(Frequently Asked Questions)


How do I know which walk is suitable for me?

You can have a look at the walks on offer by checking out our current programme. Contact the walk leader and they’ll let you know how long and strenuous the walk will be.  If you feel unsure, a good place to start might be the shorter evening walks held through the summer.  Our Sunday walks are graded short (up to 8 miles), Medium (9-14miles) and long (15+) miles.

Do I need to book to come on a walk?

There’s no need to pre book to come on a walk but if you’re new to the group it’s a good idea to contact the walk leader first so they can confirm the walk details and keep an eye out for you on the day.

What equipment will I need?

For all walks we’d recommend a pair of sturdy walking boots, waterproofs and food and water to last you for the whole day.  It’s also worth bringing layers and hats/gloves to help you keep warm.

Where do the walks start from and go to?

It is usually possible to arrange to car share from Macclesfield station, although other start points may be given on the programme. If in doubt check with the leader.

Some walks will be local walks going from the station, others may involve a drive - usually to the Peak District but sometimes further afield. We encourage members to share car journeys where possible.

How often are the walks held?

There are usually one or two walks on most Sundays. During the summer there is also often a midweek evening walk.


What type of cycling is on offer?

We have a mix of mountain and road bikers so you should be able to find an event to suit you whatever your preference!


Do I need to have climbed before?

For most events you do not need to have climbed before.  It’s best to contact the leader of the event to double check before turning up.

What equipment do I need?

When climbing we use ropes, harnesses, helmets and rock shoes.  If you’re new to climbing and don’t have any climbing equipment – don’t worry.  Just contact the event leader in advance of the meet and we’ll aim to have some kit you can borrow.

Where do ECOG climb?

During the winter we tend to spend Wednesday evening down at Substation in Macclesfield.  We sometimes venture to other climbing/bouldering walls.  As soon as the daylight permits we try to get outdoors.  And with a whole host of crags on our doorstep across the Peak District we’re spoilt for choice and like to keep variety in our climbing schedule.


How do a book onto a weekend away?

Once you’ve joined ECOG you’ll be added to our email mailing list.  The weekend leader usually sends out an email inviting people to sign up for a weekend 3months beforehand. They’ll give you more details of the weekend including cost and how to pay.

Where do you stay?

In winter we usually seek the warmth and comfort of hostels, bunkhouses or climbing huts and in summer we like to camp. We often travel to Wales, Scotland, the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales.

Aren’t hostels very basic?

Hostels have certainly improved very much in recent years and now offer very comfortable, affordable accommodation for a weekend.  They often have dorm rooms with 4-8 bunk beds and bathrooms and showers to share. Many also offer private rooms now as well. Most hostels are licensed so you can enjoy a beer or a glass of wine in the evenings and they have self catering kitchen facilities.  Most hostels will also offer meals including breakfasts and evening meals that can be purchased if you don’t fancy cooking but we’re also a sociable bunch so will often cook a communal meal for everyone to share.


How old are your members?

We have a wide range of ages in our group from 30’s to 70’s.  We think that gives us a great mix of people and sets us apart from most other walking groups.

Do I need to be a member to go on a event?

We allow prospective members to “try before you buy” so it’s ok to go on a couple of events without joining to see if you enjoy our programme (we’re sure you will!).  After that we encourage everyone to join so they can get the full benefits of our BMC Affiliation and get signed up to our email system so that you get all the details of all of the events on offer.  A good place to start is our social night which is held once monthly at various pubs in Macclesfield – see our programme for more information.

How do I find out about ECOG events?

The first port of call is our current programme that lists all the events scheduled to happen in the coming months.  Once you’ve signed up to be a member you’ll be added to our email list so that you can receive more details of each event as it happens.

What does BMC Affiliation mean?

BMC Affiliation gives our members a host of benefits.  It means we are covered by Civil Liability Insurance, have access to travel and activity insurance specifically covering outdoor activities and get discounts at over 800 outdoor retailers.  It also gives us access to training courses and talks and demonstrations held by the BMC.