Walking for Wellbeing

Walking at Garelochhead

The Walking for Wellbeing initiative started in Helensburgh in February 2005 with the formation of an informal weekly walking group to encourage regular walking as healthy exercise.

Walks are held every Tuesday morning leaving from Victoria Halls at 1030 and numbers have varied each week from as few as 6 to a very busy 22. Attendance seems to depend on the weather but it is surprising how relatively few walks have been conducted in the rain. The walks usually last between 1 and 1.5 hours.

People participating in the walks cover all age groups and include a wide range of fitness levels. Those recovering from or coping with an illness or condition can attended as can those whose main wish is to lose a little bit of weight through joining in regular gentle exercise.

The overall benefits of physical activity for older people are well established and those who are regularly active are more likely to remain independent for longer. Thus a good number of regular walkers are those of mature years who enjoy walking in company and having a chat as they go along.

The walks are tailored to suit those attending on the day in terms of the length of the walk and whether or not inclines can be tackled. The Promenade and the streets of the lower town provide level walks on good surfaces. Those who feel able to tackle inclines and/or uneven paths can visit a number of paths in the Helensburgh Green Belt including local woodlands such as Duchess Woods, Blackhill Plantation, Garrawy Glen and the Drumfork Wood. The Duchess Woods in particular has a number of good quality paths and is benefiting from being a Local Nature Reserve thanks to the initiatives of Lower Clyde Greenspace, the Helensburgh Green Belt Group and other enthusiasts. Some walkers have even tackled the Highlandman’s Road from Rhu to Helensburgh.

Walking at the skating pond

Also with help of the Lions Club mini bus (donation of £1 or 50p for cost of diesel) occasional trips go to Garelochhead, Glen Fruin and Loch Lomondside where a variety of different walks are conducted. The wildlife in these places adds to the enjoyment and birds such as Grey Herons, Buzzards and Pheasants are seen regularly.

Walks continue throughout the winter with only a short two week break over the Christmas and New Year period.

Anyone interested in participating in these walks should just arrive at the Victoria Halls at 1015 on Tuesdays with solid footwear and clothes suitable for the weather.

Everyone will be made most welcome and can attend as often or as little as they wish. There are minimal costs involved ie if you wish to have a cup of tea/coffee at the end or if the walk involves the mini bus (donation of £1 or 50p for cost of diesel).

Everyone is welcome so come along any Tuesday morning at 1030 and give it a try.