These are extraordinary times and the instructions and guidelines issued by the Government are essential to deal with the crisis. However with care and consideration Social Distancing does not mean you are housebound. There is no point in avoiding Covid-19 if you fall victim to Cabin Fever instead! There is a great outdoors out there can be no better time than now to discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Walking is probably the easiest and most accessible form of exercise. You can manage the distance and intensity to suit you and your circumstance, no 2 days are the same and most importantly IT'S FREE!!
Just a few guidelines for the current situation
- If you have symptoms, or reason to believe you have been in contact with the virus stay at home, you should be self isolating.
- No bigger than immediate family groups, current guidelines now permit you to join another family group.
- Choose the less trodden paths or wide open spaces. If you encounter someone coming the other way, or need to overtake someone give them a wide berth. Smile nicely and shout hello from a safe distance! Avoid narrow tracks and paths where people will be forced closer together.
- Wash hands immediately before you set off and as soon as possible after return. Be careful when handling gates and styles.
A few guidelines for walking even when there isn't a crisis!
- Always follow the Countryside Code
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Always wear appropriate footwear and make sure you are prepared for a change in weather.
- Plan your route in advance. So easy to do with Google maps!
- Most smart phones have GPS tracking, Use it to mark your start point.
- If you have planned a "there and back" type walk take notice of your terrain. If "there" is downhill or wind behind you, "back" will be uphill and therefore much harder!
- Dogs are a very welcome walking companion, but countryside areas are also the home of both wild and livestock animals so please keep dogs on a lead.
Country Walks Bingo
Download the Country Walk Bingo card and when you have completed a "Full House" return it to Stewart Collins at,
Email email@example.com or
Send via the SASP Facebook page or
Post to SASP, 1st Floor Offices, Castle Business Centre, Castle Road, Chelston Business Park, Wellington TA21 9JQ for a small but useful prize.
We would love it if you included the most interesting photo from your walk for us to share on our website. Towards the end of the year we plan a Photo Competition with a view to producing a Country Walks Calendar for 2021. Photos submitted to us now will automatically be entered into that competition.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get out and get active that most people can do. It's a great way to get out the house and experience the outdoors and with the Explore Somerset Map Roamer, you can discover routes local to you or see below for walks local to you, recommended by people who live there. If you have walks you would like to add to this directory please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Walks Suitable For Social Distancing
Walks that are recommended by people who live there or know the area well. All the walks, either due to their location or landscape, are suitable for Socially Distanced walking.
Recommended by Stewart Collins, Adult Participation Manager SASP
Recommended by Annouska Evans, Manager of the SSE Outdoor Centre, Charterhouse
Recommended by Dave and Sue Bullock, proprietors of Dragonfly Barns Holiday Cottages, North Newton.
Couch To 5k
For those who want to start running as a way of getting out the house, but are new to it, Couch to 5K is an amazing app you can download on your phone that will ease you into a routine of running over the course of 9 weeks.
Cycling is another great way to get active outside at this time. You can do it alone or in a group at a safe distance from one another. Cycle Somerset have lots of cycle routes along quiet country lanes on their website.
While it may not be thought of as a traditional way of keeping active, getting out in your own back garden and doing some work can be an easy and simple way to get some fresh air and get moving. Doing something out in your own garden is also a great way of tacking mental health problems such as depression, stress and anxiety.
Playing With Pets
Pets are another fantastic way to help you to stay active, especially with dogs. Whether it's taking them for more regular walks, or just having fun with them in the garden, it's almost impossible to be inactive with a dog around. Stewart, one of our We Are Undefeatable Somerset ambassadors, also talks about this in his video, which you can find here.
Outdoor Mobile Games
For some, the idea of exercise may not be too appealing. Some mobile games that encourage people to go outside and play them are a great way of exploring the outdoors, getting some fresh air and staying active. Most people have heard of Pokemon Go, but if you're not really a fan of the brand, there are also similar games to get you out such as Minecraft Earth and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. No matter what you enjoy, there is always some unique way for you to be able to experience the outdoors.