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Southampton University Hillwalking Club

Frequently asked questions

This page contains a list of FAQs, if you have any other queries then email the club, and we will add it to the list. Specific information about day walks and away trips can be found on the relevant pages. We've also added a few links to other organisations at the bottom of this page that we think you'll find useful :)

General: About the Club

What do we do? What is our mission?
At SUHC we are dedicated to exploring the very best countryside, peaks and coastline the UK has to offer. Our mission includes:

- To promote the interests of Hillwalking amongst members of the Club.

- To provide an opportunity for members of the Club to meet and participate in walking and club activities together.

- To promote awareness of Hillwalking as a channel of health, exercise and wellbeing to members of the Club.

- To promote awareness of the need to maintain access, conservation and protection of the countryside, coastal and mountain environment.

We host day walks every Saturday, exploring Hampshire and neighbouring counties. Here in Southampton, we are sandwiched between the New Forest and South Downs National Park, and not too far from the iconic Jurassic Coast! Our weekend away trips offer our members an opportunity to explore further afield, and often within more challenging terrain.

How old is the club?
The club was founded in the 1966/67 academic year, making us one of the oldest clubs remaining at the University of Southampton. In 2016 we celebrated our 50th anniversary, so the club has quite the legacy!

Why is the club called Hillwalking and not Hiking?
Over the years the club has adopted such former names as:

Southampton University Rambling Club (1966 until somewhere around 1993)

SU Rambling and Hillwalking (1993 - 1998/9)

Southampton University Hillwalking Club (1999 - Present)

The name refers to the "sport" of Hillwalking, in line with other university clubs and outdoor organisations. We must admit that it is quite a British term. If you're interested to know more, click here.

Membership & Costs

How much does it cost to join?
Depending on your level of activity with us, we offer both paid and free membership. Our full academic year membership is £20 and is highly recommended to those who regularly participate in our day walks, away trips and socials. For those of you who simply want to attend a day walk here and there with no commitment, you can register as a member for FREE through our club's SUSU Webpage. For further details of club membership please see our Memberships page.

Why do I need to register for a free membership if it doesn't cost anything?

By registering for a free day walk membership with us through SUSU, the student's union, you will be receive comprehensive insurance cover when you participate in our weekly day walks. It's also ensures that you are an officially recognised club member, even if our paid membership is not for you!

Are there any additional costs?
Yes, train fares range from £2.50 to £25 (but very rare to cost that much!). To keep costs down we do recommend purchasing a Young Person / Student's Railcard to receive 33% off the price of your tickets. Alternatively, you can buddy up with two other Hillwalkers and purchase a group ticket at the same discounted rate as a Railcard (minimum of three people travelling together required). If you'd like more information on group tickets, please click here.

Our away trips do incur additional costs, but are always made with student's in mind (we are all student's after all!). Our away trips are usually priced at £50, which is inclusive of your transport, main meals and accommodation.

The majority of our socials are free to attend, but the occasional social may require a small fee to yourself. This is mainly an entrance fee to the cinema, bowling, trampolining or similar activities.

If you have any further questions regarding membership or money, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our treasurer, Matthew, who will be more than happy to help. Simply send an email to


How do I join your fantastic club?
Just come along to any daywalk or social, or sign up to an away trip!

Do I need to be a member to come on daywalks and socials?
No. Our daywalks and the majority of our socials are open to everyone and you do not need to be a member. However if you do decide to become a member, you may recieve a discount to some of our socials. Membership is compulsory for coming on away trips and you must be a full paid member to fully benefit from the club's insurance in the event of an accident or injury.

How do I join your mailing list?
Send an email to with the word subscribe in the body of the email. It doesn't matter what you put the subject as. Or click the underlined link and it'll do it for you (just press send!). That's it!

Can University Staff and Alumni attend your events?
Yes! You can come to all our events, but there is a catch for Away Trips. As per our open Day Walk policy, anyone can come on these without being paid membership. For Away Trips, you still need to purchase full club membership. Before you can do this, you'll need to buy Union Southampton "Affiliate" membership (or Lifetime membership if you're Alumni). Please bear in mind that you must be full Union and Club members to be fully covered by the insurance.

