It’s time to add something spanking new to this site’s ‘save money, live well’ resources, so let’s help ourselves and each other to get inspired and have more fun. Today marks the start of a new series of articles called Things to do in Britain when you’re broke, to share all kinds of ideas and resources for keeping yourself entertained and happy.
Many of the ideas will be completely free, and there will be a few other low-cost things thrown in there too, mostly stuff that costs well under £10. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you liked and share your own tips in the comments section.
Here goes with the first article…
Get outside for a wonderful walk (Part 1)
Walking is one of the easiest, most versatile and cheapest ways to keep fit and get some fresh air. It’s something you can do on your own or with a group, and there’s usually the benefit of some beautiful scenery or interesting buildings to look at as you pass by.
For most people it costs nothing to get going, and as long as you’re reasonably able-bodied all you need are some well-fitting shoes, boots or trainers, waterproofs, and a map or other directions.
Even if your budget’s zero there are plenty of useful options available to you such as free websites, downloadable audio tours, and no-cost apps.
Start with the big information hubs
The Ramblers is Britain’s biggest walking charity, and has extensive information about all kinds of walks. That includes short and long walks, walks that are pushchair and wheelchair friendly, walks where you don’t need a car to get to the starting point, and more. They also have some really useful information about safety.
Alternatively, Walking Britain is a huge website packed with extensive free information and ideas for walkers and ramblers.
Be a tourist or join a festival
Discovering Britain has plenty of suggestions for routes all over England. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The walks can be printed off, added to an eReader or iPad, or listened to in MP3 format.
Visit Britain has some useful information about the various British walking festivals that take place around the UK each year.
Enjoy outstanding natural beauty
The National Trust lists hundreds of free walks around the United Kingdom, plus some free guided walking events.
Our National Trails are 15 long-distance walks that pass through areas of outstanding natural beauty in England and Wales. Some of them are suitable for cyclists too.
Start counting your steps
Tracking your progress is an excellent way to keep yourself motivated if you’re walking as a health activity or part of a fitness regime. If you’d like to keep track of the distance that you’ve walked or the number of steps that you’ve taken in one day, you can do this for free with a pedometer or fitness app.
Free pedometers or step counters are sometimes given away by workplace schemes, health charities, NHS initiatives, health insurance firms and sportswear retailers, so be on the lookout for one. It’s worth asking around in case someone you know can lend you a spare one, or checking UK freebie websites and forums for the latest offers.
By the way, if you already own an iPod nano (generations 5, 6 and 7) this gadget has a pedometer built into it, which can be tracked in your workout history.
There are also quite a few smartphone pedometer apps. Free apps currently available in the UK include:
- Pacer Pedometer (by Michael Caldwell for iOS and Android)
- Pedometer++ (by Cross Forward for iPhone 5s)
- Walkathon + Fitness Games (by Striiv)
Get local, or join the club
If you want to stay local and you’re feeling charitable, you could offer to walk an elderly, unwell or busy neighbour’s dog for them while you’re out. You can also volunteer as a puppy walker for Guide Dogs UK.
For more company on your travels, search out some local walking and rambling groups via the Ramblers group finder, the Long Distance Walkers Association, the British Walking Federation, or Meetup. If you can’t find one within easy reach then consider setting one up yourself.
Finally, if you have a couple of pounds to spare, you can regularly find all kinds of great second hand walking guide books and maps in charity shops, so remember to have a browse next time you’re in one.
That’s it for Part 1 of ‘Get outside for a wonderful walk’, and we’ll have a different theme for the next related post. Thanks for reading!
Are you feeling inspired to get out somewhere for a stroll or a hike? Do you have any tips or resources other readers might like to know about? Please share in the comments below.