Walking shoes on, headphones ready and pedometer in pocket, Walking Heads researcher and writer Fay Young explains why she is taking the Great British Walking Challenge.
Today is the day I start to walk from John o’ Groats to Lands End. Well, sort of. Must admit right now it is not a tempting prospect. It’s May Day but it’s cold out there and the sky is a dull and determined grey. But I am not going to let the weather get in the way. It was one of my New Year resolutions to walk more and the Great British Walking Challenge offers the perfect opportunity.
First, a little background. The Great British Walking Challenge (#gbwalk on Twitter), organised by the charity Living Streets, aims to get more people walking. I have signed up on their website which means I can log minutes and miles walked every day for a month. The challenge is to see how many times we can collectively walk the equivalent of hiking from Lands End to John O Groats.
Much as we enjoy the tour (and there is always something new to discover) that might be just a little unadventurous. But there is a natural fit between Walking Heads, which sets out to take people off the beaten track, exploring those hidden nooks and crannies of towns and cities, and Living Streets which is campaigning for “safe, attractive, enjoyable streets” that are a pleasure to walk on.
So I’m starting today with the Edinburgh Comedy Tour – roughly an hour and a half of steady walking – because apart from anything else it’s a well-timed opportunity to review changes we will be making before relaunching the tour in this year’s Fringe.
Next week a travelling holiday of the west coast (from Glasgow to Skye via Arisaig, Eigg and Knoydart) should help me clock up some more miles. Then it will be back to work and a chance to discover just how many miles I can add by walking instead of getting on the bus or into the car.
Some good weather would be nice but the great incentive will be that chart on the Living Street’s website. Right, time to switch on the pedometer and start walking…