Do I require any prior expertise?
No, the club caters for all skill levels. On away trips there will be a number of different level walks available. The club will fully brief you as to the difficulty of the walks on the day. If you have the desire to further your knowledge in walking (e.g. navigation, survival on hill etc.) the club will teach you all that it can! If there is demand, we even run free navigation classes.

Do I require the University's "Sport and Wellbeing Membership" to join your events?
Not at all, since we do not use any of the University's sports facilities!

Is there somewhere I can go to find out what I need to bring and what is expected of me as a member?
Yes, please head to our rules page where you'll find the Club/Committee's responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of our members. Please note that by attending our walks and events, you are acknowledging that you have read through and agree to all rules, appendicies and safety information provided by the Club.


When and where are the daywalks and who can go?
Daywalks are run every saturday that there isn't an away trip. Details of the walk will be emailed to our email list the week before. Meetup is usually at Southampton Central rail station on Saturday morning, times change depending on the walk. Check your email or Facebook for details. Anyone can go on the walk, whether a member or not. To be fully insured and to get 25% back off your train ticket, you must be a paid member.

Kit Questions

Do I need to buy specialist kit?
Not for our free Day Walks. Just turn up wearing comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes. For Away Trips, we're a little more strict on kit and do require you to have proper walking boots and waterproof clothing. For all kit guidance, please see our kit lists here.

"Sturdy shoes"? So what should I be wearing on my feet?
A decent pair of trainers is recommended as the absolute minimum standard of footware for a Day Walk. If you're going to be coming on lots of our walks, we do recommend you investing in a pair of walking boots (walking boots are required for all Away Trips). The committee will be happy to advise you on what shoes are best. Please do NOT turn up in flat-soled and "fashion footware" such as Converses, Ugg boots and heeles as you will not only ruin your classy shoes, but also your feet!

Random Questions

Will you be at the Bunfight?
Yes, we will be in our committee shirts and hoodies! There will also be a 'Welcome Meeting' a week into term for new members to find a bit more about our club. Details of this will be posted on the calendar and Facebook page.

Is the club just about walking?
Nope, although the club is based around walking, its also about having a jolly good chat, and a relax in a nice pub at the end of the walks - what more could you want!

Why do you have 2 Day Walk, Away Trip and Social Secs?
The Committee is made up entirely of like-minded current students. We have 2 of each type of event secretary to ensure we can put on a walk however busy the committee get!

I love the club so much and want to help run it! How can I join the committee?
Glad you like us that much! The committee is made up of 9 elected current students. Elections happen annually at the end of February, and are hosted at our Anual General Meeting. Anyone who believes they can do the job can stand for election. Details of when and where the AGM is held will be sent out via email and Facebook at least a month in advance.

Where can I see more photos and videos of where you've been?
We have a Facebook forum, where our members have posted photos and videos. We have also started a YouTube Channel. It's a bit sparse at the moment, but soon it will be filled with committee-filmed shots of what we're up to!


General website links you might find useful.

16-25 Railcard- Information on obtaining big discounts off train journeys in the UK.

The Chase Walk - Website of The Chase Walk competition, of which SUHC is a regular (and successful!)participant.

Walking Safety Guide - by Great Outdoors Superstore.

SUSU - Southampton University Student Union

BMC - British Mountaineering Council - Representative body of climbers, mountaineers and hillwalkers in England and Wales. SUHC is not an affiliated club - Information on driving a minibus on a normal car licence in the UK.

Southampton University's Active Travel scheme - Encoraging sustainable transport, including walking, both for commuting to campus and for recreation.

New Forest National Park Authority - The organisation responsible for managing the New Forest, and hosts of an annual autumn walking festival within the park.

Outdoor Shops - feel free to contact the committee if you have any questions before making a big purchase!

Blacks - Store at 67 Above Bar Street, Southampton

Cotswold Outdoor - Store in Hedge End

Trespass - Store at Unit 2 Above Bar Street, Southampton

Decathlon - Store at 24 Harbour Parade, West Quay Retail Park

Go Outdoors - Store in Millbrook

Other societies at the University of Southampton that venture into the wilderness...

Duke of Edinburgh Society

Student Scout and Guide Organisation (SSAGO)

Mountaineering Club (SUMC)

Mountain Bike Club (SUMBC)

External links. SUHC cannot accept responsibility for any broken, inaccurate or offensive content on these sites.