This year's National Walking Month was a really important moment for walking as we showcased the walkability of our UK towns and cities. Our Campaigns and Engagement Manager, Ruth Billingham, explains.


Ruth Billingham
Busy street of walkers

We set out the theme for National Walking Month right from the start, with our Walking Cities poll rating the UK's largest cities for walking.

While Edinburgh, Sheffield and London scored best, the poll highlighted an appetite for improvements in every city.

And thousands of people joined the celebration and took to their streets – to get more active and to tell us about the walkability of their area.

Well over 2,000 of you reported back to us on your everyday walk through our Rate Your Walk tool – for leisure, to work, to the shops or to school.

The tool’s results reflected our poll's - across the board it seems we have work to do! The majority of our walks just really aren’t up to scratch...


The overall average


Walk to School



Walk for Leisure



Walk to the shops



Walk to Work



Walk for Exercise




From #RateYourWalk to #WalkingCities

Interestingly those walks rated where the primary purpose was leisure scored higher at 3.9, whereas the walk to school only came in at 3.3 and walks to the shops at 3.2.

To get more of us walking for our daily journeys, we really need to make our streets fitter for walking, making them as enjoyable, easy and safe as possible.


And that means striving to make the routes we must walk along - to work, school and the shops - as pleasant and enjoyable as those we choose to for leisure.

That’s how we will create #WalkingCities.


Our Walking Cities campaign is calling on the newly elected metro mayors and councillors to move away from designing our streets around cars rather than people – our blueprint for change and seven principles demonstrate how we can make than happen.

And of course we’ll be calling on the new government to ensure that there is sufficient investment to make walking safer and easier.

Here's what you can do now...

Support our #WalkingCities campaign

Walking Cities

Help pedestrianise Oxford Street

Act now

More National Walking Month highlights

Carol Vorderman


Our partner Westfield Health launched its Walking Lunch campaign fronted by Carol Vorderman.



Hundreds of people explored their cities thanks to our partner Crumbs City Trails.

Walk to school


We launched a school route audit toolkit in Wales to make walks to school safer and easier.

Happy shoes


Walk to School Week saw thousands of children take to their feet and 300 schools took part in our Happy Shoesday.