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Best foot forward for winter walking – free guided walks 17th-25th February

From parks and parakeets to Pokémon and potatoes, there’s something for everyone during Greater Manchester Walking Week.

From 17th-25th February, Winter Walking Week will offer more than 100 free guided walks in Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

Coordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), with support from local walking groups and charities, the nine-day event aims to showcase all the region has to offer on foot.

The free guided walks range from easy to challenging, with urban, countryside and educational treks which the organisers say will cater for all interests, ages and abilities.

Greater Manchester Walking Week coincides with most schools’ half-term break and activities to appeal to young walkers include discovering the birds and wildlife of Fletcher Moss Park or finding out what Pokémon, potatoes and Alexandra Park have in common.

Participants are also encouraged to share their walking experiences via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the #TfGMWalking hashtag.

Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, said: “There are a wide variety of fantastic, free events to get involved with during Winter Walking Week.

“I’d encourage people to lace up their walking boots and explore some of the region’s stunning scenery and interesting past.

“If you’re unable to make a led walk, then why not boost your daily footstep count elsewhere, perhaps by taking a walk at lunchtime, between classes or lectures, or even making part or all of your commute on two feet?

“Walking briskly for 20 minutes a day can have many health benefits and if we start to switch short car journeys for walking we can help to cut congestion and improve the air we breathe.

“I hope that, by taking part, people will be inspired to continue walking regularly after the event has ended.”

The full Winter Walking Week schedule is available on  Printed brochures can be found at libraries, leisure centres, GP surgeries and tourist information centres across Greater Manchester.

Funded by the Department of Transport, Greater Manchester Walking Week and annual Walking Festival is part of TfGM’s Active Travel programme, encouraging people to walk and cycle more as part of their daily routine.

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