How to Walk 1000 Miles

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and why it will<br />

CHANGE<br />



Let’s do something<br />

incredible this year<br />

E<br />

VERYONE HAS SAME 365 days ahead of them. We’ve all<br />

got <strong>to</strong> earn our pennies, see <strong>to</strong> our chores, care for our<br />

friends and loved ones, and keep on keeping on.<br />

But at the same time as doing all that, some of us will also<br />

do something incredible. Something that will skyrocket our<br />

health, happiness and resilience; fill our lungs with fresh air,<br />

our hearts with optimism and heads with colourful, fragrant,<br />

surprising memories. We will walk <strong>1000</strong> miles. If this is your<br />

first time I know what you’re thinking and I hope this magazine<br />

will overwhelm your fears with concrete proof you can<br />

do it and it works. If it’s your fourth, fifth or sixth time<br />

– hey, me <strong>to</strong>o. And I am more convinced than ever<br />

that committing <strong>to</strong> walk <strong>1000</strong> miles in 12 months<br />

forms the strongest possible foundation for<br />

everything else I want <strong>to</strong> be and do. I look forward<br />

<strong>to</strong> walking shoulder <strong>to</strong> shoulder with you, and<br />

between us raise the nation’s level of<br />

doc<strong>to</strong>r-dodging, cake consuming, and<br />

va-va-voom <strong>to</strong> dizzying new heights.<br />

Contents<br />

04 Who walks <strong>1000</strong> miles?<br />

06 <strong>How</strong> on earth do I do it?<br />

08 31 reasons <strong>to</strong> walk <strong>1000</strong> miles<br />

12 <strong>How</strong> it works<br />

18 Meet our partners<br />

21 Do it for your heath<br />

35 Do it for your happiness<br />

41 Do it for the adventure<br />

47 Do it for weight loss<br />

53 Do it for the fun of it<br />

56 <strong>How</strong> <strong>to</strong> dress for <strong>1000</strong> miles<br />

61 A message <strong>to</strong> myself<br />

62 Join the UK’s best-selling outdoor mag<br />

Sign up now at www.walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.co.uk

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

Who walks<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles?<br />

People like this. And if you think there’s a lot here (there’s<br />

over 900) you might like <strong>to</strong> know that’s a little over 2% of the<br />

people in just the #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles Facebook group. All doing<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles. From under 10 years old <strong>to</strong> over 90; from<br />

every part of the country, and every conceivable background,<br />

persuasion and experience – and many <strong>to</strong> their complete<br />

as<strong>to</strong>nishment – they have discovered they are capable of an<br />

extraordinary thing. You’ll fit in perfectly because there<br />

is no fitting in – only a mutual commitment <strong>to</strong> making every day<br />

count. That and the discovery that one step at a time we can<br />

transform our health and happiness and make the world we<br />

inhabit seem, and actually be, a more wonderful thing.<br />

4 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 5

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />


<strong>How</strong> on<br />

earth do I<br />

walk <strong>1000</strong><br />

miles?<br />

It sounds enormous – and it is – but it’s not in<br />

the least bit scary when you break it down.<br />

A<br />


the long way from<br />

Land’s End <strong>to</strong> John<br />

O’Groats. But it’s also just 2.74<br />

miles a day over 12 months. In<br />

human speak, that’s less than<br />

an hour, and something you<br />

can do on your lunch break or<br />

on your way <strong>to</strong> work. It can be<br />

a daily walk around the park,<br />

along a canal or even while<br />

you shop. Or you could save<br />

up most of your miles for big<br />

weekend adventures.<br />

Its flexibility and the<br />

forgiving nature of averages<br />

Turn dead time<br />

in<strong>to</strong> pleasure<br />

and purpose.<br />

makes it a challenge you can<br />

do, and you will do. It doesn’t<br />

have <strong>to</strong> involve long walks in<br />

far off lands (although many<br />

challengers choose <strong>to</strong> include<br />

these as part of their<br />

adventure, and our partner<br />

Macs Adventure can help with<br />

that). You can enjoy a yearlong<br />

adventure of your own in<br />

bitesize chunks right from your<br />

doorstep. The key thing is, it<br />

makes every mile count.<br />

If you’re wondering where<br />

your motivation might come<br />

from, just get that first walk<br />


It adds up <strong>to</strong> Land’s<br />

End <strong>to</strong> John o'Groats –<br />

the long way!<br />

underway, because this is a<br />

challenge that motivates you<br />

as you go. It has a happy knack<br />

of throwing up surprises and<br />

nuggets of inspiration.<br />

‘The journey<br />

starts at your door<br />

and doesn’t have <strong>to</strong><br />

involve long walks<br />

in far off lands...<br />

but it can’<br />

6 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

<strong>How</strong> on earth...?<br />

Keep asking, ‘What’s round<br />

the next corner?’, ‘Where does<br />

that path go?’, ‘What’s in that<br />

tree?’ and embrace each<br />

outing with a child-like<br />

fascination. You’ll discover you<br />

live in a world that’s just as full<br />

of surprise and wonder as it<br />

was when you were five, and it<br />

lifts your soul day after day.<br />

Take Deborah Williams, for<br />

instance, who was planning <strong>to</strong><br />

ignore a little path veering off<br />

her planned walk. On a whim<br />

she said “ah, go on then”, and<br />

it led her <strong>to</strong> the closest and<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

longest encounter she’d ever<br />

had with a kingfisher (1).<br />

When drummer Dave<br />

Phillips <strong>to</strong>ok a walk by a<br />

reservoir one morning, he<br />

wouldn’t have planned <strong>to</strong> see a<br />

fogbow (who even knew such<br />

a thing existed?), but a fogbow<br />

he saw for the first time in his<br />

life, and it made his day (2).<br />

And Richard Crooks could<br />

easily have strolled past a very<br />

ordinary looking s<strong>to</strong>ne lying<br />

on the beach. But something<br />

about it caught his eye, and<br />

when he held it close he<br />

realised it was<br />

embedded with the<br />

perfect imprint of a shell (3).<br />

Yes, there’s an element of<br />

luck, but in #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles,<br />

as in life, you make your own<br />

luck. If you step outside <strong>to</strong><br />

meet the world each day with<br />

open eyes, ears, mind and<br />

heart, then you’ll find you get<br />

luckier and luckier.<br />

If you’re looking for good<br />

karma in the world, then we<br />

encourage you <strong>to</strong> post<br />

something about yourself in<br />

our Facebook group – even if<br />

it’s just “Hi, I’m new here” –<br />

then wait for the wave of<br />

encouragement and positive<br />

vibes that’ll come from the<br />

friendliest place on the<br />

internet. In a similar vein,<br />

taking a day out <strong>to</strong> meet other<br />

members of the group (in<br />

what are known as ‘badger<br />

meets’, organised in the<br />

Facebook group) might seem<br />

scary, but you’ll be welcomed<br />

like an old friend and will meet<br />

people with the same interests<br />

and goals as you. It’s kindled<br />

a lot of friendships.<br />

Once you have a few miles<br />

under your belt, you’ve<br />

befriended fellow <strong>1000</strong>-milers,<br />

and you’ve found places that<br />

are <strong>to</strong>o good not <strong>to</strong> see in<br />

Country <strong>Walk</strong>ing, you might<br />

decide <strong>to</strong> venture further<br />

afield. For #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

creates a bolder version of<br />

who you are; a more confident<br />

you with an insatiable appetite<br />

for discovery. A person who<br />

dares <strong>to</strong> go further and dream<br />

bigger. It’s whatever you want<br />

it <strong>to</strong> be, and that’s why it’s not<br />

only achievable, but also just<br />

the most wonderful journey.<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 7

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

But WHY walk<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles?<br />

31 reasons why it’s a great idea <strong>to</strong> walk <strong>1000</strong> miles –<br />

