What’s so good about walking from your front door?

Cottage showing front door and garden - Taking a walk from your front doorWhen the country locked down in March this year life suddenly became a lot more local. Allowed out only for essential shopping and at first just one period of exercise a day, we began to greatly value the opportunity to take local walks, runs or cycles in quiet streets through cleaner air, and to hear birdsong where it had always been drowned out by traffic.

Two months on, normal everyday activities are resuming, but it’s likely that much of day-to-day life will stay local even after lockdown is lifted. Surveys show that people are planning to continue to shop locally, and because of fear of infection are likely to avoid places that become crowded.

Government Help to Walk from Home

Some travel is essential, of course, and in order to increase green transport options for those occasions, earlier this month the government announced a £2 billion package to boost walking and cycling.

The plans aim to reallocate roadspace for many more pedestrians and cyclists. They include wider pavements, protected cycle lanes, some streets becoming designated for bikes and buses only, and some side streets being closed to through traffic.

In the meantime, until those plans are implemented, there is still plenty waiting to be explored in your immediate environment, and various ways to enjoy and discover the local area.

Ideas for Local Walks from Your Front Door

Wheat field -Country walk from home - local walks

  1. Use an Ordnance Survey map to plan your route in advance. Now is the chance to actually follow that footpath sign you’ve passed so often in your car, or to seek out short cuts and connections you can take in future as a change from your habitual route.
  2. Go on a mystery tour. Follow your nose and your curiosity – ‘I’ve always wondered what’s up here’. There’s no real danger you’ll get badly lost and you can retrace your steps if you come to a dead end. Look at a map when you get home to see where you’ve been and where it fits into the rest of your area.
  3. Create your own themed local walks, your own small-scale version of The Great British Music Map. If you live in a town you could take in pub names, types of shop, styles of architecture, or different kinds of area – residential, commercial, industrial etc. In the countryside you could aim for a list of natural features – river, hill, trees, crops, or spot animals and birds.
  4. Have a Custom Map printed with your house at the centre. We had a backlog of Custom Maps to deal with when we reopened Dennis Maps and restarted printing. Some were of the holiday destinations people were longing to visit, but plenty more were of the area around our customers’ houses.

There are many options to personalise your map, from the scale and location, to the title, subtitle and cover image. You can choose a folded map to take out on your local walk, or a flat one for your wall. All the information you need is on our Custom Maps page.

Terrace houses showing front doors - walk from home

  1. Live in London? London became the world’s first National Park City in 2019, and its living landscape is now being managed for a better quality of life. The London National Park City map focuses on the green and blue (rivers, canals, ponds etc) spaces of the city. Similar green and blue maps are also available for Newcastle and Amsterdam, as is a detailed map of the Greenwich area.

Going on a walk from home helps your state of mind as well as your physical fitness. Worries about lockdown and life afterwards can become overwhelming when you’re in the same space day after day. Getting out and about on local walks will bring things effortlessly back into perspective, and provide many little pleasures for the next phase of the fight against the virus.


You may also be interested in:

Map Reading for Beginners

Country walks and the Countryside Code

Ordnance Survey Map Symbols

Image credits

Banner – photo by Jake Gard on Unsplash

House with single front door – photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Wheat field with tree – photo by John Such on Unsplash

Front doors in terrace  – photo by Barthelemy de Mazenod on Unsplash

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