National Walking Month May: Accessible Walking Routes for the Disabled

Getting active is so important, especially for the elderly. Not only does it keep you fit, but being out and about amongst nature is an amazing way to spend time, with loads of associated health benefits. 

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Throughout May, it is National Walking Month so to raise awareness we have compiled a list of some of the best walking routes in Hertfordshire that are accessible and suitable for all ages. Due to the current pandemic, it is harder to go out to some parks as some are closed to the public. We have included local parks and open spaces that are open for you to explore and enjoy.

What’s the current law on walking?

The current lockdown situation means it is more important than ever to stay fit and active too! But make sure you’re abiding by the legislation on leaving the house. Go on walks in the local area where you can, only travelling by car if absolutely necessary. There’s no specific law for going on walks or the amount of time you can spend outside but use common sense and stay safe.

The benefits of going on a walk

There are loads of benefits of walking as exercise. It’s probably the most accessible activity for the elderly, helping to build stamina, burn calories, keep the heart pumping and get the joints moving.

Not only does it keep the body active, but it also stimulates the mind too! Being out and about, especially amongst nature, is an ideal way to promote mental wellbeing. Walking also helps to destress and lift your mood. Who would have thought such an easy form of exercise would have so many great benefits!

The best country walking routes

Explore our list of the best country walking routes around Hertfordshire. Remember: during lockdown, you should avoid travelling in the car to exercise! Some parks have started to close their car parks to prevent people travelling from out of town, so only go if you can make your way there on foot.

Verulamium Park St. Albans

Found right next to St. Albans city centre, Verulamium Park is a great place for a walk. It’s a massive, wide-open space filled with grass and dotted with trees. You can walk whichever way you want, with loads of obvious paths showing you the way. You won’t get lost as it’s so open and it has its own number of landmarks within. It’s right next to the St Albans Abbey, a sight to behold in its own right. From the beautiful lake to an actual Roman wall, there’s plenty to see here when out on your daily walk.

Stanborough Park Welwyn Garden City

There are plenty of routes you can take around Stanborough Park in Welwyn Garden City, with two separate lakes, a river and plenty of rolling hills and open green swathes of grass. The north side of the park is home to the boating lake, with more than enough ducks, geese, swans, coots and moorhens to spy from the paths. Follow the lake around in a circle, follow the River Lea upstream and climb the famous horse-shoe hill. The southern lake is home to a wide manner of watersports and fishing, with a wildlife reserve in the southwestern corner. From short trails up a hill to circling around both lakes, there are loads of accessible country walks in Stanborough Park.

Gadebridge Park Hemel Hempstead

Located by the town centre, this park is a very convenient place for people to visit. Lots of green space which has footpaths and cycle paths around the outside and through the centre. It’s a perfect place to visit to get your 1 hour daily exercise. Gadebridge Park comes with a lot of history in the walled garden located at the top of the park where the old Bury House used to be located. These walled gardens are stunning and a great place to sit for a moment and watch the wildlife. There is also a Forget-me-not garden for babies that has its own small walk and a flowing river that runs through the bottom of the park that is great to take in whilst going for a gentle stroll.

Cassiobury Park Watford

This public park in the heart of Watford covers 190 acres of land which is all open grass and woodland areas. With many entrances around the park, it is easily accessible. If you normally drive to this park, it is worth noting that currently the car park is closed due to Covid-19. Like a lot of local parks, Cassio park is full of history. It used to be the home of Cassiobury House and came with a lot of land. If you love walking around nature, then Cassiobury Park is perfect with its nature reserve. With many walking routes available you can easily spend a few hours walking around here taking everything in and getting some fresh air. 

We know how difficult it can be to get out and about during this lockdown period. If you can get out and about and you feel comfortable, then going for a daily walk is a great way to get fresh air and some exercise. If you or a loved one has to stay home, why don’t you check out activities to keep you busy during lockdown.

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