Gransnet forums

Chat

I hate walking on my own

(110 Posts)
Cabbie21 Sat 05-Sep-20 09:15:08

I am not a walker, but I do like to get out of the house, get a bit of exercise, see some different surroundings.
I can go for a walk in the park by driving to the next village, or pound the pavements in my own village, and I feel safe doing so, but I feel really lonely when I do so, far worse than being in the house. There is no way I would set off across the fields and footpaths in the country on my own.

Does anyone else feel the same?

I really need to get out more, to coin a phrase. But where?
I rarely have anyone else to walk with. DH cannot or will not walk for health reasons( another story). I have been twice with my daughter but a walk for her is several miles, preferably in the Peak District, and I am not up to that.

Franbern Sat 05-Sep-20 09:29:41

Have you looked into such organisations as U3A to see if they have a walking group? Although any U3A group that meets indoors is not yet permitted, those that are outside are getting going again.

Whitewavemark2 Sat 05-Sep-20 09:32:56

Offer to take a dog, they are such good company and show such joy being out and about.

We have a dogs trust near us and can take out the homeless dogs. Also neighbours may be grateful especially if they are a bit ancient or ill etc.

You are never alone with a dog🙂🙂

kittylester Sat 05-Sep-20 09:33:39

Our village have 'Walking for Health' groups. There are 3 different lengths and are led by council trained leaders. The routes vary from week to week.

I know lots of Councils organise these. Are there any near you.

Alternatively, what about a playlist and headphones?

Cabbie21 Sat 05-Sep-20 09:36:08

Yes, I notice most people walking on their own have a dog. Not my scene though.
I fear U3a Or other walking groups would be too strenuous For me and too regimented. I am one of those who needs the loo frequently so any walks have to fit in with that.

henetha Sat 05-Sep-20 09:38:35

I'm the opposite really. I prefer walking alone as I can go at my own pace and rest when I need to.
The only time I'm nervous is in deep dark woods, so I tend to avoid those.

annsixty Sat 05-Sep-20 09:43:50

Please do not walk alone with headphones or earbuds unless you are in a built up area with people about.
A close friend of mine suffered what could have been a very serious attack some years ago when a man came up behind her when she was unaware.
It was still serious enough to warrant a court case and left her traumatised.

MaggieTulliver Sat 05-Sep-20 09:50:07

Would you not consider getting a dog OP? I probably wouldn’t walk much unless I had to get from A to B but I have a dog so love our daily walks. You also meet a lot of other dog owners and I’ve made friends that way.

craftyone Sat 05-Sep-20 09:50:12

I am about to start being pro-active about walking on my own, widowed, in nice quiet places in the countryside. I do get out on my own but via a cycle and that gives me something else to concentrate on. In fact I am leaving in 20 minutes and will be outside in NT grounds around a property. I woun`t be long, just enough to breathe in the fresh air and be grounded. The days of going on long walks in mid wales are gone, very sad about that but it was all moorland and woods and I am too twitchy for that

SynchroSwimmer Sat 05-Sep-20 09:55:04

I am so with you on this, now in the same situation as you.

Having done 6 years as a full time professional multi dog-walker, at that time I could never understand people who looked on enviously and admitted to me that they just couldn’t go out alone.

Only now do I understand.

The few times I have revisited these same walks, now alone, I come home in tears and feel utterly depressed. Whereas I used to take joy in each moment, looking at the trees, hedgerows and nature, now it’s just an acute reminder of what I have lost.

I have gained some positivity by joining friends on walks - the walking and talking with other people is brilliantly uplifting and great therapy, but as you say, others go longer distances and at faster speeds!

Jaxjacky Sat 05-Sep-20 09:55:07

Cabbie21 I’m similar to you, so I listed either to music or radio from my phone on headphones. I just walk around the village we live in, it’s well populated, it gets me out and I note gardens and the change of seasons on my way. Either that or the local rec, this always has other walkers, usually with dogs.

Callistemon Sat 05-Sep-20 10:36:16

U3A have different groups which are at different levels, eg Strollers, Striders etc.
And, as kittylester says, there are often Walking for Health groups which are, of necessity, slower.

Although I haven't joined the local Walking for Health group as I have no wish to be shepherded across the road like a school child by someone I know!

BlueSky Sat 05-Sep-20 10:36:52

Parks are your best bet, you are on your own but there are other people walking. I wouldn't go anywhere too quiet like woods. I wouldn't enjoy joining a group as I'm not a sociable person, plus they always seem to be professional walkers. A dog would be ideal and I'm seriously thinking about that.

