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How to find and join a walking group in your area

  • Walking is one of the simplest and most enjoyable ways to stay fit and healthy. It can also be a great way to meet new people and explore a variety of places. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced walker, joining a walking club or group can offer a wide range of benefits.

    In this article, we will show you how to find a walking group in your area, discover why it’s such a great activity for your health and wellbeing, and identify some of the fantastic walking groups in and around Dorset.

    How to find a walking group in my area

    There are a few different ways to find a walking group in your local area. Here are three of the most common ones:

    Search online for walking groups and clubs

    There are lots of resources online to help you find local walking groups, clubs or events near you. Our article Walking Routes and Groups features a wealth of information about walking clubs in Dorset, or you can use our Activity Finder to discover groups in your local vicinity. Websites like Ramblers.org.uk, Disabledramblers.co.uk and Meetup.com are also a great way to connect with local community walking groups.

    Use social media to find walking groups

    Social media sites can help you connect with people who share similar interests, such as walking, hiking or rambling.

    Platforms like Facebook and Nextdoor provide location-based search options, enabling users to find nearby walking groups tailored to their preferences, whether it's leisurely strolls or more challenging hikes. These sites also offer interactive features such as event scheduling, group chats and photo sharing, creating a sense of camaraderie and enhancing the overall social experience.

    Contact your local council or library

    You can contact your local council or library to find out if they run any walking schemes or programmes in your area. You may be able to join free or low-cost walks led by trained volunteers or staff. Plus, you could get access to helpful info and resources on local walking routes and paths in your area.

    How to find someone to go walking with

    If you can’t find a suitable group nearby, why not start up your own walking group with friends, neighbours or colleagues? You may already know someone who enjoys going for walks or wants to start walking on a regular basis.

    Consider joining the LiveWell Dorset Facebook page and promote your walking group ideas to help build interest and attract more walkers. Make sure you include details such as the types of walks you do (long hikes, coastal, Nordic, etc.) and post lots of pictures of your group out and about.

    Alternatively, there are a number of walking buddy groups on Facebook you could join.

    Benefits of joining a walking group in your area

    There are many reasons why you may want to join a walking group. Here are some of the main benefits:

    1. Improved physical health: Walking regularly with a group can improve heart and lung health, strengthen muscles and bones, prevent arthritis-related joint pain and help to maintain a healthy weight.
    2. Mental wellbeing: Even a 10 minute brisk walk can boost mood, mental alertness and energy, thanks to the combination of physical activity, social interaction and exposure to nature.
    3. Social connections: Joining a local walking group helps you meet new people, build friendships and enjoy a sense of community and camaraderie.
    4. Safety and support: Walking with others creates a safer environment, where group members can provide encouragement and motivation to one another to reach personal goals.
    5. Local exploration: Discovering new walking routes, parks and trails in your area enriches your appreciation for your community and promotes a sense of belonging.

      Walking groups in Dorset

      Here in Dorset, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning scenery and breath-taking landscapes for walkers to enjoy. Whether you prefer coastal walks, countryside rambles or a stroll that concludes with a trip to a pub or tearoom, you will find something to suit your taste in our beautiful county!

      Here is a small sample of some of the walking groups in Dorset you can join:

      • Dorset Ramblers: This is the local branch of Ramblers.org.uk, covering the whole of Dorset. The group organises over 300 walks a year for all levels of walkers, ranging from 3 to 20 miles. They also offer social events, holidays and campaigns for walkers’ rights.
      • Nordic Walking Fit: This is a group that specialises in Nordic walking, which is a form of walking that uses poles to enhance your fitness and posture. They offer daily walks for all abilities and ages in various locations across Dorset.
      • Dorset Young Walkers: A club aimed at people in their 20s and 30s who enjoy walking and socialising with other young people. They organise walks every weekend in different parts of Dorset, as well as pub nights, meals out and trips away.
      • Bournemouth and Poole Rambling Club: Aimed at all ages, this welcoming club arranges scenic rambles throughout the year in the countryside and along the coast.
      • Wareham Walkers: Originally set up as part of an initiative by the British Heart Foundation to promote gentle exercise, Wareham Walkers offers engaging walks for older individuals in and around Wareham.

        Final thoughts

        We hope this article has given you some useful information on the benefits of walking, along with how to find and join a walking group in your area.

        Register with us today to find out how our friendly team of Wellness advisors and coaches can help you achieve your fitness goals. LiveWell Dorset is here to support anyone who wants to become more active – whether that’s through walking, working out or as-yet-undecided!


        We love seeing photos of your walks around Dorset, so don’t forget to tag us when you’re out and about! We will share our favourite pictures across social media, and on the OurLiveWell Facebook group!


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