The 1st September was not only the first day of meteorological autumn but was also the first day of this year’s Guildford Walking Festival. In bright sunshine, we gathered outside Guildford Spectrum to launch this month of free walks which will take us all over the Borough on a mix of short, medium and longer walks, all put on by local organisations and walking groups.
To start the programme in style the Mayor of Guildford, Richard Billington, cut the traditional tape and then joined us as we set off to explore the woodland beside the leisure centre before we continued with a stroll around many of the lesser known features of Stoke Park.
Our first stop in the woodlands was beside the vast array of ‘dragon’s teeth’ which formed part of the WWII defence system created to protect London in the event of an invasion. Many people will have seen clusters of these at various places around the county but this is by far the largest grouping anywhere in the local area – and well worth a visit if you’ve never seen them.
Then back to the sunshine of Stoke Park. Crossing into the area where Wild Wood Adventure had numerous people buzzing through the air overhead, we then followed the path along the northern side of the park visiting various sites – including the location of the former “great house” whose grounds became the park many years ago.
With such glorious weather, it was great to see so many people making use of the parkland – on the skate park, in the paddling pool, running, walking, relaxing in the sunshine and generally making good use of this valuable open space in the heart of the borough.
Meandering back after our circuit of the park we stopped near Burchatts Farm to see this Grade 2 listed building and the nearby Model Engineering Society with its miniature railway. Both of these were unknown features for many of our group.
Today’s event was a nice gentle stroll to get us all in the mood for the month and to give many of our participants a chance to learn more about Guildford and it’s walking festival. The walk was a great success and bodes well for the rest of the month.
Why not join us for some of the many walks we have lined up. Not only are they interesting and informative but they help us all to “Keep Healthy, Keep Walking”.