A happy bunch of hikers outside the Britannia Inn in Elterwater, Lake District

Outdoor organisations in the United Kingdom

Octavia Hill, named after one of the founder of the National Trust. Passed on the North Downs Way 2016

Octavia Hill, named after one of the founders of the National Trust. Passed on the North Downs Way 2016

1857– Formation of the Alpine Club in London. The World’s first mountaineering club.

1866– Creation of the Canoe Club- first canoe club in the World

1873– With Royal patronage, Canoe Club renamed Royal Canoe Club

1878– Establishment of the Bicycle Union. Purpose is to defend cyclists and regulate racing

1878– Creation of the Bicycle Touring Club

Stanley Cotterell

1879– The Sunday Tramps.

Formed by Sir Frederick Pollock, George Croom Robertson, and mountaineer Sir Leslie Stephen. This London group, no more than ten in number, walked 20-25 miles on alternate Sundays, October to June. Group formed of intellectuals- writers, lawyers and scholars. Group dispersed 1895.

1880– Formation of the Manchester YMCA Rambling Club

1882– Formation of the Bradford Staddlebugs. Possibly the oldest extant rambling club in the UK

Rules: We ae nooan nah. Its nobbut fooils and madmen at needs ’em. Use common sense. If ye ae nooan yo’ll etta buy some at 30 bob a time. Them at’s inclined to grummel abaht grub mon put sum-mat in t’box for t’Russian famine fund. Them at’s inclined to backslide ed better leave that to t’insects at live by’t and at nobbut do it once if they’re copped. Them at es a bee in their bonnet mon let it aat or keep it in and pay for it.

1883– Bicycle Union merges with the Tricycle Union and is renamed the National Cyclists’ Union

1883– Bicycle Touring Club renamed as the Cyclists’ Touring Club

1884The Forest Ramblers’ Club.

Formed by group of North-east London businessmen headed by J H Porter. Membership confined to men. ‘Ladies Days’ occasionally held.

1884– Creation of the National Sports Protection and Defence Association. Renamed the Field Sports Protection and Encouragement Association the following year

1885Polytechnic Ramblers’ club. Regent Street Polytechnic

Possibly founded by W K Davies and Percy Randall, who claimed they had the idea in 1885. First reference to the club in 1886.

1887– Foundation of the Cairngorm Club.

1887– A number of canoe clubs merge to form the British Canoe Association

1889– Foundation of Scottish Mountaineering Club

Signpost of the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society- Pennine Way

Signpost of the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society- Pennine Way

1892– West of Scotland Ramblers’ Alliance

1892– Yorkshire Ramblers’ Club. Formed to promote the idea of walking and the study of the countryside. Now supports mountaineering, caving, potholing, climbing, ‘walking’ and skiing. They do little Rambling…

1891 [1897]– Co-operative Holidays Association. Provided affordable accommodation in the countryside for male and female working class people. In the beginning, typical holiday of one week included compulsory daily walks of 18-20 miles. Flirting between sexes frowned upon however CHA sobriquet- ‘Catch a Husband Association’

1894– Formation of the Peak & Northern Footpaths Society.

Evolved out of the Manchester Association for the Preservation of Ancient Public Footpaths of 1826. Now the oldest surviving regional footpath society in the UK.

1894– Joseph and Elizabeth Cunningham open all male tented holiday camp at Howstrake, Isle of Man. Up to 600 men staying each week, between May and October.

1895National Trust. Formed to care for historic properties and countryside.

Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley

Friends of Nature UK

Friends of Nature UK

1895– Friends of Nature (Naturfreunde/Naturefriends/Amis de la Nature) founded in Vienna, Austria.

Now over 500,000 members in 47 member and partner organisations

1898– Foundation of the Climbers’ Club. Rock climbing club for Wales and England.

The first ever camp of the Association of Cycle Campers

First ever camp of Thomas Holding and the fledgling Association of Cycle Campers, 1901

1900– Sheffield Clarion Ramblers, disbands 2015

Founded by G B H Ward

Early 1900’s– Various Federations of walking clubs formed

1901– Association of Cycle Campers

Thomas Holding

 

Ramblers' Federation Handbook (Manchester and District) 1927

Ramblers’ Federation Handbook (Manchester and District) 1927

1902– Formation of The Rucksack Club in Manchester. Formed to facilitate walking tours and mountaineering expeditions in the British Isles and elsewhere

1902– The Glasgow Health Culture Rambling Club

1904– Joseph and Elizabeth Cunningham open a 1500 tented holiday camp, one of the first ever camps, at north Douglas, Isle of Man. Their original Howstrake Camp [1894] continues under separate management. Open March to October, the all-male, teetotal camp includes a large dining pavilion.