according <strong>to</strong> people who’ve walked the walk…<br />

1<br />

It sounds<br />

incredible<br />

FURTHER than Land’s<br />

End <strong>to</strong> John o’Groats!<br />

‘Your non walking<br />

friends are SO<br />

impressed,’<br />

Sue<br />

Jackson<br />

says.<br />

2<br />

IT’S FREE!<br />

You can start doing it,<br />

<strong>to</strong>day, in the clothes you<br />

stand up in (but be warned:<br />

it’s addictive, and a<br />

wardrobe change<br />

often follows).<br />

3<br />

It sets you<br />

straight<br />

‘<strong>Walk</strong>ing’s an everyday<br />

reminder we need now<br />

more than ever that there<br />

are simple, good and<br />

beautiful things in<br />

the world,’ says<br />

Anne England.<br />

4 It chills<br />

you out<br />

‘It’s amazing<br />

for helping<br />

anxiety and stress!<br />

I also lost 8 s<strong>to</strong>ne!’ says<br />

Sarah Peplow.<br />

7<br />

5<br />

You’ll make friends<br />

For real-world walks or just<br />

online chat. ‘I was lonely but<br />

I found my people,’ says<br />

Vic<strong>to</strong>ria Lewis.<br />

6<br />

It builds<br />

& builds<br />

‘It makes every walk<br />

more than just a walk,’<br />

says Sandra Whinnett.<br />

It’s surprisingly<br />

manageable<br />

Average a <strong>to</strong>tal of just 2.74 miles a<br />

day (that’s under an hour for most).<br />

8 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

8<br />

It’s time<br />

<strong>to</strong> think<br />

‘You come home a different person and in a<br />

much better place <strong>to</strong> deal with everything that<br />

WAS weighing you down,’ says Hazel Egan.<br />

31 reasons why<br />

9 Escape<br />

‘It gives<br />

me peace<br />

in my head and<br />

happiness in<br />

my heart,’ says<br />

Hannah Clewer.<br />

12<br />

10<br />

It lets you off the hook<br />

‘I feel much better about<br />

abandoning the housework<br />

because I’m not procrastinating,<br />

I’m improving my health!’ says<br />

Aisha Ahlaam.<br />

13<br />

Rediscovery<br />

‘You see and hear<br />

nature you<br />

used <strong>to</strong> see<br />

as a child<br />

and had<br />

forgotten’ says<br />

Gail Oglanby.<br />

11<br />

It makes<br />

home magical<br />

‘Returning home, a hot<br />

drink, your favourite chair,<br />

well deserve rest.. it’s the<br />

best,’ says Carol Bianca.<br />

It builds<br />

better people<br />

‘<strong>Walk</strong>ing keeps the kids<br />

physically and mentally<br />

well, helps them<br />

overcome challenges in<br />

life, develops resilience,<br />

stimulates creativity,<br />

provides relaxation,<br />

creates strong family<br />

bonds…’ says Nina<br />

Trollope.<br />

It’s better<br />

value than<br />

the gym<br />

‘And so much easier<br />

than the gym <strong>to</strong>o!’<br />

says Penny Holroyd.<br />

14<br />

15<br />

It boosts your<br />

appetite for life<br />

‘And you can eat cake guilt<br />

free,’ says Hannah Beddoe.<br />


WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 9

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

16<br />

It banishes<br />

winter blues<br />

‘Helps enormously<br />

with SAD,’ says<br />

Susan O’Sullivan.<br />

17<br />

It’s unpredictable<br />

Freya Davison says: ‘It can change your life in<br />

so many unexpected ways. More confidence.<br />

New places. The magic of the seasons.’<br />

19<br />

18<br />

The snacks<br />

you can eat<br />

‘It’s important <strong>to</strong> keep<br />

your energy up,’ reminds<br />

Kathryn Woods.<br />

21<br />

It s<strong>to</strong>ps<br />

you being<br />

lazy<br />

‘It holds me accountable – and<br />

I’m always glad I went out,’<br />

says Natalie Chadwick.<br />

It’s not your<br />

everyday<br />

achievement<br />

‘You see views, meet<br />

people, feel better in<br />

everything you do and<br />

you’ve done something<br />

not everyone has done,’<br />

says Darrell Jordan.<br />

22<br />

20<br />

It’s a reason <strong>to</strong><br />

reward yourself<br />

‘A nice pint at the end is<br />

compulsory,’ says Richard Gall.<br />

Simple pleasures<br />

‘Fresh air, no worries, friendships – and the creeping<br />

sense of how much you’re enjoying the challenge!’<br />

Sarah Staines.<br />

10 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

31 reasons why<br />

23<br />

28<br />

26<br />

It’s<br />

habit-forming<br />

‘And a habit<br />

that’s good for<br />

you,’ rejoices<br />

Collette Louise.<br />

It’s time <strong>to</strong><br />

yourself<br />

‘Time I wouldn’t<br />

otherwise carve<br />

out of my day,’<br />

says Emma<br />

Boylan.<br />

24 It’s a<br />

great<br />

investment<br />

‘We’re <strong>to</strong>ld <strong>to</strong> save<br />

money for retiring.<br />

We should be <strong>to</strong>ld <strong>to</strong> save our<br />

health,’ says John Loughlin.<br />

It makes a HUGE<br />

difference <strong>to</strong> your<br />

health and<br />

wellbeing<br />

See more on<br />

page 21.<br />

It fits around you<br />

‘You can do it in bite-size chunks<br />

over the course of the day,’ says<br />

Karen Hayes – and turn scraps of<br />

dead time in<strong>to</strong> pleasure and benefit.<br />

30<br />

It makes you<br />

young again<br />

‘Kicking leaves, jumping in<br />

puddles, eating sweets, exploring,’<br />

– Carol MacKay could go on…<br />

27<br />

31<br />

It<br />

saves<br />

money<br />

‘Saves diesel when you walk<br />

instead of driving, saves<br />

heating the house while<br />

you’re out,’ says<br />

Dave Gent.<br />

Oh so many<br />

reasons…<br />

25<br />

29<br />

It keeps<br />

you grounded<br />

‘Keeps my feet on the ground<br />

and head firmly in the clouds<br />

– where I’m happiest,’ says<br />

Karen Ritchie.<br />

Says Salyen Latter: ‘I’ve<br />

lost weight, met a load<br />

of fabby folk and am<br />

enjoying being the fittest,<br />

healthiest and happiest I’ve been<br />

in years. What’s not <strong>to</strong> love<br />

about that?’ Quite so.<br />


WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 11

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

<strong>How</strong> it<br />

works<br />

It starts with a sum:<br />

<strong>1000</strong> = 2.74 x 365<br />

12 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

<strong>How</strong> it works<br />

I<br />

T TAKES AN average of<br />

2.74 miles a day walking for<br />

12 months <strong>to</strong> walk <strong>1000</strong><br />

miles. You keep track of it on<br />

the Progress Chart you’ll find<br />

with this month’s magazine,<br />

or on a fun and encouraging<br />

virtual journey from Land’s End<br />

<strong>to</strong> John o’Groats with one of<br />

our <strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles+ packages<br />

(from £8.99). You’ve got one<br />

year from the day you register<br />

<strong>to</strong> complete the <strong>1000</strong>. Along<br />

the way, you’ll make friends<br />

and celebrate reaching<br />

miles<strong>to</strong>nes in the friendliest<br />

Facebook group on the<br />

internet. We’ll send you<br />

newsletters and print s<strong>to</strong>ries of<br />

what you get up <strong>to</strong> on the way<br />

in the magazine. At the end<br />

you give yourself a medal.<br />

And in essence that’s it. And<br />

yet it’s a challenge unlike any<br />

other: you do it on your own,<br />

but you’re part of a massive<br />

community. You can expect<br />

<strong>to</strong>ns of support, but look<br />

forward <strong>to</strong> all the glorious<br />

isolation you desire.<br />

You can win prizes<br />

along the way but it isn’t a<br />

competition. Except in one<br />

sense it is: between the old<br />

you and the new. <strong>How</strong> big a<br />

difference can I make <strong>to</strong> my<br />

health and happiness, just by<br />

walking? <strong>How</strong> far can I really<br />

go in a year? <strong>How</strong> much more<br />

enjoyable, and purposeful can<br />

life be, no matter what the<br />

world throws at me? We have<br />

hundreds of thousands of<br />

reasons <strong>to</strong> believe the answers<br />

will surprise you.<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 13

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

What happens now?<br />

Sign up free<br />

Register free at walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.co.uk/signup <strong>to</strong><br />

make sure you get our email newsletters and<br />

competitions. Be sure <strong>to</strong> tick the box that says<br />

we can contact you or you’ll miss out.<br />

Upgrade <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong><br />

miles+<br />

New: now from<br />

£8.99. See your<br />

mileage build on<br />

a virtual journey<br />

from Land’s End<br />

<strong>to</strong> John o’Groats,<br />

get encouraging<br />

miles<strong>to</strong>ne messages<br />

and upgrade <strong>to</strong> get<br />

an exclusive patch<br />

or medal.<br />

START<br />

Join the Facebook group<br />

The friendliest community on the internet is<br />

here <strong>to</strong> support you, cheer you, pick you up<br />

when you’re down and leave no question<br />

unanswered. Join <strong>to</strong>day: facebook.com/<br />

groups/walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

Get your participation badge<br />

Remind yourself daily of your quest and<br />

instantly identify yourself <strong>to</strong> other challengers<br />

– or as you’ll come <strong>to</strong> know them, ‘Badgers’<br />

from walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.co.uk/shop<br />

Join a mini-challenge<br />

Five new fun, seasonal or silly challenges are<br />

in each new edition of Country <strong>Walk</strong>ing: your<br />

chance <strong>to</strong> win a money-can’t-buy Golden Badge!<br />

Check your daily target<br />

Check how your daily average target changes<br />

with miles covered so far using our instant <strong>to</strong>ol<br />

at walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.co.uk<br />

14 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

<strong>How</strong> it works<br />

Name your chart<br />

Entering each day’s miles and on your Progress<br />

Chart on the fridge is addictive! Recording daily<br />

miles in the boxes, watch your progress build<br />

in the thermometer; shade a county for every<br />

10 miles walked on the map side.<br />

Set your first incentive<br />

Think of a tempting incentive for yourself in<br />

the 100-mile box, because walking more is all<br />

about opportunities <strong>to</strong> enjoy life more. Meal<br />

out? Film night? New socks? You deserve it!<br />


Take the<br />

pledge<br />

Iron-clad your<br />

ambition by going<br />

public – download<br />

and fill in your<br />

pledge and then<br />

post a picture of it<br />

on your social<br />

media account.<br />

Now you’re<br />

accountable!<br />

walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.<br />

co.uk/pledge<br />

Become a<br />

Country <strong>Walk</strong>ing member<br />

Get Country <strong>Walk</strong>ing magazine plus perks like<br />

50% off OS Maps premium. CW’s the clubhouse<br />

of the challenge, an award-winning inspiration<br />

that comes complete with 27 routes every<br />

month. greatmagazines.co.uk/cw<br />

Watch this video<br />

Any time you need a lift, remind yourself of<br />

the power of walking <strong>to</strong> change lives one easy<br />

step at time! walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.co.uk/about<br />

Get walking!<br />

Anywhere, any time – you can even do it<br />

(the whole thing) in your lunch hour every day.<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 15

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

FAQs<br />

I just start walking?<br />

Anywhere?<br />

The adventure starts right at<br />

your door. And part of the<br />

beauty of the challenge is it’s<br />

up <strong>to</strong> you <strong>to</strong> set the precise<br />

rules – it’s YOUR challenge, not<br />

a competition. Some people,<br />

particularly those starting from<br />

a lower fitness level, choose <strong>to</strong><br />

count every step on their step<br />

counter or phone’s health app.<br />

Many will count all the miles<br />

they do that they wouldn’t<br />

otherwise have walked before<br />

– and whether it’s in your lunch<br />

break, getting off the tube a<br />

s<strong>to</strong>p early, round the block in<br />

the evening or exploring the<br />

country it all adds up. Others<br />

will count only the miles they<br />

cover on walks with boots on<br />

and in the countryside. It’s up<br />

<strong>to</strong> you!<br />

<strong>How</strong> do I track my miles?<br />

If you’re counting every step,<br />

use the Health Kit or Google Fit<br />

app on your smartphone, or<br />

your Fitbit-type device. If you<br />

want <strong>to</strong> choose what activity<br />

<strong>to</strong> count, try the OS Maps app,<br />

which can track your walks.<br />

Upgrade <strong>to</strong> <strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles+ <strong>to</strong><br />

plot your progress from Land’s<br />

End <strong>to</strong> John o’Groats. Combine<br />

any one of these methods with<br />

your Progress Chart (fun <strong>to</strong> fill<br />

in and immune <strong>to</strong> technical<br />

glitches!) and you’re all set!<br />

Are there any rewards?<br />

Apart from that addictive postwalk<br />

glow, your Progress Chart<br />

has spaces for you <strong>to</strong> add your<br />

own miles<strong>to</strong>ne treats – and<br />

you shouldn’t underestimate<br />

the power of positive<br />

reinforcement of your new<br />

walking habit. Our completer<br />

medals are the icing on the<br />

cake (you can get a <strong>1000</strong>-mile<br />

medal via <strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles+<br />

but there are 500-, 1500-<br />

and 2000-mile medals also<br />

available in our shop), and<br />

there’s always new<br />

merchandise at walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.<br />

co.uk/shop.<br />

Any tips <strong>to</strong> get miles in?<br />

<strong>Walk</strong> at lunch<br />

A two-mile walk each day will<br />

rack up nearly three-quarters<br />

of your <strong>to</strong>tal by year end. And<br />

it makes you MUCH chirpier in<br />

the afternoon!<br />

Enlist a buddy<br />

It’s extra motivation <strong>to</strong> wrench<br />

yourself away from the daily<br />

demands of your life and walk<br />

if you’re doing it in real or<br />

virtual company.<br />

Start early…<br />

Set your alarm 30 minutes<br />

early and get out while the<br />

rest of the world is fast asleep.<br />

You’ll set your mood <strong>to</strong> sunny,<br />

and boost your chance of<br />

coming across something you<br />

smile about the rest of the day,<br />

…Or finish late!<br />

An evening walk is the perfect<br />

way <strong>to</strong> process the day and get<br />

ready for a deep, healthy sleep.<br />

Get the map<br />

Buy your local Ordnance<br />

Survey map – you can walk all<br />

of those dashed lines, any time<br />

you want <strong>to</strong>! Try some at<br />

random, or walk them all,<br />

highlighting them as you go.<br />

A pho<strong>to</strong> a day<br />

Take one interesting pic on<br />

every walk. It could be the<br />

same thing each day (a tree<br />

that transforms with the<br />

seasons) or a random pleasing<br />

thing. Be in the now!<br />

Keep up the streak<br />

There’s real power in a chain<br />

of habit: walk half a mile even<br />

if you don’t feel like it so your<br />

Progress Chart shows no gaps.<br />

The longer the chain the<br />

stronger the motivation.<br />

Be more dog!<br />

Even if you haven’t got one,<br />

think of your body as a dog:<br />

a good owner walks it daily.<br />

What if I did it last year?<br />

Target 10%, 25%, or 50% more<br />

than your 2022 <strong>to</strong>tal. Or beat<br />

the date you hit <strong>1000</strong>. Save<br />

50p a mile and treat yourself<br />

bigly at the end of the year,<br />

or commit <strong>to</strong> donating it<br />

heroically <strong>to</strong> charity. Join a<br />

meet-up for the first time – or<br />

organise one. Keep a journal<br />

and remember more of what<br />

you see; walk a long distance<br />

path in real or virtual stages...<br />

But but but…<br />

Anxieties about time, fitness<br />

and more are understandable<br />

– but just give it a week. Aim<br />

for 45-minutes walking a day<br />

(in <strong>to</strong>tal) from your front door,<br />

and then see: 1) <strong>How</strong> far you’ve<br />

already come, 2) <strong>How</strong> none of<br />

those objections need be a<br />

barrier <strong>to</strong> success, and 3) <strong>How</strong><br />

much you want <strong>to</strong> keep going!<br />

16 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

DEUTER<br />

IS FOR THE<br />

FAST ´N´ FREE<br />

#deuterforever<br />

SPEED LITE 23 SL<br />


<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

Meet (y)our<br />

partners<br />

Meet the brands with you every step of the way – as enthusiastic<br />

about the challenge as you and hand-picked <strong>to</strong> enhance your <strong>1000</strong><br />

miles. Look out for their exclusive offers at walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.co.uk<br />

Jack Wolfskin<br />

Clothing partner<br />

Our mission, just like<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles, is <strong>to</strong> motivate<br />

people <strong>to</strong> go outside and<br />

connect with nature,<br />

experience new things, and<br />

enjoy life outdoors with<br />

family and friends. We<br />

offer exceptional products<br />

that unite functionality,<br />

sustainability and on-trend<br />

design so you can Live<br />

<strong>to</strong> Discover!<br />

jack-wolfskin.co.uk<br />

Scarpa<br />

Footwear partner<br />

Scarpa has been a world leader in footwear for<br />

over 80 years, continually innovating. We are<br />

passionate about the outdoors and creating the<br />

best footwear possible and have an extensive<br />

collection of boots and shoes <strong>to</strong> ensure people<br />

have the best fit, performance<br />

and comfort at all times.<br />

We’re pleased <strong>to</strong> partner the<br />

challenge <strong>to</strong> encourage<br />

more people <strong>to</strong> get<br />

walking and<br />

enjoying the<br />

outdoors.<br />

scarpa.co.uk<br />

Bridgedale<br />

Sock partner<br />

At Bridgedale we believe it’s the<br />

little things that make the biggest<br />

difference <strong>to</strong> our lives and our<br />

socks are one of the little<br />

things that will transform your<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles journey every<br />

day. We’ve been making the<br />

best socks for over 100 years<br />

and it’s a constant joy when<br />

<strong>1000</strong>-milers discover the difference.<br />

We’ve come a long way <strong>to</strong>gether!<br />

bridgedale.com<br />

Deuter<br />

Rucksack partner<br />

Social responsibility and<br />

environmental protection<br />

are at the heart of deuter.<br />

#<strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles is<br />

an incredible way <strong>to</strong><br />

understand why. We<br />

produce rucksacks that<br />

allow you <strong>to</strong> enjoy your<br />

experience no matter<br />

how far you go, packs<br />

for lovers of the<br />

outdoors. We are proud<br />

<strong>to</strong> partner in your<br />

inspiring journey.<br />

deutergb.co.uk<br />

18 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Your perfect partners<br />

