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YTO Voices

Updated: Feb 13

We asked our lovely community about their first walk and if they had any advice for people who are new to Yorkie Talkies Outdoors.

The response was fantastic! Here's what they had to say....

"I’ve followed the group for a while now, first noticing the group through another friend who follows the group. 

I went on my first walk a week last Friday (Farndale 19th Feb 2024) and loved every minute. Gemma lead the walk and was brilliant! So much so, I booked again for last weeks Friday walk with Kerry (Flamborough) - which was also great! 

It’s great to go on new adventures - meet new people, friendly and relaxed group where you can chat away or walk on your own soaking up the scenery. 

Also worth adding that I’ve also been really impressed with how organised you are; including all of the information and group set up that you send when making a booking.

So what would I say to someone thinking about booking? Don’t think - just book it. You will only regret it if you don’t!"


"The Mince Pie Burner (02 Jan 23) Hack Falls & Magdalen Woods - 8 miles was my first walk. I chose it because I had a ‘New year, start as you mean to go on!’ feeling. I was also unfamiliar with the area 🤗.

If anyone is considering signing up I’d say go for it! YTO is so welcoming; no one is left behind or left feeling they are holding others up and you meet really great people. There is also a wealth of useful information (walking tips etc) shared."

Jo Brooks

"Great Whernside - March 2022. I’d walked there before, so I could judge the group, rather than the location.

I'd say give it a go, there are a variety of locations and walking abilities, but each walk is tailored to who is on it. You’ll also probably learn a lot about topics that you’ve never even considered before!"

Mark Greaves

"Settle - Oct 22. My friend Vicky booked me a last minute spot and I’ve never looked back! Forever grateful for the push she gave me! YTO are the most welcoming bunch of people! 🧡

Don’t be afraid to come along, you’ll have the best few hours!"

Jade Jefferson

"Aysgarth falls - Sept 22 (I think). I came to feel out the group rather than the location as it’s on my doorstep! 😊I loved the group and I've been dropping in ever since for various walks when life allows me the time 😊

Thinking of your first walk? Just do it, if you love walking, talking, laughing, walking up, walking down and have a keen eye for bridges 🤣 then there’s nothing you won’t like 😘"

Melanie Bell

"Wild Boar Fell, Oct, 2021. I was going through a rough patch and had been recommended to "find something" I enjoy. I reached out to an ex-colleague (Libby P), who responded immediately. She suggested the walk and then offered a lift and introduced me around. I met Deana that day. Couldn't see a damn thing for nearly the entire walk, but left feeling invigorated and welcomed with open arms and no judgements. I found "my people". I reckon Libby has a lot to answer for now. It can be daunting taking that first step. But like most first steps, once it's taken, you're always glad you've done it. We're a welcoming bunch of people. There's a walk for everyone and no expectations."

Lisa Pierce

"December 21 Staithes. It was close to where I was staying at the time and I had never been to Staithes.

Thinking of joining? Just book it, something nice & steady, maybe local if it helps. Evening walks are a great starter. Yes you’ll be a bit nervous, but you will be put at easy very quickly and probably like most of us wonder why you waited so long."

John Waggitt

"Millington - A familiar place but great to have a proper guided walk

Absolutely do it, book the walk, it has enriched my life and helped me to achieve things I never would have thought possible."

Sarah Young

"July 2022, an evening walk round Hazelwood. I was looking for something for me after spending many years running my boys around. I booked the walk in the morning so I couldn’t back out!! 🤣🤣 I had been following the group on Facebook and just needed to pluck up courage to try it out. I started on evening walks at around 8 miles to test out my fitness and haven’t looked back since, having completed the Wharfedale Three Peaks, the Kettlewell Kicker and the Ullswater Challenge- all over 20 miles this summer.

I would recommend the group to anyone and if you are unsure just give it ago… what do you have to lose??"

Sharon Kilby

"November 2022 - Haworth. Chosen because I love the area and I wanted to explore it further and had finally plucked up the courage to actually book!

To anyone thinking about coming along, it honestly might end up being one of the best decisions you ever make. I joined up during a tricky patch and the combination of incredible walks and fantastic leadership - within such a lovely, welcoming and supportive group of people - has had a massive impact. Don't let the nerves hold you back (socially questionable introvert here - I'm nervous every time! 😂). But every single walk with this group has just been an amazing experience and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend YTO to anyone."

Rachel Hewson-Thornton

"Simon’s Seat which I still love now. I cancelled my first two walks as felt nervous, but a big thanks to Lizzy Davies who I had never met and who kindly drove me to my first walk in March 2022. I have never looked back.. my advice is to just take a breath and come along…. you couldn’t get a more welcoming and encouraging group of people with fantastic leaders" 👍💕

Lorraine Fox

"My first walk was in September 2022, Ladybower Reservoir and Win Hill. I was nervous as I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know anyone in the group and was worried about my fitness and if I'd be holding everyone back. I shouldn't have been worried at all. It was good fun and very friendly. I have done six walks with the group since then, as I can only go when I can fit it in with work and family. Whether you go every week or just a few times a year, you will be welcome and won't regret it. New friends, new trails, new challenges."

Glen Rika-Rayne

"My first walk was in June 2022. High Force,Low Force near Barnard Castle. For months I had been looking to join a walking group as I was spending too much time on my own, particularly on a weekend. As I hadn’t tested my stamina for years I started off with a reasonable length walk with a sensible amount of ascent and managed it.

The YTO team leaders and members are so friendly and welcoming. I wished I’d joined the group long before I did. I so look forward to the weekend walks/challenges that I‘ve booked onto as I know I’m going to have a great time with lots of laughs along the way. I never thought I would be able to do a number of the walks and sadly thought I was too old to even consider booking. Now I’m just going for it whilst able! My advice is sign up today and give YTOs a try."

