Travelling by bike and foot in the UK

Travelling by bike and foot can give you independence and a feeling of adventure, as well as being good for your health and your budget.

Shorter local journeys

You will be healthier if you regularly bike or walk the shorter journeys in your life. On average, you can cover three or four miles in an hour of walking, and around 12 miles in an hour of biking.

Next time you are planning a short trip, have a look at Google maps; choose the “Directions” option, put in your starting point and destination, and choose the bike or walking options. This will then give you an idea of the likely journey time, as well as showing you the best route. You can choose to have directions sent to your phone, so that they will be available.

Make sure that you’re safe:

  • double-check the route before you set off, especially it’s the first time you’ve done that journey
  • use your knowledge and experience of your own abilities and your local area to decide whether you’re happy travelling that route alone, at the time you’re planning to do it, or whether you would prefer to take a friend with you (walking and talking with friends is an excellent way to spend time).
  • make sure your bike is working properly,  and you have lights if you’re travelling when it’s dark. Check the tyres and chain, and make sure you know how to fix them if something goes wrong
  • take a torch if you’re walking when it’s dark. You may well feel happier walking with a friend in the dark, even if it’s not yet night
  • a bottle of water and a snack or two will help you feel in control during your journey

Exploring further by foot and bike

If you enjoy walking or biking, you could go on longer expeditions at weekends or in your holidays. Plan your journey carefully, as for shorter journeys above, and make sure you take a packed lunch with you.

You could also go away for a night or two, and either camp or stay in a Youth Hostel. Unfortunately you will generally have to be at least 16 or accompanied by someone 18 or over – see section on accommodation – but you might be able to persuade an older relation to come with you.

If you want to cover more distance, you will probably need to use some sort of public transport as well. If you’re biking, you may well not be able to use buses, and some trains may restrict bikes as well – see here. Always plan and check your journey carefully beforehand.