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Fascinating Facts and Friendly Folk


Since I wrote my last blog, I have been on five Walkfest walks – each very different but all very enjoyable. In fact, the title of this entry sums them up – friendly people and learning new things.


I’ve lived in the Guildford area for over 30 years, but every time I go on a Town Guides walk, I learn something new. This time the Guide was talking about Kings, Worthies & Scoundrels. I have to say that the classification wasn’t that clear cut – many of those mentioned seemed to fall into more than one category – but that, I guess, is a true reflection on life!


There was more history to be learned when I joined David Rose for his walk from Dapdune Wharf to Stoke on Thursday. David is always a source of fascinating facts about Guildford, the folks who lived there and all the things that have happened to make Guildford the historic town it is now.


For a third “historic” walk, I joined the Wey & Arun Canal Trust on Sunday for a walk along the stretch of the canal beside Birtley (near Bramley). The engineering work going on there is substantial as they rebuild two new bridges as part of their scheme to re-open the canal route.


What brings all three of these walks together is the amount of knowledge and walk preparation that the guides put into their walks. All carried folders of images, maps etc which they shared with us on the way round so that we could understand what we were seeing. And their knowledge on their specialist subjects is encyclopaedic.


My other two walks this week were more for the pleasure of the scenery – and on these it was good to learn that for many of the walkers, the routes were along paths that they had not trodden before. I was part of the Horsley Fields & Woods walk which covered territory that I think was new to almost everyone. Then I joined with the Guildford Ramblers on their walk from Newlands Corner to Chilworth, The Chantries and St Marthas. I thought I knew that area well but we certainly went along paths that I’d never previously used.


In my title, I highlight the friendly folk. Without exception, every walk I’ve been on during Walkfest has justified this description. There is something about going for a walk that enables people to chat more freely. It is very rare for any two people to stick together for the full length of a walk and not talk with the others walkers. Invariably, people move around within the group and chat – sometimes for quite extensive periods - often with other walkers that they have never met before.


There is still one more week of this year’s festival to go. So, if you'd like to learn more about the area, visit wonderful scenery and enjoy being part of a friendly group, then join a walk and be part of Walkfest.

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