“Cardiovascular disease is one of the major causes of death in under 75s in England.” – Wiltshire JSA
A history walk can bring the past to life, telling the story of a community and the people who have lived there over the centuries. Walking regularly is an excellent way to look after your heart and stay fit and active into older age. Combining history, walking and healthy living, what is not to love about local history walks?
In a nutshell:
A local history walk is produced by a community. Usually, this involves researching the history of a place, its significant events and its historic buildings. Volunteer researchers, use existing archives but also collect photos and materials from residents and plot these on a map, before linking this up with a circular walk. These walks can be available to download and print from the internet, to buy in the village shop or to use in special mobile app. History walks are cheap to create and once they exist they exist forever.
What makes this project special:
When a village comes together to create a history walk it is really great because it helps record and document local history in a way that makes it available for everyone. It helps communities capture historical documents and photographs that may exist in attics and bottom drawers, taking these and putting them online for ever. Producing a local history walk brings people together and creates a healthy activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. If many villages and towns create history walks then soon there will be a whole network of walks available across Wiltshire. This will encourage more visitors and tourists boosting local trade for local shops, restaurants, pubs, bed and breakfast and hotels. It will also get more people out into the countryside, enjoying positive healthy activity.
Local history walks provide gentle, low-impact exercise that’s easy, free and available to everyone – here’s why walking rocks:
- History walks strengthen your heart and lower your risk of disease.
- History walks help you lose weight and get fit.
- History walks can help prevent dementia.
- History walks tone up your legs, bums and tums.
- History walks can boost vitamin D and make you feel more relaxed.
- History walks are great for everyone, families, young and old.
- History walks can boost your energy levels.
- History walks help us record local history and tell the story of our communities.
- History walks will increase your appreciation of where you live.
- History walks can bring in tourists and visitors.
Replicate in your community:
- Step by step guide on writing your history walk – how to write you village history walk
- Wiltshire footpath group toolkit – everything a community needs to look after local footpaths
- Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre | local studies | Wiltshire buildings record – help, advice and source material
- The Milford Street Bridge Project – award winning local history project in Salisbury
- Mediaeval Devizes Walk
- Salisbury Walks
- Richard Jefferies Swindon Walk
- Warminster walks
- GPS Walks in Wiltshire