Step Out Swindon is social walking group which holds walks around Swindon on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Grahame Lee, the volunteer scheme co-ordinator said: "Our aim is to get more people walking, to get them out and about, get them more active from an exercise and a social point of view."

The group, which has been going roughly 15 years, holds nine walks in areas such as Penhill, Covingham and Wroughton, among others. They regularly have 250 walkers each week.

"We do a one hour brisk walk to get people breathing more and getting a little bit warm, to get the health benefits of the exercise," said Mr Lee.

"You don’t have to be really fit and able to take part," he added.

"All walk leaders are first aid trained, and we have enough leaders on our walks that anyone who is a bit slower, perhaps they have just joined, is looked after and we always make sure everyone gets back."

Walkers register at their first walk, and subsequently can come to any walk when they like.

"We work just as hard on the social side as we do the physical side," Mr Lee said.

"A lot of our people are on their own, single, widowed, or for various reasons have come to find themselves rather isolated in the community.

"Walking with a group allows you to go to places you wouldn’t walk on your own," he added.

The most popular walk is the group's Haydon Health Walk.

"We regularly have 100 walkers here which makes it one of the largest in the country.

"There are lots of walks in all directions with good offroad paths, and we’ve built up a very good club atmosphere," Mr Lee said.

The Haydon Gentle Mobility walk is specifically for those less able to enjoy the benefits of being out in the country with others.

"People can bring their strollers and sticks etc and can walk for as long as they wish. We walk in one direction for 15 minutes and then come back, and anyone who hasn’t made it that far we pick up on the way back," said Mr Lee.

"Everybody is welcome on the walks and what we enjoy is seeing people coming to the group perhaps a bit lacking in self confidence or not very fit, and then seeing them four or five weeks later smiling, walking very briskly, chatting to everyone," said Mr Lee.