The All Year Ramblers is an independent Edinburgh based hillwalking club which was founded in 1953. The name reflects the tradition of arranging walks for our members every week of the year, come rain or shine. We have an active membership of about 180 people, mostly drawn from Edinburgh and the surrounding area.
The ethos of the club has always been to keep costs as low as possible, so that enjoyment of the countryside can be open to as many people as possible. (Annual membership currently costs £15). We have always used a mixture of hired buses and public transport to travel to and from walks, rather than private cars. This has a number of advantages, for example not restricting us to circular routes, and encouraging social interaction as we travel together. The pub stops after our walks are another tradition which everyone can join in, as no-one has to drive.
We are a very sociable club, and this is helped by a programme of social events such as an annual high tea, cheese & wine evening, Burns supper, slide show evenings, lectures etc.
Membership is open to all over the age of 16. The current age profile is mainly 40+, but we are particularly keen to encourage younger walkers, and hopefully our programme of walks will have something to appeal to a wide range of abilities and ages, from coastal and woodland rambles to munro forays and backpacking trips.
We publish a very full programme of walks together with a newsletter three times a year. See our web site for an outline version of our current programme.
Walks are organised for every Sunday of the year, generally alternating between private hired buses and public transport. In addition we aim to organise fortnightly walks on Wednesdays, which gives access to a fuller range of bus and train services. Shorter walks, of about 5-7 miles, are sometimes organised as an alternative for those who cannot manage the longer distance walks.
There are 3 or 4 weekend trips every year, mostly hostel-based, which have taken us to places such as the Isle of Mull, Torridon, Northern Ireland, and the Lake District. We also organise a long weekend (3 night) backpacking trip every June.
Our repertoire of walks has built up over the years, and our Sunday buses have taken us to many far-flung destinations, from Arran to the Angus glens and the Northumberland coast to the Spey valley. Of course we also explore many nooks and crannies closer to home, so the chances are you will discover lots of new and interesting places if you join on one of our walks.
How the Club Works:
All walks are led by volunteer club members who reconnoitre the route in advance. On all the Sunday buses we offer a choice of at least two and usually three walks of different grades :
· Grade ‘A’ – typically 10-15 miles over rough country with few paths, taking in several hills and significant amounts of ascent;
· Grade ‘B’ – moderate hill walks or lower level walks in hilly areas, typically a mixture of tracks and moorland;
· Grade ‘C’ – usually 8-12 miles over relatively flat farmland, mostly on tracks and footpaths; however it may sometimes be necessary to climb over dykes and fences, ford burns, or walk in snow in winter.
Our private buses leave from Queen Street, usually at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. These have a capacity of 53 people and we have a booking system for allocating seats, although there are sometimes spaces available at short notice. There is a flat fare – currently £12 – for all private buses, regardless of destination. Walks on service buses do not require any advance booking, and these can be a good choice for people getting to know the club. Prospective members are welcome to try out a couple of walks before deciding if they want to join.
For the comfort and safety of all passengers, we do not allow smoking or alcohol on buses. Also, we cannot allow dogs on walks as we frequently pass through farmland and we are keen to maintain our good relationship with those who live and work in the countryside.
Ways to Contact: