7 free walking apps

If you’ve got an iPhone or an Android-based smartphone and enjoy walking, downloading a relevant app could help you get the most from your outings. Each of our selection has a different feature to enhance your walks, from social functions that involve your friends to maps that encourage exploration. 

We've listed seven free walking apps to get you started.

Alpine Quest GPS Hiking, for Android

Another navigation app that's great for exploring off the beaten track, the free version comes with online maps. If you want to access online maps for offline use, there is also a premium paid-for version of the maps. A useful feature is that you can create multi-layered maps, for example with an aerial photo layered on top of the terrain map. It includes a compass and map orientation function.

Download for Android

MapMyWalk GPS for iPhone, Android or Windows

This app tracks your route, time, distance, speed, pace and calories burned, and syncs with mapmywalk.com so you can view the information in a larger format on your computer. If you can persuade friends to get involved, MapMyWalk’s social feature lets you share routes and encouraging words. The Windows phone version is called MapMyRun but has similar functionality - you can use it to track runs or walks.

Download for iPhone

Download for Android

Download for Windows

Nike + Running App for iPhone or Android

Don’t let the name deceive you: this app can be used for walking too. Alongside standard route, time and speed tracking, helpful feature Auto-Pause freezes data collection when you stop moving, so there’s no need to worry about having a sit-down if you need it.

Download for iPhone

Download for Android

OutDoors Great Britain for iPhone or iPad

Access the full range of Ordnance Survey maps (although be aware that most are priced individually), or use Open Street Map or Google Maps for free. All maps can be stored in your phone – perfect for internet-free rural rambles. You can use the Route Builder function to plan a suitable walk, or import routes for online. 

Download for iPhone or iPad

Viewranger, for iPhone, iPad and Android

Turn your phone or tablet into a GPS unit with this app. You can access free Open Street Maps, or you can pay to download Ordnance Survey maps - either as individual maps, or for the whole of the UK. Maps for other countries are available, too. Use it to record routes as you go, and save waypoints. It will display location, altitude, and grid reference. You can plan routes on its website beforehand using a computer (easier with a larger screen) and then access them on your phone. There's also a BuddyBeacon function which allows you to share your position with others using the app, or see where they are. You can import and export routes too, if you want to share them with others.

Download for iPhone

Download for Android

Walkmeter GPS, available for the iPhone

Another innovative fitness app, Walkmeter has plenty of fun features to try. Walkers can transfer maps into the app directly from an email or the Safari web browser, while Race Compete mode lets you compare your own times and speeds along a frequently trodden route.

The app includes maps, graphs and training plans.

Download the app for iPhone

World Walking, available for iPhone and Android

Devised by cardiac rehabilitation instructor Duncan Galbraith the World Walking app is a constant pedometer, recording the number of steps you take each day. Users pick legendary global routes, such as Route 66 in the United States or Peru’s Machu Picchu Inca Trail, and try to take enough steps to complete it. The app encourages social interaction too and lets walkers form virtual clubs, working together to meet distance targets.

Download for iPhone

Download for Android

Read the story of how Duncan Galbraith inspired a lunar mission

Just Walk all over heart disease

3 people walking on a cliff path by the sea

Just Walk is your chance to raise money and fight heart disease the way you want – wherever that way may take you… 

Taking part is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other – you simply pick your route choose your date and just walk! And with every step you take, every pound you raise, you’ll help bring our research closer to that next life saving breakthrough. 

So tell heart disease to take a hike. Sign up to Just Walk now.

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