Fujifilm<br />

Pho<strong>to</strong>graphy partner<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing is a wonderful opportunity <strong>to</strong><br />

reconnect with the great outdoors, and<br />

improve your mind and fitness, and<br />

capturing beautiful memories of this<br />

most remarkable year will be key.<br />

We look forward <strong>to</strong> being part of the<br />

fantastic #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles community and<br />

seeing everyone’s pho<strong>to</strong>s!<br />

fujifilm.com/uk<br />

Sportsshoes.com<br />

Retail partner<br />

With over 12,000 products<br />

online, we have the right<br />

kit for you – and it’s our<br />

role <strong>to</strong> help you find it.<br />

We’re proud <strong>to</strong> share the most<br />

comprehensive, most detailed<br />

product knowledge in the<br />

industry with you – and from<br />

video guides <strong>to</strong> live expert<br />

advice, we’re here <strong>to</strong> help you<br />

<strong>to</strong> make the most informed<br />

choices and have the bestequipped,<br />

most enjoyable<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles.<br />

sportsshoes.com<br />

Macs Adventure<br />

Holiday partner<br />

Whether you want <strong>to</strong> complete the West<br />

Highland Way in Scotland, take on the challenge<br />

of the Tour Du Mont Blanc in Switzerland,<br />

France and Italy, or take a pilgrimage on the<br />

Camino de Santiago, we have 600+ tried and<br />

tested routes all over the world. With luggage<br />

transfers, locally run accommodation, and our<br />

free route mapping app, we’re thrilled <strong>to</strong> help<br />

make this your most memorable and epic <strong>1000</strong><br />

miles ever. macsadventure.com<br />

Ordnance Survey<br />

Navigation partner<br />

OS Maps is the perfect companion <strong>to</strong> help<br />

ensure your <strong>1000</strong> miles leads <strong>to</strong> discovery,<br />

adventure and lifelong memories. We are<br />

so proud <strong>to</strong> be associated with a challenge<br />

which shares the same values we do.<br />

Head <strong>to</strong> os.uk/osm for more information<br />

Trekmates<br />

Accessories partner<br />

At Trekmates, we’re huge advocates for<br />

participation in the outdoors and the<br />

benefits spending time in the hills can<br />

bring. We fully endorse the #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

challenge, and we love the supportive<br />

community around it. Trekmates designs accessories<br />

and equipment <strong>to</strong> accompany you on your<br />

hillwalking adventures whether you’re taking the<br />

first step on your <strong>1000</strong>-mile journey or bagging<br />

your final Munro. trekmates.co.uk<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 19

“My Bridgedales never fail me and<br />

have been my trusty companions<br />

on <strong>1000</strong>’s of miles.”<br />

Vicky Toghill<br />


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Do it for<br />

HEALTH<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing more transforms your chances of leading<br />

the happy, healthy life you want – as doc<strong>to</strong>rs, challengers<br />

and every fibre of your body will confirm.<br />

98% say<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles is<br />

suitable for people of<br />

ALL LEVELS of<br />

physical fitness<br />

93% say their<br />

RESILIENCE and<br />

IMMUNITY have<br />

been boosted by<br />

taking part<br />

98% say they<br />

feel more optimistic<br />

about their LONG-<br />


prospects<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 21

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

‘Fantastic for<br />

you, the NHS<br />

& the planet’<br />

TV’s Dr Amir Khan is on a mission <strong>to</strong> banish a<br />

misconception about walking – that it’s a low<br />

impact, low benefit activity. And the latest OS<br />

Champion is a huge fan of #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.<br />

P<br />


walking as a gentle<br />

stroll rather than a<br />

really important form of<br />

exercise. But it is. And what’s<br />

amazing is that while it’s<br />

powerful it’s also so accessible<br />

– the perfect entry level form<br />

of exercise for people who’d<br />

never consider themselves<br />

sporty. And it’s not just the<br />

physical movement of walking.<br />

It’s the wide range of benefits<br />

you get because you’re<br />

outside, engaging with the<br />

world. You’re weight bearing,<br />

which is really good long term,<br />

building stronger bones, and<br />

giving you much less risk of<br />

serious conditions like<br />

osteoporosis in future.<br />

But walking is also something<br />

we tend <strong>to</strong> do in really nice<br />

places. Rather than focusing<br />

on just the physicality of the<br />

activity, you focus on what’s<br />

going on around you. And<br />

when we’re outside walking<br />

our stress hormone cortisol<br />

drops, our heart rate evens out<br />

and our blood pressure drops<br />

as well. That gives us a sense of<br />

calm. At the same time, the<br />

levels of our neurotransmitters<br />

are going up, so things like<br />

dopamine and sero<strong>to</strong>nin start<br />

<strong>to</strong> flood our brain. While you’re<br />

getting the calmness from the<br />

reduced cortisol, you’re also<br />

getting the pleasurable feeling<br />

that from being outside and<br />

being active. And that<br />

combined effort is really, really<br />

good for you.<br />

‘You don’t need experience <strong>to</strong><br />

get started. It sounds like a<br />

huge athletic achievement<br />

<strong>to</strong> walk <strong>1000</strong> miles, but it’s<br />

something most of us can do’<br />

It works in the short term, but<br />

the benefits of walking really<br />

build in the long term. It helps<br />

manage blood pressure and<br />

break down fatty deposits, on<br />

the outside of our organs and<br />

the inside of our blood vessels.<br />

It reduces your risk of heart<br />

attacks and strokes. It<br />

improves your muscle strength,<br />

taking the pressure of your<br />

bones and your joints, reducing<br />

the risk of developing arthritis.<br />

I’m a specialist in type 2<br />

diabetes, and walking is a<br />

brilliant way <strong>to</strong> make it better.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing reduces our risk of<br />

anxiety, depression and low<br />

mood. That’s been really<br />

important <strong>to</strong> me, particularly<br />

over the last couple of years<br />

working in the NHS in the<br />

22 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Doc<strong>to</strong>rs on walking<br />

pandemic. And now with the<br />

pressure of the backlog,<br />

getting the country walking is<br />

even more important because<br />

it would really take some of the<br />

pressure off the health service.<br />

You don’t need experience <strong>to</strong><br />

get started. Even if you just go<br />

<strong>to</strong> your local park for five or<br />

10 minutes <strong>to</strong> begin with and<br />

slowly build it up, it will be<br />

really good for you. When I<br />

prescribe it <strong>to</strong> patients, I try<br />

<strong>to</strong> recommend going with<br />

someone else – that<br />

encourages you <strong>to</strong> do it more,<br />

and it’s really helpful <strong>to</strong> break<br />

down any social isolation.<br />

It sounds like a huge athletic<br />

achievement <strong>to</strong> walk a<br />

thousand miles. But actually<br />

Dr Khan loves<br />

walking and wildlife<br />

and views his map<br />

as a vital part of his<br />

medicinal armoury.<br />

it’s<br />

something<br />

that the vast<br />

majority of people can do. We<br />

should try and encourage as<br />

many people as possible <strong>to</strong> do<br />

it. The journey starts at their<br />

front door, and what generally<br />

happens is people realise once<br />

they get started is, oh gosh,<br />

I didn’t know walking was so<br />

enjoyable. But it really is!<br />

We need <strong>to</strong> remember<br />

walking was our primary way<br />

of getting around for all the<br />

time we were evolving. It’s for<br />

everyone, everyone can do it.<br />

It doesn’t belong <strong>to</strong> one group<br />

of people, and one of my one<br />

of my passions is get more<br />

people from all backgrounds<br />

feel the benefit of walking.<br />

Growing up where I did,<br />

walking wasn’t the kind of<br />

thing we did. But as I grew up,<br />

I realised it was something I’d<br />

been missing out on for so<br />

long. And I really don’t want<br />

people <strong>to</strong> miss out anymore.<br />

I love the fact there are now<br />

diverse walking groups and<br />

challenges like this where<br />

everyone feels 100% welcome.<br />

I’m a wildlife enthusiast <strong>to</strong>o,<br />

and one of the one of the<br />

most exciting things about<br />

walking is the things you see.<br />

When you’re out on a walk<br />

and you see a bird of<br />

prey, or a fox or a hare<br />

or a deer trots by, it’s<br />

amazing – and it<br />

stays with you for<br />

the rest of the day,<br />

the rest of the week,<br />

and makes you<br />

realise our health and<br />

wellbeing is intricately<br />

connected with the health<br />

and wellbeing of the planet.<br />

Realising we’re just a part of<br />

this huge natural world is really<br />

important, and walking’s so<br />

good at that.<br />

I love #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.<br />

It sounds so big but it’s<br />

manageable. <strong>Walk</strong>ing twoand-three-quarter<br />

miles a day<br />

is something older people,<br />

younger people, people<br />

everywhere can do. You can<br />

do it alone or <strong>to</strong>gether – and<br />

there’s no rule preventing you<br />

s<strong>to</strong>pping at a coffee shop and<br />

having a piece of cake halfway<br />

through. It’s fantastic for your<br />

physical health and mental<br />

health, it’s good for the NHS<br />

and it’s good for the planet.’<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 23

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

See more,<br />

be more,<br />

live longer<br />

Doc<strong>to</strong>r and #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

evangelist Peter Davies says<br />

walking is our most powerful<br />

weapon in the fight of our lives.<br />

F<br />


FORGETFUL? Slowing<br />

down? Just because<br />

something is common and<br />

develops over time doesn’t<br />

mean it’s normal, unavoidable<br />

or natural. You need more<br />

muscle. Let me explain.<br />

What many of the people<br />

I see in surgery are really<br />

suffering from is movement<br />

and muscle deficiency<br />

disorder. They describe various<br />

symp<strong>to</strong>ms and get various<br />

medical labels – obese,<br />

diabetic, prone <strong>to</strong> falls, anxious,<br />

depressed, dementia and so<br />

on. But at root these are all<br />

consequences of lack of<br />

muscle, lack of movement and<br />

lack of connection.<br />

There are other people who<br />

walk, move, lift, explore. They<br />

have strong<br />

muscles and<br />

their<br />

movements<br />

flow easily.<br />

They live<br />

calmly and<br />

their memory is<br />

accurate. They can quietly and<br />

effectively get on with life.<br />

They can do this because they<br />

move and so generate and<br />

regenerate the connections<br />

between their bodies and their<br />

brain. They generate new<br />

connections within themselves<br />

and outside themselves – <strong>to</strong><br />

other people and <strong>to</strong> places. The<br />

physical connections generate<br />

both physical and mental<br />

health. And we feel good as<br />

we prompt our body <strong>to</strong> make<br />

these connections.<br />

It all comes down <strong>to</strong><br />

movement and lifting.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles is a fantastic<br />

way <strong>to</strong> get the movement you<br />

need in<strong>to</strong> your life, and <strong>to</strong><br />

enjoy life more. I rely on it.<br />

The alternative of a slothful<br />

and sedentary existence is<br />

miserable, and no doc<strong>to</strong>r<br />

can cure that for you.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing is a far better<br />

medicine than any I can<br />

prescribe and the very best<br />

prescription any of us can give<br />

<strong>to</strong> ourselves.<br />

I take part in the challenge<br />

enthusiastically and I’m as<br />

proud of my achievements and<br />

progress. But for me it’s way<br />

beyond miles covered. We<br />

walk out in<strong>to</strong> the world <strong>to</strong><br />

discover it, and as we do we<br />

get physically stronger and<br />

mentally more connected <strong>to</strong><br />

ourselves and <strong>to</strong> places and<br />

<strong>to</strong> others. We become whole<br />

inside, and a healthy and<br />

integrated part of the world.<br />

As Mary Oliver puts it, the<br />

world seems <strong>to</strong> be ‘over and<br />

over announcing our place in<br />

the family of things’. That’s why<br />

walking is so wonderful, and<br />

why walk<strong>1000</strong>miles is such<br />

a good idea.”<br />

24 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023




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<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

Why walking’s<br />

one giant leap<br />

for your health<br />

The health benefits of walking are truly out of this world, beating any<br />

gym, spa, surgery or miracle cure – as science keeps revealing.<br />


<strong>Walk</strong>ing makes you mentally healthier<br />

One in six of us has had<br />

a common mental health<br />

problem in the past week.<br />

But walking has a three-card<br />

trick that makes it just as<br />

effective as medication<br />

(and a lot more fun). Dr David<br />

Crepaz-Keay from the Mental<br />

Health Foundation says it<br />

helps first by releasing your<br />

happy hormones and<br />

balancing your cortisol<br />

levels that help you<br />

<strong>to</strong> manage stress.<br />

The second is by<br />

getting you in<strong>to</strong><br />

nature. And the third<br />

is the social connection we<br />

get from walking. “<strong>Walk</strong>ing is<br />

like the oats of the exercise<br />

world – it elevates your mood<br />

in a sustained way,” says<br />

David. Research from the<br />

University of Gothenburg<br />

revealed walking as little as<br />

two hours per week cuts<br />

your chance of developing<br />

depression in future by 63%,<br />

while the Mental Health<br />

Foundation says just 10<br />

minutes of brisk walking<br />

will increase your mental<br />

alertness, energy and<br />

positive mood.<br />

It improves your vision<br />

Glaucoma is a serious eye<br />

condition that can lead <strong>to</strong><br />

blindness, but regular jaunts in<br />

the great outdoors will slash<br />

your chances of getting it by<br />

an extraordinary 73%.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing also reduces<br />

your chance of developing<br />

cataracts, and increases the<br />

blood flow <strong>to</strong> your retina and<br />

optic nerve. And by walking<br />

more you also increase the<br />

activity in your visual cortex<br />

– meaning you see and<br />

comprehend more than<br />

pre-#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles you.<br />


26 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for your health<br />

Giant leaps are sometimes<br />

made by small steps –<br />

on Earth as on the moon.<br />


Our most powerful weapon against cancer<br />

“The statistics are very clear,”<br />

says professor Scarlett<br />

McNally, author of the report<br />

Exercise: The Miracle Cure.<br />

“Being active is the primary<br />

prevention for cancer. It<br />

reduces the risk of cancer<br />

across the board by 25-30%.<br />

In bowel cancer it reduces<br />

the risk by 45%.”<br />

And for those living<br />

with cancer, “It helps you<br />

cope with the side effects,<br />

improves fatigue, muscle bulk,<br />

has an effect on the immune<br />

function and your metabolism,<br />

and it gives you the<br />

empowering feeling of<br />

achieving something.”<br />

<strong>1000</strong>-miler Sue Sanders<br />

from Warwickshire can vouch<br />

for it: “I firmly believe regular<br />

walking helped in my recovery.<br />

It’s become a vital part of my<br />

life and helps both my physical<br />

and mental health.”<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing is a diabetes destroyer<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing 30 minutes each day<br />

