Horsham District Council offers over 200 free guided walks across the District throughout the year, from long trails to local guided walks.
A new website was launched in 2011 which provided information on those walks, countryside and green spaces which are accessible to those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies covering the South West and South East Regions. www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk
Guided Health Walks
Welcome to our walks page. All the walks listed here are free.
The volunteer walk leaders have worked very hard to find and lead walks in our beautiful district, for you. If you are at all concerned as to the suitability of the walk for you, please do ring the walk leader. We are very happy to discuss any worries you may have, as we would rather sort them out before you join a walk.
Please be aware that some walks are not suitable for dogs, as there may be livestock in fields that public footpaths use.
If you are new to our walks, please do choose your first walk carefully. We would like you to enjoy your experience, so if you have any queries at all please do not hesitate to contact the walk leader.
Our new programme is now available online. There are lots of new walks for your enjoyment and old favourites too. Please do come along and join us.
The health walks will continue through the wintry weather, but please be aware that the Walk Leader may cancel the walk if they consider that the conditions are too hazardous. Each Walk Leader has the prerogative to make the decision to walk or not. If you would like to be sure that the walk is going ahead, please telephone the relevant walk leader. Please also check weather forecasts and road conditions, please make sure it is safe to travel, before travelling to the start of a walk.
What are Health Walks?
Walking is a great form of exercise. It can be incorporated easily into everyday life, regardless of how fit or how old you are. Walking is especially important for those with specific health problems or with very limited fitness. It can also play a major role in helping maintain a good level of fitness and keeping illness at bay. What's more, it's free.
Walking can form part of a healthy lifestyle, and for advice on other areas of your health and wellbeing please contact the Horsham District Wellbeing hub on 01403 215111 or visit www.horshamdistrictwellbeing.org.uk
The main benefits of walking regularly are as follows:
- Walking can prevent and manage heart disease
- Regular walking can help reduce weight, prevent weight gain, strengthen bones and reduce osteoporosis.
- Regular walking can improve balance, co-ordination and flexibility, which helps to prevent falls.
- Exercise can help relieve anxiety and depression.
- Walking in a group can be both relaxing and sociable. You can make new friends and get that feel good factor. Walking is good for the soul (or should that be sole?).
Come and join us
Our programme of guided walks enables to you to take part in regular walks in a relaxed, friendly environment and, at the same time, explore the lovely towns, villages and countryside throughout Horsham district. All walks publicised are led by trained volunteers - all you have to do is turn up and enjoy yourself.
We offer three different Levels of difficulty within the walks programme – for your first walk, choose the Level most appropriate to your current level of fitness:
- Level 1 walks – Suitable for new walkers, those recovering from illness, accident or operation and walkers with limited stamina. No stiles on these walks.
- Level 2 walks – Moderate walking speed, often stiles and inclines on the route.
- Level 3 walks – Fast steady pace. The route could involve steep inclines, stiles and rutted terrain.
Outdoor Health Questionnaire
We ask every walker to fill in a brief Outdoor Health Questionnaire before they start walking with us. This information that you give us is treated with confidence. However, if you are walking with a leader for the first time, you should disclose information about any condition, which may endanger yourself or others.
You can download the form for the health questionnaire at the bottom of this page. Please bring it along completed to your first walk, or arrive at the walk in time to compete a form from the leader.
A printed version of the programme is available at a cost of £6 per year for four three-monthly booklets, or it can be downloaded from the top of this page.
If you would like to be put on our mailing list, please send a cheque payable to Horsham District Council to:
Health Walks Co-ordinator, Horsham District Council, Leisure Services, North Point, North Street, Horsham RH12 1RL
Guidelines for dog owners
Dogs are welcome on the majority of our walks. However, the walk leader (who is responsible for the safety of the walkers) may offer advice, or request the removal of the dog form the walk if it is causing a nuisance. Please respect the views of our unpaid leaders and those of other walkers.
Sometimes it is not appropriate to take your dog on certain walks. It is clearly marked in the programme which walks welcome dogs. To ensure that our walks are enjoyed by walkers, dog owners and dogs alike we ask you to take a minute to read these simple guidelines.
- Dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs. Therefore, please ensure that your dog is under close control when near livestock and amongst a group of walkers.
- If conditions are suitable for dogs to be off the lead please ensure that they remain close to you and do not run back and forth through a line of walkers.
- Please ensure that your dog does not cause a nuisance at the start or end of the walk.
- Dogs need water as well as humans when out for a walk. Don't forget to provide for them, too.
- Please clean up after your dog.
Your Views Count
If you need any further information or have any comments, suggestions, or ideas on how we can improve our Healthy Walks programme in the Horsham District please contact the Health Walks Co-ordinator on Tel: 01403 215269 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org