Thursday, 9 September 2010

Seven great reasons for a walking holiday

One of the great attractions of hill walking
is the fabulous views. From the summit of the
Munro Slioch this walker can see
the fabulous expanse of Loch Maree

For some people the reasons for walking in Scotland's great outdoors are obvious. While for others the discovery of this great activity can come out of the blue. Have a read of a guest blogging spot on my friend's website, FionaOutdoors, to find out how one woman has found hill walking to be her mental and physical salvation

According to a number of reports, hill walking is on the increase. So many more people are finding that the combination of scenery, fitness and relatively low outlays for kit add up to the ideal activity.

If you still need a little convincing, we thought we'd bring you a list of reasons why walking is such a great thing to do.

Price is right: You only really need a pair of walking boots, a waterproof jacket and a backpack. And once you have bought these items they tend to last for many years. After this you can add to your hill walking gear to make your outings more enjoyable. It does make sense to buy reasonably good quality kit at the outset because it will not need to be replaced so often but for less than £200 you should be able to buy the essentials.

Great for your mind and body: Walking outdoors for just half an hour each day has been shown to combat depression. Walking is also a great cardiovascular exercise and is ideal for burning calories and toning muscles. The further and faster you walk, or the more hills you climb, the greater the health benefits will be.

Sociable: Walking, especially on guided walking holidays, is the ideal place for meeting like-minded people. Some walking events, such as walking festivals and walking challenges, have even resulted in love matches - and the occasional marriage! Walking holidays are also ideal for groups of friends or for couples.

Exploration: Walking is bound to take you to new, beautiful and remote places. In Scotland once you start walking you'll become hooked on the desire to see many more places. Some people take up pursuits such as Munro bagging, which then leads them to discover a host of new destinations.

Fabulous views: Walking so often reaps great scenic rewards. It doesn't really matter where you walk, from urban to rural destinations, you are almost always likely to chance on a fantastic view or vista.

Be your own leader: Learning how to guide and navigate yourself on walking trips can be a huge confidence booster. Once you've mastered the fine art of map and compass reading you can become your own master of your walking destiny.

It's green: Walking and walking holidays are environmentally friendly. If you also arrive on public transport or via bike then you will further reduce your impact on the environment.

What are you waiting for?

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