EXPERIENCED hikers and novices alike came together for a walk in the Peaks aimed at promoting mental health, wellbeing and fitness.
Rotherham’s Mark Peart, winner of Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, was among 88 walkers who embarked on an eight-mile hike amid wet and windy conditions.
The walk, which took in Kinder Scout and Jacob’s Ladder, was devised by Rotherham travel blogger and businesswoman Grace Wilson (31), with help from Sheffield-based adventurer and photographer Pete Crossland.
Grace runs travel brand Yugen Explore from her home on Thackeray Avenue, Rawmarsh, and organised the walk to promote the benefits of being outdoors.
She said: “Yugen Explore is all about inspiring people to go on adventures, whether close to home or the other side of the world.
“We want everyone to experience what we have and enjoy life by making the most of our beautiful planet.
“This year, I want to get as many people as possible outdoors and make the most of our beautiful landscapes.
“I know how important it is for mental health, wellbeing and general fitness and how that it can be difficult to find people to go hiking with, so I want to bring together people that have a love of the outdoors.”
Grace won support from mapping firm Ordnance Survey, which promoted the hike as part of its #getoutside campaign.
“I was amazed at the turnout, especially as the weather forecast wasn’t good,” said Grace.
“However, these total strangers that met through social media all joined together on a hiking adventure.
“We had people come from as far north as Inverness in Scotland and as far south as Kent.”
Grace won backing from friend Mark, an advocate for mental health.
Fellow SAS contestants Esmee Gummer and Rick Stevens also joined the walk.
Grace said: “We had everyone from experienced adventurers, to my sister who is a complete hiking novice.
“The feedback has been amazing and everyone that came loved it. The weather only added to the sense of adventure.
“Some said joining the group was totally out of their comfort zone but they were so glad they did it and can’t wait for the next one.”
Grace is planning another hike in the Lake District in June. Details can be found on the Yugen Explore Facebook page.