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Keith Chesterton Completes Thousandth Walk With Guildford Ramblers

Published on: 5 Feb, 2020
Updated on: 5 Feb, 2020

Veteran walker Keith Chesterton achieved a major milestone on Wednesday, January 29, when he completed his 1,000th walk with Guildford Ramblers. 270 of them he has led himself.

Keith, 85, from St Catherine’s, Guildford, has been a member of the Ramblers nationally for 60 years. He founded the Guildford Ramblers in January 1989 and was Chairman for 23 years. He is now life president. During his time with Guildford Ramblers he has seen membership grow from 20 to over 300 walkers.

Keith Chesterton (holding clipboard) is presented with a framed certificate to mark his 1,000th walk with Guildford Ramblers by Lynne Davies, chairman of Guildford Ramblers, and a bottle of champagne to enjoy with his wife.

Guildford Ramblers say Keith has always been a keen walker; as an eight-year-old he remembers asking his mother if they could walk home from the cinema, as he preferred it to the bus.

On his lifelong interest keith said: “Walking is much more popular now than it used to be. People walk for many different reasons, some for fitness or to meet people, others for the love of countryside or an interest in plants, trees and wildlife.

“We are so lucky, because the area around Guildford is really great for walking. There’s so much variety – the North Downs with great views, the Surrey Hills with its pretty villages – and in many of them a good pub if you want to stop at for a drink and a snack.

“There’s a great variety of vegetation, depending on whether the sub-soil is sand, clay or chalk and if you prefer a less strenuous walk there’s the flatter area of the Thames basin.

“You get a much better feeling for an area by walking through it, rather than driving, or even cycling. And within five minutes of starting a walk you can get away from traffic noise.”

But Keith doesn’t just walk around Guildford. In earlier years he has climbed Kilimanjaro, trekked to Annapurna base camp, completed the Three Peaks Challenge and has walked 11 of the best-known long distance paths in the UK including the Pennine Way, Offa’s Dyke Path and the West Highland Way, which he completed only two years ago.

His other interests include his family, politics, cycling and – when he was younger – cross-country skiing.

He spent eight years as a Guildford Borough Councillor, and was lead for the environment, and four years as a Surrey County Councillor.

Guildford Ramblers offer an extensive selection of walks. There are usually two walks on a Wednesday morning of five to six miles and a longer walk of eight to 10 miles on a Saturday.

On one Monday morning a month there is a short walk of about three tour miles.

For the full programme of walks go to www.guildfordramblers.org.uk and click on the ‘walks’ tab.

Story based on a press release from Guildford Ramblers.

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