Monday, 14 January 2013

Walking to Health

“If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.”

Admittedly, the above quote by Charles Dickens might be a touch drastic, but he’s not alone in praising the merits of walking. In today’s health conscious age, the positive effects of walking are widely acknowledged. From reducing stress levels and losing weight to reducing blood pressure and reducing the risk of illness, the benefits of walking are there for all to see.

Lyme Park's Walk to Health group look out towards the Pennines
Although Mr Dickens might prefer to walk “far and fast”, Lyme Park’s “Walking to Health” programme has been developed with the intention of encouraging people of all ages to take gentle exercise to keep active and improve their health.
A small group of Lyme Park volunteers have been trained by Age Concern to lead the guided walks.

Rainy but good views of the deer

On the day
All walks commence at 10.30am and start and end in the main car park. They are led by a trained walk leader who is assisted by at least one back up.

Pre-walk briefing
Throughout the walk there will be plenty of rest stops, during which Lyme Park volunteers take the opportunity to inform and explain Lyme’s landmarks and aspects of the history of the park. The lengths of the walks vary between 1.5 and 3.8 miles and are set at a pace which keeps the group together.
A red deer stag looks after his harem
What to bring
The walks are held in all weathers and walkers are advised to wear suitable footwear and outdoor clothing. 

A review of previous walks by Ken Jones
The October walks are always well attended since it is an opportunity to view the Red deer rut up close and personal. The walk also includes a visit to the Kennels where the famous Lyme Mastiffs were once housed.
Post walk refreshments in the Timber Yard Cafe
The walkers in December were able to enter the Cage on a guided tour before returning to the Timber Yard Café via the main car park for mince pies and mulled wine. A great finish to the end of 2012!

So if you fancy stretching your legs, exploring Lyme park, and meeting like-minded people, see if you can make it to any of the walks in the 2013 programme:

Tues 15th JAN

Paddock Cottage - Shorter walk through Knightslow Wood up to Paddock Cottage, passing Darcy’s Pond (1.6 miles)
Thurs 21st FEB

Historic Drive - Longer walk, over varied terrain, including original drive to House, through Knightslow Wood, via Paddock Cottage (3.8 miles)
Tues 19th MAR

Reservoir Walk - Walking up to Bollinghurst Reservoir, past Red Deer reserve, returning via Hawthorn drive (3.6 miles)
Thurs 18th APRIL

Home Farm Walk – Walking to Platt Wood, via North Park & Elmerhurst Wood (2.8 miles)
Tues 21st MAY

Elmerhurst Wood - Gentle walk past the Cage into the wood to hear Spring Birdsong ( 2.4 miles)
Thurs 20th JUNE

Drinkwater Meadow Gentle walk via The Knott and Darcy’s Pond (1.6 miles) miles
Tues 16th JULY

Cage, Lantern & Garden walk - Good views down to the House, via Fallow Deer Sanctuary, ending with a visit to garden (3 miles)


Tues 17th SEPT

Fallow Deer Walk - A short Autumn walk taking in the Fallow Deer Sanctuary (1.5 miles)
Thurs 15th OCT

Red Deer Rut walk (1) - Walk includes a visit to the Old Kennels, moving on to the Red Deer Reserve (2.5 miles)

Thurs 17th OCT
Red Deer Rut walk (2) - Walk includes a visit to the Old Kennels, moving on to the Red Deer Reserve (2.5 miles)

Tues 19th NOV

Canal & Woodland walk - Walk moves out of Lyme Park to Macclesfield Canal, then back again via Pursefield Wood (3 miles)
Thurs 19th DEC

The Cage - This gentle Xmas walk includes entry into the Cage, originally an Elizabethan hunting lodge. Finishing with Mulled wine and mince pies in the Timber yard (2 miles)

 A printed copy of the programme of walks can be obtained from the Information Office in the main car park.

A big thanks to Ken for supplying the information for this blog article, and to all of Lyme’s volunteers involved with the fantastic Walk to Health programme.

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