What is Hillwalkers Club?
The Hillwalkers Club was established in 1993 for those who were interested in longer and more challenging hikes in Wicklow and further afield. We refer to these hikes as Hard hikes. This website is dedicated to the hillwalking club i.e. to the Hard hikes. For information on which hike might be best suited to you please read on.
The Hillwalkers Club have a hike programme for almost every Sunday of the year. Typically, the club also organizes three to four walking weekends per year to locations in Ireland, the UK or mainland Europe. In addition, there are a number of social activities which don’t involve hiking, such as meals out or the annual Christmas Party.
The club also organises a popular Map & Compass
Course which is open to members and non-members wanting to
learn or improve their navigation and map-reading skills.
What’s the membership profile?
We have approx. 130 members from all walks of life, of
different ages and nationalities. Some members are with us
since the foundation of the club, others join for just one
or two years. Some are active walkers, out almost every
Sunday, others walk with the club only occasionally.
Sunday walks typically attract between 15-20 people but
the bus can accommodate up to 30.
How challenging is a typical Sunday hike?
The Hillwalkers Club i.e. our Hard hikes cater for
experienced walkers. The average walking distance is 16km
but can vary from 15 to 20km and the ascent can vary from
500 to 1000 metres depending on the type and awkwardness
of the terrain. The average walking time is 5 to 6 hours
(including lunch and other stoppages).
How do I know if the hike programme is right for me?
What we generally say to new members is if you are new to
hill walking, try out the Easy or Moderate Hikes organised
by An Óige first. Call 01-830 4555 or visit www.anoige.ie
for further information on these hikes.
I am an experienced hiker. Could I try out one of your hikes?
Hillwalkers Club offers a so-called Introductory Hard
Hike, usually one Sunday per month. Non members are
welcome to join us for the Introductory Hard Hike,
provided you enter your name in our hike log, which is
available on the bus to the start of the hike. There is no
need to book a place on this hike in advance, just turn up
on the relevant Sunday morning. You can come on up to two
more hikes without becoming a member of the club, but
after that you must become a member in order to be covered
Even though the name of these hikes is ‘Introductory Hard
Hike’, they should not be thought of as an introduction to
Can non members go any hike or does it have to be an Introductory Hard Hike?
Non members are welcome on any hike presuming that they
are active and experienced hikers and that they have not
already been on three hikes as a non member. That said the
Introductory Hard Hike is probably the best one to
introduce yourself to the club because there is more
likely to be other new members out on that day and the
leader will be conscious of that (although will not
necessarily lead an easier walk as a result).
Where can I get information on the next Introductory Hard Hike and on the full upcoming hike schedule?
Full details on all upcoming hikes can be found here.
How do I get to the starting point of the hike?
Hillwalkers Club uses a minibus which transports hikers
from Dublin city centre to the start of the hike. At the
end of the hike, the bus brings everyone back to Dublin.
Occasionally, we stop en route to pick up or drop off
hikers; this is marked clearly in the hike
programme. Unfortunately it is not possible to meet
us at the start of the hike. Apart from the fact
that we believe taking a bus is more environmentally
friendly, the majority of our hikes are linear and so
finish completely away from where the hike started. This
is of course another advantage to taking a bus (we are not
confined to circular routes).
Is there a charge for the bus?
Currently, the bus fare is €12 return unless stated
otherwise in the programme. The money is collected by the
hike leader on the bus and we appreciate if hikers could
have the exact amount ready.
Where is the meeting point?
We meet on Burgh Quay in Dublin 2 (between Hawkins Street
and Tara Street, near the Spar shop). You should turn up
at approx. 9.45 am for a 10 o’clock departure. At busy
times, tickets may be given out by the hike leader to
ensure that participants reserve a bus place as they
What do I need to bring on a hike?
Please note that hike leaders have the right to turn away
anyone who is not properly equipped. It is the
responsibility of each individual to wear and carry the
Rain gear: This
is an absolute essential. Being caught on the mountains in
an unexpected downpour without a waterproof jacket and
over-trousers is foolish as hypothermia is a serious
Boots: Boots must
be sturdy, with proper ankle support and a non-slip rigid
sole such as Vibram. It is very easy to twist an ankle in
uneven terrain or on wet rock. If in doubt, get advice
from other hikers or an outdoor shop. Waterproofing is
helpful too; boots don’t have to be goretex-lined,
diligent waxing will keep the wet bog away.
layers such as an undershirt, fleece and outer jacket work
best – as long as none of the layers are made from cotton!
Cotton retains moisture, making the wearer cold and
uncomfortable; wet cotton trousers could actually lead to
hypothermia. It is good practice to bring extra items of
clothing, for example, spare socks, gloves etc.
• Bring plenty of hot and cold liquids and a packed lunch; make sure you can carry back all your empties including banana skins, tuna cans and used tea bags without spoiling the contents of your rucksack!
• Gloves, glove liners, hat & scarf are advisable, even on the cooler summer days.
• In summer, don’t forget the shades and sun lotion / sun block.
• A (head) torch with spare bulb and batteries is essential during the winter months.
• A small First Aid kit and a survival bag are highly recommended.
• Map and/or compass are not required but might be of interest to hikers who want to develop their navigation skills.
• Walking sticks are not essential but certainly help to take the weight off your knees during long descents.
How do I join Hillwalkers Club?
You must be a member of An Oige to become a member of the
Hillwalkers Club. An Oige membership forms can be found on
www.anoige.ie. You can
download the current membership form for the Hillwalkers
Fill in all required fields including current An
Óige membership details, sign the declaration and
post the form together with the membership fee (cheque or
postal order) to the Membership Secretary (address on the
How much does it cost?
The Hillwalker Club membership year runs from 1st October
to 30th September. Membership currently costs €35.
Membership of An Oige currently costs €20.
What is included in the Hillwalkers Club membership fee?
The membership fee covers insurance, Mountaineering
Council of Ireland membership, the posting of the
quarterly MCI Mountain Log journal and the Hillwalker's
newsletter (10 editions per year, by post or email). The
MCI membership card entitles you to a 10% discount in most
Where can I find out more about the Hillwalkers Club?
More information about the club can be found by phoning
086 3563843 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who runs the Club?
The club is represented by an elected committee of
approx. 8-10 members who meet once per month. You can find
out who is serving on the committee in which role or
function in the monthly newsletter.
An Óige Hillwalkers Club holds its Annual General
Meeting usually in October. This is a good opportunity to
find out more about the club, meet the committee and hear
about the concern of other members.
Who leads the hikes?
The hikes are all led by experienced volunteer leaders.
On the odd occasion the hike leader may have to change the
route from that which was advertised or they may have to
amend the route on the day for a variety of reasons. To
ensure your safety and that of others on the hike it is
very important that you co-operate with the hike leader at
all times. The leader will always lead the hike so that
they can set the pace. A back leader will also be
appointed. It is important that all hike participants stay
between the hike leader and the back leader at all times.
If you need to break away from the group even for a short
while, for whatever reason, the hike leader needs to be
informed beforehand. Safety on the hills is our priority
at all times.
Do I have to lead a hike?
We would encourage all members to develop their map and
compass skills and to eventually lead hikes for the club
but this is not a necessary condition of membership and
indeed many people have hiked with us for years and are
not interested in this side of hiking.
We look forward to
seeing you on the hills