reduces your risk of type 2<br />

diabetes by 50%. It can also<br />

provide miraculous results for<br />

those who already have it.<br />

“<strong>Walk</strong>ing on its own is a huge<br />

determinant of someone’s<br />

health,” says Neil Gibson from<br />

Diabetes UK. “It can helps<br />

people go in<strong>to</strong> remission,<br />

but it also decreases the risk<br />

of complications, such as<br />

kidney and foot<br />

problems, and<br />

lowers your blood<br />

pressure. It ensures<br />

people live much<br />

better.”<br />

<strong>1000</strong>-miler Tracey White<br />

is one who can vouch for it:<br />

“I’ve lost five s<strong>to</strong>ne and<br />

<strong>to</strong>tally reversed the need<br />

<strong>to</strong> take my medication for<br />

diabetes,” she says.<br />


WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 27

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

It can prevent dementia<br />

Once regarded as an<br />

inevitable symp<strong>to</strong>m of<br />

ageing, we now know that<br />

walking can s<strong>to</strong>p dementia.<br />

Regular walking in middle<br />

age cuts your risk of<br />

dementia by 30%, and<br />

Alzheimer’s disease by 40%.<br />

Says Dr Sara Imarisio of<br />

Alzheimer’s Research UK,<br />

“When your heart is pumping<br />

faster, more oxygen is going<br />

<strong>to</strong> the brain, and your brain<br />

is more active than usual.<br />

The regularity of walking is<br />

crucially important.”<br />

As neuroscientist<br />

Professor Wendy<br />

Suzuki puts it more<br />

starkly still: “Simply<br />

moving your body has<br />

immediate, long-lasting, and<br />

protective benefits for your<br />

brain that can last for the rest<br />

of your life.”<br />

Being part of the<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles community<br />

also brings you closer <strong>to</strong><br />

others – and losing contact<br />

with people increases your<br />

risk of dementia by more<br />

than a quarter.<br />



<strong>Walk</strong>ing is arthritis’ arch-enemy<br />

Arthritis is the number one<br />

cause of disability in the UK<br />

and putting your feet up is<br />

the worst thing you can do.<br />

“Movement is fundamental,”<br />

according <strong>to</strong> David Vaux of UK<br />

charity Arthritis Action.<br />

“There’s a lot of evidence<br />

that pain from arthritis<br />

is always improved if<br />

we can move, and<br />

this is pretty universally<br />

experienced with<br />

either an injury or with an<br />

arthritic joint.”<br />

Fifty-five-year-old Kathy<br />

Cox was <strong>to</strong>ld she’d be in<br />

a wheelchair in her 30s.<br />

But there’s been a plot<br />

twist says the <strong>1000</strong>-miler:<br />

“My rheuma<strong>to</strong>logist says<br />

I’m defying medicine. Some<br />

days it’s a <strong>to</strong>ugh gig, sure, but<br />

I persevere because I know<br />

walking is what keeps me<br />

going physically and mentally.”<br />

It helps you rest and res<strong>to</strong>re<br />

Poor sleep can lead <strong>to</strong> heart<br />

problems, stroke, cancer and<br />

a heightened chance of early<br />

death. Yes, walking can help<br />

you <strong>to</strong> sleep better, but here’s<br />

the thing – even when it<br />

doesn’t help you, it actually<br />

eliminates most of the links<br />

between bad sleep and<br />

premature death. A study of<br />

nearly 400,000 people by<br />

University College London<br />

and the University of Sydney<br />

found that the equivalent of<br />

150 minutes of brisk walking<br />

each week was enough <strong>to</strong><br />

almost completely neutralise<br />

the dangerous effects of<br />

poor sleep. Problems<br />

sleeping? <strong>Walk</strong> more, sleep<br />

better – and s<strong>to</strong>p worrying<br />

about it at all.<br />


28 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for your health<br />

It’s your heart’s hero<br />

Heart disease is the world’s<br />

biggest killer. “But walking is<br />

the best thing anyone could<br />

do <strong>to</strong> reduce your risk of ever<br />

having a heart problem, and <strong>to</strong><br />

reduce the chance you’ll have<br />

complications or diffculties<br />

with it if you did,” says expert<br />

Professor Scarlett McNally.<br />

A walk not only improves<br />

how well your heart pumps,<br />

but also lowers cholesterol<br />

and blood pressure –<br />

responsible for 50% of<br />

Ischaemic heart disease.<br />


<strong>Walk</strong>ing simply helps us <strong>to</strong> live longer<br />

Exercise wears your cartilage<br />

and muscle fibres, but it also<br />

prompts your body <strong>to</strong> build it<br />

all back stronger than before.<br />

It’s this repair process,<br />

according <strong>to</strong> researchers at<br />

Harvard University, which<br />

lowers the risk of cancer,<br />

diabetes, Alzheimer’s and<br />

depression – all while releasing<br />

anti-inflamma<strong>to</strong>ries and<br />

antioxidants, and increasing<br />

blood flow.<br />

Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara<br />

from Trinity College in Dublin<br />

The American Heart<br />

Association recommends<br />

it should be a first-line<br />

prescription for those with<br />

moderately high cholesterol<br />

and blood pressure. No one<br />

puts it better than James<br />

Rudd, senior lecturer in<br />

cardiovascular medicine at<br />

the Cambridge University:<br />

“If a drug company came up<br />

with a medicine as effective<br />

as walking, they would have<br />

a billion-dollar blockbuster on<br />

their hands.”<br />

It makes you super resilient<br />

It takes just 10 minutes<br />

exposure <strong>to</strong> sunlight for your<br />

body <strong>to</strong> synthesise enough<br />

Vitamin D <strong>to</strong> start<br />

strengthening your bones,<br />

and boost immunity <strong>to</strong><br />

harms from Covid <strong>to</strong> cancer.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing daily enhances the<br />

inner layer of collagen that<br />

makes your skin supple and<br />

resilient, and rejuvenates its<br />

mi<strong>to</strong>chondria – your skin’s<br />

says if you want your<br />

mind <strong>to</strong> function like<br />

someone years<br />

younger, you just need<br />

<strong>to</strong> get walking. He says<br />

studies show that people in<br />

their late 60s and early 70s<br />

who have been walking<br />

produce twice as many ideas<br />

as young adults who have<br />

been seated. “<strong>Walk</strong>ing can<br />

reverse the ageing of our brain.<br />

You get old when you s<strong>to</strong>p<br />

walking; you don’t s<strong>to</strong>p<br />

walking when you get old.”<br />

anti-ageing army. The<br />

immune system of a <strong>1000</strong>-<br />

mile challenger really hums,<br />

slashing the number of days<br />

lost <strong>to</strong> illness in an average<br />

year. And walking as little as<br />

nine minutes daily between<br />

March and September has<br />

been shown <strong>to</strong> be enough <strong>to</strong><br />

sustain suffcient vitamin D<br />

levels throughout the whole<br />

of the winter.<br />


WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 29

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

Your inspiring<br />

health s<strong>to</strong>ries<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing is far stronger medicine than most people realise –<br />

as time and again our challengers’ experiences reveal.<br />

‘You’ll marvel at how much better you’ll be’<br />

When Hilary Warren, 74, from<br />

Wiltshire, was <strong>to</strong>ld it was <strong>to</strong>o<br />

dangerous <strong>to</strong> operate on her<br />

spinal condition, and her<br />

husband Douglas was<br />

diagnosed with severe heart<br />

failure, getting <strong>to</strong> <strong>1000</strong> miles<br />

seemed impossible. And yet…<br />

‘I have lumbar spinal stenosis<br />

– a narrowing of the spinal<br />

canal – which has caused my<br />

left foot <strong>to</strong> drop, so I limp quite<br />

badly. Last year my husband<br />

was taken in<strong>to</strong> hospital with<br />

severe heart failure, which<br />

damaged his liver and kidneys.<br />

We’ve been married for 52<br />

years and I thought I was going<br />

<strong>to</strong> lose him.<br />

‘While he was in hospital my<br />

surgeon <strong>to</strong>ld me operating<br />

on my spine was now <strong>to</strong>o<br />

dangerous. He added I needed<br />

<strong>to</strong> be fit <strong>to</strong> look after my<br />

husband. I could have cried –<br />

who was going <strong>to</strong> look after<br />

me so I could look after him?<br />

‘We talked things over and<br />

said if no one is going <strong>to</strong> help<br />

us, we’re not going <strong>to</strong> sit<br />

around and let the grass grow<br />

under our feet. So we decided<br />

<strong>to</strong> try do #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

<strong>to</strong>gether. It was baby steps at<br />

first, not knowing how far <strong>to</strong> go<br />

without getting ill.<br />

‘It was hard, but we were<br />

both determined <strong>to</strong> get <strong>to</strong> the<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles, and we achieved<br />

the miles<strong>to</strong>ne on 26th<br />

December. We felt on <strong>to</strong>p of<br />

the world – we were so pleased<br />

and so proud of ourselves.<br />

‘I’m now so much fitter and<br />

stronger, and Douglas is doing<br />

much better. The challenge is<br />

the best thing either of us<br />

could have done – and not just<br />

for the health aspect. One time<br />

we made it up <strong>to</strong> the North<br />

Wessex Downs and the views<br />

just make you glad <strong>to</strong> be alive.<br />

‘To anyone facing similar<br />

issues, I’d say don’t give in –<br />

that’s the easy way out. Just<br />

do baby steps and marvel at<br />

how well you’re doing, and<br />

after <strong>1000</strong> miles how much<br />

better and fitter you’ll be.’<br />

‘It’s been<br />

wonderful’<br />

‘I joined because I was<br />

slowly recovering<br />

from severe Achilles<br />

tendinopathy and<br />

couldn’t do the long<br />

walks I used <strong>to</strong>. It’s been<br />

wonderful. Unlike other<br />

challenges where you<br />

train for the ‘big day’,<br />

this feels like training<br />

for a healthier life.<br />

I’m exceeding my<br />

expectations, and feel<br />

all-round better. The<br />

added bonus is I’ve<br />

discovered local paths<br />

which are beautiful and<br />

away from all the <strong>to</strong>urist<br />

honeypots. Now I hope<br />

<strong>to</strong> keep walking in<strong>to</strong> my<br />

70s and beyond.’<br />

Angie Barber, 68,<br />

Whitby<br />

30 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for your health<br />

‘Our problems seem<br />

<strong>to</strong> disappear’<br />

After joining #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

the day her husband was<br />

diagnosed with a brain<br />

tumour, 62-year-old Christina<br />

Lander finds it’s been vital <strong>to</strong><br />

both of them.<br />

‘I actually picked up Country<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing magazine in the<br />

waiting room on the day my<br />

husband Richard received his<br />

diagnosis – and that was when<br />

we joined #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.<br />

He was determined <strong>to</strong> be as<br />

fit as possible before his<br />

operation, and we walked up<br />

Cadair Idris (the steep way!)<br />

two days before he went in<strong>to</strong><br />

hospital. All the walking s<strong>to</strong>od<br />

him in great stead.<br />

‘Defying all the odds,<br />

and after a very long and<br />

complicated operation, he was<br />

back walking nine days later.<br />

Only half a mile a day, but it<br />

was a start. He went on <strong>to</strong><br />

climb his first mountain, Pen y<br />

Fan, after 19 days. Such a<br />

beautiful, happy sunny day.<br />

‘We’re now so in the<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles habit, and<br />

enjoying it so much, it’s<br />

become quite hard not <strong>to</strong><br />

go for a walk every day.<br />

I’m struggling through<br />

menopause, and find getting<br />

outside in the fresh air is a<br />

great way <strong>to</strong> just forget about<br />

it. The hot flushes don’t seem<br />

nearly as bad and I definitely<br />

don’t get mood swings – I’m<br />

always on a high. When we’re<br />

out walking I’m <strong>to</strong>tally in the<br />

moment and completely<br />

switch off from anything else<br />

that may be troubling me.<br />

Problems seem <strong>to</strong> disappear,<br />

and when they resurface at the<br />

end of the walk, they don’t<br />

seem nearly as bad.’<br />

‘It’s become<br />

so important’<br />

‘Since doing the<br />

challenge I’ve been<br />

almost completely free<br />

of colds and general<br />

ailments. When I have<br />

had a couple of health<br />

issues I’ve bounced back<br />

and recovered so much<br />

quicker. Since the day<br />

I came across this<br />

challenge in 2016 it has<br />

always been about<br />

trying <strong>to</strong> keep myself<br />

mentally and physically<br />

healthy; I didn’t realise<br />

just how important it<br />

would become.’<br />

Karen Ritchie, 56,<br />

Carrickfergus<br />

‘<strong>Walk</strong> away your troubles’<br />

‘I’ve got arthritis and my<br />

partner Joe has had six brain<br />

tumours removed in recent<br />

years. He’s struggled with<br />

coordination and planning<br />

but our discovery of walking<br />

through the challenge has<br />

improved them so much his<br />

specialist has been amazed.<br />

I think we’ve fallen in love with<br />

this challenge and with each<br />

other all over again whilst<br />

doing it! It’s helped us <strong>to</strong> see<br />

how amazing we can be and<br />

that has brought us closer.<br />

We find we can walk much<br />

further than either of us ever<br />

thought possible and we<br />

both feel fitter and healthier<br />

than we have in years and<br />

years. The challenge has<br />

given us a real purpose!<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing away your troubles<br />

really works – it’s become<br />

a complete joy.’ Yvonne<br />

Butterworth, 63, Pres<strong>to</strong>n<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 31