Jane10 Sat 05-Sep-20 11:04:17

I go for a walk as a chore really. That's since lockdown. I used to enjoy it but now it's just a job to be done. I don't walk in lonely places. I like to meet dogwalkers and often used to chat to them and pat the dogs. No more alas. I download comedy programmes from BBC and listen to them.
Also every now and then I go for a walk with a neighbour but that usually features a long sit on a bench while we chat.
I sympathise with the OP. I'd walk with her if I could!

25Avalon Sat 05-Sep-20 11:10:51

I know just what you mean. I need a purpose to walk or it doesn’t feel right. When I had the dog that was my purpose. Now I no longer have the dog I don’t really walk. Maybe you should get or borrow a dog?
I also belong to a walking group but we haven’t restarted walking have stopped due to Covid. It was great we used to walk and chat. So perhaps there is a group near you that has social distancing in place. As it’s outdoors it should be relatively safe. We used to drive places to walk so not on for us.

Witzend Sat 05-Sep-20 11:12:27

Is there a neighbour with a dog who’d enjoy walkies with you, OP? (You’d have to be prepared to pick up poo, though.)

I do a (mostly) daily round-the-block walk on my own. Except for the last bit the roads are generally very quiet. I don’t go regularly with dh any more, because he always wants to go further than I do, always wants to go at route-march pace - and nearly always wants to go just as I’m thinking about starting the dinner!
(Before anyone asks why I’m always cooking, he always does the clearing up, which suits me fine.)

Grannynannywanny Sat 05-Sep-20 11:13:53

Another vote for dog walking if you can “borrow” one for a nice walk. A neighbour might be glad of the help. I walk my daughter’s dog one day a week when she’s at work. I walk about 3 miles and I find I end up in conversations with complete strangers. Dog walkers seem to be a very chatty breed!

Riverwalk Sat 05-Sep-20 11:19:06

If you can't find another villager to walk with then try to walk with a purpose, rather than aimlessly walking around - this might stop the lonely feeling.

For example, if it takes you 30 minutes to walk around your village, aim to do it in 25 minutes; walk clockwise one day, anti the next; one side of the street outwards, other side on return, and so on.

I'm lucky that most of my walks are with my best friend but as I walk every day and she has GC duties I do sometimes walk alone.

tanith Sat 05-Sep-20 11:30:28

I walk alone every day but I admit it’s better with company. I listen to music and take the same route most days I’d o meet the occasional dog walker but not many people walking.

BlueBelle Sat 05-Sep-20 11:38:22

I don’t find walking alone interesting but have combated it by listening to my music it’s get me paced and I don’t notice the time passing
Contrary to what Annsixty says I can definitely hear other noises ie traffic, people coming by and aren’t deaf to the outside world I think the lady she refers to could have been attack from behind headphones or not if someone didn’t want to be heard I have the grandkids creep up on me and make me jump out of my skin before now

Davida1968 Sat 05-Sep-20 11:50:37

Our area's U3A has quite a range of walking groups established - to suit all walkers, from gentle strolls to rugged treks. As other GNs say here, it really could be worth you looking at your local U3A?

farview Sat 05-Sep-20 12:41:57

Could you put a notice up somewhere..shop window, park notice board...asking for ladies that would like to walk..

grannyticktock Sat 05-Sep-20 12:42:51

I walk alone since my husband died, and have found it really beneficial since lockdown. Mostly it's just a walk of under an hour around the village and lanes, but sometimes I drive to the coast to walk. I take a stick if necessary, and my phone, which has both OS maps and Google maps to help if I get lost.

I have no inclination whatever to get a dog, and it seems wrong to me to get a dog just because you want to walk. If I want a walk, I don't need a pet to justify it - humans need exercise too.. I call them my "dog-free" walks - no messy poop to deal with, no worries about the dog pestering other walkers or worrying livestock. Getting a dog is a much more complicated business than just having a walking companion.

Callistemon Sat 05-Sep-20 12:46:52

I suppose if walking with a dog could be something you'd consider, Cabbie21, there is no need to have our own
There must be many people who are unable to take their dogs for a walk for whatever reason so you could borrow one. Many local COVID help groups were offering to dog walk for those who were shielding, they could perhaps offer some advice.

You then have the pleasure without all the rest that dog-owning entails.

Cabbie21 Sat 05-Sep-20 13:02:32

Thank you for all your replies. It is nice to know I am not the only one who hates walking alone.
This morning I was intending to drive to another village for a walk but the weather turned for the worse. It has brightened up now, so I will set off soon. The variety of a different village will make a change.
I am not sure about earphones. I prefer to observe sights and sounds. And I definitely do not want to get or borrow a dog, though I have often thought it would give my walks a purpose.