Around half a dozen of the walks in this year’s Walkfest are being led by Guildford’s Town Guides. This is an independent group of 20 or more unpaid volunteers who take guests on walks for pleasure. They are amazingly knowledgeable about the area and have about 20 different themed walks to offer. Each year they lead about 160 walks so they are clearly meeting a demand.
But they are far more than just enthusiastic amateurs. This summer, they have received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE. They were one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year.
A couple of weeks ago the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, presented them with their award (as shown in the picture). Congratulations to them all.
During our September Walkfest, you have the chance to see various Town Guides in action. The topics are fascinating – whether it be famous people of the area, old industries, former pubs & inns or discovering more of the hidden secrets of the town. Each guide has their own specialist knowledge and little nuggets of information so even if you have joined some of these walks over the years, it is worth doing so again.
All the walks start near Tunsgate Arch and stay within the main part of the town so they are ideal for those who want a short stroll rather than a longer walk. Each one typically lasts for about 90 minutes – although participants are encouraged to ask questions and this can make the tours a little longer.
Enjoy learning more about our fascinating town and remember…Keep Healthy, Keep Walking!