We're a registered charity and our core work is to safeguard the places people go walking and encourage them to do so – from gentle strolls to challenging hikes, whether in towns or in the countryside. Through our dedicated volunteers, we provide Britain’s biggest range of group led walks, work to protect our countryside and ensure access to its historic path network and introduce new people to the many benefits of walking.
Becoming a member of the Ramblers not only supports our charitable work, it also provides access to group walks and social events all year round, organised by our network of walking groups across England, Scotland and Wales. We also offer the opportunity for members to get involved in a number of volunteering activities including the running of the charity.
Now known simply as the Ramblers, the Ramblers Association was officially founded on 1 January 1935. Since then we have helped coax, campaign and build Britain path-by-path into one of the most walking-friendly countries in the world.
We currently have 114,000 members across England, Scotland and Wales.
Walking is an easy, affordable and sociable form of exercise that can help you stay healthy, keep happy, enjoy time with friends and family or meet new people - all the while discovering new places right on your doorstep or exploring further afield. Regular, brisk walking also has endless health benefits. It helps to control weight, combat osteoarthritis, can dramatically cut diabetes and cardiovascular disease and can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, just to name a few.
There are lots of ways for people of all ages and abilities to get walking through the Ramblers. Joining one of our local walking groups offers the comfort and company of walking with others and the benefit of our experienced walk leaders. We also run a number of walking projects and schemes designed to help people, especially in towns and cities, improve their health and well-being by walking regularly and locally.
Our projects include:
- Walking for Health – in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support
- Let’s Walk Cymru
- Take 30
- The Ramblers was instrumental to the introduction of National Parks and National Trails including the creation of the Pennine Way back in 1965 and more recently the South Downs National Park in 2009.
- The year 2000 saw one of the biggest milestones in Ramblers history with the passing of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 giving walkers the ‘right to roam’ in open countryside in England and Wales, followed three years later by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 giving Scotland the most progressive access in Europe by granting statutory access rights to almost all land.
- In 2009, after many years of campaigning led by the Ramblers, the public won the right to walk along the entire coast of England through the creation of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
- In 2011, thanks in part to work by Ramblers Cymru, Wales became the first country in the world to have a path around its entire coastline.