What we’re about
Hello and welcome to the Belfast Dynamos walking group.
The purpose of this group is to bring people together on lifestyle walks to enjoy Northern Ireland's beautiful landscape.
We meet for a few hours, walk a path or hill, smell the flowers, see the sights and amble along getting to know each other. Our membership includes dog owners and we are dog-friendly. However some walks will not suit dogs (sheep, farmlands) and you will be notified.
Women especially should join this group as it's run by a woman and you have the opportunity to walk routes with a group in safety. We only walk as fast as the slowest person. Average fitness is fine. Walks will be varied in addition, so you can choose level walks at first if you are unsure about hill walks.
With our emphasis on social interaction and combatting loneliness and isolation in Belfast, we often go for a coffee after our walks. If you are unemployed or recovering from depression, please see membership costs below.
It costs £20 a year to become a member of this group.
Each walk then costs £1.
The cost per walk for non-members who have not paid £20, is £6.
Guests of members pay £6 for each walk.
Ways to pay:
You can pay cash on your first walk.
Unemployed people pay £1 per walk and are exempt from the £20 subscription. So if you're out of work email me in confidence to avail of free membership.
We also waive the £20 subscription fee for people recovering from depression, just let us know in confidence.
Refugees and asylum-seekers get free membership also.
ESSENTIAL KIT: Good sturdy boots/shoes designed for countryside walking and wet/cold weather are essential for joining the group so please invest.
I will refuse anyone who turns up ill equipped. Trainers are not suitable. Post up on the group if you'd like to borrow shoes, poles, coats etc. Many members will have extra kit and may be your size. Charity shops are good for kit as is the 'Vinted' app where kit can be bought.
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below, which will probably serve to answer any of your queries. It's quite an independent group, but if there's anything else you need to know that isn't dealt with below, feel free to email me through the group.
Am I fit enough for the walks?
We do various grades of walk from the novice building up their fitness levels, to the seasoned hill walker.
These walks are only for adults.
If you have a medical condition ie diabetes, allergy etc please make the organiser aware in confidence.
Dogs are very welcome in this group.
You must be 18 to join. The group is not suitable or designed for children.
What if I change my mind about attending a walk?
That's no problem! We don't keep tabs! Just update your RSVP. There's no need to write apologies, or explain and no need to text or call me as I need to keep my phone free for people who are lost or running late. However if you are involved in car sharing, make sure you notify your fellow passengers/driver.
For reasons of common courtesy to fellow members, pseudo profile names or numbers in place of a name will not gain online admittance to this group, so join up using the name your mother gave you.
How do I get to the meetups?
It is up to members to make their own way to the meetups.
The best way to get to the walk locations if you are driving, is to download the Meetup app on your smartphone. Once you have that, when you tap on each meeting location, the app will go to map directions and just like a satnav, will bring you from your front door to the Meetup.
No smartphone? There are corresponding detailed instructions and a location map of the venue supplied in details of each walk posted on the desktop site.
Members who don't drive or who car share usually post up where they are coming from and get transport organised with drivers in the group. You can arrange then to tip your driver. For longer journeys it's at least £5.
Please don't organise lifts or offer lifts unless you definitely intend to go on a walk.
Privacy and online safety
Please use your usual worldly discretion when organising lifts or communicating on the site, and be careful of publicly posting your phone, address, car details. Every member can be emailed privately through the site so do that instead when organising transport.
Offering and accepting lifts
Please don't offer lifts unless you plan to go on the walk as this causes great inconvenience to people and ruins their chance to walk for that event.
If you are taking a lift, a driver will expect a contribution towards fuel. If passengers don't pay this, don't be surprised to get no lift offers in future.
Please only ask for lifts if you are serious about going as drivers often have several pick ups to do and then need to be on time for the event. Your driver may need to drive on to pick up others or get on the road to the event, so you may get left behind and not make the walk if you arrive late.
It's advised that passengers meet drivers at a mutually convenient spot that is not your home and is a place that is closest to a main road. This will save time on the day of the event. It's advisable to be on time for your lift.
It's advised that passengers contact their driver to confirm their pick up the night before the meetup. Drivers are advised to ask passengers to confirm.
Any drivers or passengers who make a habit of cancelling after offering will be asked not to offer lifts or ask for lifts on the group.
Big fat NOs
No advertising of any shape or form is allowed on this site either through profile names, profile blurbs, on greetings bars or discussion forums, through the email facility or any other means. Walking it is and walking it stays thanks very much.
We message each other with courtesy, kindness and goodwill at all times. Please respect this very important rule. Anyone posting inappropriate messages, harassing, trolling, triggering, making misogynistic or misandrist, racist, homophobic or sexist comments will be dealt with by me (by removal/reporting to PSNI).
Please don't engage in online exchanges with trolls (they will get your email address if you reply to them) - report them to Meetup or me with evidence.
Dynamos subscribe to Leave No Trace.
Meetup is responsible for hosting the maps, events, members, messages and all else. Your subscription pays for the price of this platform and your profile is not accessible by the organiser(s). Please contact Meetup directly with any technical issues.
Upcoming events (1)See all
- Castlewellan Forest ParkCastlewellan Forest Park, Castlewellan
Grade: Moderate, with some steep bits. Approximately 5 miles.
CAVEAT - if the forecast isn't looking good nearer the time, the walk will be changed to somewhere sheltered closer to Belfast, so please keep an eye out for updates
Castlewellan Forest Park is nestled in a dramatic setting of mountains and sea. It also has one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe.
Our walk will take in Slievenaslat, with stunning views of the Mournes and we'll stop for snack/lunch at the top. As we descend we'll go around the lake and back to the carpark. We can go for a wander round the Peace Maze (hopefully we don't get lost!).
The path is mostly easy though there is a bit of a climb up Slievenaslat, but we'll take our time. The path is good so it's not difficult. Boots or walking shoes only please. Bring a raincoat and change of clothes just in case.
We can go to the Turnip House afterwards for homemade soup, scones, lemon drizzle cake and tea/coffee if you wish. Please let me know when RSVP'ing if interested, so I can let the Turnip House know the numbers.
Car sharing is recommended, so if you need a lift, post up the general area you're coming from (not your home address!) and hopefully someone can help out. Please give the driver something towards the petrol, suggested is £5+ please. We ask that all drivers and passengers respect this to keep things fair.
There is a charge of £5 to park in the Castlewellan Car Park, however this can be got around easily by parking in the village and walking in to the meeting point in the car park on foot - allow 15 minutes extra to arrive on time.
Price is the usual £1 for members and £6 for guests and non-members.
Contact Maria on 07583-042962 (please only use if you're lost or late on the day).
See you there!