I’m Nick Barlow
Walking connects you to the moment and the world around you, giving you space and time to find yourself.
I’m an experienced walker, hiker and newly qualified walk leader. I believe that walking is a powerful tool for mental health, reflection and healing, as well as providing great exercise. It provides us all with a way into nature and to connect with the world around us, creating space and time for us to reflect, to think or just to be, whether alone or together.
Even a short walk from your front door can help you discover new ways of seeing your own neighbourhood, and provide a base for exploring more and more. Walking can help us develop new skills and knowledge that help us to take on bigger challenges, whether that’s taking on a long trek through the countryside or facing up to problems in our lives and finding ways through them.
Walking has been an important part in managing my own mental health issues around depression and anxiety. It gave me a space to relax and clear my mind, where I could focus on my place in nature and living in the moment. By walking regularly, I was not only improving my physical health but giving myself a routine and a rhythm to my days, taking some time for myself.
My experience includes walking the length of Britain from John O’Groats to Land’s End and traversing Spain on the Camino de Santiago where I went from the Pyrenees to the Atlantic on the Camino Frances and the northern coast across the mountains to Santiago on the Camino Primitivo. I’ve been up mountains including Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon and Scafell Pike, and I’ve also walked extensively around Colchester and Essex, finding interesting routes and sights close to home, and walked the Essex Way from Epping to Harwich last summer. I’ve learned a lot from walking and about how to walk which I’m keen to pass on whether that be finding a route to walk or avoiding blisters on the way.