Walking for health

Walking is one of the most natural and effective forms of exercise. Take a look at the range of benefits you can enjoy from a simple stroll along your local canal.

Walking with a dog Walking with a dog
"Walking will increase your muscle tone, boost metabolism, ease stress, raise energy levels and improve sleep, which combined can also help you lose weight.” The NHS

Walking along our canals and rivers

Plenty of evidence suggests that simply being near to water makes people more content and relaxed, so what better place to exercise than your local canal? Our waterways offer traffic-free, level walking routes through some of our busiest towns and cities. 

Over half the UK population lives within five miles of a canal or river, so it couldn't be easier to take to the towpaths and enjoy the health benefits we've made freely available. Could you swap your daily commute for a weekly walk to work along the towpath? How about planning a lunchtime stroll to blow away the cobwebs before your afternoon of meetings?

Take a look at our waterways map to discover your nearest towpath.

Step into a whole new world

When you step off the pavement and onto the towpath, you step into a whole new world. It's the perfect place to take a deep breath, shrug off the stresses of the day and enjoy a rejuvenating walk.

Not only is towpath walking a great way to de-stress. You'll also be burning off calories. Experts say just 30 minutes a day is enough to help you feel fitter.  

Canal walks on prescription

Dr Philippa Moreton actively prescribes a waterside walk to lower blood pressure and improve wellbeing. She even donated money to the Trust to help protect the local canal for her patients.

With that kind of support we can keep improving our canals and rivers, creating more free and open spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Accessible towpaths

We want as many people as possible to experience the benefits of spending time by the water, so we’ve been gathering information on our towpaths and their access points to make it that bit easier for everyone to discover their local waterway.

Explore our accessibility map

Last date edited: 8 June 2018