We’ve heard of yoga retreats and wellbeing spas, but have you ever thought about how a walking holiday might provide the perfect restorative opportunity for your mental health?

Walking holidays are the pinnacle of escapism. Not only are you placing yourself in some of the most secluded and untouched corners of the country, but with each step you take, you play an active part in moving yourself that little bit further into the peaceful unknown and away from the rush of daily life.

The impact this can have on our mind is wonderful. The further you walk, the fewer people you see, the more the space opens up around you, and the more freedom you have both physically and mentally.

With nothing but nature for company, it is the perfect environment to relax and reflect, or for those practicing mindfulness, to simply get lost in the act of putting one foot in front of the other.

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The restorative benefits of walking do not end here though, for there are two other elements known to have a positive impact on our minds. The first is nature and the second is, of course, exercise.

Simply being in the outdoors and breathing fresh air can be extremely beneficial, but when you are doing this every day and engaging each of your senses – feeling the wind on your skin, smelling the local fauna, listening to the seasonal bird-song and watching the scenery change around you – the effects can be transformative.

Add to this the ‘feel-good’ endorphins released by exercising and we have for ourselves the perfect equation. Many doctors have recommended light exercise to those experiencing depression, and with good reason. Exercise causes our body to releases chemical endorphins, and this in turn has been proven to help reduce anxiety and stress and improve our overall wellbeing.

If you think that a walking holiday may be what you are looking for, we have a range of quieter ‘hidden-gems’, perfect for those seeking a bit of escapism. Our recommendations are included here.

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