Judith Carrington

"Fountains Fell and Darnbrook Fell was my first walk. My Daughter Lucy joined the group and wanted me to do a walk with her, my biggest disappointment is not being able to do Scafell Pike after booking it due to a major issue with my camper van.🙁

I did managed to get to the Loughrigg Fell walk, but my van broke down on way back.😂

YTO is a great group of people to walk with, there's lots of encouragement and you're never left behind, Emma’s a bit scary, LOL, but her job is to look after everyone and keep them safe and sometimes make the tough decisions.

I would recommend this group to anyone, join the fold."

David Jenkins

"Thixendale in the Yorkshire Wolds in April 21 as it was the first one with spaces, it was going to be a nice sunny day and it wasn’t too far for me to drive to. So glad I came, but wish I’d started all this sooner as the level 4 body is struggling to keep up with what I want to do now!"

Louise Dodds

"The Dalby Forest star gazing walk with my dog Bob. I was made to feel at ease quite quickly. There are lots of people from different walks of life. Being quite socially quiet and having had a very challenging few years personally and with my son, it was a group I had followed for a good year or so and I finally made the decision to book my first walk. It was a decision well made and although I struggle to get to many walks due to work commitments and kids, it has got me into walking and me and my dad walk together now regularly.

Booking that first walk led me to paddle boarding 10 km on Ullswater, feeling totally at ease and lucky! So just book one, don’t worry if you don’t really speak to anyone for the first time, that will come and the list of walks is endless!"

Lucy Jenkins

"April 2022 Swinsty, Scargill and Beaverdyke Reservoirs. It was supposed to be a walk the week before but catching stupid Covid stopped that one. I realized how unfit I was after years of looking after kids and being in a desk job.

I actually joined the group New Year’s Eve after reading Emma’s story about the Yorkshire 3 peaks and thought 'I need to do this!' The gin helped me press the button.😆It did take me 3 months of virtual challenges before I plucked up the courage to go out on a walk but I'm so glad I did. I’ve met so many wonderful people and love being in the YTO family."

Dawn Simpson

"14.11.21 - Ravenscar to Robin Hoods Bay as I love the coast. I was really hungover 😂 I’ve not made that mistake again! It was Remembrance Day and we did a minutes silence looking out from the coast, I didn’t know anyone but it didn’t matter. I’ve been on lots of adventures since, sunrise on Helvellyn and a few epic days in Scotland being particular highlights. I’ve met some really lovely people.

If you’re thinking about it, just sign up for one walk and see what you think, what’s the worst that can happen?!"

Lizzy Davies

"A local walk around the Washburn Valley 9 miles up+ down dale 😀I chose the walk as it's near to Harrogate, my home town now, I really enjoyed it."

Liz Charnley Richards

"May 22 - Little Ribston to Knaresborough evening walk. I really needed to get and about and, to be honest, I was feeling a little lost with myself after the various lock downs. I had played ladies cricket on a summer evening but the team folded and I missed the mid week evening social after work.

Since that walk I have had some amazing adventures, met wonderful new friends and been to beautiful places. Glen Coe is my highlight of 2023 and the National 3 Peaks will never be forgotten.

Please don’t be nervous about coming on that first walk or paddle board with YTO. Everyone is made so welcome. Emma and her team are knowledgeable caring and professional."

Jane Hildreth

"The first walk I booked was the Lyke Wake walk after silently stalking the group for the last year. Emma messaged me asking if I would be walking with you all before then, so I booked the Sheriff Hutton and Thorton Le Clay evening walk on the 3rd of May and since then I've done 26 walks, one or two nearly every week and I haven't looked back!

I only wish I'd done it sooner, not just for the lovely walks but the fellow walkers I've met along the way, and not to mention the fabulous and knowledgeable walk leaders Emma, Lewis, Gemma, Kerry, Rob and Stu. For anyone thinking about coming out on a walk with YTO get those boots laced and book it, we can't wait to meet you!"

Sara Jayne Winn

"Malham cove and Janet’s foss. I picked it because I’m an out and out Harry Potter geek.

In all honesty, I never intended to ever wear a pair of walking boots … it was kind of pushed upon me against my will by Emma Shipley 🤣, but admittedly I enjoyed it! Can’t wait to get back out with you all in the future."

Noni Horwell

"I joined YTO on the 12th Feb 2022 in Pockley. I do have hiking experience and friends said 'You don't need to hike with a company!' but i wanted to share the experience with other like-minded people, no pressure to navigate if I don't want to, it's safer in a group if I had a random accident.

I was still hesitant to join a group as I'd heard horror stories of them being unwelcoming, cliquey and a bit boring.

YTO was recommended because they lots of hiking adventure variety, were very welcoming and there's a vast age group. So, i gave it ago………

I've not looked back. YTO is all of the things above and more; its a community of friends who welcome everyone. The Mountain Leaders are all exemplary, they lead, teach, inspire, laugh and I trust that if the 💩hit the fan (accident or weather issue etc) they would be all over it. So, give it a go, u have nothing to lose but much to gain."

Vicky Parker Smith

"Joanne Huddart took me on my first walk with you Emma Shipley. I've enjoyed fantastic walks, climbing and have also met good friends along the way."

Tony Crook

"My first walk was the Sheriff Hutton and Thorton Le Clay evening one on the 3rd of May. It was a lovely evening. We got to see the bluebells. Emma was very knowledgeable and safety was always her first thought. I have met some great people too."

Anthea Jamo

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