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

‘I don’t know how I would have coped<br />

without #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles’<br />

Jude Bromley was gutted<br />

when <strong>to</strong>ld she could no<br />

longer do strenuous<br />

exercise due <strong>to</strong> a genetic<br />

mutation that could cause<br />

sudden death. But since the<br />

43-year-old’s diagnosis,<br />

the challenge has been<br />

her inspiration.<br />

‘I’ve always tried <strong>to</strong> be<br />

as active as possible, but<br />

struggled because of<br />

fibromyalgia. It also turns<br />

out I have a rare genetic<br />

mutation which can lead<br />

<strong>to</strong> cardiomyopathy, stroke,<br />

heart failure, or even<br />

sudden death. I was <strong>to</strong>ld<br />

the dreaded words: “No<br />

intensive exercise – you can<br />

‘Finally controlled my asthma’<br />

‘By walking more I finally<br />

have controlled asthma and<br />

get fewer chest infections.<br />

Every day is made better<br />

by a walk. At the weekend<br />

I go for longer walks and<br />

suddenly any work issues<br />

have dissolved and I can<br />

do walking or a light jog, but<br />

nothing <strong>to</strong> exert your heart.”<br />

I was gutted.<br />

‘Then I heard about<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles and<br />

thought, why not? I couldn’t<br />

believe it when I managed <strong>to</strong><br />

complete it the first year!<br />

This year I walked the Royal<br />

Canal Greenway – 100 miles,<br />

five counties, seven days<br />

on my own. I managed <strong>to</strong><br />

complete it in six days and<br />

was just a little bit chuffed!<br />

‘#<strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles has<br />

been absolutely vital for<br />

me. It gives me a target,<br />

physically and mentally, and<br />

always makes me feel so<br />

much better. I don’t know<br />

<strong>to</strong>tally relax – the best <strong>to</strong>nic!<br />

I am so happy and relaxed<br />

now and a good walk home<br />

eases any issues at work.<br />

Get out and get walking<br />

– it will be the best thing<br />

you can ever do!’<br />

Karen Ley, 53, Sevenoaks<br />

how I would have coped<br />

without it. Everyone in the<br />

community is so supportive.<br />

If you’re having a <strong>to</strong>ugh<br />

time, there’s always<br />

someone providing a<br />

shoulder <strong>to</strong> lean on.<br />

It’s amazing!’<br />

‘I’m amazed’<br />

‘I’m amazed how walking has<br />

controlled my lymphoedema<br />

in my legs and given me a new<br />

lease of life!<br />

‘It had taken over my life<br />

with the pain, but now I feel<br />

fitter, happier and it’s so good<br />

not lying on the couch with my<br />

legs elevated while crying in<br />

pain. At work I have so much<br />

more energy and I’m not<br />

grumpy anymore!’<br />

Michelle Saunders, 46, Tain<br />

32 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for your health<br />

‘No more meds!’<br />

‘I was diagnosed with type<br />

2 diabetes at the end of<br />

February, and it spurred<br />

me on <strong>to</strong> walk every day.<br />

I hit my <strong>1000</strong> in August.<br />

I’ve achieved my weight<br />

loss target and recently<br />

had my first diabetic review<br />

– where I was <strong>to</strong>ld I won’t<br />

now need medication. I’m<br />

very pleased, <strong>to</strong> say the<br />

least!’ Peter Jackson,<br />

75, Chopping<strong>to</strong>n<br />

‘Stronger<br />

and<br />

living<br />

more’<br />

‘<strong>1000</strong> miles<br />

has been my<br />

mantra and<br />

has made my<br />

days worth waking up for.<br />

I feel it has made me a better<br />

person and also better able <strong>to</strong><br />

ride the menopausal waves.<br />

I feel stronger and I’m living<br />

more in the NOW. I’m walking<br />

myself in<strong>to</strong> a better and newer<br />

individual everyday!’<br />

Junita Prentice, 48, Writtle<br />

‘I used <strong>to</strong> worry<br />

about my health’<br />

‘I used <strong>to</strong> worry about my<br />

health but now I just don’t feel<br />

the need. It’s a self-fulfilling<br />

habit, the more I go out there<br />

the better I feel and the more<br />

energy I have. I actually find<br />

I have more time available for<br />

other things the more I walk<br />

because I have more energy<br />

and enthusiasm for doing<br />

other things.’<br />

David King, 58, Norfolk<br />

‘I can’t believe<br />

what I’ve been<br />

missing’<br />

‘I never realised you can walk<br />

for pleasure – nor how little it<br />

takes <strong>to</strong> make everything<br />

better. Keeping diabetes<br />

under control, reversing liver<br />

disease, building up muscle<br />

strength? Just a walk will do<br />

it! I feel so much healthier<br />

and more confident. I can’t<br />

believe what I’ve been<br />

missing.’ Lizzie Illiffe, 68,<br />

Daventry<br />

‘Transformed<br />

my health and<br />

outlook’<br />

‘I <strong>to</strong>ok up the challenge<br />

following the passing of<br />

my mum with heartrelated<br />

issues. Since then<br />

I have walked thousands<br />

of miles and raised<br />

thousands for the BHF.<br />

Without a doubt it has<br />

transformed my health<br />

and outlook. Life is now<br />

an amazing, continuous<br />

adventure I get <strong>to</strong> enjoy<br />

every single day of the<br />

year – thank you so<br />

much.’ Andrew Askin, 51,<br />

Knottingley<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 33



Do it for<br />


Scientists, doc<strong>to</strong>rs and <strong>1000</strong>-milers agree: we know the best way<br />

out of depression, anxiety, loneliness and boredom – on foot.<br />

91% say<br />

they’re<br />

HAPPIER as a<br />

result of the<br />

challenge<br />

88% say it’s an<br />

effective <strong>to</strong>ol<br />


LONELINESS 100%<br />

say walking’s<br />

effective against<br />



WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 35

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

‘Beyond<br />

anything I<br />

could have<br />

hoped for’<br />

With serious depression and chronic health<br />

conditions, 33-year-old Aisha Hussain from<br />

Pembrokeshire knew the challenge might<br />

help. She never dreamed it would have the<br />

life-changing impact that it has.<br />

N SEPTEMBER 2021 I<br />

signed up <strong>to</strong> a challenge <strong>to</strong><br />

Iwalk 50 miles that month.<br />

I only realised then how unfit<br />

I was, as I struggled <strong>to</strong> walk<br />

half a mile at first! I very nearly<br />

didn’t complete it, but felt so<br />

much better for doing it – just<br />

getting out every day was an<br />

achievement.<br />

But once the month was<br />

over, my mental health <strong>to</strong>ok<br />

a nosedive and I became a<br />

recluse. It’s hard <strong>to</strong> explain<br />

depression <strong>to</strong> those who don’t<br />

get it. I was desperate <strong>to</strong> go<br />

out. I wanted <strong>to</strong> go for a walk…<br />

but the very thought of<br />

stepping outside was<br />

completely terrifying.<br />

The very idea of doing<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles was utterly<br />

bonkers – I couldn’t possibly<br />

do it. But I <strong>to</strong>ld myself every<br />

mile was an achievement and<br />

I’d be pleased with a couple of<br />

hundred by year’s end.<br />

A massive turning point<br />

was a walk <strong>to</strong> Flounders Folly<br />

in Shropshire. My brother<br />

suggested a nice evening walk<br />

there, but failed <strong>to</strong> mention<br />

how long or steep it would be.<br />

It was by far the <strong>to</strong>ughest hike<br />

I’d ever done up <strong>to</strong> that time.<br />

But when we got <strong>to</strong> the <strong>to</strong>p<br />

the views were breathtaking.<br />

I felt quite emotional. I had<br />

an enormous sense of<br />

achievement and it was at that<br />

moment I fell in love with<br />

walking up hills. It was <strong>to</strong>tally<br />

magical <strong>to</strong> me.<br />

The sense of peace didn’t<br />

last, as I wear an os<strong>to</strong>my bag,<br />

and it needed changing,<br />

pron<strong>to</strong>. But afterwards I<br />

reflected that I’d conquered<br />

the hill, done my longest walk<br />

<strong>to</strong> date and dealt with a bagrelated<br />

emergency in a remote<br />

location. And if I could deal<br />

with that, I really could deal<br />

with anything.<br />

#<strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles has been<br />

completely life changing.<br />

The Facebook group is the<br />

friendliest, most supportive<br />

community out there. I’ve<br />

36 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for happiness<br />

‘The challenge<br />

changed my<br />

entire life’<br />

Rhiannon Grover’s<br />

grandma got her involved<br />

in the challenge – now she<br />

says it’s one of the best<br />

things she’s ever done.<br />

posted a few times when I’ve<br />

struggled and been amazed at<br />

the kindness and compassion.<br />

I’ve gone from being prediabetic<br />

<strong>to</strong> being in the normal<br />

range, lost seven s<strong>to</strong>ne and<br />

kept it off, my chronic health<br />

issues have improved beyond<br />

anything I could have hoped<br />

for. And above all, the effect<br />

on my mental health is nothing<br />

short of phenomenal.’<br />

Sixty-nine-year-old Denni<br />

Morrison had completed her<br />

first year of #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

and knew how great it<br />

made her feel. But her<br />

28-year-old granddaughter<br />

Rhiannon wouldn’t leave<br />

the house and said her life<br />

seemed empty.<br />

Denni knew the challenge<br />

would open her world –<br />

‘She <strong>to</strong>ok some persuading,<br />

but she knew I wasn’t going<br />

<strong>to</strong> give in! I tried <strong>to</strong> make<br />

each walk an adventure<br />

with something special <strong>to</strong><br />

find or see or pick. I also<br />

made sure halfway through<br />

each walk we’d bump in<strong>to</strong><br />

a pub or a coffee shop.<br />

‘Signing up was a big<br />

step for her. It meant<br />

making a commitment <strong>to</strong><br />

do something scary and<br />

that could mean failing. I<br />

really didn’t think she would<br />

do it – but I’d completely<br />

underestimated this<br />

brave new granddaughter<br />

of mine.’<br />

In September she<br />

reached the glorious<br />

500-mile mark. ‘When<br />

I presented her with her<br />

500-mile medal, I don’t<br />

know which one of us was<br />

crying<br />

the most,’ recalls Denni.<br />

For Rhiannon, it’s been<br />

a remarkable turnaround.<br />

‘The challenge has changed<br />

my entire life!’ she says.<br />

‘I didn’t realise how<br />

miserable I was before<br />

I started it. I’d pretty much<br />

forgotten how <strong>to</strong> live.<br />

I never in a million years<br />

thought I could do what I’m<br />

doing now. I’m happy and<br />

I have all my confidence<br />

back. Just by getting out<br />

there I’ve learned so much,<br />

not only about the world<br />

around me, but about<br />

myself <strong>to</strong>o.’<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing side-by-side has<br />

really helped get the two of<br />

them talking. ‘Rhiannon has<br />

found it diffcult <strong>to</strong> talk <strong>to</strong><br />

anyone about her issues,<br />

but when we’re walking it<br />

makes it a lot easier <strong>to</strong> say<br />

things that may be a bit<br />

hard <strong>to</strong> talk about face-<strong>to</strong>face.<br />

We’ve been able <strong>to</strong><br />

get a lot of stuff out, and<br />

now I have a wonderfully<br />

confident granddaughter<br />

who smiles and laughs –<br />

and walks for miles!’<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 37

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

‘A happier lifestyle’<br />

‘After an incident at work<br />

I lost all confidence in myself,<br />

my capability, my self worth<br />

and I was worried about my<br />

future. I ended up off work<br />

with stress, depression and<br />

anxiety. My doc<strong>to</strong>r suggested<br />

I join a walking group and<br />

I joined #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

and found the support and<br />

encouragement was<br />

amazing. My walks increased<br />

from a struggling two miles<br />

<strong>to</strong> eight miles, and they<br />

became easier and more<br />

comfortable. Over the course<br />

of the year my confidence<br />

has grown, and I’m in a much<br />

happier place with a new job,<br />

new friends and a happier<br />

lifestyle.’ June Picchi, 58,<br />

Suffolk<br />

‘Calmer,<br />

healthier,<br />

happier’<br />

‘I love the way I get up<br />

early now <strong>to</strong> get a walk<br />

in before work which<br />

sets me up for the day.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing also helps me<br />

shed the day’s work and<br />

other stresses. I find I<br />

have more energy <strong>to</strong> do<br />

more things and since<br />

I got my wife <strong>to</strong> sign up<br />

this year we spend much<br />

more uninterrupted time<br />

<strong>to</strong>gether. <strong>Walk</strong>ing has<br />

made me calmer,<br />

healthier and most of<br />

all happier. I can’t<br />

recommend it enough.’<br />

Simon Morgan, 33,<br />

Pembrokeshire<br />

‘REALLY improved’<br />

‘It’s easy <strong>to</strong> want <strong>to</strong> stay indoors or hide<br />

away when you’re feeling down or<br />

anxious. But having a challenge like this<br />

makes you push yourself <strong>to</strong> get out<br />

there. I’m no hiker or pro. I live in a <strong>to</strong>wn,<br />

I don’t have posh boots or any of the<br />

gear. But I just get out each day and see<br />

what the world has <strong>to</strong> offer. <strong>Walk</strong>ing is<br />

one of life’s simple pleasures and it<br />

REALLY has improved my mental and<br />

physical health in one easy step!’<br />

Lizzie Rumble, 45, Berkshire<br />

‘I was painfully shy’<br />

Before I started I was painfully<br />

shy, couldn’t cope mixing with<br />

people, socially awkward and<br />

looking back I realise I was<br />

pretty depressed. Doing the<br />

challenge changed everything.<br />

I found confidence I never<br />

knew I had, made lots of<br />

friends and I’m a much more<br />

happy person. I shall be<br />

forever grateful for this<br />

amazing challenge. If I was <strong>to</strong><br />

plot my happiness on a graph<br />

over the years I’ve done it,<br />

it would be an exponentially<br />

increasing line.’ Richard Inns,<br />

46, Rugeley<br />

38 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

‘Happier, calmer,<br />

off the meds’<br />

‘I’m calmer, happier, off some<br />

medication I was on, and<br />

thinner! I’ve had <strong>to</strong> join group<br />

walks on my own and it’s<br />

made me JFDI rather than<br />

think of an excuse <strong>to</strong> stay at<br />

home. My therapist friend uses<br />

me as inspiration! Do it: you<br />

will feel<br />

so much<br />

better both<br />

mentally<br />

and<br />

physically.’<br />

Sue<br />

Jackson,<br />

‘I feel like a millionaire’<br />

‘I was incredibly lonely.<br />

But since doing<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles I’ve<br />

