If you are walking for health benefits such as weight loss or better mental wellbeing, sometimes it is ok for you to just step out and pound the pavement for an hour or so and see where it takes you. However, if you decide to plan a route, you will not only be setting a tangible goal but you can also ensure you see some interesting things. So how do you plan your route, surely it’s as simple as typing walks near me into Google, right?
That is one idea, and there are several more, lets take a look at some of the resources you can use to plan your walking route.
You can use a number of websites in the UK to find ready-made walking routes. Until now, I liked Walking Britain as it is free, easy to use, and does not require a signup. If you live in the UK, all you need to do is find your area on the map, and all existing routes will be highlighted. If you hover over one of the route icons it will tell you the start and finish locations and the distance. this is perfect for tracking your progress and setting targets.
During my research, I also stumbled across ramblers.org route finder which is similar to Walking Britain’s, however, you can filter some of the options such as difficulty level. Ramblers’ route planner even includes city walks so you benefit from it no matter where you are from in the UK.
I was not able to find an equivalent service in other countries, however, I am sure they exist so if you have a website that can serve up ready-made walking routes in different parts of the world, please let me know in the comments below. If not, then you do not need to worry, as there are other ways to plan your route.
Create Or Draw Your Own Walks Near Me
If you can’t find an existing route or you prefer to get a little creative, there are several ways you can generate a walking route yourself online or using an app on your phone. Let’s take a look at the options
There are a host of online route planners like this one from plotaroute.com. I have tested Plotaroute’s offering in a small town in the North East of England, in Richmond Kentucky in the U.S, and even in South Sudan so I am confident it has global coverage. Plotaroute requires you to sign up and save your routes online, you can sign up for premium membership but even the free version is functional. I like Plotaroute, it is a little bit tricky to get used to but once you can use it you can plot a number of points on your route which is great if you want to enjoy a bit of sightseeing on your walk.
Another option is komoot.com. Komoot’s approach is a little different while also providing global coverage. You don’t have to sign up, and Komoot plots highlighted location’s all over the map of popular hiking, walking, and cycling locations. You can select one close by and map your route.
I think the best options are right there in your pocket (kind of). Go Jauntly is an app that contains both existing walks and creates routes for you based on your location. You can use the app in several countries and while Go Jauntly does have a premium membership option, I have personally never needed more than the free version.
After I signed up for a free account, using my location, Go Jauntly created a list of 4 unique circular routes for me starting and finishing right where I am standing. The unique routes are my favorite feature but I will also give a nod to my second favorite, which is the “walks near you” feature, telling me about existing walks near me. These are great but I might need to drive or take public transport before I start my walk.
If Go Jauntly is my recommendation, I would also like to give you a recommendation from a close friend of mine. The last time I walked with him, he was using Gaia GPS app which was all singing and all dancing when plotting the countryside routes. Hohe downside was that the free version was rubbish so you had to sign up for premium to get the benefits. However, he has recently switched to an app called Footsteps which he says is much better, much easier to use and you can save up to 5 routes with the free membership.
I downloaded footsteps and had a little look, and I agree. You simply select your activity, which for us is obviously walking, allow the app access to your location data and the map will load up with a pencil button at the bottom center. Press on the pencil, draw roughly where you want to walk and the app will work out all of the footpaths, etc.
Destination Route Finders
The previous apps and websites I have mentioned are all about planning the details of your journey, however, another option is to plan your destination and let the route follow suit. Destination Route Finders like Google Maps and City Mapper are designed to help you pinpoint the best routes to specific locations.
You cannot really plot multiple locations at once and finding the quickest route may not be ideal if your aim is to get more footsteps in, however, whether you want to head for local landmarks or patches of green on the map, it is a simple way of deciding where to walk.
Buy A Book
“The problem with the younger generation is them bloomin’ phones making them lazy” This may be a stereotypical view but stereotypes exist for a reason. If you are walking for wellness, mindful walking, or just generally prefer not to look at your phone for the day, you could buy a book such as Great British Walks by Countryfile.
According to the copy in the Amazon listing, Countryfile: Great British walks is Offering 100 walks spread across varying terrain, this practical guidebook features a range of outings, from gentle strolls through peaceful scenery to more challenging journeys that take you to the very heart of the Great British wilderness.
Covering regions across the country, from the Peak District and Lake District in the Heart of England to the highlands of Scotland and the rolling hills of the South East, this compact walking guide offers the tried-and tested knowledge of the Countryfile team – providing detailed descriptions of routes and levels of difficulty, as well as comprehensive Ordnance Survey mapping plus practical information to help you plan your trip.
I am a millennial so I probably won’t be purchasing a book but if I did, I would want it to be from a trusted brand like Countryfile. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases via commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Join A Walking Group
Why should you reinvent the wheel when there are so many people out walking each day already. Google and Facebook will give you access to so many different walking groups in your area, giving you the added bonus of the company of like-minded people.
I have seen and joined groups for walking for health, walking for weight loss, and walking for mental health so you may even find a group with the same specific goals as you.
Walks Near Me – Google Search
Google is the go-to resource if you need information so is planning a walking route any different. Your search results will depend on where in the world Google thinks you are. While Google itself will not provide you with your routes, you will get a range of websites, apps, walking groups, and products for you to explore yourself.
Walks Near Me – How Will You Plan Yours
Whether you are in a city or a village, in the UK or Uganda, I am confident one of the options I have looked at will work for you if you are looking for options planning your walking route. Or maybe you have another go-to option that I have not even considered.
If you appreciate the article or you have any ideas to share, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.