Back in May, I travelled to Italy with some great women to go on a walking holiday. To be honest, we had been through some traumas as a family and I very nearly didn’t go. Thanks to my mum and husband persuading me, I went in the end and am glad I did. I arrived at Gatwick to meet the ladies, looking and feeling slightly grey and exhausted after a tricky few months. I only knew a couple of the women but we soon got to know each other and I quickly began to relax. The holiday turned out to be wonderful and a true tonic. We explored the beautiful countryside, mountains and coastline of Campania, which is south of Naples and near the Amalfi Coast. This area was far enough away from the stunning Amalfi coast to be largely undiscovered by tourists and felt very Italian. The area was just beautiful and was the birthplace of the Mediterranean diet, so we were in culinary heaven. 

Jan McKinley, who organises these fantastic holidays arranged for us to stay at a hotel, which was located on the beach with a view of the sea and importantly 😍, had a state of the art thalasso (meaning the use of seawater as a form of therapy) spa which included swimming pools, showers fed with sea water, a sauna, a Turkish bath, a bio sauna, a saline beach (a ma zing), a swimming pool with underwater music and colour therapy, as well as a large, partly covered  jacuzzi pool and a relaxation area with herbal teas and sea views. Bliiisss.

We spent days walking (studded with stops at coffee shops and vineyards. Very civilised), eating like queens and spending plenty of time at the spa, before eating like queens again in the eve. We ate really well and I arrived home feeling like a new woman. The trip turned out to be a nourishing, food and good for the soul few days away. 

The holiday reminded me of the benefits both mentally and physically of a daily walk and so I carried the walking on when we arrived home. I'm now on week 8 of walking 5k a day (over and above my usual activity, so an hour of solid walking a day) and I can’t recommend this practice highly enough. I’ve found the walking to be calming, it gives me headspace, has been like therapy over the past couple of months, is grounding and I love the discoveries on both the country and city walks. I‘ve been walking with friends or my husband or with me, myself and I and have listened to loads of audiobooks and podcasts and sometimes, I just listen to the birds, the bees and the trees. I am grateful to Jan, the women and that holiday because it’s been a game changer for me in many ways. I encourage you to try walking 5k (about an hour) a day, or a few times a week if you can find the time (I‘ve been going at 6am or in the evening lately as the summer holidays have taken over slightly and it’s been worth it). 

Let me know how you get on, if this post encourages you to walk more. 

For information about Jan’s holidays, follow this link: 


Sheena Skinner