become happy, healthy,<br />

with a circle of friends and a<br />

beautiful hobby I can enjoy<br />

anywhere at all in the world.<br />

And I’ve found the love of<br />

my life, in walking boots at<br />

48! <strong>Walk</strong>ing is a great<br />

‘So much<br />

more<br />

content’<br />

‘My mental<br />

health is so<br />

much better,<br />

I’m able <strong>to</strong> look after my<br />

87-year-old disabled<br />

husband better, and<br />

I am slimmer and fitter<br />

than I have been since<br />

my 20s. I never thought<br />

I would complete the<br />

challenge. Now I am so<br />

much more content<br />

with my life.’ Lesley<br />

Swigciski, 75,<br />

58, Newark<br />

‘I now feel free<br />

and happy’<br />

leveller. You don’t need<br />

<strong>to</strong> be wealthy or highly<br />

trained. You can literally just<br />

start and build your fitness,<br />

stamina and confidence.<br />

I feel like a #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

millionaire. It has changed<br />

my life immeasurably. I am<br />

so happy I may just burst!’<br />

Vic<strong>to</strong>ria Lewis, 48, Matlock<br />

Do it for happiness<br />

‘I have OCD and anxiety and<br />

the pandemic was particularly<br />

challenging for me – so<br />

much so that I developed<br />

agoraphobia and didn’t leave<br />

my house for the best part of<br />

a year. This challenge has<br />

allowed me <strong>to</strong> take those first<br />

tentative steps back in<strong>to</strong> the<br />

great outdoors and I’ve gone<br />

from never leaving my house<br />

<strong>to</strong> climbing mountains and<br />

going on solo walking<br />

holidays! It’s really helped<br />

me get my life back.<br />

‘I can walk so much further<br />

than I used <strong>to</strong> be able <strong>to</strong>, my<br />

physical fitness has improved<br />

dramatically! I’ve gone from<br />

being agoraphobic <strong>to</strong> going<br />

out walking by myself as often<br />

as possible and I’ve managed<br />

<strong>to</strong> visit some of the UK’s most<br />

beautiful places this year. It’s<br />

changed my life for the better<br />

and I wouldn’t have any of<br />

this had it not been for the<br />

challenge!’ Rachel Harold, 32,<br />

Buckinghamshire<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 39

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A journey of <strong>1000</strong> miles starts with a single step – and a more<br />

adventurous life all-round life begins with #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.<br />

91% said the<br />

challenge had<br />

taken them<br />

<strong>to</strong> NEW<br />

PLACES<br />

93% said<br />

it had given them a<br />

greater SENSE OF<br />


98% said it<br />

had CHANGED<br />


BETTER<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 41

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

Make life a great<br />

adventure with<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

A<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing <strong>1000</strong> miles is a huge adventure however<br />

you do it – and how you do it is up <strong>to</strong> you. <strong>How</strong>ever you<br />

do, get ready for your ambitions in life <strong>to</strong> level up.<br />

FTER 202 DAYS of<br />

sweat and <strong>to</strong>il,<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

challenger John Gaynor s<strong>to</strong>od<br />

at the <strong>to</strong>p of a summit called<br />

Mt Katahdin and sipped from<br />

a mini bottle of whisky.<br />

The 65-year-old wasn’t just<br />

celebrating reaching the <strong>to</strong>p of<br />

this 5269ft peak – he was also<br />

drinking <strong>to</strong> the 2194.3 miles<br />

he’d taken <strong>to</strong> get there, for<br />

Katahdin marked the end of<br />

John’s journey along North<br />

America’s Appalachian Trail.<br />

He camped, he carried his<br />

own gear (his tent even had<br />

Now that’s how<br />

you celebrate<br />

the mother of all<br />

miles<strong>to</strong>nes!<br />

an unwelcome visit from<br />

some skunks!), and his<br />

amazing achievement shows<br />

how walking can enable you<br />

<strong>to</strong> go on the most incredible<br />

life adventures.<br />

And John’s not the only one.<br />

Sixty-two-year-old Steve Tilley<br />

is dedicating a year of his life<br />

<strong>to</strong> walking more around the<br />

coastline of England and<br />

Wales. It’s a journey that has<br />

taken him from the dramatic<br />

folds of the Pembrokeshire<br />

coast <strong>to</strong> the wild shorelines of<br />

Northumberland… and even<br />

gave him a chance encounter<br />

with Timmy Mallett!<br />

#<strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles enables<br />

you <strong>to</strong> fulfil dreams you never<br />

thought possible. Take Jeanie<br />

Butler, who walked the 477-<br />

mile Camino Frances in France<br />

and Spain with her 15-year-old<br />

son. #<strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles gave her<br />

the stamina <strong>to</strong> do it. “I would<br />

never have been able <strong>to</strong><br />

manage it otherwise. Three<br />

miles a day makes your<br />

dreams come true.”<br />

Then there’s Erica Mann,<br />

who spent 23 days tackling<br />

the 280-mile Pennine Way,<br />

reaching one of the trail’s<br />

iconic spots – High Cup Nick<br />

– on her 70th birthday. She<br />

credits #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles with<br />

lifting her ambitions. “Without<br />

it I would never have dreamt<br />

of taking on the biggest<br />

challenge of my life.”<br />

And Amanda Tracie Garratt,<br />

who made it her own by taking<br />

six months off work <strong>to</strong> walk at<br />

least five miles in all 48 English<br />

counties. She did it in her own<br />

way and in her own time,<br />

and the adventure was so<br />

42 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for the adventure<br />

65-year-old<br />

<strong>1000</strong>-miler John<br />

Gaynor celebrates<br />

one of his life’s<br />

latest high points.<br />

<strong>How</strong> far is<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles?<br />

It’s Land’s End <strong>to</strong> John<br />

o’Groats the LONG way.<br />

Or how about this huge<br />

stack of National Trails?<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles is equal <strong>to</strong><br />

the Pennine Way + the<br />

Thames Path + the<br />

South Downs Way + the<br />

Ridgeway + Hadrian’s<br />

Wall + the West Highland<br />

Way + the Cotswold Way<br />

+ Everest Basecamp Trek<br />

all put <strong>to</strong>gether. Or five<br />

times Wainwright’s Coast<br />

<strong>to</strong> Coast. Or all the way<br />

across the Gobi Desert.<br />

Or a quarter of the way<br />

<strong>to</strong> the centre of the Earth.<br />

Whichever way you<br />

visualise it, it’s an<br />

absolutely extraordinary<br />

achievement.<br />

rewarding she’s dreaming up<br />

an even more fiendish way of<br />

cracking the <strong>1000</strong> in 2023.<br />

Thousands of challengers<br />

are using #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles <strong>to</strong><br />

pursue their dreams. But not<br />

everyone has the time <strong>to</strong> walk a<br />

huge long distance trail. We do,<br />

however, all have a front door,<br />

where every <strong>1000</strong> mile journey<br />

begins, and beyond which lies<br />

a world we don’t know nearly<br />

as well as we think we do.<br />

One of the great joys for<br />

many who take on the<br />

challenge is discovering that<br />

where they live is far more<br />

beautiful and interesting than<br />

they ever realised. They find<br />

paths they never knew existed,<br />

woodland they’d never<br />

explored, seasonal changes<br />

they were always <strong>to</strong>o busy <strong>to</strong><br />

notice. Simply by leaving the<br />

house each day, they find<br />

themselves on an exhilarating<br />

journey where they’re<br />

pursuing a goal while<br />

enlightening their soul.<br />

Imagine sitting round the<br />

‘#<strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles enables<br />

you <strong>to</strong> fulfil dreams you<br />

never thought possible’<br />

Christmas dinner table at the<br />

end of the year and casually<br />

informing your family that<br />

you’ve spent 2023 walking the<br />

distance from Land’s End <strong>to</strong><br />

John O’Groats. And you’ll<br />

know that in 2024 you can<br />

do it again, because with 12<br />

months of walking under your<br />

belt, that body of yours is now<br />

a super-trim, horizon-widening<br />

striding machine.<br />

Your most exciting,<br />

wholesome and gratifying life<br />

experiences are yet <strong>to</strong> come.<br />

No one is <strong>to</strong>o old, out of shape<br />

or unfit <strong>to</strong> take on this lifechanging<br />

challenge. Sign up<br />

<strong>to</strong> #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles and make<br />

2023 the best adventure of<br />

your life.<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 43

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

Choose your own adventure!<br />

Add extra flavour <strong>to</strong> your <strong>1000</strong> miles by giving your quest a personal twist.<br />

Here are some ideas from the class of 2022…<br />

Make it a draw<br />

‘To encourage my family we<br />

have an envelope full of pieces<br />

of paper with local walks<br />

written on them. We then get<br />

one person each week <strong>to</strong> pick<br />

one out and that’s where we go<br />

on the weekend for a family<br />

jaunt!’ says Clair Maskell.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong> the line<br />

Louise Lester aims <strong>to</strong> walk<br />

2023 <strong>to</strong> match the year, and<br />

also loves finding old train lines<br />

and places that have been used<br />

in films…<br />

Add a ticklist<br />

Liesl van Niekerk is gradually<br />

bagging the high point of each<br />

county on her way <strong>to</strong> <strong>1000</strong>.<br />

Get crafty<br />

Kerry Clemons fills in a<br />

county in her amazing<br />

embroidery progress<br />

chart each 100 miles.<br />

Make it a streak<br />

As well as his <strong>1000</strong>-mile target,<br />

Neil Vincer aimed <strong>to</strong> build a<br />

daily walking streak – so far<br />

he’s up <strong>to</strong> <strong>1000</strong> uninterrupted<br />

days with a walk in!<br />

Toughen it up<br />

Super-Salyen Latter loves a<br />

challenge, so after a couple of<br />

years decided <strong>to</strong> step it up:<br />

‘I tried (and succeeded) in<br />

doing my <strong>1000</strong> in 100 days.<br />

Then I wanted <strong>to</strong> use my next<br />

<strong>1000</strong> <strong>to</strong> be as many hill miles as<br />

I can – after years of lockdown<br />

it’s been great <strong>to</strong> have a<br />

different focus and I feel great’.<br />

Up the pressure<br />

Jane Duffn aims <strong>to</strong> beat her<br />

previous year’s <strong>to</strong>tal and her<br />

finishing date – ‘So far I’ve<br />

managed it four years in a row!’<br />

Add a challengewithin-a-challenge<br />

Like Lylie Frost: ‘I’ve always<br />

loved walking the coast so<br />

I decided <strong>to</strong> include walking<br />

the entire 350 miles of Essex<br />

Coast as part of my <strong>1000</strong>’.<br />

Do some good<br />

Ruth Longhurst leaves<br />

the place better than<br />

she found it by litter<br />

picking en route. ‘It<br />

makes me s<strong>to</strong>p and<br />

notice my surroundings,’<br />

she says.<br />

Sponsor yourself<br />

Put 50p aside for every mile<br />

you walk – and give someone<br />

(you?) a massive £500 treat<br />

when you complete. Anthea<br />

Hebdon put away £520 with<br />

her walking and gave it <strong>to</strong> a<br />

mi<strong>to</strong>chondrial disease charity.<br />

Add a new rule<br />

‘I tried <strong>to</strong> walk every road and<br />

footpath in my city,’ says Chloe<br />

Wells. ‘And I tried <strong>to</strong> take an<br />

interesting pho<strong>to</strong> on every<br />

walk. This kept even the<br />

“boring” walks fun.’<br />

44 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023


Our legend for all conditions.<br />


Do it for<br />


Being happy in your body is the only thing that<br />

matters – and #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles is a recipe for the<br />

body you want and the happiness you deserve.<br />

95% say<br />

diets WORK<br />

BETTER with<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

100%<br />

say it’s made<br />

losing weight a<br />


experience<br />

96% say<br />

the weight<br />


EASIER<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 47

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

Your happier-inmy-body<br />

s<strong>to</strong>ries<br />

Losing weight, keeping weight off, seeing a face in the mirror that<br />

makes you smile – whatever you want, it’s easier with walking.<br />

‘Literally changed my life’<br />

‘After 45 years of nursing and<br />

approaching retirement I was<br />

short of breath at the slightest<br />

exertion, had swollen feet and<br />

ankles, high blood pressure,<br />

gastric problems and arthritis<br />

in my feet, neck and spine.<br />

I felt down on myself, and<br />

isolated and it was a vicious<br />

circle. If I was going <strong>to</strong> enjoy<br />

my retirement I would have<br />

<strong>to</strong> be fitter and healthier <strong>to</strong><br />

enjoy it! So I signed up for<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles and started<br />

calorie counting. I’ve lost<br />

just over two s<strong>to</strong>ne but the<br />

improvement in my health is<br />

BEFORE<br />

amazing. My joints feel freer,<br />

I’m no longer short of breath,<br />

my blood pressure’s normal,<br />

gastric problems gone. I now<br />

walk every day and although it<br />

sounds dramatic, it has literally<br />

changed my life. It makes me<br />

feel very happy, and like I’m<br />

going <strong>to</strong> succeed in whatever<br />

I set out <strong>to</strong> achieve. Don’t look<br />

at the whole thing – break<br />

it down in<strong>to</strong> smaller daily,<br />

achievable goals, take up the<br />

offer of any support people<br />

give in the Facebook group.<br />

You’ll feel so much better.’<br />

Alison Pacey, 69, Newark<br />

AFTER<br />

‘Two years,<br />

five s<strong>to</strong>ne’<br />

‘I was really unfit. But<br />

as the year went on<br />

the fitter I became.<br />

I dropped over three<br />

s<strong>to</strong>ne in my first year<br />

and found a love for the<br />

outdoors. But walking<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles changes you<br />

not just physically but<br />

mentally <strong>to</strong>o. The first<br />

year I really struggled <strong>to</strong><br />

get <strong>to</strong> <strong>1000</strong> miles. This<br />

year it seemed easy –<br />

well, easier! Now I’ve<br />

dropped over five s<strong>to</strong>ne,<br />

and notice how while<br />

before I’d constantly<br />

worry about not being<br />

able <strong>to</strong> complete a walk<br />

or keep up, I no longer<br />

even think about it’.<br />

Natalie Walsh, 33,<br />

Teesside<br />

48 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for weight loss<br />

‘One of the best<br />

decisions I ever made’<br />

‘When we went in<strong>to</strong><br />

lockdown in 2020 I couldn’t<br />

climb the stairs without<br />

being out of breath. But<br />

I started walking for 30<br />

minutes a day and the<br />

difference it was making was<br />

amazing. I lost three s<strong>to</strong>ne in<br />

three months by counting<br />

calories and walking more<br />

and more. By the end of<br />

2020 I was absolutely<br />

addicted <strong>to</strong> walking.<br />

I stumbled across Country<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing magazine on<br />

