A walk on the wild side can be beneficial for your mental wellbeing.

A recent study by Stanford University has shown that taking a walk in the countryside can help reduce anxiety and depression. Previous studies have indicated that living in an urban environment can increase rumination, or the compulsive need to dwell on feelings of distress, worry and negative emotions, whilst walking in the fresh air can help to focus the mind on finding solutions.

There are many wonderful places to walk even very close to London and other big cities. You can find your own way (or go out and about with friends) choosing your own pace and distance with the help of Fancy Free Walks – www.fancyfreewalks.org – very clear directions for a variety of different lengths of walk.

Or you may prefer to walk in the company or others, being guided in a small group for a day, a weekend or overseas. In this case check out www.country-walks.com, a small company run by a delightful couple, June and Aubrey Zaft, who include interesting snippets of information on geology and history as well as the odd atmospheric poem as you enjoy the health benefits of walking in the fresh air.