Whether it's a desire to tackle any acquired pandemic wobble, meet new people, explore or simply enjoy a coffee (or something stronger) in good company, then a ramblers group could be for you.

Walking has become incredibly popular over the last 12 months, and with months of exercise to start and finish from home, we've discovered a whole new world on our doorsteps.

If you've caught the bug and want to spread your wings but don't have the confidence to find and follow a new route, one of the region's ramblers groups is the perfect place to start.

I caught up with chairman of Deeside Ramblers, Elise Roberts, who herself discovered places during lockdown she never knew existed, to find out more.

Deeside Ramblers on one of their walks.

Deeside Ramblers on one of their walks.

The 62-year-old said: "Me and my husband retired quite young and put off joining because we thought for they're going to be old, and they'll be too fast, we won't be able to keep up.

"But we joined and it was nothing like that, it's loads of people having a good laugh. We've made lots of friends.

"We started doing some of the shorter walks, thinking we couldn't do longer ones.

"Then last year we were up mountains. You do get fitter, and your geography really improves.

"And there are groups all over the country. If there isn't a walk with us you can join, you can check in the ramblers' book or online, and another group will likely be doing one more suited to what you want.

"You've got the choice of all the walks. Ours are usually made up of people from lots of other groups, not just Deeside.

"We've made friends from all over North Wales. It's incredibly social."

Deeside Ramblers - making friends on one of their walks.

Deeside Ramblers - making friends on one of their walks.

Elise touches on a couple of issues that may make some hesitant to join - the call of nature for one ,"we get around it" - but having once had such concerns herself, she's a marvel at reassurance and putting people at ease.

What's the gooseberry potential, are there lot's of couples?

Elise laughs: "Couples never walk as couples, they can talk to each other at home!

"People think they might be the odd ones out but half the time you don't even realise who the couples are.

"If you're on your own, it's safe, it's welcoming."

And bad weather?

"At the start you might think you don't want to go but once you get walking and talking, before you know it, you're done, and you're glad you went."

I ask Elise, from Broughton, about pace, suspecting many people worry about joining over the fear of not being able to keep up.

"You can only go as fast as the one at the back. We don't leave people behind but slower people tend to get a bit faster after a while."

All walks are checked ahead of time, making sure pathways aren't closed or any flooding for example.

An organised walk will keep you on the right path.

An organised walk will keep you on the right path.

And it's not just about the walking of course, with Elise adding: "We like to put on walks that have got something to look at. If we find a mine or something interesting, we stop to look at it."

The group also travel, adding variety, including visits to Snowdonia or organised trips somewhere very different, and weekends away.

Often shorter walks are arranged with a pub lunch. The overall aim is for there to be a walk that will have something to suit just about everyone.

With a reputation for being for people of a certain age, the ramblers are keen to attract younger people.

For some this might be to bring along children or grandchildren, although it would suit slightly older children and teenagers rather than toddlers, and the number of youngsters would depend on the walk leader's discretion.

Elise said: "People don't realise they can bring children, as long as they can do the walk and can be looked after.

"I always told my grandchildren it was a treasure hunt, not a walk. So it was always about finding things, to them it was never just a walk."

With restrictions now lifting each week, walking is back on! And the recent good weather has certainly got people ready to enjoy the great outdoors again.

So whether you're an experienced walker or someone who's just looking to make some positive changes to your life, the ramblers are the perfect place to start, either with friends, family or on your own. As Elise told me: "Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet."

• Current walks follow covid regulations, and it's currently best to book ahead of time by contacting organisers. For more details visit deesideramblers.org.uk