Cheltenham gears up for Britain’s biggest short walks festival: Get Walking Week, 4 to 11 May 2013

Published on 25th April 2013

walking boot stepping into a scene of grass and trees

Step out for Get Walking Week - Britain’s biggest free, short walks festival that encourages people to get outdoors and get active.

From 4 to 11 May, there’ll be hundreds of short walks led by experienced walk leaders, helping you to discover the wonder of walking in 2013. This is the perfect opportunity to discover the freedom, fresh air and fitness that comes with exploring your local area on foot and with Cheltenham Borough Council’s health walks programme, Walk Well, there’s plenty on offer.

Walk Well continues to be very popular and has even been awarded accreditation by Natural England. It aims to encourage people to be more active through walking and has been developed with the Walking the Way to Health initiative which is supported by the British Heart Foundation and Natural England.

The walks are free and anyone is welcome to join in. There is one taking place every day of the week somewhere across the borough and they last between 20 and 60 minutes.

Sunday Walks have also returned for the summer – they take place on the first Sunday of each month. These walks will be further afield and a little longer than our normal walks, taking anywhere between 1.5 to 2 hours long and are more countryside based than town.

As well as joining in on the walks the council are also looking for any volunteers who would enjoy leading their own walk. If you are over 18, enjoy walking, meeting new people and want to help your local community why not consider becoming a walk leader? The council will provide the relevant training and support you in managing and promoting your walks.

Rowena Tassell, healthy lifestyles development officer, says: “We hope ‘Get Walking Week’ will encourage more people to put their best foot forward and join in one of our weekly health walks.

“We are also on the look out for any walk leaders. All of our walks are led by trained volunteers, and we’re always looking for anyone to become involved and lead their own walk in Cheltenham! All they have to do is complete our FREE training day!”

Simon Barnett, Director of Walking Programmes at the Ramblers said: “We are filling this year with countless opportunities for people to get more active. Walking has so many benefits – you can improve your physical and mental health, spend time outdoors and enjoy the company of others – and Get Walking Week is a way to encourage people to make a start. We hope that joining one short walk with your local Walking for Health scheme or Ramblers group will lead to many more miles in the future.” 

Get Walking Week, organised by the Ramblers, is supporting the Britain on Foot campaign to encourage more people to get active in the great outdoors. As well as walks led by Walking for Health schemes across England, Ramblers groups will be leading short walks across Britain for all to enjoy. 

To find out more about the walks or to train as a Walking for Health Volunteer Walk Leader, please visit our website or call Rowena Tassell on 01242 775202, email

For press enquiries contact: Laura Carter, communications officer for Cheltenham Borough Council, telephone 01242 264154, email

For more information about Walking for Health and Get Walking Week call the Ramblers press office 0207 339 8531 or 07584 848083 (out of hours)

Find out more about Walking for Health:; Facebook and Twitter

Notes to editors:

•    Walking for Health is England’s largest network of health walk schemes, helping all kinds of people take their first steps to a more active lifestyle. They’ve done this with great success for over 12 years now, improving thousands of lives. The walks themselves are run by various organisations, including local councils, the NHS, charities and voluntary groups, while the network as a whole is managed in partnership by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support. Together, they are ensuring Walking for Health gets even more people active and healthy in the years to come.

•    The Ramblers is at the heart of walking in Britain; working to promote walking and protect the places where people walk. It is Britain’s walking charity.  It works to make it easy for everyone to walk, whether in countryside, cities, hills, coasts and on or off the beaten track. It has a grass roots network of over 18,000 volunteers who work tirelessly for a walking Britain.  For over 75 years it has helped build and protect Britain’s 140,000 mile long path network, it runs over 38,000 walks a year, and campaigns for better walking routes and more walking opportunities.

•    About Macmillan Cancer Support: More than one in three of us will get cancer. For most of us it will be the toughest fight we ever face. And the feelings of isolation and loneliness that so many people experience make it even harder. But you don’t have to go through it alone. The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way. We are the nurses and therapists helping you through treatment. The experts on the end of the phone. The advisers telling you which benefits you’re entitled to. The volunteers giving you a hand with the everyday things. The campaigners improving cancer care. The community there for you online, any time. The supporters who make it all possible. Together, we are all Macmillan Cancer Support.

•    Britain on Foot is a long term national initiative to promote greater participation in outdoor activities, led and managed by the Outdoor Industries Association. For more information visit (launching March 2013).    tep out for Get Walking Week - Britain’s biggest free, short walks festival that encourages people to get outdoors and get active.