Walking is an excellent way to improve physical health. The slower pace (compared to running or cycling) also allows the more inquisitive walker to take notice of their surroundings, spot wildlife, and identify plant-life and geological features.
Just getting out for a short walk in local parks, woodland, or nature spots can help to improve mental health. In fact, many villages, towns, and cities have local walking groups. These are a great way to meet likeminded people and provide opportunities to explore different areas.
There are also more challenging types of walking, such as hill and moorland hiking, and mountaineering. These can encompass everything from short fell walks through to full expeditions with wild camping. Some popular UK routes can include scrambling, others roped climbing, and the more technical routes a combination of both.
Progressing onto more technically demanding routes from simple hikes is a sensible approach. This allows for the development of the necessary skills and competence to keep you safe in challenging and changing environments – see our “Safety” page for more info on skills development.
We would recommend that, if venturing into mountainous terrain for the first time, you do so with experienced people. There are many qualified UK instructors and leaders that can be employed to safeguard groups, as well as inform and instruct the necessary skills to enjoy the hills safely. Qualified instructors and leaders can be found on the Mountain Training Association: Find a leader database.
Associations and Groups
The links below will take you to a number of interest groups, associations and resources. These include the governing bodies of UK mountaineering, which you can join as a member to gain benefits that include insurance, organised events, and newsletters. The membership fees are also used to fund environmental projects such as the construction of designated paths on our hillsides.
We have also included links to the National Training Centres that provide various outdoor training courses. It should be noted that many of the MTA qualified leaders and instructors can provide training courses as well, so it’s always worth speaking to a local instructor / leader to see what they can offer.
Please feel free to contact us via e-mail if you have any questions on how to get started on your next adventure. We’re more than happy to help identify walks for you that will suit your level of experience, fitness and aims.