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Be prepared to walk back to happiness

September 18, 2020

Regular Gorgeous Yorkshire readers will know that I (it’s Sharon here)  am a keen walker. It’s something I’ve done from being a very young child.  I would persuade friends to join me in “adventure walks” up to the local reservoir and I regularly walked our dog up past the mills and out into open fields.

Walking has been a Godsendto me, especially in times of trouble, and Yorkshire is an amazing place to do it.  You will always feel better after a blast of fresh air and a brisk walk , especially if you are surrounded by beauty and interest. Given that local lockdowns are becoming more common and a national lockdown may be on the way, I thought I’d send out a reminder that walking will help you through what will surely be a difficult winter but you must be prepared if you want to benefit from it.

The right gear is vital. Walking boots, rather than shoes or trainers, will mean you can walk through fields with long grass and tramp through mud and not get your feet wet.  A waterpoof walking coat is a must and a top tip is to get a hood that is large or has a peak so that it overhangs your face (I bought an expensive Berghaus coat that has a small hood that is useless in rain so I won’t make that mistake again). A wooly hat is another must. I have a  wool one lined with fleece and another with earflaps. Gloves, of course. If you plan to go a reasonable distance, a small rucksack for water, money, snacks, tissues is useful. Don’t forget hand sanitiser – you may touch gates – and take a mask in case you want to stop at a shop or cafe.

Where to buy your gear? Independent outdoors shops tend to have the best quality products and will give informed advice.  For a cluster of stores selling walking gear, visit Skipton.

Finally, walking does not have to mean a hike in the countryside. It can be a 20 minute walk round your suburban or urban neighbourhood where you will spot things you have probably never noticed before. There are some great walks from Leeds city centre, for instance. These include The Trans Pennine Trail from Leeds to Wakefield. The 14-mile route from the Royal Armouries takes in Methley, St Aidan’s Nature Park and the banks of the Aire-Calder Navigation.

Whatever you choose, wherever you go, put one foot in front of other and stride out. You will feel the benefits.



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