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Welcome to the Large Outdoors family….
Hello, and a big thank you for taking a look at our trips and tours. If you’re feeling tempted to book but have never been on one of our trips before it’s perfectly natural to have a few questions which is why we’ve put together this blog to answer some of the commonly asked queries.
Please read on as we know that many people booking for the first time share a few nerves and question their own abilities. However particularly as we’ve welcomed umpteen newcomers who have since gone on to become regular Large Outdoors guests, we know just how important it is to provide reassurance.
NB: This blog relates mainly to our social weekends and shorter trips although much of the content also suits our longer holidays. If at the end of the blog you would still like to talk to us, then please ring our office and either myself or Amanda will be able to answer your questions.
You can also join our members’ Facebook page where you can find out more about our guests’ experience, ask questions and glean advice from the Large Outdoors’ Old Hands!
The following information is general advice but we also urge people to check out the ‘Good to Know’ section at the bottom of each event page which gives all the must-knows relevant to a particular trip. Please, please, please read through these as it really does help you, and us.
Do I need to be a member?
Not at all, there is no membership fee you simply book yourself on any trip you fancy.
Travelling on your own?
Hurrah, so are the majority of our other guests. In fact, it is for that very reason that Large Outdoors first came into existence. We found many people were itching to have fun while walking in beautiful areas of the country and yet they lacked mates with similar shared interests.
Of course, you are welcome to bring friends, partners as well but rest assured when you step through the door there will be no shortage of people welcoming you into the fold. Within minutes you’ll be chatting away to our other guests as if they were old friends.
Will I fit in?
Of course! Everyone shares the same reasons for being on a Large Outdoors trip, namely making new friends and exploring a lovely part of the UK which means that we all stand a pretty good chance of getting on with each other. Each of our Large Outdoors hosts are also great at getting the socialising going.
How old are people?
This is our most commonly asked question. Although our trips are open to everyone over 18, we do have a core age range of around 35-70. We have no upper limit, and everyone is welcome to attend; each event will see a good age range of people attending!
Picking your first weekend or tour
You are most welcome to join any of our trips and walks. However you might be interested to know that we organise a number of weekends specifically aimed at introducing people to Large Outdoors.
Generally on these weekends we organise a variety of walks of different levels – from easy rambles to more strenuous hikes. This means it’s an ideal environment to find the level that you’re most comfortable with (perhaps trying out one of the easier walks first before going up a notch once you feel more comfortable).
(Link to Taking your first steps – event landing page)
We also have our New Members Weekends – these are dedicated weekends where the majority of people will be new to Large Outdoors. You can view our dedicated new members trips here…
We all like our own space and with this in mind whenever the venue does have private rooms these will always be offered. They tend to be very popular and are invariably booked first, which is why we are endeavouring to source more accommodation where private rooms are available. You can view a full list here:
I don’t like hostels:
It is true many of our events are based in hostels but scrub any thoughts of them still being in the dark ages as we only book the best ones which have undergone a substantial makeover (woodburning stoves, comfy sofas, warm, welcoming – you get the picture!).
We also have plenty of events where we stay in hotels, guest houses and luxury self catering cottages.
Advanced Saver & Early Bird Tickets
Advanced Saver Tickets
On some trips you may well see Advanced Saver tickets. These are similar to the train tickets in that we offer a limited number of tickets at a cheaper rate if they are purchased a long time in advance. These tickets are not available on private rooms and are always based on our standard Shared (dorm) room tickets. These tickets are non-refundable and cannot be cancelled, you must also pay for them in full at the time of booking.
Early Bird Tickets
These are generally only available on our larger events such as the Isle of Skye – Adventure and Explore week or New Year’s Eve trips. With Early bird tickets we offer all the tickets on this trip at a discounted price until a set date. Once that date passes tickets will revert to the standard price.
There is no limit to the tickets that can be bought at the lower price as long as they are booked by the deadline date. These tickets can also be secured with our standard 50% deposit and follow our standard terms and conditions for changes and cancellations.
