National Walking Day is today (April 7th, 2021), and whether you can get yourself up and out there in the great outdoors or not, watching a movie at the end of the day is a great way to relax.

So to celebrate this national day, here are five films that take place in nature, and focus on the activity that is walking!

Robert Redford and Nick Nolte in A Walk in the Woods / Picture Credit: Route One Entertainment

Robert Redford and Nick Nolte in A Walk in the Woods / Picture Credit: Route One Entertainment


Based on a true story, Reese Witherspoon takes on the role of Cheryl Strayed, a woman who hiked over 1,000 miles to get over the many tragedies shrouding her life.

Wild follows Cheryl as she crosses deserts, climbs steep rocky mountains, and ploughs through thick snow, all to simply feel something once more.

After years or drug abuse and sleeping around, Cheryl wants to make a change. She is determined to complete this walk for herself, and to make her mother proud.

The lush lands seen in the movie may serve as great incentive to wonder into the wilderness yourself – only if you plan properly, of course. Cheryl’s journey does more for her than she thought it would.

Witherspoon does a phenomenal job at playing Cheryl, and watching her, you can truly see that Cheryl’s journey frustrated her, made her stronger, and ultimately heals her soul.

A Walk in the Woods

Robert Redford and Nick Nolte star side-by-side in this adventurous film about a man who seeks peace and tranquillity after retirement; but not at home with his family – he wants to complete a great challenge before settling down for the rest of his days.

Bill Bryson (Redford) is a celebrated travel writer, who decides to spend his first time out of work tackling the Appalachian Trail – much to the confusion and apprehension of his wife, Catherine (Emma Thompson).

Bryson manages to find someone to accompany him on his challenge to push himself- Stephen (Nolte), a long-lost-friend and oddball.

The film adopts the comedic genre, mixed in with a charming story, of course. With beautiful scenery and a delightful and humorous story, this is definitely one to check out for National Walking Day!

The Ritual

Four friends from University reunite after the death of an old friend, and lay him to rest. They decide to go on a long walking trail in Scandinavia. Little do they know, their shortcut may cost them more than they thought…

The Ritual follows Hutch (Rob James-Collier), Phil (Arsher Ali), Dom (Sam Troughton), and Luke (Rafe Spall) as they take on a rather difficult hiking trail.

However, when Dom is injured, the group is forced to take a shortcut through the forest, which turns out to be a bad idea as an ominous and threatening presence stalks them…

The group simply try to make it out of the woods alive, but whatever this thing is that’s following them won’t let up; they wake up with bloody scratch marks.

A horror film with a focus on hiking may not sound interesting, but this film takes those ideas and blends them together perfectly. With a dark and brooding forest as its setting, this film is one to watch this evening!

The Way

American father Tom (Martin Sheen) gets a call that turns his world upside down. The death of his son has Tom finishing what his only child, Daniel (Emilio Esteves) started.

Having died on The Way, a hiking trail in the Pyrenees, Tom’s son never got to finish his trip. Tom takes it upon himself to carry not only himself through this journey, but his son, too.

Tom meets a wonderful array of hikers from all walks of life and this is part of what makes this film so charming.

The melancholy is balanced by Tom’s will to carry on, and by the wonderful mix of characters he meets along the way.

This movie is filled with character, stunning visuals and scenery, charm and elegance as a man simply wants to do well by his son. A beautiful and touching sentiment.

The Fellowship of the Ring

To end on a slightly lighter note, Peter Jackson’s masterpiece trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, are also films that focus on walking - for a very significant reason.

Young Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) is left to fend for himself after his uncle, Bilbo (Ian Holm) leaves their beautiful Shire home and hikes his way to Rivendell, to spend the remainder of his days with the Elves.

Frodo is left with more than just his uncle’s home, he is left with The One Ring. In order to rid the world of the Ring’s evil and save his friends and his home, Hobbiton, Frodo must walk all the way from The Shire to Mordor, a place of evil and death.

Our hero and his best friend, Sam (Sean Austin), must make the lengthy journey that spans three movies to destroy the ring. Throughout their journey, they witness death and destruction, but also beauty and wonderment at the world outside their beautiful Shire.

This film is nothing short of phenomenal. The stunning visuals and captivating cinematography will leave you wanting to visit Middle Earth, and perhaps even head out for a stroll yourself.

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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