Walking for Health is a low cost and cost effective way of helping people in local areas to take control of their own health and lead more active lives by taking part in regular led health walks.

Walking is the best choice for regular healthy exercise. Unlike most other forms of exercise:

  • Walking is free and requires no special equipment or training
  • Almost everyone is capable of walking, anywhere and it is safe, low impact, with a low risk of injuries and accidents.

Regular walking will:

  • Improve your heart health
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Help maintain a healthy weight
  • Build strength in muscles and bones
  • Build stamina and give you more energy
  • Boost your immune system
  • Help you breathe more efficiently
  • Aid restful sleep
  • Build confidence and mental well-being

What is a health walk?

A free led group walk usually lasting between 30-90 minutes. It should start at a slow pace to allow warm up, speed up for the main part of the walk and then slow towards the end to allow cool down. It should make the individual feel warmer and sweat a little, increase their rate of breathing and raise their pulse – but not so fast that they cannot talk.

What is Walking for Health?

Walking for Health encourages people of all ages to join regular, short walks in their own communities. Fun, free and supportive, which is why once they've tried it walkers tend to stick at it. Led by a trained walk leader, the walk helps boost the health of participants whilst enjoying local, natural spaces in the company of others. The social side of walking can be as important for wellbeing as the walk itself. There are more than 600 led heath walk scheme in England, many of which offer a number of walks each week.

What do I need?

  • Comfortable casual shoes, hat and gloves during winter and suitable coat
  • Loose fitting clothing allowing free movement
  • Any medication that you might need
1foot
2feet
3feet

Entry level/wheelchair users
under 30 mins

Looking to increase activity
30-60 mins

More challenging
45-60 mins

Key

2feet

Location

Applemore/Dibden

Time:

11.30am

Day:

Tuesday

Meet:

Applemore Health and Leisure Centre
Clay Pits Lane
SO45 5TN

Location

Avon Valley Not included as
open health walk
Buddy Walks
Regular accompanied short walks for older people
Ringwood Day Centre
Trinity Centre
Christchurch Road
Ringwood BH24 1DH

Time:

Various

Day:

Various

Meet:

Ringwood and Fordingbridge

Contact:

Tel 01425 479415
Email ringwoodcc@o2.co.uk

Key

2feet

Location

Barton On Sea

Time:

10.30am

Day:

Weekly

Meet:

Marine Drive
East

Contact:

Tel 01202 477205
email  jagbest@ntlworld.com

Key

2feet

Location

Blashford Buggies

Time:

10.30am
12:00noon

Day:

Alternate
Fridays

Meet:

Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve
Ellingham Drove
BH24 3PJ off the A338

Contact:

01425 472760
email blashfordlakes@hwt.org.uk

Key

2feet

Location

Fordingbridge 1 hour and a shorter 30 minute walk available

Time:

10.30am

Day:

Every Thursday

Meet:

Fordingbridge Library

Contact:

Tel 01590  646671
email
craig.daters@newforestnpa.gov.uk

Key

2feet

Location

Lymington

Time:

10.00am

Day:

1st & 3rd Tuesday

Meet:

Bath Road Car Park

Contact:

Tel: 07786 535765 or
Tel: 07788 558864

Key

1foot
2feet

Location

Lyndhurst

Time:

10.30am

Day:

Friday

Meet:

Various

Contact:

Tel 023 8028 2862

More details (PDF)

Key

1foot
2feet

Location

Milford Health Walks

Time:

10.15am

Day:

Friday

Meet:

Marcella House

Contact:

Tel 023 8084 1341

Key

1foot
2feet

Location

Ringwood Afternoon Walks

Time:

1.30pm

Day:

Tuesdays twice monthly

Meet:

Ringwood Health Centre
The Close
Ringwood
BH24 1JY

Contact:

Mobile 07788 558864
Email healthywalks@cfnf.org

Key

1foot
2feet

Location

Ringwood Morning Walks

Time:

10.30am

Day:

Tuesdays

Meet:

Ringwood Health Centre
The Close
Ringwood
BH24 1JY

Contact:

Tel: Craig Daters 01590 646671
Email healthywalks@cfnf.org

Key

2feet

Location

Ringwood

Time:

11.00am

Day:

Friday

Meet:

Ringwood Health and Leisure Centre, Parsonage Barn Lane BH24 1PX

Key

1foot
2feet

Location

Ringwood

Time:

1.30pm

Day:

2nd and 4th Wednesday

Meet:

Cornerways Medical Centre
Gorley Road
Poulner
BH24 1SD

Contact:

Mobile 07788 558864
Email healthywalks@cfnf.org

Key

3feet

Location

Blashford Lakes

Time:

11.00am

Day:

2nd and 4th
Wednesday

Meet:

Tern Hide
Car Park
Blashford Lakes
Nature Reserve
Ellingham Drove
Blashford
BH24 3PJ
(off the A338)

Contact:

Tel 01425 655511
Email nigeltowen@aol.com

Key

2feet
3feet

Location

Waterside Health
Centre Walks
Beaulieu Road
Hythe SO45 5WX

Time:

10.00am

Day:

Alternate Mondays

Meet:

Various Locations

Contact:

Tel  07811 361319
Email mikecrobs@gmail.com
More Details (external website)

Key

3feet

Location

Waterside Health
Centre Walks
Beaulieu Road
Hythe SO45 5WX

Time:

3.00pm

Day:

Alternate Thursdays

Meet:

Various Locations

Contact:

Tel  07811 361319
Email mikecrobs@gmail.com
More Details (external website)

Useful links

Links to Healthy Walking related websites can be found by following this link

Important information

These walks are intended for, and should only be undertaken by persons in basic good health. If you are in any doubt about whether you are medically fit to undertake any walk, you should contact your doctor before participating. You are responsible for your own, and any accompanying under 18’s safety. Volunteer Walks Leaders are not trained to provide first aid. All walkers walk at their own risk. Only assistance dogs are permitted on the walks.

Please Note: Walk leaders are volunteers, without whom there would be no walks

Walk leaders

We are always keen to have more walk leaders – if you are interested and would like further information, please contact our Healthy Walks Co-ordinator:Telephone: 01425 482773 Email: healthywalks@cfnf.org.ukIf you would like to enrol on a Walk Leader training course please email healthywalks@cfnf.org.uk

Free Walk Leader Training

Following the success of the its Volunteer Walk Leader training, Community First New Forest hopes to offer further opportunities for people to train to organise and lead healthy walks across the New Forest.

Header Image © Natural England / Walking for Health / Paul Glendell