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  • Writer's pictureAnn Janes

Walking Improves Mental Well-Being

On Friday we welcomed Jake Tyler from Black Dog Walks to White Lodge Sussex it was to be the final day of his epic 3000 mile journey across the UK. Jake struggles with depression and has found a unique way to combat it - his mission is to promote exercise as an effective way to manage mental health.

Jake is from Brighton and has spent the last 18 months walking and running around the UK. He started and finished his epic expedition at Brighton Palace Pier. The One Show filmed Jake at White Lodge B&B a place of peace and tranquility, perfect for interviewing Jake before he headed off to nearby The South Downs Way to complete his journey on the 9th February 2018.

Watch The One Show on 12th February 2018 to see the inspiring journey Jake has been on and discover the positive way in which he has found to combat depression. Jake is fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation please help him reach his goal of £10,000.

Jake's Story:

My name's Jake Tyler. I'm 30 years old and I live with depression and anxiety. In April this year I fell deep into the darkest state of mind that I've ever experienced. Consumed by relentless thoughts of helplessness, isolation and even suicide, the pain was unbearable. Something had to change. After a lot of time spent researching and disregarding various medical options, I decided to focus on my physical health. Long walks and fresh air helped clear my head and made me appreciate the beauty of nature. Through these walks I was able to dig myself out of a hole, and this got me thinking.

If something as simple as taking a walk and encountering the natural beauty of this country can make me feel so much better, why don’t more people do this? I decided to do something about it. My plan is to walk around Great Britain, covering every National Park in order to show people that there is beauty nearby.

We all can take a leaf out of Jake's book and get out and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us in Sussex. We all underestimate the importance of the outdoors to our mental well-being. Walk from White Lodge's door and you are in our ancient oak woodland soon to be carpeted in bluebells and wood anemones. Or enjoy the delights of Markstake's wood across the road a favourite for walkers and runners.

Or a short drive will take you to The South Downs Way which you can enjoy on foot or by bicycle.

Our ancestors have been walking here for thousands of years and the views have been enjoyed by the Charleston group with Virginia Woolf "overcome by beauty more extravagantly than one would expect" The South Downs was the first bridleway National Trail in England and is the only one lying within a National Park. Ten minutes from White Lodge is Devil's Dyke a view described by Constable as "the grandest in the world"

To plan your walking or cycling holiday to the beautiful South Downs you can upload a GPS guide to your bikes sat nav or download a walking map or connecting bus services to your phone. Or plan your walk or cycle from White Lodge were we have secure lock up and bike facilities.

South Downs National Park Park near White Lodge Sussex

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