Hike the Highlands from Home

Highland Green Health Partnership Initiative

This project is helping to make more use of Scotland’s outdoors as Our Natural Health Service. 

The Hike the Highlands from Home initiative is open to everyone.

World Walking

For this initiative we are using World Walking which was developed by a Scottish charity and which allows you to use the distances you walk in the real world to complete imaginary (virtual) walks.  For our Hike the Highlands from Home initiative, we have created 4 virtual walks to showcase our beautiful area.

World Walking's many features include:

  • Everyone’s welcome: Go it alone or create your own group - easily!
  • Easy to use: Create your own unique login.
  • Track your progress:  Anytime you wish.  See what milestones you’ve reached, how many steps you’ve taken.  
  • Gain awards:  There are 20 Awards, a special ‘Think Nature’ award, to unlock!  The more you walk, the more you receive.

Signing up to take part

If you would like to take part in the Hike the Highlands from Home initiative, please use the special landing page which we've created to register (if you are new to World Walking) or login (if you have already created an account on World Walking). You will find the landing page at: worldwalking.org/thinknature 

Once you have registered or logged in using the landing page (use the Registration Section below the main image not the menu at the top of the page) all of the distances you subsequently add to World Walking will be included automatically to the dynamic total distance displayed on the landing page of the miles walked by all the individuals and groups taking part in our Hike the Highlands from Home initiative.

Although you do not need to do so, we recommend you use the Quick Links on the landing page to:

  • Create a group
  • Search for other groups taking part in Hike the Highlands from Home initiative
  • Start a new virtual walk
  • Add (bank) the distances which you or your group walk
  • Use (spend) the distances you have banked to help complete your virtual walk.

Apart from anything else, the landing page will let you see at a glance how many steps have been walked by everyone taking part.

Once you have registered to take part getting started is pretty straightforward. If you need help, have a look in the World Walking ‘Help’ section (there is a ‘Help’ tab at the bottom of each page on World Walking). If you don’t find what you need just click the ‘Get in touch’ button and we’ll get you sorted out.

Getting Started

Step 1: Create a group for your service/team using the Quick Link on the landing page titled - "Create a group"

You can set up your group so that anyone can join it or so that people need to be invited to join.

Step 2: Start a walk for you or your group using the Quick Link on the landing page titled - "Start a new walk"

Step 3: Ask all your friends, family and colleagues to:

  1. Register to use World Walking using the landing page to register (or login if they already have a World Walking account).
  2. Join your group
  3. Start your group's walk

Helpful tips:

  • World Walking allows users to enter an optional display name will be shown in place of their own name on the website.
  • To start your group's chosen walk just click on 'My Walks'. You will see that your group has a walk available. You just need to click it to join.

Adding the distances you walk or cycle or run

To log the distance you have walked to help complete your chosen virtual walk you need to deposit your distance in your World Walking 'bank' and then 'spend' the distance you have 'banked' on your walk.

We have included a Quick Link on the landing page for you to use to 'Add your distance (bank)'.  

You can 'spend' the distance you have 'banked' anytime. You will find another Quick Link on the landing page labelled 'Spend distance on a walk' which allows you to do that.

Editing your group details

To edit your group details e.g. to change the status of your group to 'invite only', open your 'group' page and then click on the down arrow at the right-hand side of the menu bar on your group page.

Select the 'edit group' option from the short drop-down menu that appears.

Setting your default unit of distance

With World Walking users can enter their distances in steps, kilometers or miles.

To help you enter your distance correctly you can set a default unit of distance. To do this click on 'settings' on the menu on your dashboard (your homepage) and select the value you prefer to use when entering the distance you walk.

What if you enter the wrong number of steps?

We all make mistakes - it happens to the best of us. Don’t worry. You can delete (or undo) distance from your ‘bank’ as long as:

  • You haven't spent the distance on a walk, or you have enough steps in your bank to delete the banked distance.
  • The distance was manually added and not automatically pulled in through a wearable device e.g. your Fitbit.
  • The distance was recently added (at most 1 month ago) and shows in the "Recent Activity" when you click the ‘Add Steps’ button.

Here is a link to an article in our 'Help' section which explains how to do this: https://worldwalking.org/help/article/1822/how-do-i-delete-distance-from-my-bank

If you are unsure of anything connected with using World Walking, please contact [email protected]  They will be very pleased to help.

Many feet will make light work of hiking the Highlands from home.

Thank you all for taking part.  Let’s go for it!

