Guide to Trekking

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Trekking is one of the simplest ways to get some regular exercise in your life and can be a great way of meeting other people and seeing a bit more of the world. Not only that, it gives you the opportunity to be in the great outdoors, seeing new sights, breathing fresh air and improving your overall sense of wellbeing. See Top Tips below.

There are few amongst us who wouldn’t benefit from a little more exercise, but often the exertion of anything over a brisk stroll can seem a little too much. This is where trekking comes into its own. For what is trekking if not walking with a little more purpose, having a clear sense of direction and being committed to reaching your destination?

Trekking — in a nutshell — is walking with the specific aim of exploring a particular area and enjoying the landscape. It’s what used to be more commonly called “rambling” not that many years ago. There are lots of dedicated trails throughout the UK and usually they’re set in areas of comparatively unspoiled wilderness and outstanding natural beauty

Why Start?
Trekking is a great way to meet people, keep fit and enjoy some beautiful countryside, in the UK or further afield.
Who is it for?
Trekking is for anyone with the desire to get outside and get moving.
Are there any prerequisites?
There’s a basic level of fitness you should be aiming for, although if movement is difficult for you, you may be able to find local trekking and walking groups especially for people of restricted mobility.
What are the benefits?
Fitness is perhaps the main benefit, especially if you’re not a particularly active person already. Trekking will get you moving and keep you supple. Friendly people, enjoying the fresh air and taking in the beauty of your surroundings are a close second.
How much will it cost?
This depends on the level you want to take it to. If you are just testing the water (or the terrain to be more accurate) you may have to stump up for some comfy boots and some organisations may require a small membership fee.  Generally speaking, trekking is a low-cost pastime unless you intend to kit yourself out in full regalia – walking boots, fleeces, rain jackets, gloves and basicallyanything you can find in your nearest outdoor activities retailer!
Can I take it to another level?
As with everything, it’s best to start local and see where that leads. Taking trekking to another level would probably entail moving from local trails to foreign, exotic lands.
What Equipment do I need?
Just some sturdy and comfortable footwear, a rucksack, a decent map and some Tupperware for sandwiches and treats. For hardcore trekkers who want to experience the great outdoors on a whole other level, then you would be wise to go to your nearest outdoor activities retailer, tell them what you’re up to, and they’ll advise you on the kind of equipment you’re going to need. This is when it can get a bit expensive so maybe do your own research first.
Where can I take part?
Check online for local groups. There are bound to be some interesting trails not too far from where you live, so they would be a great starting point.
Top Tips is a great place to start Find the walking and trekking activities in your area and sign yourself up. It’s that simple.

UK treks listed individually here:

The Long-Distance Walkers’ Association has lots of information on groups and events:

And don’t forget the ramblers:

If you’re looking for something much more challenging, check out these international treks:

Facts & Stats

The UK’s biggest hiking club is still The Ramblers, which is a national organisation with local groups throughout the country. It currently has around 125,000 members, and was founded in 1935,when walking really started to take off in this country, as weekend breaks from the city first became a thing.

Nepal is one of the most popular locations in the world for trekkers and it has the densest concentration of world heritage sites on the planet

Studies show that being outdoors and taking in a bit of nature increases brain function

Did you know…

At 870 miles, the Wales Coast Path is the UK’s longest coastal path and perfect for the more adventurous amongst you. The route takes in 41 beaches, 12 nature reserves and a total of 18 castles.


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