Regular walking has numerous health benefits, plus groups like Hants 40+ have a busy and active social life and they are a good way to meet new and like-minded people in their 40s and 50s. You can escape the bustle of urban life, and discover amazing landscapes and previously hidden places that you never even knew existed. Our members often find that regular walking with us can improve their running, cycling or other physical activities.

We have regular trips away to exciting places all over Britain and occasionally beyond. From a week's hill walking in Scotland, The Lake District or Ireland to weekends in The Cotswolds or Bank Holiday camping trips in Cornwall, there are many varied holidays throughout the year. 2013 Highlights include spectacular weeks away in the Yorkshire Dales and on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, weekends in Exmoor and Sussex plus a camping weekend in The New Forest hosting several other 40+ groups from around the country.

The Hampshire 40+ Walking Group is run entirely by volunteers, including all walk and event leaders. We always need new walk leaders to help out, and every year we have committee posts to fill.

Richard Boardman – Chairman The Chairman’s responsibility is to ensure that the group continues to grow and prosper through responding to the needs of the current membership whilst still being an attractive and welcoming prospect to new members. Key functions include co-ordinating the other committee members and chairing committee meetings, ensuring that the group is run following Ramblers policy and in an open, efficient way that serves members’ interests well. Contact from ordinary members is always welcome if they have any suggestions or concerns about group matters, and updates on progress with these will be provided.

Alice Honan - Member Responsible for the group’s membership list, receiving monthly reports from RA Central Office and keeping it updated. Other responsibilities include dealing with membership enquiries from prospective members, and ensuring that they are linked in to the email list and group database. Alice will also sends reminder emails to members who have lapsed encouraging renewal, and provides a brief on current membership status at committee meetings.

Simon Gale – Treasurer Keeps track of money going in and out of group funds, and ensures solvency – particularly important (and challenging) when planning group events. The role is a vital function in the running of the group.

Vivienne Scales – Social Secretary Oversees the social aspect of the group, for many perhaps its most important part! She ensures that there are a wide variety of events throughout the year, encouraging others to put on events and avoiding date clashes wherever possible. She will organise the group Christmas Party and play a major role in any other big group events. If you are interested in organising a social please speak to Viv, who will give you any advice that you may need.

Terry Jones – Trips Away Co-ordinator Responsible for co-ordinating any trips away planned by members, ensuring a reasonably even spread throughout the year and preventing any clashes. Terry will offer any advice and assistance required for trip planning, monitoring progress and reporting on this to the committee.

Lorraine Jobin – Walks Planning Approves walks submitted by leaders, making sure that these are properly spread out both geographically and in terms of distance, grade difficulty and content. Please speak to Lorraine if you need any help in planning or submitting a walk.

Chris Kelsall – Technology & Publicity Chris is responsible for all technology-related matters in the group, particularly in respect of the group’s website and database. The current H40+ website was introduced in January 2014 and was created by Andy Skraga, along with the associated re-branding and redesign.

It’s been great to see not only new walk leaders coming to the fore, but also different walks from normal. Particularly welcome have been the shorter walks, there has been some criticism in the past that we haven’t catered very well to newer members so these should go some way to addressing that. As always, proposals for walks can be submitted any time (although we would recommend at least a couple of weeks before the walk itself) via the members-only area. To submit your walk/event details, click on ‘Add an Event’ icon on the left hand side. If you submit a walk fairly late it is usually best to send a message out on the 40+ forum too, as people might not look at the programme in time to see it.

Reasons why I love walking in London

Walking is one of the easiest and entertaining ways of exploring and enjoying our surroundings and also get great energy from people, fantastic sceneries and sights. Everyone should seek some open-air activities and take a break from enclosed spaces that constrict us every day, whether it’s our working place, our transportation mean or simply our home.

There are multiple routes you can appreciate in London. From strolling to South Bank to take in the amazing view of the architecture beauty combined with the calming effect of the Thames passing under the Tower Bridge, to visiting the famous clock Big Ben or the Westminster Abbey, to watching the guards changing at the Buckingham Palace, or to enjoy a morning run in the green parks across the capital city gives you exquisite experiences you’ll never forget.

Entering one of the parks will make you relish and feel like you are introduced to an area where people let go and appreciate things like the green grass they have a picnic on, the music the trees leaves make through the wind when they sit on a bench reading their favorite book, the shining sun warming their faces on a summer day, or the lakes on which they can go boating. You will get to see delighted and cheerful children on their playgrounds, teenagers singing and dancing to their favorite band concert, couples such as a gentleman strolling and holding hands with his escort Paris, people watching an open-air theatre performance, animal owners strolling their pet, families on a Saturday picnic or active crowds who pursue different sport activities such as cycling, skating, football, golf, rugby, cricket in designated areas.

Even if you choose one of London’s most famous walks, whether it is Hyde Park, Modern Park, St. James or Hampstead Heath you will most definitely love to have a look and get to know the story of the buildings and monuments such as The Achilles statue, The Serpentine Bridge or Diana Memorial Fountain, gaze at the panorama across the city you get to experience from the highest places in the Hampstead Heath, smell the marvelous rose gardens in Hyde Park, chat with your friend while getting some fresh air, exercise surrounded by nature, let yourself become captivated by the breathtaking park’s wildness inside London, take your time to relax at one of the many Cafés and watch and observe people feeling free or just let your mind wander.

Walking will always give you great opportunities to take life at your own pace, to be able to smile and savor everything you pass by on your journey, to get inspiration and ideas, to stop and take a look around you and notice little things that you probably won’t when you are too busy driving your car. London is a great place to take a walk and experience all these things while taking care of your health at the same time and you will never get tired of it because you will always find new areas to explore.


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