Personal safety

Lone walker 

General safety rules

Walking isn't without risk, but statistics show it’s safer walking in the countryside than on a city street. Personal attacks and assaults from strangers are rare, however you should take care and follow these basic rules to keep safe.

  • Make sure you’ve got plenty of food and drink and wear suitable clothing 
  • Check the weather forecast before you set out, take a waterproof and keep an eye on the sky 
  • Don’t take risks by attempting long or difficult routes without preparation
  • Take a map and know how to read it
  • Be aware of any 'escape routes' if you're walking long-distance paths and need to cut the walk short 
  • Tell someone when you expect to be back and where you are going

If you're worried about security when walking alone in quiet places, this advice may help:

  • Change your route if you feel unsafe for any reason
  • Consider taking a personal alarm
  • Avoid using headphones to listen to music if this stops you from remaining alert 
  • Make sure someone is aware when you plan to be back and where you are going

Walking on roads

Stick to the Highway Code when walking on roads, and always use the pavement, if there is one. Cross at a designated point and make sure drivers can see you. If the road has no pavement, try to walk on the right, facing oncoming traffic and cross to the other side when on sharp right-hand bends. Try to be more aware when walking on country roads, because traffic may be moving very fast.

Mobile phones

It’s always a good idea to carry a mobile with you, which you should fully charge before setting out. If you have to call the emergency services, make sure you keep your mobile on, so they can call you back. However remember that there may be no coverage in some hilly and remote areas.

Group walking

Group walking is a good option if you're new to walking and not yet ready to walk independently. If you do walk in a group, don't just follow the person in front - try to look around you and be aware of what’s going on. It’s important to take responsibility for your own safety.

We run group walks across the country, all led by an experienced Walk Leader. They're a great way to build your confidence before setting out on your own and meet new people. Find out about our group led walks.

 

Photo: © Mark Treacey