Hit the Ground Walking : 13 of the World’s Most Enjoyable Walks

In celebration of the UK's National Walking Day on April 3, 2019, an event which can be enjoyed in cityscapes or natural surroundings around the world, check out these 13 scenic and culturally rich rambling experiences

Journey to the stunning wild terrain of Canada’s Manitoba, the sacred landscapes of Sri Lanka, the quaint picturesque neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, and the free walking tours of iconic New York City.

  1. HIT THE HIKING TRAILS OF CANADA’S MANITOBA
  2. EXPLORE EIN KAREM, JERUSALEM’S RURAL NEIGHBOURHOOD GEM
  3. OZO KANDY’S DO IT YOURSELF WALKING TOURS IN SRI LANKA
  4. WALK THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF NASHVILLE, TENNESSE
  5. CHILE’S BEST KEPT SECRETS FOR WALKERS
  6. LIP-SMACKING FOODIE TOURS OF LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
  7. RENO WINE WALKS OF NEVADA
  8. SNOWSHOEING ADVENTURE TRAILS IN QUÉBEC, CANADA
  9. GENERATOR’S FREE QUIRKY WALKING TOURS OF DUBLIN, IRELAND
  10. MY MORIS WALKING TOURS IN MAURITIUS
  11. ABSORB ART AND CULTURE IN VIENNA’S WALKABLE DISTRICTS
  12. SCOUR SCOTTSDALE’S SONORAN DESERT
  13. EXPLORE NEW YORK CITY’S QUIRKY FREE WALKING TOURS

Hit the hiking trails of Canada’s Manitoba  

With its wild grass prairie, rolling forested hills, undulating river valleys, vast wetlands and the view-encompassing escarpment, the Canadian province of Manitoba is perfect for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts. Located approximately 140 miles north of Manitoba’s capital Winnipeg, Riding Mountain National Park is an island of wilderness surrounded by a sea of farmland, boasting 1,158 square miles of rugged nature and beautiful walking trails just waiting to be explored. Wildlife is abundant in Riding Mountain, species include Black bear, elk, moose, and lynx, as well as bison. With more than 250 miles of trails, Riding Mountain offers a variety of walking and hiking opportunities for all abilities. Travellers can choose a short walk on one of the self-guided trails, a longer day hike into Grey Owl’s cabin or around Moon Lake or take a multi-day trip into the backcountry. An extensive trail system offers scenic routes for hiking, biking, horseback riding or cross-country skiing and birding. One visit and visitors quickly realise why it’s considered the jewel of the province.

Explore Ein Karem, Jerusalem’s rural neighbourhood gem

Situated about a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem’s bustling city centre, the neighbourhood of Ein Karem is a peaceful village retreat. Alive with cobbled floral streets, monasteries, boutique restaurants and significant religious landmarks such as The Church of St. John the Baptist (believed to be John’s birthplace), Ein Karem has something to offer anyone eager to explore a neighbourhood by foot. Translated into “spring of the vineyard,” Ein Karem makes for the perfect scenic stroll and draws walkers from all over the world. With self-guided walking tours in place, the village offers an easy route to follow through the winding picturesque streets and courtyards. Walkers will notice that modern developments have not yet reached this scenic neighbourhood, and it remains a pastoral village, cut off from the contemporary bustle of the city.

OZO Kandy’s do it yourself walking tours in Sri Lanka

Surrounded by paddy fields, meandering rivers and tea plantations, Kandy is one of the most popular walking destinations in Sri Lanka. From OZO Kandy, visitors can stroll around beautiful Bogambara Lake, also known as Kandy Lake and be greeted by Sri Dalada Maligawa, The Temple of the Sacred Tooth. This historical and spiritual landmark houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Following on with the trail, walkers can fully immerse themselves in nature by continuing through the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, home to more than 460 species of plants and wildlife, such as porcupines, toque monkeys and fascinating birds. After a day exploring this UNESCO World Heritage City, visitors can return safe in the knowledge of a restful night at OZO Kandy, designed to provide guests with the perfect night’s sleep to refresh for the next day of adventure.

Walk the sights and sounds of Nashville, Tennessee

For country-music fans and budding songwriters, a trip to Nashville is the ultimate musical pilgrimage. Travellers who wish to soak up the sights and sounds of Music City can join a Free Nashville Walking Tour of the city’s downtown area. From bars and restaurants to live music venues, museums and the world-famous Honky Tonk Highway, there’s no better way to explore the heart of Nashville’s entertainment district than by foot. Each tour lasts roughly two hours and explores about 1.5 miles of the city, making it suitable for the whole family.

Chile’s best kept secrets for walkers

For those in search of a cityscape, the best kept secrets of Santiago, Chile’s capital can be discovered on a free guided tour of the city by Strawberry Tours. Nestled in a valley amongst the snow-capped Andes mountain range, the cosmopolitan heart of Chile boasts a vibrant contrast of bustling markets and soaring high-rises. Explore the Yungay neighbourhood, a hotspot of Chilean culture. Visitors can roam the cobbled streets to discover the Memory Museum, eclectic Alamos Palace, the colourful Adriana Cousina Passage, street art lined walls and the charming 88-acre Park Quinta Normal. Walk through plazas and side streets alike to learn the history, architecture and culture of Chile’s capital. There are several tours to choose from, and each tour lasts roughly 2.5/3 hours.

