Head for the hills: Walking festivals to join in Surrey this September

PUBLISHED: 17:16 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:31 01 September 2020

Walking in the Surrey counrtryside. Image: Chris Howard

Walking in the Surrey counrtryside. Image: Chris Howard

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Post lockdown, why not pencil in some free walks in your diary and possibly shed a few pounds, while having a great time says Christine Howard

Guikford Walkfest Leader Peter Lambert leading a walk at last year's festival. Image: Chris HowardGuikford Walkfest Leader Peter Lambert leading a walk at last year's festival. Image: Chris Howard

September is one of the best times of the year to get out and get walking. It’s a little bit cooler, and the countryside is starting to give a spectacular show of autumn colours for us to enjoy.

Quite a number of us, including me, ended up putting on a few extra pounds during lockdown, so walking is a great way of shedding that extra weight before the dark days of winter.

It is one of the safest forms of exercise available and can be started without the need for any expensive equipment or gym subscriptions….just step out your front door and start walking! Some people are worried about getting lost, so to help you get started, there is a wonderful organisation called Walking for Health. Their specially trained volunteer leaders host walks every week across our county.

These are gentle short walks designed to give people confidence to get out and try this natural health therapy that is free for everyone. Search walkingforhealth.org.uk for details.

I would however, recommend a stout pair of specially designed walking boots, if you are serious about getting into this form of exercise. They may look chunky and heavy, but believe me, they really feel like pulling on a pair of comfy slippers if you get the right pair. They will aid your walking ability greatly.

READ MORE: Check out more walks in Surrey

September is also the time of Guildford’s Walking Festival. For the whole month you will find a walk happening somewhere in the borough. The festival pulls together lots of different groups including The Ramblers, The Surrey Hills Society, Walking for Health, and Guildford Town Guides. It also hosts specialists like local historian David Rose, who gives fascinating talks about the local area during his walks. Another regular is Richard Fox who leads a walk each year along a section of the Fox Way…a long distance circular walk around the borough that Richard designed himself. See thefoxway.com for more details.

There was some doubt whether the festival could go ahead this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it is now possible to walk in small socially distanced groups on pre booked events. This is how the festival will be run. Bookings can be made at the Guildford Tourist Office. See Guildfordwalkfest.co.uk for more information.

Because various May and June walking festivals were cancelled this year due to lockdown, you will also find that there are other mini festivals taking place this September. Check out your local Ramblers Group for details. Farnhamwalker.com will have walks across Farnham and will lead a special, long distance walk along a lesser known part of the Pilgrim’s Way, all the way to Winchester Cathedral. Haslemere also have their walking festival taking place from September 11 to 13. See haslemere.com for details.

So post lockdown why not pencil in some free autumn walks in your diary and possibly shed a few pounds, while having a great time.

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