1905– London Federation of Rambling Clubs

Founded by Sir Lawrence Chubb and J A Southern

1906– The Camping Club

1906– National Camping Club

Thomas Holding

1906– Foundation of The Wayfarers’ Club in Liverpool. Created to encourage the pursuits of mountaineering, walking, ski-running and cave exploration

Advertisement for Scout and Cub rally, 1943

Advertisement for Scout and Cub rally, 1943

1906/7– Beginning of the Scout movement. Introduction of Scouts

Baden Powell

1906/7– Foundation of the Fell & Rock Climbing Club of the English Lake District.

1909– Formation of the youth hostels concept in Germany

Richard Schirrmann

1909– Association of Cycle Campers and The Camping Club amalgamate to form the Amateur Camping Club

1910– National Camping Club and Amateur Camping Club amalgamate to become The Camping Club of Great Britain and Ireland

1910– Girl Guides

Baden Powell and his sister Agnes Baden Powell

1912– Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves, later Wildlife Trusts

Charles Rothschild

1913– The Holiday Fellowship. Sought to provide basic, accessible walking holidays in the UK and abroad

Set up by Thomas Arthur Leonard, who had become disillusioned by the Co-operative Holidays Association (which he had also formed) becoming too middle-class

1924/5– Foundation of the Woodcraft Folk

Started by Leslie Paul. Broke away from the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, which itself had broken away from the Scouting movement that some regarded as too militaristic. Open to both girls and boys, it had a strong outdoors and camping tradition. Less so in recent years.

1922– Formation of the Midland Association of Mountaineers.

1926– Council for the Preservation of Rural England

1926– Foundation of the British Field Sports Society

1930– Following a trip to visit Germany’s youth hostels, small group of friends open first youth hostel in Britain. Eleven British hostels operating by Easter 1931

1931– SYHA Hostelling Scotland established

1931-The National Council of Ramblers’ Federations- later Ramblers Association

1932– Public Schools Exploring Society, later renamed as British Schools Exploring Society, then BSES Expeditions, finally British Exploring Society in 2012.

Set up by Surgeon Commander George Murray Levick RN, a member of Captain Scott‘s final Antarctic Expedition of 1910-13. Provides opportunity for young people, aged 16–25 years, from schools, universities etc. to take part in adventure and research projects across the World

1933– British Canoe Association merges with the Royal Canoe Club

1933–  Camping Club of Great Britain and Ireland creates a specialist canoe club sub-section

1935– official foundation of The Ramblers Association

1936– The Moray Badge instituted at Gordonstoun School

Programme created by Headmaster Dr Kurt Hahn. Later becomes the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme

Outdoor activities with the Outward Bound, 1956

Outdoor activities with the Outward Bound, 1956

1936– Canoe Section of the Camping Club, Clyde Canoe Club, Manchester Canoe Club and Royal Canoe Club merge to form the British Canoe Union

1941– Foundation of Outward Bound at Aberdovey, Wales.

Created by Dr. Kurt Hahn and Lawrence Holt. Aims to promote personal growth and social skills by using challenging expeditions in the outdoors. Extends to a network of outdoor education schools. First Outward Bound programme for females in 1951. First girl’s school opens 1959. Extended to 33 countries, first in Germany in 1952. Helps shape U.S. Peace Corps.

1941– The Youth Camping Association

sponsored by the Camping Club of Great Britain and Ireland

1944– The Association of Cycle Campers. Later changes its name to the Association of Lightweight Campers

The specialist section of the Camping Club of Great Britain and Ireland

1944– Formation of the British Mountaineering Council

1956– Duke of Edinburgh’s Award created

First opened to boys aged 15-18, later extended in 1958 to girls aged 14 -20. Single programme for both sexes, aged 14 to 21, from 1969. Extended to those up to 25 years of age in 1980. Scheme now adopted by over 140 nations.

The Camping and Caravan Club

The Camping and Caravanning Club

1962– Creation of the South Ribble Orienteering Club, England’s oldest orienteering club

1962– Creation of the Scottish Orienteering Association

1965– Mountain Bothies Association

Bernard Heath and friends work to convert ruined Tunskeen farmhouse in Galloway to a basic shelter for walkers. 32 bothies in 1975. 2000+ members by the 1980s. Over 100 bothies in 2015

1967– Creation of the British Orienteering Federation

1969– Long Distance Walkers’ Association

Chris Steer, Alan and Barbara Blatchford

1983– The Camping Club of Great Britain and Ireland changes its name to The Camping and Caravanning Club. The World’s oldest and largest Club for all forms of camping

2009– The Ramblers Association re-branded as The Ramblers. The largest walkers’ rights organisation in Great Britain

2009– Cyclists’ Touring Club renamed as CTC

1972– Backpackers Club formed

1972Young Explorers Trust

2016– CTC renamed Cycling UK

Backpackers Club