May is walking month

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
walking in the New Forest with  "friends" is popular for

walking in the New Forest with “friends” is popular for

May and June are traditionally the months when many of the walking festivals take place. It is usually neither too hot, too windy or too cold.

Just how important they have become as a tourist attraction is evidenced by two different bits of information. The first is that we here at Just about Travel, have had more walking festivals sent to us than any other year since we began listing events six years ago. Given that we put up some 20,000 events a year, for us to notice more walking events means that we have received details in the high hundreds. All of those you will find listed in our pages.

The other piece of evidence comes from HF Holidays and the result of a recent survey that they commissioned which claims that 52% of us say that walking is our favourite form of exercise. Over three quarters of people say they had walked simply for pleasure within the last month and over 60% of respondents having walked in just the last week. The survey also says that three quarters of people walk for up to an hour every day too.

The research coincides with the fact that May is National Walking Month so you would expect there to be some publicity about it. It should also be admitted that HF is a specialist company in providing outdoor holidays which, of course, would include walking so you could argue that HF would publicise anything that was linked to the theme of their business.

Nonetheless, the appeal of walking seems to be growing.

When asked by HF what was most enjoyable about walking, two in five said they enjoyed the health benefits while three in five just enjoy being outdoors and a further one in five enjoy the freedom walking gives.

Some years ago, the Gower Walking Festival had about twenty walks arranged as part of their festival. Now it has more than doubled. In some parts of the Scottish highlands, you can hardly fail to spot walkers. Try watching the trains disgorging them at Aviemoor or Callander at the weekends.

I can’t think of a single reason why walking has become so popular but it has been stimulated in the last few years by the growing appeal of social walks around local parks at weekends. So big has this become that one council has even tried to charge organisers for using public parks causing an outcry since the reason that they are called public parks is because we, the public own them.

Whatever the reasons are, the appeal of walking is there for all to see. And this coming summer sees hundreds of walking festivals to entice us to get out and enjoy the countryside as well as lesser known parts of our cities.

But if it rains, the pub will see more of me than the countryside!


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