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Guildford Walkfest is Underway and Making Great Strides!

Published on: 3 Sep, 2023
Updated on: 4 Sep, 2023

Guildford Walkfest, now in its 17th year, is well and truly under way and continues for the whole month of September.

This celebration of walking is designed to get people of all ages and abilities out and about, in and around Guildford and the surrounding countryside.

And what’s more all of these guided walks are free!

The walk to launch this year’s festival took place on Friday, September 1, with a walk starting from and finishing at The Hive, Guildford Borough Council’s community centre in Park Bark.

The Deputy of Mayor of Guildford, Sallie Barker, about to cut a ribbon to announce the festival open. Photos by Kenneth Bare of the Guildford Walkfest organising committee and vice-chairman of the Surrey Hills Society.

The Deputy of Mayor of Guildford, Sallie Barker, was on hand to cut a ribbon to announce the festival open and she came on the walk led by local historian and writer David Rose.

David regularly leads walks for Walkfest, and during each walk he gives details of the local history thereabouts.

This walk took in the University of Surrey’s Manor Park campus, with a stop to hear about the medieval royal deer park that once covered this area of Guildford, and the site of a manor house to which royalty stayed. The only visual part today being the remains of a moat that surrounded it.

Hearing about the medieval royal deer park that covered a large area to the west of Guildford.

It was then on through the Surrey Research Park towards Pinks Hill. Here David told the story of a USAF Sabre jet aircraft that crashed in the field here in 1952.

On a military exercise, it had collied at 24,000 feet with an RAF Meteor jet. The Meteor crashed on land at Loseley Park, both pilots ejected their aircraft and survived.

There was also a stop on the bridge over the railway at Pinks Hill to hear a bit about its history.

The route then took in Broad Street Common where David spoke about the Roman farmstead that was here and an archaeological dig that took place on the edge of Park Barn in the 1990s. All three topics often being little known aspects of Guildford’s history.

David said: “The great thing about these walks, not just mine, are the conversations people have with one another along the way. There are all very friendly and so enjoyable.”

There are plenty more free walks coming up being hosted by a number of organisations including Surrey Hills Society, Pewley Down Volunteers, Guildford Town Guides, Guildford Ramblers, Challengers, Back On Track, Send Evangelical Church, Catalyst, RSPB, Wey & Arun Canal Trust, Muddy Boots, DG Outdoor Activities, and Guildford Health Walks.

Click here for details of all the walks.

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