Walking by rail in the Chilterns

It all started around lockdown.

When I realised how important walking in the countryside was for me, I thought I would buy a book of walks in the Chilterns that I could do from train stations. There wasn’t one.

So, with time on my hands, I put together a website (www.walkbyrail.co.uk) collecting over a hundred Chilterns walks that you can do between stations.

I am passionate about promoting walking.

While the country faces a range of health crises, the health benefits of walking in the countryside are massive. Benefits range from cardio-vascular fitness (including managing heart disease and high blood pressure), to strengthening bones and muscles and improving balance and coordination. And that is not to mention better sleep, improving breathing and reducing the risks of conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

On top of that, walking is great for mental health too. For example, a recent study  showed that walking is better than antidepressants for relief of depression.

All this is especially true of walking in the countryside where the connection to nature adds an additional element to mental well-being.

To be able to achieve all this in an environmentally friendly way is even more of a bonus – and walking by rail is better than by car as you aren’t limited to ending up where you started.

My website  focuses on the Chilterns, as that is the area of the country that I know best. But it is great to see other sites, like Walking Post, offering others walks too. It would be great if we can get the message out to Londoners just how many wonderful walks are available around the city.

I am also involved in a new national initiative (www.Railwalks.co.uk) that aims to share walks using the rail network across the whole country. Exciting times.

Happy walking everyone!

by Kieran Seale

I am an independent consultant working on governance, policy and strategy. I have previously worked in roles in both the transport and health fields, including at Transport for London and the NHS. I am passionate about promoting walking for health and sustainability.

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