The Great Outdoors

My favourite place to exercise is outside, preferably on a cold crisp autumnal day.  I’d rather be active on pretty much any day, in (almost) any weather, than in a studio or gym.  As a Personal Trainer in Tunbridge Wells I’m always looking out for great places to take clients, and places to inspire me and my family to get moving.

So, I thought it was about time I wrote a post about my favourite spots to get active outdoors.

There are so many reasons to get moving outside, but a few spring to mind immediately:

  • It doesn’t cost anything you just need to put on a pair of trainers and leave the house.

  • You’re in a constantly changing environment, so there’s a new challenge around every corner.

  • You can turn outdoor exercise into great family time.  Running whilst kids are cycling is great for when parents want to get moving too.

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But the biggest bonus for me is that it is scientifically proven to lift our spirits and improve our mental wellbeing. One study says outdoor exercise is “associated with greater feelings of revitalisation, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression”*

I wholeheartedly agree with this last statement.  It works wonders for my mood and general wellbeing, and I see the impact it has on my clients every day.

So here is my list of top places to get outside and be active in Tunbridge Wells, and the surrounding areas.

  • Broadwater Warren I love to take my dog running here. You really feel you’re out in the wild, even though you’re only 5 minutes from the town centre.  On a nice day, you can even run or walk to the Nevil Crest and Gun pub on Eridge road for a pit stop.

  • Bedgebury This is a great family day out.  It’s a great place to cycle or run and there are plenty of playgrounds to take a break at.  There’s also Go Ape if you fancy swinging through the trees, and a nice cafe to warm up in.

  • Kingdom, Pensehurst This is a relatively new addition to Kent but is already one of my favourite places locally.  There are a lot of tracks and paths to explore, and I think more will be opening in the Spring.  The building is an amazing structure, with fabulous views.  It also houses a Basil Wholefoods cafe and Kingdom Yoga.  I look forward to spending much more time here. There’s a Parkrun there too.  It’s a tough one I hear, as quite hilly but a beautiful, inspiring place to run. 

  • Forest Way Groombridge The Forest Way is an old railway track that stretches for 13+miles from Groombridge via Hartfield through to Forest Way.  The views here are amazing and it’s a great place to run in any weather.  It never gets too muddy and the trees that arch over you provide shade in the summer and protection from the rain when it’s wet. It’s a great place to go for a run if you want to avoid the hills around Tunbridge Wells! I am sure there are still many places for me to explore around Tunbridge Wells.  My mission this summer is to get down to the sea more often and walk/run along the cliffs of the South Downs. None of the activities above need to be hardcore challenges, although there’s scope there if you want them to be!  Incorporating moving outdoors into your week, will really help increase physical activity levels with added bonus of making us feel good.   

*The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. “Benefits of outdoor exercise confirmed.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2011.