I have always loved hiking. Some of my best memories are attached to hiking related holidays. I have been fortunate enough to hike Kilimanjaro and The Inca Trail (just don’t ask me about the altitude sickness!). And most Easters (back before COVID-19), I would go on long hiking weekends with my mates, usually to the Peaks, the Lakes or the Quantocks.
Forming The Outsiders Club, as part of Out and About, means I get combine by love of hikes and walks (plus hopefully wild swimming) with the business Becky and I have set up. We are really looking forward to both day and long weekend outdoor experiences across the UK.
We know hikes are not just good for physical and mental health, but they are great ways to share experiences with like-minded people.
As part of The Outsiders Club, I also wanted to set myself a challenge that I could do monthly, and one that allowed me to really discover London, the city I will have lived in for 20 years in 2022. Alongside the walking challenge will be a charity one, I will be raising money for Mind Out, a LGBTQ mental health charity.
Noreen loves a good hike
The Capital Ring Walk, felt like the perfect adventure for me, my new hiking companion (Noreen The Destroyer) and hopefully a few Out and Abouters and Outsider Club members. I plan to walk the whole route from January onwards. Yes that is all 15 sections. We will always finish with a meet up in a pub, a cafe and hopefully (weather permitting) with a few picnics.
We have planned Capital Ring Walks in on the 3rd Sunday of the month, starting from January 2022 and walks for the year are already up on the events page. This means Out and Abouters can plan in which they want to attend. We will also be promoting out across the UK and beyond, so national and international tourists can join us.
The Capital Ring is 78 miles (126k), split into 15 well planned sections. Each section begins and ends at public transport, and the route gets its name because it literally circles round London. It’s a great way to see some of London’s finest scenery, including nature reserves, historical sites and 126k of green space.
Woolwich to Falcon wood – Thames Barrier
Stoke Newington to Hackney Wick
It’s not just good for hikers, but a great way for budding photographers to capture images of a London beyond Big Ben and Trafalgar Square. I will certainly be taking a camera (maybe even a GoPro) with me.
Am I mad, probably. But after a challenging couple of years I reckon I need a hiking goal, Noreen is keen to see the rest of London and I am hoping to make some new Out and About chums along the way.
To join me, you can sign up to the events here. All of the walks will be guided (I am already doing my prep). They are free to Outsiders Club members and £2.50 to anyone else. Open to LGBTQIA women all allies. You can find more about the Outsiders Club here.
I will be setting up my justgiving page in the new year.
Polly Shute is the Co-Founder of Out and About LGBTQ