You might think that the start of autumn is an odd time for a walking festival, but it really isn’t! The GM walking festival is an annual (perhaps twice per year) event encouraging everyone in Greater Manchester to get outside. With the global pandemic on us, the festival is virtual this time. That’s not to say that you get to stay indoors and watch people walk on YouTube though. It simply means that we can’t have group walks. But, that shouldn’t stop you as the team at GM Walking have come up with loads of fun challenges for us to get involved with.
Sometimes with the darker mornings and evenings, it can be a bit tougher to get out walking. Having a personal challenge, some inpiration to make your walk that little bit more special and some peopel cheering you on can be just the thing you need to get you out there. The GM Walking Festival this year has come up with loads of great challenges, ideas and activities to help us out. From Green Space Activity Walks, to Walk and Talk if you’re in work. There is something for everyone. You could even swap your car for a short walk from time to time too.
I have been choosing a few to do during the two weeks (from the 12th to the 25th October 2020) to do while on my reverse commute and at the weekend.
The beginning of the week, I took my phone out with me to snap some shots of the beautiful autumnal morning. I personally find that there is something really special about the warm low sunlight of a morening in October. And despite the rain on one of the days, I still managed to shoot some lovely bits in my local park and nature reserve.
Deciding that you walk will be a photography walk helps you to look around the spaces you’re in with a different persepctive. Rather than looking for the next turning, you might spot some toadstools or a tree with some extra red leaves. I think it encourages you to look more closely and to pick out the things you find beautiful. I love sharing my photographs on my stories on Instagram, especially as I know some people can’t get out as much as they would like to right now. So to me it feels like helping as well as enjoying a walk myself.
My favourite theme at the moment has to be all the fungi out there at the moment. There are some incredibly weird and wonderful shapes and colours. Finding them can be a game in itself too. Keeping your eyes peeled to spot them cleverly disguised in their surroundings.
Green Space Activity Walk
Talking about my fungi following. This morning, I did the GM Walking Festival Green Space Activity Walk. It asks that you really pay attention to the things around you. Whether that is in the local park, or by looking at the gardens and hedges you pass on your walk to the shops or school. With a goal of 3,000 steps, it is a good starting point for people of all ages and abilities. For an added bonus, they have created some activity sheets which are fab for getting kids involved too.
As you can imagine with my ‘shroom imterest, I was all about the fungi this morning. I found so many different types and had fun crouching down and exploring them from a different angle. It made my walk take longer, but was absolutely worth it for the time with nature and some lovely pictures to share too. If you want more inspiration, then check out my post ‘Outdoor Nature Activities for Adults‘.
Share your walks and wanders
One way to really boost your spirits, and those of others too, is by sharing your walks. Whatever you get up to and wherever you walk, there are people over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram waiting to cheer you on. I love seeing where people getting involved with the GM Walking Festival get to as it helps inspire me to visit new places in the region.
— Eve Holt 😷 (@evefrancisholt) October 13, 2020
Remember when you do share to add the tag #GMWalkFest and tag @GMWalks and @GMWalkFest so they can find you and share your pictures too.
Still time to get involved
And it doesn’t have to stop on the 25th October either. Getting started now is a great way to start a new routine. One which will help you get out and about as the autumn really hits and when winter eventually rolls in too. Walking is a great way to keep healthy, meet people in your local community and give yourself a break from your own four walls. Whether you walk around the block, to your local partk or furhter afield, it all counts.
Even in the rain can be a lot of fun (when you wear the right gear and go out with fun and mud in mind!)