Make new friends and enjoy the fresh air on a guided walk

Make new friends and enjoy the fresh air on a guided walk

Saturday (May 13) sees the start of the 1066 Walking Festival.  The festival, which runs until the following Sunday (May 21) is a series of some 50 different guided walks in the town and countryside of 1066 country.  The walks are all led by volunteers who know the local area well and enjoy sharing stories with fellow walkers.

Stuart Ramsbottom is the Active Rother co-ordinator, one of the festival’s organisers.  He said:  “Walking is healthy and a form of exercise that almost everyone can do.  It’s free, you don’t need to be particularly fit and you don’t need special kit or clothes. Once people start walking for pleasure they are more likely to incorporate it into their everyday routine – choosing to walk to work or the shops instead of using the car or public transport.  It’s a healthy lifestyle option.”

The walks in the festival programme start at different times and locations throughout the nine days.   There are events to suit everyone, regardless of age or level of fitness.  There are even routes that are accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Some walks are several miles long taking a few hours, whereas others are just a mile or two.   Many head out to explore the local coastline, woodlands and countryside, while others focus on the history and architecture of the urban landscape.

The 1066 Walking Festival is almost entirely run by volunteers who plan the routes and lead the walks.  They will meet fellow walkers at the designated time and place, rain or shine.  If they feel the weather could pose a problem they may postpone the walk but ask that participants dress appropriately in strong, comfortable shoes, and to bring waterproofs if rain is forecast.

“The Walking Festival is a great way to encourage people to take part in some physical activity, discover the local area and meet new people,” said Stuart.

Health walks are leisurely walks, usually between one and three miles that take place every week throughout the year, including the week of the festival.  They last around an hour and go from different locations in Hastings and Rother, including Bexhill, Robertsbridge, Rye, Sidley, Battle and Pevensey Bay.  They often conclude at a café for a drink and a chat with fellow walkers and are a good way to make new friends, enjoy a healthy social life and feel part of a community.

The Health walks are supported by The Conservation Volunteers who offer support and leader training for anyone wishing to take part or organise a walk of their own.  Contact Jenny Deering, Health Walks Project Officer, on 07740 899559 or for more information.

To find out about dates, times, meeting points, routes and booking information for the Walking Festival’s guided walks please visit   .

The 1066 Walking Festival and Health Walks are projects supported by Rother Voluntary Action (RVA), the professional body that drives the voluntary and community sector in Rother. Our job is to provide advice, information and support for initiatives that bring social benefits to the neighbourhood.  You can read more about our work elsewhere on our website.