York City Walls

A Walker’s Life

A Walk Through Lockdown and Beyond

A guest blog for Action for Elders by The Intrepid Walker

During lockdown, I knew I would need a bit of space and a breath of fresh air each day. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful city and my route through lockdown involved exploring corners of York I had not seen before. Even in the city, I found that green space and wildlife are never far from the front door…

Out for a walk

Out for a walk before breakfast this morning, amongst the wildflowers in Fulford Ings watermeadow, the sun just peeping out from behind a cloud, I find myself humming a Beatles number. You’ll know it: “It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter … here comes the sun.” To be honest, it does feel like two winters with not a lot in between, since we’ve been allowed to ‘Get Back Out There’ properly. But, here’s the sun as we step into what promises to be an easier summer and autumn than last!

The Healing Morning Light

I am keen to take advantage of the healing morning light and have committed to getting out of bed and through the door each day before breakfast. I am exploring Barley Field, near Headlington and have set myself a challenge to follow a daily Walking Plan.

Fulford Meadows - Alberto Diovant
York University - Lakeside

Pace Yourself

We are lakeside, on the University of York campus. I love walking and swing along at a naturally brisk pace, although I do slow down when I go for a weekly walk with my friend. She is 15 years further on than I am but very active, litter-picking most days to keep our neighbourhood looking pretty. But that’s a dance, isn’t it?

What a lot we have learned about staying two metres apart on pavements, whilst skilfully manoeuvring past others coming towards us, and still managing to hold a (just) audible conversation. Now it seems that my friend and I can take a more leisurely stroll, perhaps even arm-in-arm.

When out with another walking friend, he complains that I gallop apace. “If I got another dog, then I’d walk more often.”

“A dog!” I laugh, in retaliation. “You’d be better off walking a tortoise.”

Walking The Dog

I have noticed a lot of families with puppies on my various excursions. Puppies have now grown into older dogs being exercised by professional walkers now that shops, schools and offices are fully open. I once fancied that I could offer a dog-walking service, but realised that when you are holding the leashes of a large bobbery-pack it could be difficult to pick up all the poos.

So I will just take my walks straight for now. I’m on some trackway leading to Fulford Marina and the Houseboat Moorings. There’s a door which leads to nowhere. It’s not even set into a wall or fence, just a door between some trees.

Exercise is Good

One good thing about our lockdown was that we were never told not to go out to get some exercise and a good walk is a perfect example of that. We should consider ourselves lucky: an Italian friend of mine was hounded from the beach near her home by police with loud-hailers early in that country’s lockdown. The advice being: only go out for essential shopping or medical reasons, otherwise stay inside.

That hasn’t been our situation, so there’s no excuse not to exercise. Yet it can be difficult to find the get-up-and-go if the weather isn’t perfect and when is it ever? Just lately if it isn’t raining, then it’s too hot or windy!

Walking the dog
Walking in trainers

Sage Advice

The saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable/inappropriate clothing.” It has been attributed to Alfred Wainwright and Sir Ranulph Fiennes: whichever, both of them know what they are talking about. For me, this is the beauty of Walking for Health https://www.actionforelders.org.uk/the-benefits-of-physical-activity/

You don’t need a lot of kit but you can head out in any weather with the right footwear and layers.

Walking – The correct kit in 5 parts

  • Shoes – A good pair of training shoes is a lighter substitute for specialist walking boots – it all depends on your intended distance and what’s underfoot.
  • Comfort – As long as shoes are well-fitting, supportive and comfortable you are good to go.
  • Jackets – A light fleece top will turn a shower, or carry a pac-a-mac.
  • Walking Aids – Grab a stick, hiking or Nordic poles and you can climb every mountain!
  • Hydration – Take along a light bottle filled with water, slather on some factor 30 and you are good to go.

Join us and support Action for Elders

If you are in the York area, join us for for a walk through Rowntree Park at 11.30am on Tuesday 28th September

You can find full details on our Action for Elders Events page.


You can help us create more walks, more exercise programmes and more social events by supporting Action for Elders today.

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Email: info@actionforelders.org.uk

Phone: 030 330 30132

Post: Action for Elders, Elfed House, Oak Tree Court, Mulberry Drive, Cardiff Gate, Cardiff CF23 8RS

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