop "Accessorise"
Meet Point 2: Outside Seaford Station 11.49, no waiting at the second.
- WE WILL BE HIKING OUT FROM SEAFORD AND RETURNING FROM EASTBOURNE.
£5.00 - Pay on cash on the day
The rail fare is £24.80 on a group save discount. Without the discount it is £10.00 more,
- We will group you into groups of 3/4 to get the discount at the meeting point and then go to get the tickets,
- You will be clubbing in with people you haven't met, so please be sure to bring the right change for your fare so as not to have to beg money from your new friends!
- Please note, if you taking the discount rail travel option you must travel both ways with the group
Plan your travel to London bridge and check for tube closures the night before, TFL Journey Planner http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
Please don't come if you want to be back in time for any "evening plans", we will not be back in time and you will annoy us by asking if we will be back in time. Please don't do it! Go and annoy Graham or Geoff or Pash or Gary or Mischa, or anyone else but not us. On this one, we bite!
- You must be able to at least run 100 meters for a bus to join any of hikes
- Worried about coming on your own or any other questions ? Refer to our FAQ on the Message Board (under discussions).
PLEASE ALWAYS CHECK YOUR E MAIL AND THIS WEB SITE FOR ANY UPDATES BEFORE LEAVING FOR EACH EVENT.
A hikers paradise - the North Wessex Downs! We start at Kintbury for this hike which takes you 650 meters up Inkpen Hill - the largest hill in South East England, from where you can see a view of five county's.
The hill is also crowned by the historic site of what was once the largest Iron Age fort in the country, and the UK's only double gibbet! Which I can tell you some stories about when we're up there.
This is one of the UK's most beautiful locations, and a great place to explore the real British countryside. We pass by some really unique sights in this one. The rolling hills and amazing landscape of the Wessex Downs in the centre of Southern England are a listed AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and one of the UK's national Treasures.
The North Wessex Downs is a unique and spectacular landscape that includes open downland, ancient woodland and chalk streams.We'll walk from the village of Kintbury through the Kennet Valley and across open farmland to Inkpen. We'll make a stop at a pub part way through for a breather and a drink at lunch.
When we get to Inkpen as well as seeing the fort site, we'll take in the stunning views of five counties, before hiking back to Kintbury and finishing the day off with a well earned stop in a great local pub before returning to London on the train.
(Involves one very LARGE hill.)
You must be able to at least run 100 meters for a bus to join one of our hikes.
Meeting Point 1:- Paddington 10.15 am, in the overland station, outside the main ticket office
Meeting Point 2: Kintbury Railway station, 12.08 (no waiting at the second meeting point), please post in teh comments if you are meeting us there.
Distance: 10-12 miles
Walking time excluding break/s: 5hrs
The train fare is £20.75 on a group save discount - we will group you into groups of 3's and 4's at the station. Please bring the right change, as you will be clubbing in with people you don't know and it will be awkward to not have the right money!
-Due to the type of ticket we buy you must travel with the group and will be unable to return to London on your own without paying for an additional ticket.
Return time: There is no specified return time. At the end of the hike we will aim to get back to the pub around 6.30 although variations may happen. You will not be able to return to London in time for any evening plans, if you have evening plans do not come.
Things to Bring:
Food. We will stop at a pub on route for a lunchbreak butthey're not always serving food.
Water - at least 1 litre
Hat - Not much shade on this route
Wear: Layered clothing, and hiking boots. Trainers are acceptable, shoes are not, (they will just hurt your feet :) )
Places are spread over three groups, numbers attending may therefore be higher than shown here.
Dogs: Well behaved owners and dogs that like other dogs are welcome. You will need to keep your dog on a lead at the leaders request, which will be through fields with cattle and near roads, and all the way through the deer park.
Plan your Journey to this MeetUp here: TFL Journey Planner http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
Worried about coming on your own? More on walking pace, and questions about distance, footwear, weather, return train times or safety? Refer to our frequently asked questions here: http://tiny.cc/btvouz
N.B: You will be required to fill in a next of kin form, if you don't want to do this I am unable to take you on the event.
We're looking for (paid) pro/amateur guides, if you can use outdooractive and have led groups, please get in touch, e mail Catherine directly via her profile.
PLEASE ALWAYS CHECK YOUR E MAIL AND THIS WEB SITE FOR ANY UPDATES BEFORE LEAVING FOR EACH EVENT.