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Walking for health

January to March 2019 Walking for Health Guide [PDF 1.2MB]

A programme of led walks across the Derbyshire Dales, supporting local communities to maintain active lifestyles and improve the health and wellbeing of local people. 

It's a great way of meeting new friends with the chance to socialise and enjoy refreshments either during or after the walk.  Why not encourage a friend to come with you?

We always welcome new walkers throughout the year!

What is a health walk?

A Walking for Health Walk is a brisk walk undertaken on a regular basis as part of a led group. The walks are free and the pace is set by those taking part.

All our walks are led by qualified Walk Leaders and are open to anyone wanting to take part in light exercise amongst pleasant company. The walks are free and the pace is set by those taking part.

We advise anyone wishing to take part to wear strong comfortable shoes and take note of weather conditions, as waterproofs may be required.

All walks start and finish at the same point, with car sharing advised whenever possible. There is no charge for attending but some groups stop for coffee during or after walks so please bring some spare change for a cuppa.

What you can expect

Trained walk leaders, good company with safe routes to walk, and short walks for beginners. All our walks are free and the pace is set by the walkers themselves.

Walking Together

A group of walkers walking through the countrysideLots of us wish we did more exercise. We know it's good for us and we know our health's important, but it can be easy to find excuses for not actually getting out there and doing it.

Walking as part of a small group is a good way to start and keep going. You will make friends, encourage each other and discover new walks in and around your neighbourhood.

Our friendly, welcoming walks help people make new friends and get out and about—it's perfect for people who don't fancy intense exercise. You can start off slowly and build up gradually as you get more confident.

Think about it... your legs were made for walking. It's a wonderful form of natural exercise that can keep you healthy, living longer—and can even put a smile on your face.

Please wear some good comfortable shoes and take note of the weather conditions as waterproofs or a "brolly" may be required. Please bring some change for a "cuppa" afterwards.

Do you belong to an existing group or organisation who might be interested in setting up a health walk? 

Walking for Health Officer Howard GriffithWe are also looking for new partners to help develop the scheme across the Derbyshire Dales. We can:

  • Provide training for volunteer walk leaders
  • Provide insurance for your walkers and leaders
  • Assist with risk assessments for new walks
  • Provide help with promotional materials

Over time we are keen to further develop the programme of led walks across the Derbyshire Dales, supporting local communities to improve the health and well being of local people.

The aim would be to see a network of different level health walks open to people of all abilities from very easy short, flat, entry level walks for beginners through to more moderate walks which are longer and a little more challenging including uphill and downhill walking on rougher terrain.

We are looking to extend the Walking for Health programme in the Hope Valley and northern Dales areas, in villages in and around Hathersage, Bradwell, Grindleford, Eyam, Calver, Tideswell and Youlgreave.

The first walking group was started by Derbyshire Dales District Council from the Agricultural Business Centre in Bakewell in the summer of 2004.

There are now 10 different walks across the Derbyshire Dales and, by the start of 2010, a total of 2,900 participants.  At the end of 2011 the scheme gained national accreditation, meeting Walking for Health Best Practice.

The walks differ from the Ranger Service led walks in that they are shorter and are specifically aimed at getting people who do little or no exercise to do some. Led by trained walk leaders, the walks are tailored to encourage people to undertake a brisk walk of approximately one hour in length with the specific aim of raising the activity levels and stamina of individuals who have not participated in exercise for some time. 

The walks take place on every weekday across the district and a bi-monthly programme is produced.  In most cases an all-important coffee stop is included at some point along the way. New walkers are always welcome and should contact our Walking for Health Officer, Howard Griffith.

Call Howard to join the mailing list for the programmes or check the start venues for the week. 

Walking for Health Initiative is an initiative of the British Heart Foundation and the Countryside Agency. It benefits from extra funding from the Big Lottery Fund. The initiative aims to improve the health and fitness of more than a million people.


Leisure Services

Town Hall, Bank Road
Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3NN
01629 761 225
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