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What’s this all about?
Our cities, towns and urban spaces all have areas that can be walked and wandered. They offer fresh insights, serendipitous meetings, and opportunities to get out of your home and office and into a world that is full of wonder. The thing is that most of us rush through our cities absorbed in anything OTHER than what the city has to offer.
Ways to Walk exists to tackle that challenge. Our walks offer ways for you to experience the everyday world around you with all of your senses through guided walking events. Throughout the year, our facilitated walks will give you the opportunity to experience your urban spaces in new and interesting ways – all on foot. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ve been missing in your hurly-burly world, and once you start being present, you’ll find marvels, creativity and inspiration, every time you step out of your door.
We offer a colourful selection of walks and “walkshops” that range from the fun and light-hearted to the thought-provoking and profound. As much as we love the digital world, we feel that there is great value in human connection, the co-creation of ideas, and learning from each other and the world around us.
Ways to Walk started life in beautiful Innsbruck, Austria, and we offer walks, “walkshops” and tailored participatory experiences throughout Europe. We also offer online and in-person training for anyone who would like to design, plan, and offer their own walks in their area.
Want to know more? Take a look at upcoming walks and “walkshops” and our “walker training”, or sign up for our very short and simple newsletter to keep abreast of what’s happening.
Prefer to walk alone?
Sign up to receive our FREE guided audio walk – just download it to your phone or audio device, put on your shoes, and off you go.
Full disclosure: you’ll be signing up to our mailing list, too, but you can unsubscribe any time at the click of a button.
About the walks
What should I expect from a walk?
Each of our walks lasts around 2 hours, and takes you through a local city. Which city depends on which event you’ve registered for.
Most walksevent has four parts:
An easy start: You’ll receive a short introduction to the theme of the walk, and any extra materials that you may need during the walk. We’ll guide you through a simple exercise to help you leave the world behind you and be present with all your senses for our walk.
The walk: You’ll be guided through the city, with regular stops filled with prompts, invitations and/or information, depending on the type of walk you are on. Sometimes we invite you to reflect on what you see, hear and do, either in small groups, pairs or alone.
Re-grouping: As we come to the end of our walk, we’ll take some time to regroup and chat about what you’ve noticed, both in terms of the walk and what you’ve experiences. This is a great way to see how different people notice different things, and inspire you to “walk differently” in the future.
Let the world in: Your guide will lead you through a final exercise to end the walk and set you free, with your newly-awakened walking self, into the world!
What do I need to bring to a walk?
Clothes for all weather, and weather appropriate protection (hat, sunscreen, gloves, umbrella – check your local weather forecast for tips). Shoes that you can walk in comfortably for two hours. A reusable bottle filled with water. An open mind. A willingness to try something new.
How many people attend your events?
Typically we have around 10-12 participants. We run events with as few as 6 people and as many as 20.
Are your walks suitable for small children?
To participate fully, children need to be able to read and write, and cope with being on a 2-hour city walk. We find that children under the age of 10 get bored - it's just too long for them. We do offer occasional walks for younger participants, however. Check our upcoming events for details, or get in touch to see what we have planned.
Who are your walks FOR?
Anyone curious about experiencing their urban spaces in new and interesting ways, who is open to meeting new people, in "real life".
We typically suggest that participants are 16 and older. We are happy for children and teens between 10 and 15 join us, but only if they are accompanied by guardians..
What other events do you organise?
Our main foucs is themed, mult-sensory walks, however we love to find new and interesting ways to get people excited about their senses!
We've organised dinners in the dark, cocktail and other tastings, trips to touch rocks, and much more. Every year brings something new, so be sure to request our newsletter to keep up to date.
Can you tell me more about your workshops and "walkshops"?
We don't have much to tell you just yet, because we are still planning our dates for the coming year. Stay tuned by signing up to our newsletter.
Why should I come to a walk?
Why not? In our walks you will:
- Move your body
- Explore the city or urban space and experience it in a new way
- Meet a few new people
- Get out of the house
- Inhale fresh air (we can't guarantee this - it depends on the city!)
- Experience a simple way to make everyday life a sensory adventure
You might even find that the city inspires you, that creative ideas arise, and that you unconsciously solve the problems of everyday life whilst you are doing something completely different.
Why do you organise in-person walking events?
Over the years, many researchers have lamented how, in our busy worlds, we've lost the ability to engage with the urban world around us through our senses. Yi-Fu Tuan and J. Douglas Porteous are great places to start if you are interested in knowing more.
We believe that our cities are full of interesting sensory experiences, and we're on a mission to reconnect people with urban landscapes through the full range of human senses, by tapping into the power of our bodies.
How can I bring Ways to Walk to MY city?
Ooh, we love exploring other cities on foot! Get in touch and let's chat to see what's possible.
Behind the scenes
Who started Ways to Walk?
Suzanne Whitby. For years, she has been interested in walking methodologies; participatory, experiential workshops; and analogue experiences that bring people together. She started offering story walks in 2018. In 2019, her MA research into the scentscape of ancient Pompeii made her curious about sensory walks, so she started offering them to small groups. In 2021, her interest in sustainability lead her to offer the first Deep Time Walks in Innsbruck.
At some point in 2023, she decided to pool her enthusiasm for exploring the world on foot, and away from screens, into one place. With that decision, Ways to Walk was (officially) born.
Where are you based?
We're headquartered in beautiful Innsbruck, Austria, and travel the world awakening people's senses... Okay, maybe not the world (yet), but we can dream, right?
Why not invite us to your city to run a few multi-sensory, themed walks, and make our dreams come true?
Seriously: from our base, we mostly run walks in English and German, in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. So far.
I have another question for you!
We also offer
Facilitated meetings designed to get people thinking, talking and coming up with ideas to tackle challenges or come up with new innovations.
Walks for conferences and events
Turn conference sessions into a walk, or invite us to organise walks that get people moving and talking after the formal conference or meeting events.
Dedicated walks for groups
Book a dedicated outdoor or indoor walking experience for your group that combines learning, discussion and sharing, and moving.
We can help you design custom walks that are participatory, experiential and educational. What the walk looks like and where it takes you depends on your needs.
Our urban spaces are brilliant places to get people thinking about brighter futures and how to make them a reality. We offer future-thinking walks that get creative juices flowing.
Talks about walks
Are you looking for a fun, engaging talk for your event that will get people thinking about their urban spaces and walking in new and interesting ways? Let us join you to talk about walks.