Normally we say to guests to arrive from 5pm onwards but please also check the ‘Good to know’ section for the actual arrival times for a particular event. Please do not arrive before the listed time as we will not be able to let you into the venue. You are welcome to arrive any time after the arrival time and we normally serve dinner for 8pm. If you are going to arrive later than this, we kindly ask that you eat on route.
Group Taxis and Free Collections:
Sometimes we are able to offer a free collection from the local train station or we can offer a group taxi. These details are always in the ‘Good to Know’ section and all must be booked at least seven days before the trip.
Although we don’t organise car shares, many of our members do coordinate their own via the Large Outdoors Members face book page here.
Just don’t forget to mention the trip, date and where you are travelling from and you’ll often find somebody else willing to share their journey with you.
We advise all our guests to closely read the full kit list we suggest on our dedicated pages here:
However if it’s your first time with us, please don’t feel the need to rush out and buy a whole trolley load of gear. The crucial thing is that you have clothing that will be suitable for the weather and the right footwear (walking boots). The basic must-haves: waterproof trousers and jacket, walking boots and a day rucksack.
Food and Drink
It’s helpful to know what food and drink is included so please check the ‘Good to Know’ section on the particular event you’re interested in.
However apart from a few trips such as the Ulster and Giant’s Causeway ones, we do generally provide an evening meal on the first night for our short breaks. This is normally a one-pot dish such as a Thai curry or casserole, followed by a substantially laden cheeseboard!
Sometimes on the 2nd evening we go out for a meal in a local pub or restaurant (this cost is not included in the trip) but we also often do provide a two-course dinner. Again, it goes back to checking the detail on the relevant trip.
Breakfast: We supply a continental style breakfast or cereal, toast, yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Packed lunches: We provide a variety of food (laid out after breakfast) from which you can make your own packed lunches – sandwich fillings, cake, biscuits, crisps and fresh fruit.
The only thing we don’t supply are bottles of water and containers for the packed lunches, as much as anything because we’re conscious of minimising our use of plastics. Therefore please bring your own water bottle and bags or containers for lunch.
We do not supply any alcohol during our weekends but for the majority of trips you are welcome to bring your own. Please note some venues have an on-site bar and do not allow the consumption of your own alcohol. Again please check the “Good to know” section.
Vegan & vegetarian guests & those with special dietary requirements
That is not a problem but to help us plan our provisions for the trip, please let us know in advance when you make your booking. There is a dedicated dietary requirements section.
Please note that as we are often in a remote location we simply provide sufficient vegetarian and vegan meals according to the number that were ordered in advance.
Who does the cooking?
Our staff will take care of the majority of the cooking, although often there’s an army of volunteers helping out by preparing vegetables etc.
Similarly we also ask the group to help do the dishes after a meal and tidy up afterwards.
Contacting the office:
Large Outdoors HQ is only a small team and although we always endeavour to answer you as quickly as possible, we are often in the hills so it can take some days to get back to you.
- Email – this is the easiest way to contact us please use firstname.lastname@example.org
- Live Chat – When we are in the office you will see an orange bubble on the bottom right of the screen simply click this and you can Live Chat directly with the office team
- Phone – During office opening hours which can be seen on our Contact Us page you can call us on 01653 740 400.
Please note if you wish to make any changes to your booking these can ONLY be dealt with via an email requesting the change and using an email address that was originally used to make the booking.
Phew, after all those answers, we hope we’ve reassured you that we genuinely are a friendly bunch who will make you feel right at home should you decide to book a trip or day walk with us.
During the many years that we have been running Large Outdoors, we’ve seen plenty of people go from being tentative newbie ramblers to become seasoned hikers as their confidence as soared. Not only that, but they have forged new friendships and enjoyed exploring many beautiful parts of our fabulous country.
We look forward to you being the next one to do just that!
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Snowdonia Summer Solstice Wild Camp
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