Charlie Bond finds out how to hit your daily step quota in the royal town
According to the NHS, the average person walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day, but the World Health Organization recommends we try and achieve 10,000 a day to increase our health benefits. For adults aged between 18 to 64, it’s suggested they achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.
In recent years there’s been a huge spike in the sale of fitness trackers, as more people want to monitor their fitness levels and strive to hit their daily step targets. But, 10,000 steps in a day is actually harder than it sounds, especially if you spend eight or more hours in an office glued to your desk.
So, in a bid to hit my 10K, I set off on a jaunt around the town, armed with my FitBit to keep count of my steps. Here’s my guide to hitting your daily step goal around Tunbridge Wells…
TUNBRIDGE WELLS STATION TO ROSEMARY SHRAGER’S PATISSERIE
Steps: 1,956 (there and back)
If there’s one thing guaranteed to get you walking, it’s the promise of a naughty treat when you reach your destination. At almost 1,000 steps each way, and only a 12 minute walk from the station, it’s an easy way to get in some steps and indulge your sweet tooth at the same time.
Got more time?
Get some extra steps in by walking down to the end of The Pantiles, or even visiting the Spa Valley Railway, which is 0.2 miles from the Grey Lady, and will add about another 450 steps each way.
SHOPPING IN ROYAL VICTORIA PLACE
I’m certainly an advocate of shopping as exercise, and studies have shown that in the UK, on average women burn 14,844 calories a year while shopping (which certainly justifies all the tea and cake breaks in between trying on shoes).
I’m probably not the only person who whiles away many a lunch break by window browsing in the Royal Victoria Place shopping centre, and I found that walking up one side and down the other on both floors reached 1,189 steps.
Got more time? You’d be surprised how many steps you take inside shops too. I popped in to M&S to look for a greeting card and a sandwich (on different floors) and took an extra 368 steps.
WALKING TO DUNORLAN PARK
Steps: 5,604 (there and back)
As someone who drives to work, and often sits in the Pembury Road traffic, I’d assumed Dunorlan Park was much further to walk than it actually is. Starting from the Town Hall and walking along Crescent Road and then Calverley Park Gardens, I expected the walk to take me the best part of half an hour, when in fact it took me…13 minutes. Definitely do-able in a lunch break, although the walk there is mostly uphill so on hotter days I’d recommend taking a slower pace.
Got more time?
If you want to switch up your route then heading back into town via Sandrock Road and Camden Road will give you a similar step total (mine was 1,987 back to the Town Hall steps), but takes a bit longer (around 18 minutes). Plus, you can pop in to some shops on your way past and rack up a few more steps there, too.
WALKING AROUND DUNORLAN PARK
Following the regular path around Dunorlan (and narrowly avoiding an altercation with a goose) was not only a lovely walk, but also quickly added on steps and increased my heart rate. There are lots of variations on the route, so you can take things at your own pace and add more steps or do less depending on your aims. I walked at a moderate pace and completed the route in around 27 minutes.
Got more time?
By taking some additional routes within the park you can easily gain more steps. From the main path, walk up to the Grecian temple and back, and add extra 512 steps. Then, before you reach the bridge down near the children’s play area, take the path up to the Victoria Park Grove entrance. Walking there and back is another 502 steps, so if you add both routes in to your walk you’ll achieve over 1,000 steps.
SHOPPING IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS HIGH STREET
It’s not difficult to spend several hours wandering up and down Tunbridge Wells High Street. If you’re just window shopping you can achieve just over 1,000 steps by walking down one side and back up the other, but by the time you’ve ‘popped in’ to a few boutiques, you can easily add a few hundred more to that total.
Got more time?
Go down to the end of the High Street and visit Chapel Place, where you can enjoy a gin at the Gin Bar or cocktails at One Warwick Park. You’ll sneak in an extra 100 steps too.
TOTAL DAILY STEP COUNT: 12, 402
I was surprised how easy it was to rack up steps in a short amount of time. Clearly, I couldn’t do all of these routes every day or I’d never be at my desk, but each trip was fairly quick and easy to complete, so I’ll definitely be trying to up my step count by a little bit each day.