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The clocks may have gone back an hour, but don’t you dare put your walking shoes away at the back of the cupboard as a result. If anything, walking is more important than ever right now, working as one of the most effective antidotes to the Autumn Winter blues by giving you time and space and a boost of feel-good hormones. Walks at this time of year can be great for children too, a perfect way to tackle cabin-fever moods or computer game overloads, and a great way to build in some exercise before a cosy night on the sofa.

So, boots on please, and our top tips at the ready...

  • The days are chilly so layer up for maximum warmth (and so you can take something off if the Autumn sunshine starts to get the better of you). Wear waterproof shoes if rain is forecast, and ones with a good grip to prevent slips on wet leaves. 
  • Wear something bright, too, in case the sun goes down. You need to be highly visible crossing or walking beside roads. But we’d recommend earlier starts. Not only in the interests of safety, but because there is something special about the early morning mists at this time of year. And a walk is the perfect way to start the day or weekend.
  • Plan your route to stay away from busy roads and narrow pavements (hard to socially distance on them these days). Pick a park or beach or woodland with nice wide tracks but watch your time so you are not caught out by the early sunset.
  • Give your kids a challenge: to find 10 different coloured leaves, or the biggest and best conker, or to take the best photo that captures the season on your phone, or to sing five songs related to the season! And pack a delicious snack or a flask of hot chocolate for a yummy break while you do the judging.
  • Pack waterproofs too, and a torch and phone.
  • Breathe out. Take in the colour. Enjoy!