This September the Ramblers is getting the North West on its feet with Walk About – its biggest ever free nationwide walking event, offering a walk to suit everyone. But people don’t have to wait to get started. This month (August) the Ramblers has launched a free online tracker that allows people to log their walking activity and make the most of everything the festival has to offer.
The festival takes place from Saturday 3 September until Sunday 11 September. With over a thousand walks all over Britain, and more than 60 in the North West, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – from a short stroll in the park to a challenging hike up a mountain.
During the festival, people in the North West can enjoy the following group-led walks:
The Dee Way
Date: Saturday 3 September 2016
Start time: 8am
Distance: 10 miles (There are also shorter 8-mile & 5-mile walks.)
Description: The River Dee is one of the most historic and beautiful rivers in Britain. We start our walk at the mouth of the river on the estuary at the Point of Ayr with its nature reserve, later walking through attractive ancient woodland, then passing through Greenfield Valley (a heritage park) to finish in the historic market town of Holywell with its famous St. Winefride’s Holy Well.
This is a coach ramble starting from Bolton town centre. A packed lunch is required. At the end of the walk there will be a pub and/or a café. To book a seat call 01204 849229. This is a circular walk.
Starting point: Bolton Lads and Girls Club, Spa Road, Bolton (BL1 4LD)
Date: Sat 10 September 2016
Start time: 11:00
Distance: 4.5 miles
Description: A gentle stroll in the park and beside the canal. This is a circular walk.
Starting point: Meet outside the Hall, beside the statue (WA14 4SJ)
Date: Sat 10 September 2016+++++
Start time: 14:00
Distance: 4 miles
Description: This walk explores the hillside above the Jumbles on the eastern side with its new hamlets and magnificent views and then drops down to the Jumbles for follow Bradshaw Brook all the way back through the woodland.
Starting point: Harwood Library (BL2 3HN)
Manchester – Fletcher Moss Gardens
Length: 1.8 miles
Walking time: 54 minutes
Difficulty: Easy Access
Starting point: Fletcher Moss Gardens, Stenner Lane, Didsbury, M20
Description: A leisurely short, round walk through historic gardens and footpaths.
Manchester – Through the centuries
Length: 2.5 miles
Walking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy Access
Starting point: Outside EAT, Arndale Centre, Manchester
Description: A short walk passing some of Manchester’s eighteenth century churches and its beautiful nineteenth century station.
Kinder Scout, Derbyshire Peak District
Length: 12.5 miles
Walking time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Starting point: Edale Station, Station Road, Edale S33 7ZN
Description: Britain’s first official long distance path, the Pennine Way finally opened as the original National Trail in 1965, 30 years after Tom Stephenson proposed the route in a newspaper article. The journalist and walkers’ champion became the first General Secretary of the Ramblers, and pioneered the Pennine Way primarily as a means of resolving the longstanding problems of access to Kinder and Bleaklow, having witnessed the horrifying battles fought between ramblers and local gamekeepers. One of the main challenges of this route is the first section across Derbyshire’s notorious peat bogs, but this invigorating circular day walk allows you to sample the best of Kinder Scout by skirting the southern and western edges of the 600m/2,000ft massif. Indeed, after a stiff ascent from Edale it’s then a relatively straightforward and level walk, with newly-paved sections dodging the worst of the eroded peat. You can trace the original route of the Pennine Way from Edale, joining it above Grindsbrook Clough, then return on the current path down Jacob’s Ladder into the lush Edale valley. Apart from the panoramic views, the highlight of the section is probably Kinder Downfall, a high and exposed rocky chasm that eats into the hillside.
The Ramblers’ director of walking development, Simon Barnett, said: “We all know walking can do wonders for our wellbeing, which is why we want to get the nation on its feet with our biggest free walking festival to date. Walking is good for our health and our minds and we want everyone to be able to experience the many benefits and joys it can bring.
“But we want to encourage people to get more active in advance of the festival, which is why we’ve introduced our new online tracker, which allows people to log all their walking activity and monitor their progress. It’s a great way to build up activity levels, which means that by the time the festival comes around people will be able to step out on a longer walk.”
Designed to suit both the seasoned walker and someone taking their first steps, there are lots of badges and rewards for walking regularly, completing long distances and reaching particular milestones. For example it could be for walking every day in a month or completing the equivalent of the length of Hadrian’s Wall.
Anyone can take part by visiting www.ramblers.org.uk/walkabout and starting to log their walking trips – whether short or long, in the town or the countryside, alone or with friends.
Simon added: “We’re hoping the online element of Walk About will encourage people in the North West to walk more so we can create happier, healthier communities. Not only can you collect badges but there’s also a leaderboard, so people can race their friends and family to the top.
“With a walk to suit everyone, we want the nation to step out with us this September and join us as we Walk About Britain.”
Walk About is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery to help everyone, everywhere enjoy walking.
Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We are delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are able to support the Ramblers with their exciting new walking festival, which we know will help thousands of people discover the joys of walking.”