Facebook, joined the<br />

challenge on 10th January,<br />

and haven’t looked back.<br />

‘To date, I’ve lost nine s<strong>to</strong>ne<br />

and can honestly say doing<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles has been<br />

one of the best decisions I’ve<br />

ever made. I’ve made<br />

some wonderful<br />

friends through it<br />

and it makes me so<br />

determined <strong>to</strong> keep<br />

walking every day,<br />

getting healthier<br />

and improving the<br />

distance I can walk.<br />

The #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

community has been<br />

absolutely amazing.<br />

Everyone is so positive and<br />

encouraging, it’s really lovely<br />

<strong>to</strong> be part of it. In addition <strong>to</strong><br />

this challenge I <strong>to</strong>ok part in<br />

the 500,000 Steps in March<br />

Challenge for CLIC Sargent,<br />

raising money for Young<br />

Lives vs Cancer and climbed<br />

Snowdon raising money for<br />

Children with Cancer UK.<br />


I wouldn’t have done any of<br />

this had I not lost weight and<br />

found my love for walking.<br />

And I’d say <strong>to</strong> anyone in the<br />

situation I was – believe in<br />

yourself, don’t give up and<br />

we’re here for you.<br />

Perseverance is the key!’<br />

Lisa Hussain, 43,<br />

Bedfordshire<br />

BEFORE<br />

AFTER<br />

‘Lost 23kg<br />

over the year’<br />

‘Taking on the challenge has<br />

been transformational for me.<br />

It’s given me headspace and<br />

let me achieve my goals.<br />

I really needed <strong>to</strong> make a<br />

change. Now I’ve lost 23kg<br />

and feel brilliant. I’ve come<br />

from being defeated by a dark<br />

space in my head and a couple<br />

of flights of stairs <strong>to</strong> being<br />

there for others. I can’t<br />

recommend it enough. It’s one<br />

step at a time – there will be<br />

downs but the ups will<br />

outweigh them! <strong>Walk</strong>ing on<br />

your own is fun, but look for<br />

kindred spirits locally. <strong>Walk</strong>ing<br />

and talking really helps <strong>to</strong><br />

maintain the motivation!’<br />

John Ea<strong>to</strong>n, 50, St Neots<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 49

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

‘Now I feel<br />

amazing!’<br />

‘I’ve lost four s<strong>to</strong>ne in<br />

the first 11 months of<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles. It’s<br />

contributed massively<br />

physically and mentally.<br />

When you’ve been out<br />

you don’t want <strong>to</strong> ruin the<br />

good feeling by eating<br />

bad food so it really helps<br />

stick <strong>to</strong> healthy eating<br />

as well as burning the<br />

calories during the walk.<br />

Before, I felt very<br />

lethargic, unhappy and<br />

uncomfortable. Now I feel<br />

amazing! Happy and<br />

healthy and so much<br />

fitter. The key is <strong>to</strong> take<br />

one day at a time. Don’t<br />

plan <strong>to</strong> go out for a 10-<br />

mile walk if you’re not in<br />

the mood, just go out<br />

for 15 minutes then do<br />

another 15 if you feel like<br />

it. You’ll soon find you’ve<br />

walked an hour and loved<br />

it. And the community<br />

support in the group has<br />

been amazing. Often it’s<br />

easier <strong>to</strong> tell strangers<br />

how you feel and when<br />

they boost you up it’s<br />

even better.’ Sarah<br />

Curphey, 45, Isle of Man<br />

‘Lighter,<br />

happier, bolder’<br />

‘I was four s<strong>to</strong>ne heavier before<br />

combining #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

with Slimming World. I would<br />

always be the one in the family<br />

<strong>to</strong> say “time <strong>to</strong> s<strong>to</strong>p”, but now<br />

I’m the kind of mum more likely<br />

<strong>to</strong> say “Just a little further!”<br />

Even if I go out feeling like<br />

I want <strong>to</strong> stay in, I come<br />

back feeling refreshed and<br />

grounded. And it’s a talking<br />

point! I wear my badge <strong>to</strong><br />

school where I work and the<br />

children have often asked me<br />

what it’s for, and I’ve been able<br />

<strong>to</strong> encourage others <strong>to</strong> join in.<br />

BEFORE<br />

‘Lost eight s<strong>to</strong>ne,<br />

got a new lease of life’<br />

‘In 2017 I was 21 s<strong>to</strong>ne and<br />

realised I needed <strong>to</strong> do<br />

something about it. I was<br />

feeling uncomfortable and<br />

my weight was s<strong>to</strong>pping<br />

me doing things I enjoyed.<br />

I joined my local Slimming<br />

World class and began <strong>to</strong><br />

lose some weight. But then<br />

I saw the #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

challenge, gave it a go,<br />

found I thoroughly enjoyed<br />

the walking and my weight<br />

loss really <strong>to</strong>ok off. I’ve been<br />

BEFORE<br />

I’m happier, more optimistic<br />

about my health in the long<br />

term and it’s really boosted my<br />

self confidence. If I can do this<br />

I can do almost anything I put<br />

my mind <strong>to</strong>!’ Clair Maskell,<br />

42, Hampshire<br />

AFTER<br />

doing the challenge ever<br />

since, and I’m now around<br />

13 s<strong>to</strong>ne and feeling a whole<br />

lot healthier and happier.<br />

I’ve even bought a dog –<br />

Bale after Sir Gareth! – who<br />

accompanies me on almost<br />

all my walks. I’ve become<br />

far more active and<br />

discovered a love for<br />

walking and cycling. It’s<br />

given me a new lease of life.’<br />

Matthew Gregory, 48,<br />

Rhondda Valley<br />

AFTER<br />

50 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for weight loss<br />

BEFORE<br />

AFTER<br />

‘I halved my bodyweight’<br />

‘In 2019 I couldn’t walk more<br />

than 100 metres. But with<br />

the help of Slimming World<br />

and #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles in a<br />

little over two years I lost 17.5<br />

s<strong>to</strong>ne, regained my mobility<br />

and re-found my long-lost<br />

pastime of walking. I’ve gone<br />

from needing a mobility<br />

scooter and walking stick <strong>to</strong><br />

someone who looks forward<br />

<strong>to</strong> getting out in the fresh air<br />

for a walk every day. Yes,<br />

there have been days when I<br />

could only walk a mile or less,<br />

but not a day has passed<br />

where I’ve recorded zero<br />

mileage. <strong>Walk</strong><strong>1000</strong>miles has<br />

improved my health, fitness<br />

and joints dramatically. I’ve<br />

recently changed <strong>to</strong> a pretty<br />

high-pressured job with long<br />

hours. But being able <strong>to</strong> take<br />

a break, have a walk in the<br />

fresh air and tap back in<strong>to</strong><br />

my challenge helps me relax<br />

and return <strong>to</strong> work feeling<br />

refreshed. And I’m up <strong>to</strong><br />

1800 miles!’ Michelle<br />

Edwards, 62, Ea<strong>to</strong>n Socon<br />

‘Four s<strong>to</strong>ne down and I feel elated!!’<br />

‘Since having my three children<br />

in my twenties I’ve always been<br />

overweight and a yo-yo dieter.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing had become a real<br />

struggle carrying the extra<br />

weight. When I saw the<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles 2022<br />

challenge I knew it would be<br />

the perfect inspiration for me.<br />

Now instead of sitting doing<br />

nothing during my lunch<br />

breaks I started walking –<br />

one mile a day and gradually<br />

building it up. The weight<br />

started coming off and I<br />

pushed it <strong>to</strong> two <strong>to</strong> three miles.<br />

At weekends my husband<br />

would join me and we were<br />

regularly walking up <strong>to</strong> six<br />

miles each day. I logged all my<br />

walking on my Fitbit which<br />

transferred the miles on<strong>to</strong> the<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles+ app and<br />

seeing my daily progress on<br />

the virtual walk really inspired<br />

me <strong>to</strong> keep going. I feel<br />

absolutely elated by the<br />

progress I have made. I’ve<br />

over-reached my weight loss<br />

target by losing four s<strong>to</strong>ne in<br />

the year and it felt amazing <strong>to</strong><br />

attend our son’s wedding in<br />

Oc<strong>to</strong>ber in great shape! I’ve<br />

s<strong>to</strong>pped yo-yo dieting and with<br />

walking’s help know I’ll keep<br />

the weight off this time. The<br />

health benefits are incredible!’<br />

Shirley Duerden, 55, Chester<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 51


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one of the highest recycling rates of any material in Europe!<br />

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Do it for<br />


<strong>Walk</strong>ing <strong>1000</strong> miles is about enjoyment not endurance – and<br />

there are so many ways the challenge makes life more fun.<br />

85% of<br />

participants say<br />

they SURPRISED<br />

themselves in the<br />

course of doing the<br />

challenge<br />

99% say<br />

it’s more fun<br />

and BETTER<br />

THAN THE<br />

GYM<br />

60% MADE<br />


through doing<br />

the challenge<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 53

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

This is going<br />

<strong>to</strong> be fun!<br />

Suffering plays no part in walking <strong>1000</strong> miles – because this<br />

is a challenge powered by pleasure, not punishment.<br />

E<br />


train for a marathon?<br />

It’s a punishing regime<br />

of strain, pain, then a good<br />

dose of agony.<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles is nothing<br />

like that. <strong>How</strong> many challenges<br />

do you know where you can<br />

cross the finish line while<br />

playing bagpipes (as Sue<br />

Evans did in Oc<strong>to</strong>ber)? What<br />

other goal can you reach<br />

where, along the way, you can<br />

win additional accolades for<br />

wrapping a trig point in a<br />

dressing gown or dunking<br />

your head in a stream?<br />

For however mighty the end<br />

goal of this challenge is, you’ll<br />

achieve it while doing an<br />

activity that, at times, can be<br />

laugh-out-loud silly. It can<br />

have you knee-deep in mud,<br />

crawling under walls,<br />

being chased by squirrels,<br />

inadvertently stepping in<br />

cow pats, and a whole host<br />

of other things that can have<br />

you all giggling<br />

like children.<br />

And if you’re someone who<br />

enjoys an amusing sign post,<br />

spotting the face of Elvis in a<br />

tree, and taking a selfie with an<br />

inquisitive sheep, then you’ve<br />

come <strong>to</strong> the right place.<br />

<strong>Walk</strong>ing, by its very nature,<br />

is a quirky, good-humoured<br />

experience, and at<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles we add fun<br />

<strong>to</strong> the fun, not least with our<br />

#minichallenges. These give<br />

you one of the most soughtafter<br />

prizes in the outdoors –<br />

a money-can’t-buy Golden<br />

Badge. These aren’t awarded<br />

<strong>to</strong> those who climb the<br />

highest, walk the fastest or<br />

sweat the most, but rather for<br />

acts of peculiarity, such as<br />

turning your <strong>to</strong>ngue purple<br />

by eating bilberries, getting<br />

54 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Do it for the fun of it<br />

a pho<strong>to</strong> with someone in<br />

uniform or literally raising<br />

a (slice of) <strong>to</strong>ast.<br />

These all add <strong>to</strong> a culture of<br />

enjoyment that already thrives<br />

in the walking world – one<br />

where lavish picnics, pub<br />

lunches, impromptu games of<br />

frisbee and summer dips in the<br />

river all extend the sheer joy of<br />

what challengers do, day in,<br />

day out.<br />

And this is before you’ve<br />

even encountered the friends<br />

you haven’t met yet who fill<br />

the challenge Facebook<br />

group. Meetups are frequent<br />

(or you can start your own)<br />

but even if you prefer <strong>to</strong> walk<br />

alone, the daily pageant of<br />

posts in the #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles<br />

community brightens up our<br />

walks, our Facebook feeds<br />

and our lives. Take Debbie<br />

Williamson, who crocheted<br />

amazing postbox <strong>to</strong>ppers<br />

purely <strong>to</strong> make people smile;<br />

Jacqui Wood, who walked the<br />

shape of several animals (and<br />

one Dalek!); and Ali Bray who<br />

excels at the universal hobby<br />

of finding faces in trees.<br />

Why’s all this important?<br />

Because while you’re busy<br />

chortling, your mileometer<br />

is steadily and persistently<br />

ticking <strong>to</strong>wards that glorious<br />

<strong>1000</strong>-mile goal. You’ll be<br />

having <strong>to</strong>o much fun <strong>to</strong> notice<br />

and, before you know it, you’ll<br />

be cruising across that virtual<br />

finish line, looking back on<br />

a year of such profound<br />

enjoyment that you’ll want <strong>to</strong><br />

repeat it again and again.<br />

• Take part in one of<br />

60 minichallenges in 2023:<br />

details in every issue of<br />

Country <strong>Walk</strong>ing (and you’ll<br />

need your CW mag or<br />

membership <strong>to</strong> claim your<br />

Golden Badge if you win!)<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 55

