Edinburgh is a great city for walking due to its compact design and large green areas, and yet apparently we could be doing more walking. Hence Walk Edinburgh Week - a series of events aimed at drawing out the pedestrian in us.
‘Walk Edinburgh Week' will see 26 different group walks, varying from a 6.5 hour trek along the full 13 miles of the Water of Leith to a less strenuous 1 hour tour through the Riccarton Campus learning about the history of the estate. Walks are free to participate in and will cater for all ages and abilities. Many of the walks are through Edinburgh parks, with local knowledge provided by Edinburgh Rangers.
Free audio files for each walk can also be downloaded.
The week launches with the ‘Walk-Ed’ Fair in Princes Street Gardens on Friday 20 May (12-3pm). Activities will include led walks in and around the Gardens, plus a healthy lifestyle fair with free activities such as sumo wrestling, tai-chi, movement to music and lawn tennis.
The "Activcity" initiative is jointly funded by the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian and Paths for All, "to encourage everyone to be more physically active by discovering the joys and health benefits of walking".
Councillor Paul Edie, health leader for Edinburgh, said: “Walking is fun, friendly, free with many health benefits. Not only does it make for a healthier lifestyle but it helps reduce pollution in the city and is a great way to learn more about historical sites and parks in Edinburgh.
Dr Alison McCallum, Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lothian said: “Being more physically active is a great way to protect and improve your health, release stress, socialise, improve confidence and gives you the ‘feel good’ factor.
Adults should aim to build up to 30 minutes of daily activity that gets your heart beating a bit faster and leaves you feeling warmer. Walking is a great way for everyone to be active, but is particularly good for people just starting out or returning to physical activity. The Walk Edinburgh week is a fantastic way to get involved and see for yourself!”
Walks are free but plan ahead
Walks are free but people wanting to take part in the group walks should register their interest as places are limited.