Top tips for summer walking

Walkers resting as they climb Pen yr Ole Wen, Carneddau and Glyderau, Gwynedd.

With better weather, longer evenings, the beauty of wildlife in bloom and awe-inspiring sunsets, summer is a glorious time for walking. Whether you’re a hardcore hiker, relaxed rambler or more of a Sunday stroller, we have over 800 walking trails to choose from at our special places, which will deepen your love of the great outdoors and bring you closer to nature.

Acres of ancient woodland, dramatic clifftops and sweeping parklands will take your breath away, while landscaped gardens brimming with history and intriguing stories will set your imagination running wild. 
 
To make sure your summer walking adventures go smoothly, we’ve worked with Cotswold Outdoor, our official outdoor retailer, to come up with these top tips.
 
 

Thirsty work 

It’s vital to stay hydrated in hot weather, especially when out and about in the heat, exploring. Drink small amounts frequently and don’t leave it until you’re really thirsty to have a drink; by then you may already be dehydrated. 
 
Make sure your water bottle is easily accessible and consider a hydration bladder so you can happily sip away ‘hands-free’ on your walk.
 
If you’re bringing a four-legged friend, be sure to bring enough water for them too, as well as something to drink from.
 
 

Clothing: the right stuff

Choosing the right clothing for a hot weather walk will make all the difference to your comfort and enjoyment. Wear clothing that has a UV protection rating and will wick sweat away from the surface of your skin. This will help moderate your body temperature, while drying quickly. Try to avoid garments with a high percentage of cotton, as they tend to retain moisture. 
 
If you’re worried about the heat, avoid walking at the hottest time of the day and/or head down to the sea where the air is cooler.
 
Light-weight clothes and a hat to protect your head can make all the difference when you’re walking in the summer
Wallking around the countryside at Kingston Lacy

 

Keep pesky insects at bay 

Fine summer weather is often accompanied by increasing numbers of insects, particularly in the mornings and evenings. When walking at these times, keep biting insects at bay by using an insect repellent on your skin, or wearing insect repellant clothing. 
 
Don’t wait until you’ve been bitten to apply repellent, put it on before you head out for the day to make sure you’re protected. Make sure you reapply if you’re sweating to keep yourself protected.
 
 

No sweat! 

To help your feet cope with the heat, choose socks that draw moisture away from the skin – steer clear of thick winter walking socks. Avoid cotton socks at all costs; they quickly become soaked and cause damp feet to blister. 
 
Walking sandals are a good summer option, but remember to match your choice of footwear to the terrain you’ll be walking.
 
 

It’s all about the hat

The right hat helps protect your head from the sun, keeps you cool and offers some eye protection too if it has a brim. There might not be much cover where you’re walking, so a hat will provide essential relief from the hot summer sun. 
 
Don’t forget your sunglasses and remember to take a simple First Aid kit with you, so that you’re ready for anything.
 

See what the experts say

Visit Cotswold Outdoor for more hints, tips and advice for all your outdoor adventures. Don’t forget you’ll also enjoy 15% off everything with your National Trust membership*. So all you need to do is gather everyone together and get ready for your next adventure.
 
*This is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Selected lines are exempt. This offer is redeemable on production of your National Trust membership card in store or email partners@cotswoldoutdoor.com with your National Trust membership number to receive a discount code to use online. Offer expires 31.12.17.