Take part in National Walking Month and Walk to School Week this May. 

Whether you're heading off on a 10 miler or taking a stroll around a local park, walking improves your health and can help lift your mood and boost well-being. 

Here are a few suggestions to encourage walking and ditch the car!

Walk to School

Walk to School Week takes place on 20-24 May, and is organised by Living Streets, a UK charity which supports everyday walking and campaigns to achieve a better walking environment to encourage us all to walk more. Living Streets has been working to make our neighbourhoods safer for 90 years, and past successes include initiating the first zebra crossing in the UK and the introduction of speed limits. Children who walk to school do better in class as they arrive refreshed and ready to learn. It's also a great time to catch up with friends and learn some essential road safety skills.  And fewer cars on the school run mean cleaner air too. 

You can find links to school initiatives and resources and details on the WOW - Walk to School Challenge 2024/25. 

Get out for a Family Adventure

If you are looking for some inspiration, take a look at Jen and Sim Benson's 100 Great Walks with Kids - Fantastic stomps around Great Britain. It's an attractive and inspiring guidebook for all families wanting to make the most of the great outdoors. As route editors for Trail Running magazine, and regular contributors to outdoor, nature and adventure publications, Jen and Sim know their stuff. They also have a young family and are passionate about encouraging kids to get outside and explore.

We asked Jen and Sim for their tips to encourage a reluctant young walker. "Our kids love being outside, and they almost always tackle a walk with lots of enthusiasm and energy - once they're through the door. It's that first step that's often the hardest. We find talking to them about something they'll find exciting along the way helps  - perhaps there's a cafe, a playground or even a castle to explore. This gives them something to aim for, and to look forward to, and kids will always view an adventure with far more enthusiasm than a walk."

And do they have a favourite area of the UK to walk?  "That would be an impossible choice! We've been lucky enough to spend the past few years exploring the length and breadth of Britain for our job, visiting so many incredible places along the way. Although it's relatively small, this country is packed with so much variety in its landscapes, wildlife, cultures and stories. It feels like there's always something new and unexpected to discover."

Take a dog out for a walk

If you don't have your own pet then you might be able to join a friend or neighbour on their daily dog walk.  Most dogs need two walks a day and it is beneficial for them to experience the smells and sights of a new area. Great motivation for you to plan a new route and explore an area of your neighbourhood you don't yet know.

Or Josh Lacey suggests a potato is just as good! In the Pet Potato, Albert and his pet potato share all the fun elements of pet ownership including walks to the park!

To mark the month we have gathered together a collection of books about the joys of walking and getting outdoors.