Meet Clare! 🤗 She’s an accountant by trade but a Rambler at heart. After 25 years of living in London, her love for walking is still going strong.
Clare is a member and volunteer for the Ramblers, an organisation that encourages and supports everyone’s love of walking and helps to protect the beautiful places to walk around the UK.
Where it all began 🌳
I’ve always been a walker, as a child growing up in Yorkshire, I walked a lot with my parents through the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District, although I didn’t necessarily enjoy it at the time!
I’ve always felt the lure of the outdoors and approaching 20 years ago, I joined the Metropolitan Walkers, a young person’s sociable walking group (part of the Ramblers) to find other people to walk with.
Although I thought I knew London well at this point, through my walks with the group I still discovered places I’d never seen before, like the London canals, stretches of the Thames Path, Capital Ring and London LOOP path.
During lockdown I had a similar experience. Living in Kingston for 13 years I thought I’d seen it all, but through leisurely walks in my neighbourhood, I’ve found so many new places to explore. With London being so vast there’s always something to discover!
Why I love walking 💕
- There are so many health benefits of walking – both physical and mental.
- I see things I’d never normally see when I’m underground or on a train or bus.
- I always choose to walk through green space and enjoy the different scenery as the seasons change. From the summer flowers to the autumnal trees, it’s all so lovely to see, and so much more pleasant for a daily commute.
Favourite walking route in London 🗺
My absolute favourite walking route in London is the Capital Ring. It covers 78 miles (but you don’t have to walk that far as it’s broken up into sections, starting at stations!) I enjoy how it links up the different neighbourhoods and all the green spaces around London’s Zones 3 and 4, plus you can easily dip in and out of the sections.
You can access the route from many different parts of London and even use it as part of your daily commute. The Ramblers recently recruited over 100 volunteers to work on the Capital Ring and London LOOP which are both coming up to 20 years old – they maintain the routes and improve the signage.
Top tips for new walkers 👌
- You don’t need to spend any money, just wear your trainers and enjoy (at worst you may get a little muddy!) 👟
- It doesn’t rain very often but remember an umbrella or rain jacket ☂
- There are lots of walks to discover and online resources to help you – check out the Walk London network and Ramblers website 📍
Fit walking into your day 🚶
I try to walk everywhere and anywhere. Alongside walking for leisure and with the Ramblers, when I’m in the office, I like to incorporate around 5 miles a day into my commute by walking to the train rather than getting the bus.
I value the reliability of walking because you know how long it will take you to get somewhere, plus the headspace and peace it brings. While it may take a few minutes longer, I walk along the Thames Path to do my weekly shop as it’s pretty and more enjoyable.
Get involved with the Ramblers 🤠
The Ramblers have 25 walking groups in London for those who want to walk with company. The groups fit a range of needs, including different ages and abilities, with trips and social events throughout the year. Everyone is welcome to try it out and see if they like it.