Though it may be tempting to stay huddled up indoors with a warm cup of tea in these colder, darker months, a surprising amount of fun can be had by getting outside and enjoying some of County Durham’s spectacular winter scenery.

Walk Durham, a free walking programme run right across the county, is inviting people to come along this January for some seasonal strolls.

Walk Durham offers free, short, groups walks, which are perfect for those new to walking and for those who want to make friends while keeping active. The walks, all led by trained guides, last for 30 to 90 minutes and follow safe, risk-assessed routes.

The walks set off from a number of County Durham locations including Durham City, Consett, Crook, Stanhope, Seaham, Spennymoor, Peterlee, Chester-le-Street, Newton Aycliffe and Bishop Auckland.

Research suggests that walking has numerous benefits. It has been shown to cut the risk of heart disease by up to 50% and to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer.

Walking is also a good way to beat stress, improve mood, and manage weight, and it is good for strengthening muscles and bones.

Walking for Health, Easington Colliery. Photo: John
A Walk Durham stroll near Easington Colliery

The scheme coordinator of Walk Durham, Stephen Clough, said, “Winter is a wonderful time to get outdoors and enjoy your surroundings in the fresh air, and Walk Durham offers an easy way to head out for a winter wander with friends and family.”

“A short walk is a great way to help kickstart your New Year fitness resolutions. Our walks are open to anyone, no matter how fit you currently are, and our specially trained volunteers will be on hand to give you a warm welcome. Plus you don’t need any fancy kit or specialist equipment.”

“Who knows, what starts out as a one-off walk could lead to life-long friendships and a serious walking habit.”

Walk Durham provides its walks as part of Walking for Health, which is England’s biggest network of health walk projects. The walks are also delivered in partnership with MacMillan Cancer Support and Ramblers.

For more information and to access the full programme of walks, please visit www.durham.gov.uk/walkdurham

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