May is National Walking Month. Here are our tips for getting involved – and listings of walking-themed events around the UK
National Walking Month is a campaign to promote the benefits of walking, and to get everyone walking regardless of their fitness level. There are many benefits, from improved overall health to the potential for weight loss. Walking also has proven benefits for your mental health.
1. Walk every day
It doesn’t have to be far – even ten minutes of brisk walking will be of benefit. If you already include walking as part of your every-day routine, try increasing the distance you walk. And if you don’t, now’s a good time to start.
2. Explore somewhere new
Every month in The Great Outdoors, we publish ten mapped Wild Walks. Why not go and walk one of them, especially if it’s somewhere you haven’t been before?
3. Learn a new skill
It’s a great time to learn how to scramble, or brush up on your navigation. Both will help you get out walking more.
4. Introduce someone new to the outdoors
If they enjoy it, you might have gained a new walking companion.
5. Go to a walking event
There’s a wide variety of walking events on around the country this month. Here are a few to get you started:
ride2stride, the Settle-Carlise Walking Festival
Walks of 2 to 15 miles along the scenic Settle-Carlisle railway line, plus talks and music.
Talgarth Walking Festival
Long weekend in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Llangollen Walking Festival
Walks in the Dee Valley and Clwydian Range.
Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival
53 free walks over nine days. Booking essential.
Walks of varying lengths, all from Dudley Leisure Centre.
Kendal Walking Festival
Three days of guided walking, with a number of evening talks.
Newton Stewart Walkfest
Over 30 guided walks and evening events in Galloway.
Leisurely guided walk and walks of 8, 14 and 20 miles in the Bala area.
Buxton Adventure Festival
Dave Cornthwaite on his self-powered travels of more than 1,000 miles a time, a Kajsa Tylen on cycling 52,025km in 365 days.
Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival
Wide range of walks in rolling countryside and on the Heritage Coast between Gower and Cardiff.
Trefriw Walking Festival
20 walks on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park.
Isle of Arran Mountain Festival
A range of walks, billed as up to nine hours. There are also two night walks and a ceilidh.
Ballater Walking Festival
A variety of walks for Munro-baggers and ramblers. Evening entertainment includes a ceilidh.
20 May – 3 June
Farnham Walking Festival
35 walks in and around the Farnham area.
Walks of varying lengths, discovering iron ore mining, Captain James Cook, mills, and more of the North York Moors’ heritage.
Cinque Ports 100
Annual flagship event of LDWA. Completion of qualifying 50-mile event beforehand is required.
31 May – 3 June
Angus Glens Walking Festival
20 walks over 4 days guided by local Mountain Leaders and Countryside Rangers.