2020- 21 Looks like being a year like no other in the short life of World Walking so we thought we'd keep a note so we could look back on the year that was in the hope that by this time next year we are 'back to normal', whatever that is.

So here goes. 

1 April 2020:  This new financial year begins with our little charity, like the rest of the world, facing the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2019/20 has just ended with the following results:

1 April: Published new walk - Here for Each Other - to support the #HereForEachOther campaign organised by the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity to support local NHS staff as they respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19.

12 April: Published new walk - USA: North to South.

13 April: Published new walk - Cardiff.

19 April: Published new walk - Israel.

20 April: Published  new walk - The Eirias Rainbow Walk - to support the work of the NHS in North Wales during COVID-19.

20 April: Published new walk - Move for Meals - in support of the charity, Mary's Meals, in conjunction with the charity's office in Germany.

27 April: Published new walk - Land's End to John o'Groats.

29 April: Became the first and, so far, only walking app to achieve the ORCHA quality mark badge:

30 April: The end of a month of unprecedented activity on World walking with 6,680 new user accounts created and 1.5 billion steps/634,000 miles logged by our users; the equivalent of them having walked 25 times round the world. More 'help' inquiries from users than normal which you would expect when you have 6 months worth of new users in the space of just one month. Nothing we, and World Walking, couldn't handle. 

1 May: 19,000 walks now completed by our users; up 1,000 since 1 April 2020, the biggest monthly increase ever.

1 May: Published new walk - CHAS Walk for Wellness - for the charity Children's Hospices Across Scotland for Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May).

10 May: Published new walk - Cyprus.

11 May: 50,000 virtual walks started on World Walking since our launch in October 2013.

18 May: Published new walk - Great Wall on China (East)

19 May: Our magnificent World Walking users reach the milestone of having walked 12.5 million miles - 500 times round the world.

19 May: 1,000 virtual walks started in the last week!

22 May: 10,000 new user accounts created since 1 April 2020.

25 May:  60,000 users worldwide!

28 May:  Guest Blog from World Walking published by America Walks

28 May:  20,000 walks now completed by our users; up 1,000 since 1 May 2020.

 1 June:  30 billion steps recorded!

5 June: 12,000 new user accounts created since 1 April 2020 (just 9 weeks) - the same number as in the whole of 2019/20!

8 June: 3 billion steps recorded since 1 April 2020 - 46% of the 2019/20 total in just 10 weeks! 

16 June: 13 million miles now clocked up by our amazing World Walkers since our launch in October 2013.

17 June: Our amazing World Walkers walk 60 times round the world in (less than) 80 days!

30 June: Today marks the end of the first quarter of 2020/21. Here are the World Walking results for the quarter:

  • Over 14,800 new user accounts created;
  • Over 4.1 billion steps recorded (1.7 million miles, equivalent to 70 times round the world);
  • Over 3,100 virtual walks completed.

1 July: Delighted to be supporting Highland Green Health Parnership's 'Think Health Think Nature' initiative with Hike the Highland's from Home.

17 July: Our new fundraising feature launched quietly today. Beta testing begins. Our 'one-stop shop', complete with public fundraising page, will allow our users to help others while staying active.  No idea if this will fly but we are so happy to be giving it a go!

7 August: 14 million miles now clocked up by our amazing World Walkers since our launch in October 2013.

8 August: Our growing community of World Walkers walked the equivalent of 100 times round the world (2.5 million miles) in just 104 days!  Awesome! 

13 August: Delighted to announce that World Walking can connect to Google Fit and bank all steps recorded on the Google Fit app.

18 August: Over 20,000 new user accounts created since 1 April 2020.

23 August: 70,000 user accounts created worldwide.

21 September: 35 billion steps now recorded on World Walking. 

2019 - 20: Another Successful Year for World Walking

Our tiny Scottish charity is delighted to have made it through another financial year.

We thought we'd share with you how 2019 -20 finished. We're well chuffed. Thanks to all our users for supporting what we're trying to do. We hope World Walking has helped motivate you to walk more than you would otherwise have done and that you've had fun exploring our amazing world; even if only virtually!.

Our financial year ended with the world struggling to contain the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are suffering at the present time and for all of the frontline staff who are fighting to care for all those who need help in these worrying times.  As people abided by social distancing rules and stayed at home to prevent the spread of the disease, we saw a big increase in the number of new user accounts being created - over 2,100 in March 2020 - as they sought out other ways to help them stay active and stay safe. 

Here are our key results for the year:

We're 100% committed to keeping World Walking free for everyone to use. We can't do that on our own so we'd like to say a huge thanks to those of you who have so kindly supported us with donations during the year. We're also very grateful to Inverclyde Council for awarding us another grant to help keep World Walking going and to the Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership and CVS Inverclyde for their support and encouragement.

