Finer weather has seemed a far cry away with the wrath of the Beast from the East, dull, murky skies and unseasonably low temperatures throwing all they have at us thus far in 2018.

But as the weather, slowly, but surely, begins to resemble something more akin to spring, it’s time to brush off the cobwebs, don the walking boots and get out and about.

Walking brings with it huge health benefits, both physically and mentally. It gets the circulation going, and provides an invigorating boost of endorphins to lift your mood and help relieve stress.

And taking part in a group walk can also be a fantastic way to branch out and develop your social circle – another great benefit for health in combatting loneliness and providing a way of meeting others with common interests.

There are a throng of walking events in Dumbarton and the Vale to look forward to in the coming brighter months to suit walkers of all ages and abilities.

If you’re looking to embrace the stunning natural beauty of the Vale and the banks of Loch Lomond, Live Active offers a Vale of Leven Health Walk in Balloch.

Meeting every Thursday at 1pm this April, the group meets at the entrance to Moss o’ Balloch, Balloch Road, for a walk lasting around 45 minutes.

The beautiful Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is also utilised for Walk in the Park, Balloch – a supportive environment for people to start to enjoy the social and health benefits of being physically active.

Walk in the Park meets every Wednesday morning outside the Balloch Tourist Information Centre at 10.20am.

Live Active also offer a health walk in Dumbarton around Levengrove Park, running every Tuesday at 10am until May 19, and meeting at Woodyard Road car park.

The Old Kilpatrick Health and Social Walk is led by trained volunteers, and has been running for more than three years, walking its way to over 150 walks.

They meet every Monday outside Sambalatte at 10.30am to set off at 10.45am in all weathers.

Another walk event led by trained volunteers offers the chance for a brisk, early Monday morning stroll around Christie Park in Alexandria. Running until May 28, starting at 9.45am, and meeting at Alexandria CE Centre.

Participants are able to take things at their own pace, with the number of park laps depending on participants’ level of fitness.

For Live Active, Balloch information, contact John Gardner on 01389 772008. The Live Active, Dumbarton contact is John McKeown, 01389 608429.