What is Fellwalking?

Fellwalking is the recreational practice of hiking and walking in mountainous terrain. Whilst walking is the primary activity, every outing also involves other different skills as diverse as building sandcastles/boats, drinking beer/wine/whiskey, dancing in nightclubs, and eating ice creams on the beach!

Many fellwalkers become proficient in scrambling (that is ascending rockier, and often more exposed routes up mountains, somewhere between hiking and climbing, it is not compulsory to do this!)

Some of our members even go rock climbing both indoor and outdoor. Another skill involved is navigation, especially in conditions of poor visibility.

There is not always a clear distinction between Fellwalking and Mountaineering, but the latter term is typically used to describe more adventurous activities, often at higher altitudes, however, many of the walks that we run can easily be described as mountaineering.

What do I need to bring?

Check out the equipment page for a detailed kit list. The main points to remember however are:

  • NO denim to be worn.
  • You must have proper walking boots (these DON'T need to be expensive, ask where you can buy them in Newcastle, many of our members pretty much live in the outdoor shops in Newcastle).
  • You must have a waterproof jacket, and plenty of warm clothing; this includes hats and gloves, even in the height of summer, the British weather as unpredictable as it is.

Does it matter that I've never gone Fellwalking before?

Not at all. We will always run a variety of walks, and there will always be one suitable for those who just want to be outside in pleasant surroundings.

How many members do you have?

We have over 150 members, and are one of the largest societies at Newcastle University, so joining is a great way to make new friends. We always have a strong international flavour to our Society, as joining is a great way to see more of Great Britain.

What about socials?

We hold a social (nearly) every Wednesday night. Details about where we are, going each week will be sent out in e-mail to members, and will also be posted on the News Page of this website.

How can I join the Society?

The best way to find out more information and to join is to come and see us at the Fellwalking Table any lunchtime between 12.30pm-1.30pm. It’s located on the 1st floor of the student union.

Click here to follow the link to the Union Clubs and Societies page and join the Fellwalking Society.

When & where do trips leave?

It depends! Most weekend trips leave from the gear store near Windsor Terrace (which is also near the library) at 5pm on Fridays.

Day walks leave from outside the front of the Union. Generally trips running before about mid-October or after mid-March will leave at 8:00am, whilst trips in the bleak midwinter will leave at 7:45am in order to make the best of the light.

Does it matter that I can't use a map and compass?

Again, a resounding NO. All walks are led by at least one (and usually two, especially in the mountains) experienced walkers. That said, we are always on the lookout for more walk leaders, so if you have any experience, or feel that you would like to learn, just let us know.

How do I book a place on a trip?

Once you are a member of the society, you can book a place on trips as they become available on our Student Union page. Trip lists open on a Monday, a fortnight before the trip goes ahead. The list will close on the Wednesday before the trip goes ahead. If you have any problems getting there email the committee for advice.

How can I get hold of NUFWS-branded clothing?

Clothing is ordered once a year. We order hoodies with the society logo on it and a design on the back. This is done towards the start of the year. Details will be made available at the time.

How much does it all cost?

Membership options are listed on this page, this subsidises the cost of trips. The standard student union insurance is an extra £3, but this covers you for all the Union societies not just NUFWS. Day walks normally cost around £15, whilst weekends are usually between £30-40. All trips are priced individually depending on the cost of transport, petrol & accommodation.

When do we get back?

Again, it depends! Day walks will usually be back in Newcastle by 7pm, though trips to places nearby (e.g. Northumberland) will be back earlier. The coach drops us off back at the Union. Weekends often don't get back until 11pm or later. For all weekends, the minibus will drop you off at your house or halls of residence.

Would you like me to drive a minibus?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! We often struggle to get enough drivers to run weekend trips. If you are over 21 with a clean driving licence, and have been driving for at least three years, we really want to hear from you. Drivers are the most loved people in the Society, and to show how much we value them, they receive £5 off the cost of all weekend trips that they go on! This makes (for example) a £20 trip an almost embarrassingly cheap £15! They will also get all their (non-alcoholic) drinks bought for them by everyone else on the trip and lots of free love (although not when actually driving)!

Where do you lot hang out?

During the week, NUFWS members often congregate on the activities floor of the student union. We will be found between 12:30pm and 1:30pm, eating our dinner most days, why not come along!

What's hill bagging?

Bagging is basically the compiling of lists of hills based on their height. You then tick off the hills you have climbed. I suppose it's a bit like trainspotting for fellwalkers. Once upon a time NUFWS had shedloads of baggers, all busily climbing pointless lumps just so as to tick them off.