NATIONAL Walking Month was set up by the charity Living Streets in 2011. Every May they encourage people to increase their steps and to get walking and Stratford District Council is playing its part to help people lead a healthier lifestyle.
Walking is a great way to be more active and it’s free. A brisk walk can also count towards the weekly recommended exercise target (150 minutes). There are many physical and mental health benefits; you don’t have to walk miles, just ten minutes brisk walking is a great place to start. The NHS website has lots of information about walking and why it’s so good for you.
As part of Walking Month, Living Streets also promote walking for children. Monday 20 to Friday 24 May is Walk to School week. This year the charity has developed the five-day challenge for primary schools.
Whether it’s on your lunch break, on the school run or on your way to work – take the opportunity to get out in May and fit in a few extra steps. If you don’t fancy walking on your own, head out with family, friends or colleagues, or discover local groups on the District Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Club Directory.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council also co-ordinates the Stratford District Health Walks Programme. Walks take place every week in locations throughout the district and are led by trained volunteers. The walks are free to join and open to all.
Walks take place:
- Mondays: Stratford-upon-Avon, meeting at the Leisure Centre (Bridgeway). Starting at 10am. This walk typically lasts 30-60 minutes, often finishing at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s Riverside Café for teas and coffees.
- Mondays: Bidford-on-Avon, meeting at the Bridge Restaurant (High Street). Starting at 10.30am. This walk is 60-90 minutes in duration. This group enjoy a small number of popular routes and often stops for refreshments during the walk or at the end.
- Tuesdays: Southam, meeting at the Leisure Centre (Welsh Road West). Starting at 2pm. This walk lasts 60-90 minutes and routes go through the town and local parks.
- Wednesdays: Stratford-upon-Avon, meeting at the Leisure Centre (Bridgeway). Starting at 10am. This walk lasts 60-90 minutes and includes well-known routes along the tramway and Recreation Ground. The group regularly finish at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s Riverside Café for refreshments.
- Fridays: Wellesbourne, meeting at the Village Hall (School Road) at 9.45am. This walk often lasts 75-90 minutes. The group frequently meets in Wellesbourne but drive to other locations for the walk (due to this, the start time of the walk varies). For more details or to find out the planned route, contact the Active Communities Team.
- On Wednesday evenings at Stratford-upon-Avon School there is a free ‘Walk, Jog, Run’ track session from 5.30pm to 7pm. This is a friendly, safe, relaxed and flexible opportunity to exercise at any pace. The track is booked by Stratford-on-Avon District Council but this is an unsupervised session and no registration is required.