May is National Walking Month, it’s your chance to get active and enjoy a walk whether it’s some strolls in the park or tackling new terrain you can enjoy the month however you like.
National Walking Month is the perfect time to revisit your favourite walks or to explore places you’ve never discovered before. So here are my top tips for you to make the most of getting outside this month.
Plan your walks
Plan ahead, if it’s a route you know well make sure you let someone know the route you plan to take if heading out alone. Use route planning apps such as Ordnance Survey to plan your walk before setting off. This will let you know how long a route should take, how strenuous a path may be depending on factors such as gradient and you can pick out features such as view points to stop off at along the way. If you don’t have a pre-planned route, take a map or consider installing an OS locate app on your phone or using an app like what3words. What3words has divided the world into 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words – easy to say and share, and as accurate as GPS coordinates.
Be adventure smart
Make sure you ask yourself 3 questions:
Do I have the right gear? Gear doesn’t need to be expensive but it does need to be warm and dry. Make sure you have enough layers in case you get stuck out even on the warmest of days, you should have appropriate footwear – if you’re heading into the hills a sturdy pair of walking shoes or boots are essential.
What will the weather be like? You don’t want your lovely walk spoilt by the typical British weather so make sure you have checked the forecast and are always prepared to change your plans if conditions change. A walk can be a wash out if the heavens open but you can still be in danger if there is a cloudless sky when you suffer from heatstroke if not prepared.
Do I have the knowledge and skills for this walk? Adventure allows us to step outside our immediate comfort zone and is a great way to repeatedly rediscover a zest for life. Being AdventureSmart simply means that you are thinking about your own experience and skills. Choosing an adventure that you know that is within your skillset is part of the fun – and if you want to do something that pushes beyond this, there are many ways to find a guide or instructor to help you.
Look after our wonderful walks
The Countryside Code is a guide designed for visitors who are exploring the countryside. It includes the rules you must follow when you’re enjoying parks and waterways, coast and countryside. You must follow the signs in the countryside that tell you where you can go and who can use the right of way. It’s available to read online or download as a PDF leaflet. To read the countryside code, visit the government’s website. When visiting beauty spots, make sure to only leave footprints behind by taking litter home.