Lip-Smacking foodie tours of Las Vegas, Nevada

Voted ‘Best Food Tour’ by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the city’s Lip-Smacking Foodie tours introduce visitors and locals alike to the best signature dishes, special preparation techniques and all the exciting tastes Las Vegas has to offer.  Those looking to eat their way around Vegas can choose from a day or night adventure at up to four top restaurants, on the Strip or downtown, hosted by local culinary insiders who will entertain guests with fascinating stories about the history of Vegas. At each restaurant, guests can expect to be treated like a VIP and whisked to the best table to enjoy three to four signature dishes at each stop. The team is made up of experts in finding the most ‘Lip-Smacking’ tastes among more than 330 restaurants on the Strip, as well as the hidden gems downtown.

Reno wine walks of Nevada

For those looking to spice up their walking tour, the River Wine Walk in Reno, Nevada sees guests enjoy a bit of vino while exploring the ‘biggest little city’. Every third Saturday of the month from 2:00 – 5:00pm, the Riverwalk Merchants Association hosts the popular River Wine Walk along the Truckee River and neighbouring streets in downtown Reno.  Walkers will begin their adventure at one of the participating venders, present a valid ID and $20 (£15) to the merchant and will then receive a wristband, a map and a wine glass before setting off to explore the sights and sounds of Reno.  Those who sample at least five wines will be entered into a raffle at a host location to win a special surprise.

Snowshoeing adventure trails in Québec, Canada

Whether it’s for the first time or for well-seasoned snowshoe fanatics, Québec’s forests and parks are perfect for exploring the snow on foot in traditional snowshoes. Parc National de la Gaspésie, in the Québec Maritime region, is a recognised mecca for hiking with over 140km of trails. Set against a winter wonderland backdrop, 13 snowshoe trails await. Ranging from 1.7km to 18km there are routes to suit every adventurer. Parc national de la Gaspésie is home to some of Quebec’s oldest mountains with 25 peaks over 1,000m and untouched forests and vistas. There is also a thriving moose population not to be missed as visitors take to the tracks on foot. Audley Travel is offering an 11 night ‘Québec Grand Gaspésie self-drive’ holiday from £1,995pp to discover the natural beauty, wildlife and diverse landscapes of Québec.

Generator’s free quirky walking tours of Dublin, Ireland

Award-winning experience and design-led accommodation group Generator, has properties in a number of exciting European cities locations including Dublin. Located in the hip Smithfield neighbourhood, adjacent to the Jameson Distillery, Generator provides a perfect way to experience Ireland’s historic capital.  The best way to explore this compact city is by foot, and luckily Generator offers free walking tours leaving from reception at 10.30am every day.  Guests can discover the vibrant city while expert local guides lead the way, sharing insider tips and quirky facts.  Generator Dublin is conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from a range of Irish pubs and restaurants, so guests can treat themselves to a pint or two after they take in the sights.

My Moris walking tours in Mauritius

My Moris in Mauritius offers a variety of walking tours, inspired by a passion for Mauritian culture, traditions, heritage and people.  The company offers meaningful tours to help visitors see Mauritius from the inside, so they can discover the heart of the island while taking in all Mauritius has to offer. Guests can choose from many different walking tours including the very popular ‘taste of history’ tour which reveals the ways the Mauritian heritage and delightful street food of the capital city Port Louis are intertwined. It’s a historical and cultural exploration, dotted with several food tasting stops along the way, where guests can uncover the exciting history and subtle flavours of Mauritian culture.

Absorb art and culture in Vienna’s walkable districts

With its beautiful parks and walkable districts, Vienna makes for the perfect cityscape walking tour. In the city centre, District One is home to the magnificent State Opera House, the Hofburg, and Vienna City Hall amongst others. With all the major pulls of Vienna within walking distance, this is perfect for those wanting to get out and explore. Vienna offers ‘Free walking tours’ of the city taking in the most important sights in and around the downtown area. Although the tours are free, guides lead the tours in return for tips giving guests the opportunity to pay what they feel is appropriate at the end. In particular, Prime Tours host a two-hour daily walking tour between the hours of 11am and 3pm. With a maximum group size of 35, the intimate tour means travellers get to know other guests visiting the city whilst also being able to take in all the knowledge from the guide.

Scour Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert

One of the most desirable attributes of Scottsdale is its proximity to the Sonoran Desert. Whilst most people tend to imagine deserts being dry and barren, Scottsdale’s desert is extremely lush. As a destination where visitors are able to enjoy over 330 days of sunshine each year, the opportunity to get outside on a walking tour is welcomed. For a hike through the desert, guests can opt for The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Guided Hike & Bike tours. The company offer 90 guided hike and bike tours in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve from September until April each year. The tours take in the Sonoran Desert’s surroundings, peppered with cacti and mountain ridges providing the ultimate backdrop for a guided tour. The tour themes are Discovery, Wellness or Family and Mountain Bike. Although the tours are free, a donation is accepted.

Explore New York City’s quirky free walking tours

New York City is home to hundreds of greenways, which are walkable city trails, enabling visitors to enjoy breath-taking views of the skyline on foot. With a warm New York City welcome, Big Apple Greeter’s team of volunteers (many of whom are multilingual) guide people through the city’s small diverse neighbourhoods. Tours are based on which neighbourhoods guests want to explore or what their interests are. Sandemans New York offers free New York City walking tours covering major downtown landmarks. Tours are led by certified local guides who are passionate about New York City and conduct their tours on a tips-only basis. For a touch of history, The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership sponsors free weekly walking tours of the historic Flatiron District. A professional tour guide takes visitors on a 90-minute walking tour in and around this Manhattan neighbourhood, with stops at sights like the MetLife Clock Tower, the New York Life Insurance Building and, the famed Flatiron Building on 23rd Street.

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