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

What do I need <strong>to</strong><br />

walk <strong>1000</strong> miles?<br />

O<br />

A journey of <strong>1000</strong> miles starts with a single step – and the gear<br />

of a <strong>1000</strong>-miler starts with the clothes you stand up in.<br />

NE OF THE best things<br />

about walking is that<br />

you already know how<br />

<strong>to</strong> do it, and (so long as you’re<br />

out of your pyjamas) you’re<br />

already dressed for it. <strong>Walk</strong>ing<br />

<strong>1000</strong> miles isn’t (just) about<br />

walking in beautiful places<br />

amid fine and dramatic<br />

weather. It’s also about<br />

walking round the block on<br />

a wet Wednesday evening,<br />

clearing your head on a lunchhour<br />

pavement-pound and<br />

sneaking in a bonus mile or<br />

two between tube s<strong>to</strong>ps.<br />

So it’s wrong <strong>to</strong> say there’s<br />

a specific set of kit that’s<br />

required for the challenge.<br />

Everyone’s thousand miles will<br />

be different.<br />

But when you’ve got a few<br />

miles under your belt you<br />

begin <strong>to</strong> realise the scope for<br />

improving on merely adequate<br />

clothing – and that’s where our<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles partners<br />

come in. They’re experts<br />

who’ve turned millions of miles<br />

from pain in<strong>to</strong> pure pleasure.<br />

Their kit will help you adapt <strong>to</strong><br />

every terrain and condition so<br />

you can mine more miles, and<br />

more wonderful memories,<br />

from every day of your life.<br />

So what do you need?<br />

a wet Wednesday evening, begin <strong>to</strong> realise the scope for So what do you need?<br />

Grip<br />

Trainers are great for<br />

pavements, but off-<br />

road a pair of walking<br />

shoes provides you<br />

with proper grip,<br />

support, durability and<br />

waterproofing – qualities that make you<br />

uns<strong>to</strong>ppable off-road. Scarpa’s Rush Trail GTX (£170) are a<br />

great example. As your ambition grows <strong>to</strong> higher hill-walks,<br />

you’ll appreciate the stability of a stiffer<br />

full-size walking boot, which makes your<br />

ankles equal <strong>to</strong> the steepest or rockiest<br />

terrain. They’re a real investment, but<br />

they’ll be trustworthy partners in the<br />

hills, and your pride and joy. Look<br />

at the new Scarpa Rush TRK<br />

Pro GTX (£215) for a<br />

cracking<br />

choice.<br />

scarpa.co.uk<br />

Comfort<br />

Your footstep<br />

is the most<br />

important<br />

connection<br />

between you<br />

and the world,<br />

and specialised<br />

walking socks pay<br />

their way 10,000 times<br />

a day. Bridgedales feel<br />

unbelievably comfy and<br />

thanks <strong>to</strong> careful tailoring,<br />

cushioning, construction<br />

and wicking materials<br />

they do it all day long,<br />

day after day. Slip in<strong>to</strong> a<br />

cutting-edge pair like the<br />

Bridgedale Midweight<br />

Merino Comfort Boot<br />

(£22) and you’ll guard<br />

them jealously forever.<br />

56 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Gear<br />

With the right<br />

kit on, the whole<br />

world’s home.<br />

Dryness<br />

Britain’s so green and lovely<br />

because of its weather – and<br />

if you’re going <strong>to</strong> walk <strong>1000</strong><br />

miles you’re going <strong>to</strong> see a lot<br />

of it. But there’s no such thing<br />

as bad weather when you have<br />

capable clothing, like Jack<br />

Wolfskin’s lightweight yet<br />

bombproof Highest Peak<br />

(£180) waterproof jacket.<br />

Capability<br />

A rucksack turns you in<strong>to</strong> a superhuman – one equipped,<br />

sustained and hydrated <strong>to</strong> go far beyond the sphere of<br />

mere mortals. It’s also a <strong>to</strong>tem of the new outdoorsy you.<br />

You need one that’s <strong>to</strong>tally comfortable, doesn’t overheat<br />

your back, and has all the pockets and features you need<br />

and none of the gimmicks you don’t. A small pack like<br />

Deuter’s Speed Lite 21 (£60) leaves you feeling maximally<br />

unencumbered while packing lunch, waterproof and<br />

valuables, while a more substantial size like the Futura<br />

24 (£125, pictured) adds suspended back, pockets<br />

everywhere you want them, built-in rain cover<br />

and weight-bearing hip-strap for two-person<br />

day walks. deutergb.co.uk<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 57

<strong>Walk</strong> <strong>1000</strong> <strong>Miles</strong> 2023<br />

Memories<br />

Your phone can capture snapshots<br />

but the vastly bigger sensor and<br />

lens of a proper camera make for<br />

incredible memories. You’ll see<br />

some amazing things this year –<br />

a portfolio will be a wonderful<br />

keepsake <strong>to</strong> take away <strong>to</strong><br />

accompany the sense of pride.<br />

Fujifilm’s <strong>to</strong>ugh, waterproof XP140<br />

(£189) is up for any adventure,<br />

while the XT200 (£599) packs bigcamera<br />

power and what-you-see-iswhat-you-get<br />

creativity fit for an<br />

amazing year. fujifilm.eu/uk<br />

Freedom<br />

Small things are<br />

magnified when you<br />

walk lots. Warm hands.<br />

Painless knees. Dry feet.<br />

Knowing where you are.<br />

The rain not getting in<strong>to</strong><br />

your rucksack. This is the<br />

world our accessories<br />

partner Trekmates’ has<br />

made its empire – its<br />

brilliant value gloves,<br />

walking poles, gaiters, dry<br />

bags and more turning<br />

the small things from day<br />

breakers in<strong>to</strong> day makers.<br />

trekmates.co.uk<br />

Confidence<br />

The UK has the best footpath network in the<br />

world – there are dozens and dozens near<br />

you now! – and our partners at Ordnance<br />

Survey make discovering them easy.<br />

Use the OS Maps app <strong>to</strong> track your walks,<br />

discover routes and never get lost (and a<br />

subscription <strong>to</strong> Country <strong>Walk</strong>ing gets you<br />

50% off Premium access). Plus a fun local<br />

project is <strong>to</strong> buy an OS Cus<strong>to</strong>m Map<br />

centred on your house and walk every<br />

path on it this year.<br />

• explore.osmaps.com<br />

• ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop<br />

Motivation<br />

It can be a real boost <strong>to</strong> have a piece of<br />

kit you bought just for this challenge<br />

and it’s key you positively-reinforce<br />

your walking by treating yourself<br />

as you reach miles<strong>to</strong>nes. You can<br />

find geary treats <strong>to</strong> suit all needs<br />

and budgets at Sportsshoes.com,<br />

our retail fantastic partner. Check<br />

out the huge range, fantastic prices<br />

and awesome cus<strong>to</strong>mer service at:<br />

sportsshoes.com/outdoors (and you<br />

get 15% off once you’ve signed up <strong>to</strong><br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles!)<br />

58 WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023

Gear<br />

Team spirit<br />

It’s a journey of common cause – so remind<br />

yourself of your mission, and show what team<br />

you’re on, with a piece of #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles gear.<br />

Guaranteed <strong>to</strong> give you that ReadyBrek glow!<br />

The badge<br />

Show the incredible journey<br />

you’re on with our 2023<br />

participation badge, designed<br />

<strong>to</strong> be extra noticeable <strong>to</strong> kindle<br />

more spontaneous ‘badger’<br />

encounters! £2.20.<br />

Calendar<br />

Our calendar has space <strong>to</strong><br />

record your miles, dates of<br />

special significance <strong>to</strong> walkers,<br />

sunrise and sunset times,<br />

monthly mini-challenges and<br />

routes <strong>to</strong> let you walk in<strong>to</strong><br />

every picture. £7.99.<br />

Completer Medal<br />

Sign up <strong>to</strong> #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles+<br />

and you can see your progress<br />

build on a virtual walk from<br />

Land’s End <strong>to</strong> John o’Groats<br />

and get your <strong>1000</strong>-mile<br />

Completer Medal when you<br />

hit the <strong>1000</strong>. There are more<br />

medals from 500-2000<br />

miles and an even blingier<br />

#walk<strong>1000</strong>miles Premium<br />

medal (below) <strong>to</strong> buy in<br />

the shop. Sign up via<br />

walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.co.uk<br />

The #walk<strong>1000</strong><br />

miles cap<br />

Keep your hood out of your<br />

eyes in the rain, keep the sun<br />

off your face in summer and<br />

wick sweat from your bonce<br />

all year round. The comfiest<br />

walking cap ever. £9.99.<br />

VISIT THE SHOP: www.walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.co.uk/shop<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 59

The only calendar<br />

just for<br />

walkers<br />

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Michelle Martin<br />


Notes <strong>to</strong> self<br />

A message <strong>to</strong> me<br />

There’s no better advice than that you’d give your younger self – if only<br />

there were a way. We asked challengers what theirs would be with the<br />

benefit of <strong>1000</strong> miles of hindsight. The results were <strong>to</strong>uching,<br />

encouraging – and urgent.<br />

Life’s <strong>to</strong>o short for<br />

regrets – but days are<br />

long. You can fit an<br />

amazing amount in.<br />

Get out and get<br />

walking – it will<br />

be the best thing<br />

you can ever do!<br />

Be adventurous:<br />

there is happiness<br />

that way.<br />

Don’t find an excuse not<br />

<strong>to</strong> go for a walk. You<br />

ALWAYS feel better<br />

when you get back!<br />

Get off the sofa,<br />

get outside, smell,<br />

see and enjoy the<br />

world you have<br />

been hiding from.<br />

Hang in there! The<br />

children will grow and<br />

see that the Great<br />

Outdoors is an infinitely<br />

happy place!<br />

Just go for it. You have<br />

nothing <strong>to</strong> lose and so<br />

much <strong>to</strong> gain. It’s not<br />

just walking, it’s<br />

learning about our<br />

world in a fun way.<br />

You will get<br />

better physically<br />

and walking will<br />

help you through<br />

sad times.<br />

Look what you<br />

have missed all<br />

these years!<br />

Things will get so much<br />

better – and most of<br />

that will be because of<br />

YOU. Hang in there.<br />

You’re amazing.<br />

You were right in<br />

thinking ‘I need <strong>to</strong><br />

get fit for old age’.<br />

Keep going with the<br />

walking because in a<br />

few years you will have<br />

achieved things you<br />

only dreamt about.<br />

I wish you knew you<br />

could get <strong>to</strong> this<br />

happy place so much<br />

sooner than you do.<br />

Your life is going <strong>to</strong><br />

change dramatically<br />

for the better in the<br />

near future –<br />

everything is going<br />

<strong>to</strong> be OK.<br />

Do it and don’t<br />

be afraid! You<br />

WILL succeed!<br />

Hey Bex! Guess what<br />

you’ll be in<strong>to</strong> in one day<br />

– WALKING, and it’s<br />

THE BEST!<br />

WALK <strong>1000</strong> MILES 2023 61

With you every<br />

step of the way<br />

Country <strong>Walk</strong>ing has been the UK’s<br />

best-selling outdoors magazine<br />

for over three decades and it’s<br />

the home of #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles.<br />

See our latest membership offers:

W<br />


because it turns<br />

the world in<strong>to</strong> an<br />

amazing place. It asks so little<br />

and gives so much. It takes us<br />

<strong>to</strong> places we’ll daydream about<br />

forever, and makes us feel more at home in<br />

our bodies and our place in the great scheme<br />

of things than anything else. It feeds our<br />

curiosity and starves our anxieties, bringing<br />

laughter, adventure and an appetite for life.<br />

That’s what Country <strong>Walk</strong>ing’s all about,<br />

and if it sounds like the kind of magazine for<br />

you, we’d be thrilled <strong>to</strong> welcome you aboard.<br />

Become a CW member and the magazine<br />

will come <strong>to</strong> you 13 times a year, you’ll get<br />

benefits like half-price access <strong>to</strong> the<br />

incomparable OS Maps app, and you’ll have<br />

access <strong>to</strong> all our award-winning features and<br />

pho<strong>to</strong>graphy, routes and reviews. Every<br />

month we take you all over the UK, celebrate<br />

your #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles achievements, give<br />

you 27 step-by-step route guides; encourage<br />

you and advise you. We’ll fill your heart with<br />

inspiration and your head with all the info<br />

you need – and we’ll be with you every step<br />

of your <strong>1000</strong> mile journey because we’ll be<br />

walking it <strong>to</strong>o. <strong>Walk</strong> with us. We’ll have fun.<br />

We’ll see some amazing<br />

things. We’ll make<br />

wonderful memories. We’ll<br />

have the time of our lives.<br />


10 reasons<br />

walking is your<br />

best friend<br />

1. It’s ready <strong>to</strong> go out when you are<br />

2. It doesn’t give a damn how you look<br />

3. It loves your body and knows just what it needs<br />

4. It wants you <strong>to</strong> make new friends<br />

5. It’s a cheap date<br />

6. It tells you you’re alright<br />

7. It tells your worries <strong>to</strong> go <strong>to</strong> hell<br />

8. It doesn’t mind if you don’t talk<br />

9. It likes it when you sing<br />

10. It’s got <strong>to</strong>ns of great ideas for dinner<br />

SHARE<br />

ME!<br />

Get #walk<strong>1000</strong>miles shareables at<br />


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