Over 100,000 short and health walks
“Walking is the nearest activity to the perfect exercise” - Professors Jerry Morris and Adrienne Hardman, Walking Works
Walking is good for your mind, your body and your soul, and any increase in physical activity, no matter how small, can really boost your health and happiness – which is why, here at the Ramblers, we want to help everyone find their feet.
The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend adults do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity – one way of achieving this would be to walk for 30 minutes, five days a week. However, only around a third of people in Britain achieve the minimum recommendations.
Our short and health walks programmes are a great way to get started – and in England alone, the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support have helped more than 67,000 people get walking.
Health walks in England
Our successful Walking for Health programme, which we run in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, aims to give everyone access to a short, free, friendly health walk within easy reach of where they live, to help them become and stay active. These short walks, which start from as little as 10 minutes and go up to 90 minutes, are delivered by over 400 independent local schemes across England.
Walks are open to all, although some schemes promote walks aimed at helping people with specific conditions. For example, North Kesteven Strollers, who recently won the Go Outdoors award at the UK Active Flame Awards, offers a walk for the visually impaired and a dementia-friendly walk.
"We've been running the dementia friendly walk for around a year now, and it's been very rewarding and well received with around 50 regular walkers”, says scheme coordinator Carly Togher, “We received public health funding for training from Dementia Adventure, an organisation that helps people with dementia overcome barriers to making the best of the outdoors."
Find a health walk in England now.
Short walks in Wales
Our long-running programme in Wales, Let’s Walk Cymru, helps everyone – no matter their age or level of fitness – to get out, get fit and have fun.
Wales is a beautiful country boasting an abundance of natural green space, scenic landscapes and urban parks, all just waiting to be explored. But in our increasingly hectic lifestyles, it can be all too easy to put off doing the exercise or visiting the green places that will make us feel better in our bodies and our minds.
That’s why Let’s Walk Cymru is here to help! Running for over 12 years, and with a team of trained experts across Wales, we know the best places to walk. Wherever you happen to be, there’s likely to be one of our walks nearby, where you’ll meet likeminded people who’ll support and encourage you.
Find a health walk in Wales now.
Short walks in Scotland
In Scotland, our popular Medal Routes walks are all about using local knowledge to create local routes for local people on local paths - but visitors and tourists benefit from them too!
Medal Routes are three short circular walking routes that start and finish at the same location, designed to take approximately 15, 30 and 60 minutes. The start/finish point (called hubs) are usually community spots such as cafés, sports centres, libraries, or health centres – somewhere that you can relax after your walk with a cup of tea or do another activity.
Medal Routes are available in every local authority area across Scotland and there are over 700 walking routes to choose from!
The Medal Routes mobile App is free to download from all Android and Apple devices. All Medal Routes are available on the App for you to walk and track your steps. You can also create and share your own wonderful walks, set yourself personal goals and find great Ramblers competitions and incentives, all with the Medal Routes mobile App. Download the free Medal Routes app to get started – or access Medal Routes online.
Our Medal Routes project has been extremely popular since launching in 2011, encouraging thousands of people to tackle short walking routes. We’re excited that from December we’ll begin working with two NHS health boards – in Lothian and Grampian – to encourage their staff and communities to use Medal Routes to be more physically active. This will include running workshops with NHS staff, speaking directly with inactive patients, and installing signs in their areas to map out Medal Routes on the ground for the first time. It’s great news, and will help even more people enjoy the health and social benefits of walking. And don’t worry if you live in other areas of Scotland; Medal Routes will still be available, just as before!
Find out more about Medal Routes now.