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September’s Walkfest Marches On And There’s Still Time To Join In

Published on: 19 Sep, 2021
Updated on: 19 Sep, 2021

Walkers in front of the Apostolic Church at Albury on the chairman’s walk.

This year’s Guildford Walkfest is now entering its fourth week, having hosted about 30 of the 50 walks so far, and all have been well received.

They have ranged from short walks led by the Guildford Town Guides, with their varying themes including the ever popular Leading Lights walk, through to Walking for Health strolls, to mid-length walks of about five miles with organisers such as the Surrey Hills Society.

All fit and ready for their 12-mile walk from Guildford to Farnham in aid of Guildford’s Street Angels.

Longer walks have been hosted by The Ramblers and other regular walking groups.

A small group are covering the length of the St Swithin’s Way (from Guildford to Winchester) in four stages, while one of the highlights has been the Walkfest chairman’s walk.

This was a walk around chairman Christine Howard’s favourite area of Albury Heath and Shere.

The picnic on Albury Heath after the Chairman’s Walk.

A great group of walkers took part and at the end of the walk about half of them stayed on for a picnic. It was then discovered that one of the picnickers was a birthday girl and her family group had brought a more deluxe picnic – including Prosecco.

The co-ordinator of Guildford Walkfest, Ken Bare, said “It was probably the first time we have ever celebrated the end of a Walkfest walk with fizz!”

The Street Angels walkers at the Bee Orchid Bench just before the end of the sponsored walk to Farnham from Guildford.

Ken added: “Each Walkfest we have a nominated charity and for a second time we had selected the Guildford Street Angels.

“Many of them joined the sponsored walk from Guildford to Farnham on the North Downs Way, on Saturday, September 18, and had a great day out.

“Even better, the sponsorship has already raised over £4,000 and is still rising. Sponsorship opportunities are still open by clicking here.

On Friday, September 17, local historian and writer David Rose led more than 20 people on a circular walk starting from Tunsgate in the town centre with a stop off and visit to The Spike Heritage Centre off Warren Road on the way.

At The Spike: David Rose doing hard labour!

His walk was titled In The Shadow of the Workhouse, and he asked the walkers to imagine what it was like for tramps, vagrants and those ‘on the road’ around 100 years ago as they made their way from town to town seeking a bed for the night in the casual ward of the local workhouse.

David is also a volunteer tour guide of The Spike, and led the group on a short tour of it to see the preserved cells of the vagrants’ casual ward and hear what life was like there.

The Spike with some of the walkers on David Rose’s walk In the footsteps of the Workhouse.

The manager of The Spike Heritage Centre, John Redpath, was on hand and explained how this important building was saved when St Luke’s Hospital was being re-developed for housing. The dual museum and community centre is thriving and opened in 2008.

David’s walk then went across Pewley Down and back to the town centre via the edge of the Chantries, Pilgrims’ Way and Shalford Park.

Walkers take a break during the Discover Guildford Walk.

Still to come between now and the end of September are walks with the Ramblers. And there’s an informative afternoon walk around Guildford town centre with the Surrey Hills Society to learn about some of the writers who lived in or wrote about the borough.

There are also more walks with the Walking for Health groups, and Ken Bare says: “I’m certainly looking forward to the walk on Thursday, September 30, which will take us round some of the Lovelace heritage and bridges of East Horsley.”

Click here for a full list of walks on the Guildford Walkfest website.

And some more pictures of the 2021 Guildford Walkfest walks so far.

By Triggs Lock on a walk from the Olive Tree pub at Sutton Green.

Street Angels walkers under the Lutyens designed bridge at Compton.

Guildford Walkfest chairman Chris Howard and Walkgest co-ordinator Ken Bare, at Shere.

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Responses to September’s Walkfest Marches On And There’s Still Time To Join In

  1. Chris Howard Reply

    September 20, 2021 at 8:06 am

    What a brilliant article covering this very special festival. Thank you Guildford Dragon NEWS.

  2. Ben Carter Reply

    September 20, 2021 at 8:38 am

    I have been on a few of the walks this year and they have been excellent. I would recommend that others join a walk; it is such a great way to celebrate Guildford and walking.

  3. Louise Kenyon Reply

    September 20, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    The Walkfest team from the Surrey Hills Society are so knowledgeable, I would recommend their top quality free walks , they have something suitable for everyone, such a great way to explore our beautiful area.

  4. Kenneth Bare Reply

    September 21, 2021 at 7:40 am

    Thanks “Dragon” for some brilliant coverage of Walkfest. Hopefully, some of your readers will check out the website and join the remaining walks. If not – don’t forget we will be back with another Walkfest for all of September 2022.

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