Walking in a winter wonderland

This month sees the return of the Festival of Winter Walks, set up be Britain’s walking charity Ramblers, which takes place from 20 December to 4 January. Whether you want to burn off some Christmas calories, enjoy a leisurely stroll with the family or get to work on a New Year’s resolution, there are plenty of walks to choose from. Here’s how to get involved …


Reasons to get walking

Walking is something anyone can get involved in – regardless of your budget, age or general fitness. It also delivers a whole host of mental and physical health benefits. Studies have shown that regular walking strengthens the heart and lungs, helps to maintain healthy joints and boosts energy levels. Walking is also great for helping to maintain a healthy weight and releasing feel-good endorphins.

Best walking resources

For safety tips and advice on the best walking routes, check out ramblers.org.uk or where2walk.co.uk. It is also worth downloading the following apps:

  • Outdoors Great Britain is a handy mapping app, offering the full range of Ordnance Survey maps. Great for those hiking in rural areas, the app will work anywhere, regardless of phone signal. Available for £1.99 from iTunes.
  • The free Map My Walk app turns your iPhone into a pedometer, allowing you to track your route, pace, calories burned, distance and time. Perfect for competitive walkers and those looking to burn off those extra Christmas pounds!
  • iFootpath is a great app for those seeking inspiration or looking to make the most of their winter walk. The app features more than 537 detailed and mapped walking guides across the UK and also includes beautifully presented walking guides providing descriptions, photos, historical notes and things to look out for along the way. Available for £1.49 on iTunes, or for Android on Google Play.
  • The free World Walking app has been designed to motivate by putting the fun into fitness – ideal for new walkers. Accumulate steps, achieve milestones and gain awards as you enjoy virtual walks on some of the most famous routes in the world.

How to get involved

Ramblers groups will be organising plenty of walks across Britain during the festival for both beginner and experienced walkers to get involved in, all run by friendly walk leaders. To find a list of events – or plan your own walk from one of the 2,000 walking routes in their online library – visit ramblers.org.uk.

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