Top seven ways to start walking in the countryside

Have you ever fancied a new way of exploring the countryside? Why not participate in a night walking expedition or the world's largest walking treasure hunt? Check our guide to best ways to start your hiking adventure 


1) Letterboxing


In the Victorian era, James Perrott, a revered moorland guide, hid notes for fellow hikers across Dartmoor. Over the years, this primitive form of communication has evolved, with exchanges now being made in wooden letterboxes. With a Letterbox Catalogue in hand, head into the moors and swap your letters this spring.                 

2) Orienteering

Often performed at high speed over challenging terrain, this exciting sport induces a sense of exploration as participants use mind, map and compass to navigate their way through the countryside. Don’t miss World Orienteering Day on 24 May.

3) Nordic Walking

Equipped with a pair of poles to help you along the path, Nordic Walking – deriving from Finland in the 1930s as a form of off-season training for skiiers – is a fun and accessible activity for all. Swinging your arms as you walk helps burn calories, while the poles reduce pressure on muscles and joints.

4) Night walking 

Under the cover of darkness, a new world emerges; leaf litter rustles, an owl swoops and a bat’s wings flicker. With the night to yourself, the countryside begins to play with your imagination – the forests, valleys and waves at one moment vivid and familiar, the next intriguing and strange.          

5) Accessible Paths

Access to the countryside for wheelchair users is gradually improving, making it easier than ever to get out into nature.
Make your way through the mixed woodland of Bell Wood
in Aberdeenshire, or head out on to the RSPB Fairburn Ings Discovery Trail in Yorkshire.

6) Geocaching

Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt. Containing a number of trinkets and a log book, these small, waterproof boxes – or caches – are hidden throughout the UK. To join the search you’ll need a GPS device and an appetite for discovery. Get outside this spring and discover your bounty.

7) Munro Bagging 

Munros – Scottish peaks over 914m – provide a great platform for getting active.
There are 282 in total, from the rounded crest of Ben Lomond to the formidable Sgùrr Dearg on the Isle of Skye. Climb one Munro, or take up the ultimate challenge and summit them all.


Image: Getty