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. 
 
Walking is a simple and fun way to keep you active, improve overall wellbeing and can bring people together, but knowing where to start, what to bring or even wear can sometimes be daunting. Regardless of your age, background, ability or disability, we've worked with Cotswold Outdoors, our exclusive walking partner, to come up with these top tips to support and encourage you on your summer walking adventures.
 
 

Thirsty work 

It’s vital to stay hydrated in hot weather, especially when out and about in the heat, exploring. If you’re bringing a four-legged friend, be sure to bring enough water for them too, as well as something to drink from.
 
Beginner tip: 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.
 
Advanced tip: consider a hydration bladder so you can happily sip away ‘hands-free’ on your walk.
 
 
 

Clothing: the right stuff

Choosing the right clothing for a hot weather walk will make all the difference to your comfort and enjoyment. 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.
 
Beginner tip: try to avoid garments with a high percentage of cotton, as they tend to retain moisture. 
 
Advanced tip: 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. 
 
 
 
Walking at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire
Walking along the family trail at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire
Walking at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire

 

Keep pesky insects at bay 

Fine summer weather is often accompanied by increasing numbers of insects, particularly in the mornings and evenings.
 
Beginner tip: when walking at these times, keep biting insects at bay by using an insect repellent on your skin, or wearing insect repellent clothing. 
 
Advanced tip: 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! 

Choosing the right footwear can help your feet cope with the heat.
 
Beginner tip: 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.
 
Advanced tip: choose socks that draw moisture away from the skin – steer clear of thick winter walking socks. 
 

It’s all about the hat

The right hat helps protect your head from the sun and can keep you cool. There might not be much cover where you’re walking, so a hat will provide essential relief from the hot summer sun.
 
Beginner tip: finding a hat with a brim can offer some eye protection too.
 
Advanced tip: don’t forget your sunglasses and remember to take a simple First Aid kit with you, so that you’re ready for anything.
 

Inspiring the nation to explore

As our official outdoor retail partner, Cotswold Outdoor is supporting us to look after coast and countryside. Don’t forget National Trust supporters receive 15 per cent discount at Cotswold Outdoor, in store and online.*

*T&Cs: National Trust supporters receive 15 per cent discount at Cotswold Outdoor, in store and online. This is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Selected lines are exempt. Partnership discount is only available to National Trust supporters signed up to the Cotswold Outdoor Explore More benefits scheme. Further details of exempt lines and full terms are available below. Offer expires on 31.12.22 or as may be extended. 

Read the full Ts&Cs and sign up for your discount (PDF)