National Walking Month is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the health benefits that walking can offer, especially for those over 55. Walking is not just a simple way to stay active, but it is also an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, it not only boosts your mood but it can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Let’s start with the benefits of walking.
If you’re not a regular at the local tennis courts or an avid marathon runner, low-impact walking is going to be one of the easiest ways to get back into exercise.
Walking can provide a range of health benefits for those over 55, and getting outdoors near your retirement living apartment is free and easy to do. If the feeling of the sun on your face and the fresh air in your lungs still doesn’t entice you to start this healthy habit, we have pulled together 3 of the key benefits of walking that might just motivate you to head out on a walk this May.
- Improved Heart Health: Walking regularly can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve cardiovascular health.
- Increased Mobility: Walking can help improve mobility and flexibility, which can be especially beneficial for older adults who may experience stiffness or joint pain.
- Better Mood: Walking can help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall mental health and well-being.
3 Easy Walks to Try Out
Our retirement living villages in Brighouse, Derby and Thornton Cleveleys are perfectly positioned for enjoying a variety of interesting walks. We have picked our favourite walks near each retirement living location.
1) Alderman Lodge, Brighouse
The Brighouse Canal Walk is a scenic route that showcases beautiful views of the Calder and Hebble Navigation Canal and the surrounding countryside. The walk begins at Brighouse Basin, which is a picturesque starting point in itself. If you fancy something light to eat before you walk, we recommend stopping at Jeremy’s at the Boathouse for some tapas and sitting on one of the outside tables. It’s a great place to people-watch as the basin is a popular spot for boaters and visitors alike, and it offers a peaceful and tranquil environment to start your walk.
This is an easy walk (we estimate that it will take around 1.5 hours to complete) and can be cut short by simply turning around or cutting across one of the locks. To complete our full recommended walk, you need to follow the canal path towards Cooper Bridge and cross several locks before turning around and heading back the way you came. The locks offer a glimpse into the history of the canal and the industrial heritage of the area and are an impressive feat of engineering that are still used today by boats navigating the canal.
As you walk along, you’ll be guaranteed to be entertained, there is a healthy mixture of countryside and urban landscapes, with sections passing through woodland areas and others through the more built-up areas of Brighouse. If you are lucky, you might even spot a duck, swan, or one of the other waterfowl that live on the canal!
One of the highlights of the walk is entering the edge of the charming town of Mirfield at Cooper Bridge, which provides a handy pitstop! This area is home to several pubs and cafes, where you can stop for a coffee or a bite to eat and take a break from your walk.
Once you have had your pitstop, you can either cross to the other side of the canal to walk back to Brighouse Basin or turn around and use the same path. The marina (at Brighouse Basin) flanks the beginning and end of the walk and is a bustling hub of activity, with boats coming and going, it offers a great place to stop and watch the world go by.
This is an easy walk suitable for all ages and abilities, and it’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise in a beautiful and peaceful setting.
2) Albany Lodge, Derby
Markeaton Park Walk – This easy walk is a great way to explore the beautiful Markeaton Park in Derby. The walk is approximately 1.5 miles long and takes around 1 hour to complete. The walk offers stunning views of the park’s gardens, lake, and woodland areas and is perfect for those looking for a leisurely stroll.
Just a 5 minute drive from Albany Lodge retirement living village sits Markeaton Park. The Markeaton Park walk is a delightful stroll that is particularly beautiful in springtime, when the trees are starting to bud, and the flowers are blooming, making it an excellent time to take in nature.
The walk begins at the Markeaton Park car park (where you can park your car for free) and is signposted at the car park entrance. From here, the walk takes you through the park’s stunning gardens, which are in full bloom during the spring months. You’ll see a variety of colourful flowers, including tulips, daffodils, and crocuses, as well as blossoming trees such as cherry blossom and apple trees.
If you are a nature lover, the walk is perfect for you as it takes you to the park’s lake, which is home to a variety of waterfowl, including ducks and swans (perfect to bring the Grandchildren to feed the ducks over long May bank holiday weekends). If you have some extra time, we suggest a slight detour of walking around the lake, taking in the serene and tranquil surroundings and admiring the views of the park.
If you follow the trail, you’ll be guided to the woodland area of the park which is particularly enchanting in the spring months, with the trees starting to grow and snowdrops shooting up from the earth. The woodland area is also home to confident squirrels (who often sit on the path) so you’ll be sure to spot one.
Whilst this walk is very short (around an hour long), if you did want to take a break during your walk, there’s a lovely café located in the park’s courtyard, which offers a range of hot and cold drinks and snacks. Alternatively, there are several picnic areas in the park where you can stop and enjoy a packed lunch or a cup of tea.
We love this walk as it changes with the seasons, it is particularly nice to enjoy nature on weekday mornings to beat the lunch crowd and enjoy the tranquillity of the area.
3) Royles Lodge, Thornton Cleveleys
Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk – We couldn’t recommend a walk in Thornton Cleveleys that didn’t have sea views! Whilst there are many inland options (including King George’s Playing Fields that are steps away from our retirement living apartments at Royles Lodge) nothing clears out the cobwebs like fresh sea air!
The Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk is a beautiful and scenic route that takes you along the Fylde Coast and offers breath-taking views of the sea and the surrounding countryside. The walk starts at Cleveleys Promenade and ends at Rossell Beach Promenade, and it is approximately 3 miles long.
The walk is best enjoyed during low tide when you can see the vast expanse of the beach and the sea creatures that call it home. You might spot some sea birds, crabs, and other marine life in the tidal pools and exposed rocks.
One of the highlights of the walk is the picturesque Cleveleys Beach, a beautiful stretch of golden sand that is perfect for relaxing and taking in the stunning views of the Irish Sea. The beach is a great spot for a picnic, sunbathing, or, if you could even bring your cossie for a refreshing dip in the sea during the warmer months.
As you walk along the coast, you’ll also see the art installation, Mary’s Shell, and the iconic seafront shelters, which are a popular spot for taking a break and enjoying the view. You’ll pass through the beautiful Jubilee Gardens, where we recommend taking a moment to relax and appreciate the beautiful floral displays and the sea views.
If you need a refreshment break during your walk, there are several cafes and pubs along the route where you can stop for a coffee, tea, or a bite to eat. Locals favourites include, The Venue, which is located on the seafront or The Queensway, which is situated just off the coastal path.
The Thornton Cleveleys Coastal Walk is a wonderful way to get some exercise and take in the views of the Fylde Coast. With plenty of highlights along the way, it’s a great way to spend a few hours exploring this beautiful part of the country.
When you come to live with us in a luxury retirement living apartment, you are never too far away from a scenic walk. Walking is a simple and enjoyable way for those over 55 to stay active, boost their mood, and improve their overall health and well-being. So, why not take advantage of National Walking Month and try out these easy walks in Brighouse, Derby, and Thornton Cleveleys? You won’t regret it!