And last, but certainly not least, the brilliant - and patient - digital design and development team of Chris and David (at Papertank), Fergus (Mayday Development Ltd) and Michael (Turing Limited), without whom there would be no World Walking. Thanks guys. You're the best.

Happy Walking

Take care and stay healthy.

Kindest Regards


Founder- World Walking


The Inverclyde Globetrotters were formed in February 2008 from a Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation class at Inverclyde Leisure’s Waterfront Gym, Greenock, when, armed with only a map and some pedometers, they set off to try to walk virtually round the world to promote the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation. 


The aim was to encourage members to stay active between classes and accrue the health benefits that come from more walking and less sitting. 


A simple A4 record sheet was used to record the steps walked during the past week and the distances walked, cycled and rowed during the hour-long weekly gym class. 


In May 2010, after 117 weeks ‘on the road’, the Inverclyde Globetrotters arrived back in Greenock having clocked up 30,688 miles. They kept walking. 

On 14 May 2019, the members, mostly in their 70s and 80s, ‘landed softly’ on the Moon to complete a 238,855-mile mission lasting 11 years, 3 months and 10 days. They clocked up their miles walking virtually across every continent, ‘‘visiting’ over 100 countries worldwide. 

Their efforts inspired the creation of World Walking, a free website/app developed to motivate people to walk more, whose users, from Australia to Wales, have recorded over 11 million miles (25 billion steps). 

World Walking led to the development of: 

  • The online Active Staff walking challenges of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; 
  • Big Team Challenge for online walking/cycling challenges; and 
  • Critter Quest, a fun interactive game for the Royal Hospital for Children at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow that rewards physical activity specific to each child. 

Along the way, the Inverclyde Globetrotters launched and successfully completed: 


With a sense of fun and adventure a small group of people with long-term health conditions can help get the world walking.

Our good friends at the cardiac rehabilitation team at the University Hospital Hairmyres in Lanarkshire, Scotland, finished the last decade on a bit of a high by completing their ‘Winter Wonderland Walk’ to Lapland.

And without missing a step (or a heart beat), the patients and staff are off again on their travels. They’ve decided to celebrate this new decade by tackling their longest challenge yet - World Walking’s epic ‘United States of America walk through all 48 contiguous states from Washington State on the west coast all the way to the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

The team has set their sights on walking all 31.5 million steps in time to mark World Heart Day on 29 September 2020 and to promote the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehabilitation nurse specialist, Faye McSpurren said:

“ Our staff and patients enjoyed and benefited so much from the previous walks that there has been no hesitation in our group ‘stepping’ up to the plate to tackle another challenge. The sense of community has been fantastic and the shared goals have helped all participants work toward achieving the next ‘step’ and improving their health and lifestyle during the process.”

World Heart Day is an annual global campaign by the World Heart Federation to encourage individuals, families, communities, and governments around the world to participate in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others. The Hairmyres cardiac team began supporting World Heart Day back in 2017 when they took part in World Walking’s ‘Walk Europe’ initiative. They also participated in our ‘Billion Steps for Health’ campaign for World Heart Day 2018. 

And now in 2020 they’re striding out on their own to fly the flag for Scotland in this global campaign.  Why not follow their lead and use World Walking to create your own walking event for World Heart Day 2020. Nearer the day, you’ll be able to add the details of your event to the World Heart Federation’s spinning globe to let everyone know how you celebrated this day.

With a new decade fast approaching, we would to thank everyone who has supported and used World Walking in 2019. Our little volunteer-led Scottish charity has never had a plan as such, just a desire to do what we can with what we have, to help motivate people to walk more for health and happiness.

That we are now in our seventh year, amazes us and makes us very thankful and we look forward, as we always do, to the New Year and our first new decade with a continuing sense of optimism that something good lies just round the next bend in the road.

Our hopes and dreams for 2020 are that by the end of the year 50,000 people will have created user accounts and that our World Walkers will:

  • have amassed 30 billion steps; and 
  • completed 20,000 walks.
We are setting our stall out to have increased our library of ready-to-use virtual walks to 300 by this time next year and are looking forward, excitedly, to launching a couple of new initiatives in 2020:

  • a new feature which will allow users to use World Walking to raise money for charity as they walk; and 
  • enabling users to sync their Garmin devices.

With our very best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. We hope 2020 brings you lots of joy.

Happy Walking.

From the World Walking Team.