University of Manchester Hiking Club

Crucial Guide

This Crucial Guide aims to give people new to the club a good overview of what we do, how we do it and how to get involved. If you have more questions, speak to us at sign-up (see below), find out how to email us or join us on Facebook!

Trip Types

We run five types of trips - coach, train, weekend, vacation and summer minibus.

Coach hikes are our main kind of trip and the most popular! Almost every Sunday we take a coach of 50 people to Wales, the Lake District or Yorkshire, and they are well structured, so a good introduction if you are new to the club. Everything is explained on the coach, and you can choose from one of the planned routes ranging from easy to hard depending on ability. There are leaders on every hike to look after everybody and try to make sure you have a great day out!

The coach leaves from Owen's Park at 8:30am, the Students' Union at 8:40am, and Weston Hall at 8:50am, don't be late! These times are earlier in winter when it gets dark earlier, we'll announce via the mailing list when this happens. We get back around 8:30pm, and many of us then head to Owen's Park for some deserved fish and chips. The trips cost £10 for members, £15 for non-members, and you can sign up at the Students' Union during the week (see below). Note that these times move an hour earlier in deepest, darkest winter.

Train hikes take us to the nearby Peak District. To come along, all you have to do is wait for the email announcing which time train we will catch, and turn up to the station to buy your train ticket! These trips are cheaper and smaller than coach hikes, but also give us the chance to stay out later at night if we want.

Weekend trips are great! They last from Friday night to Sunday evening and provide a chance to be a little more adventurous, social and even go to Scotland. We travel up by minibus and stay in bunkhouses close to the hills. The group on a trip can decide what to do on each day: usually a bigger walk on Saturday and a smaller one on Sunday. For food, everyone usually eats fish and chips on the way, and the committee cooks for everybody on Saturday night, but you will need to bring you own breakfasts and lunches. These trips usually cost around £50-60, and sell out fast so you will need to sign up quickly!

Vacation trips run at Christmas and Easter. At Christmas is our annual Nethy House trip, which many will agree is the best thing we do! We hire out the whole of this huge bunkhouse to ourselves, which even has its own bar that we can run. The trip is a chance for many current and ex-members of the club to meet up, explore the Cairngorms, learn new winter mountaineering skills and even have a go at some skiing. At Easter we run a similar trip to a far out location in Scotland that it would be otherwise impossible to reach, such as the Isle of Skye or Torridon.

Over the summer holiday the club dies down, but those who are still left in Manchester keep things ticking over by hiring out the Union minibus whenever possible. These trips are more random and can't be scheduled in advance, but are also very cheap!

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How to join

Most importantly, make sure you're signed up to the mailing list to get our weekly emails telling you what's coming up.

Most trips require signing up, which is easy! We can be found in the Student Activities Centre on the first floor of the Students' Union building on Oxford Road each lunchtime from 12:30 to 1:30pm. Coach trips open the Monday before, and longer trips at least two weeks before the trip.

You don't need to be a member to come, but it makes trips cheaper! Membership costs £18 for the year, and also provides BMC insurance and discounts in outdoor shops. To become a member, you must log in to the Students' Union website. Non-students can register as a guest. Once logged in, find our page to join the Hiking Club (click the join button).


Basic Gear

  • Hiking boots - these are tough boots with ankle protection to stop you from being hurt if you slip on rocks, and generally also provide some level of waterproofing. They don't have to be expensive, and can be found for around £20-30. If you want to spend more on a nicer pair, check out the various outdoors shops in Manchester, such as Cotswold and Blacks.
  • Trousers (i.e. not jeans) - any comfortable trousers that you are happy to run around in and get a bit dirty will do. However, these can absolutely not be jeans, as when wet, denim becomes very heavy and cold. That means you will be miserable, and isn't very safe either!
  • Waterproof jacket - enough said!
  • Warm clothes - even if it seems like a nice day it can quickly change, so be prepared by bringing some extra layers.
  • Torch - in more wintry months, it is likely to start getting dark before the end of the hike, so a torch is a must. A head torch is the most convenient because it keeps your hand free, but a hand held one is fine otherwise. The torch on your phone is not adequate.
  • Lunch and water - a good lunch is important to keep you on your feet, and even more so as a nice reward on top of a mountain! Lunch should be quick and easy to eat, i.e. sandwiches and chocolate. Bring plenty of water too, even on the rainiest days.
  • Rucksack - you need something to put it all in, so use a good sized rucksack that you are happy to wear all day.

Please note that we reserve the right to refuse to take anyone who is not properly equipped. Particularly, this means no jeans or trainers.

For more detailed equipment information including advice for what to bring at different times of the year, see the equipment page.


Our social secretaries work hard to organise a different event every week to help us explore Manchester and do something other than hike all the time! Socials include pub crawls, meals, comedy nights, ice skating, brewery tours, BBQs and more!

University of Manchester Hiking Club. Site maintained by Ryan Miller.

Developed by Nic Garner, based on work by Chris Banks and other committee members.

© University of Manchester Hiking Club 2007-2018