Walking, pub racing & plentiful barrels of beer!

Whitchurch in Hampshire weekend’s celebrations began with their first Walkers are Welcome led Family Fun Ramble through the fields and water meadows of the River Test. The sun shone brightly over Whitchurch as a large group of residents were joined by visitors from nearby towns and it was great to see three generations walking together in the spring sunshine, celebrating seven years of the Mill Trail. After a short stop at Bere Mill to watch the fly fishing, the group split with a number heading off down the trail to the Watership Down Inn’s ever popular Beer Festival with the rest of the group continuing back in to town for a very welcome lunch.












The following day was given over to the legendary Pub Race…apparently there are a set of rules with prizes given at the end of the day for fastest team, best costumes & sober/still standing! This year over 30 teams in full fancy dress ran, walked and staggered the hilly two mile route between Whitchurch’s various watering holes collecting donations for the town’s various good causes.


Llandovery WaW walks for charity

The Llandovery WaW Group have maintained a regular programme of walks of two walks a month over the last six months or so. During this time we have been able to successfully complete the two annual Charity walks which we organise each year, the first of which was a circuit in mid-December of the trail around the magnificent edifice of Carreg Cennen Castle, in Carmarthenshire, the proceeds of which we donated to BBC Children in Need, and the second being a new walk on our programme, which took the form of a new circuit of the village of Myddfai, and the proceeds of which were donated to the Kidney Wales appeal.


Liskeard walkers let the train take the strain

The curious railway line from Liskeard Station to Looe via Coombe Junction is 115 years old this year. In recent years, the small station at the bottom of the 2 mile incline, Coombe Junction Halt, has been served by just two trains a day, each way, and has frequently languished in the bottom 5 stations in the country, in terms of passenger numbers. Most recently, just 26 passengers used the station in the last year.

On Saturday 14th May, 108 walkers celebrated the anniversary of the link line opening and caught a train from one of Britain’s least used stations.

The walkers met at the Looe line platform at Liskeard station for the short (0.8 mile) amble down hill to Coombe Junction and caught one of the few trains that call there. Walkers had the rare opportunity to purchase a ticket from Coombe Junction (a collector’s item!) and hopefully we may have lifted this little station out of its position at the bottom of the league table!


Lis train 2
Walkers heading for Coombe Junction Halt


Walkers meeting at Liskeard

Making the most of promotion opportunities


Some of you may have been watching Julia Bradbury’s ‘Best walks with a view’ series. On Friday 8 April it featured Winchcombe in the Cotswolds, which has been a WaW town since 2009.


When Winchcombe WaW was approached to help with the programme, they did everything they could to maximise on the publicity, not just for their town, but for the WaW Network. They started by giving advice to the researchers who were looking for content then they took part in a 3 hour filming session. They talked about WaW constantly, to make sure it featured in the programme.


But they didn’t stop there, they stayed in touch with Julia and her team, making sure their town was featured on Julia’s website www.theoutdoorguide.co.uk and using social media to spread the word about the programme. Even during the broadcast people were tweeting and Julia was re-tweeting to all her followers.


The result? Nearly 1800 people were alerted before the programme from the Winchcombe Walking Capital of the Cotswolds Facebook page, over 5,000 people visited the www.winchcombewelcomeswalkers.com website on the evening of the programme, the local TIC was inundated with requests for information the next day and hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of viewers and tweeters have now heard of Walkers are Welcome.


That’s the way to do it! The more we all promote the WaW concept, the more publicity every WaW town gets.


So make sure you use the logo on everything you publish, from your website, to walking leaflets and signs, and if you ever get the opportunity to appear on radio or TV, don’t forget to mention WaW as well as your town. If you don’t use social media you are missing a trick, so if you can’t cope with it, recruit a teenager!


Launch of the ‘Welcome Way’ on 25th June 2016


A new fully waymarked walking route is to be officially opened by Kate Ashbrook, Patron of the Walkers are Welcome Towns Network at the Otley Walking Festival on Saturday 25th June 2016.

After nearly a year of planning, the Walkers are Welcome communities of Otley, Burley in Wharfedale, Baildon and Bingley have created the 28-mile ‘Welcome Way’.


The route passes through stunning moorland landscapes, alongside rivers and reservoirs, across farmland, through woodland and local communities, affording the walker to experience an area of outstanding natural beauty.

John Sparshatt, Chair of the Welcome Way project said: “This is a collaboration of keen walkers who have come together to share their passion with others.  As well as creating a circular walk that people will enjoy, we’re helping to support the local economy and contribute to the infrastructure of walking communities”.

A 52 page guide book, priced at £5.99, is available from  www.welcomeway.org.uk. Welcome-Way-GuideThe book includes descriptions and maps of the route, photographs, information on each of the WaW communities and public transport information.  For more information please visit: www.otleywalkingfestival.btek.co.uk 

Burley and Bingley – latest towns to add to the tapestry

Burley and Bingley are the latest towns represented on our tapestry created to celebrate the national Walkers are Welcome movement.

Sylvia Robinson from Burley has recently finished a tapestry square showing off some of the highlights of the village, just in time for the tapestry it to go on show in Wharfedale as part of Otley Walking Festival.

Chairman of the Burley Walkers Are Welcome group, David Asher, said: “We are launching a new long distance footpath which will link Burley, Otley, Baildon and Bingley, but realised that Burley was not currently represented.

Burley tapestry


Is your town represented?

Over £1,000 pounds raised by Wiveliscombe walkers

Syrian children and Wiveliscombe Primary School benefitted from 36 children and parents walking 3.6 miles. of the 23 mile “Wivey Way” organised by The Bear Inn Wiveliscombe. Meanwhile a 30 strong group of fit, hardy individuals of all ages completed the first 11 miles of the trail and another group a somewhat shorter section. These two groups were sponsored for funds to Wiveliscombe Walkers are Welcome and The Multiple Sclerosis Trust. On returning to The Bear all groups enjoyed a hog roast whilst chatting in the sunshine. A similar event later in the year is planned to raise funds for Cancer Research so watch The Bear facebook and Wiveliscombe Walkers are Welcome web site It is great to be able to help these charities whilst having such an enjoyable day and thanks go to The Bear Inn for organising it.


Raising the Standard


Kirkby Stephen & District Walkers are Welcome have been encouraging and working with the Peatland Programme Research Officer at the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to realise funding for improvements to the Wainwright Coast to Coast walking route over Nine Standards.

The plan is to float flagstones over the damaged peat to make a stable walking surface which will also allow the surrounding peat to recover. Once the walkway is complete, Cumbria County Council will designate the route as a Right of Way to enable protection and maintenance as such for the future.

This project has come a lot closer with the launch of ‘Raising the Standard’ crowd funding on 21st March.

There is a video which explains the project and further information is detailed on the AONB website.

Donations on http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ would be most appreciated or please tweet #BogStandard.

Anniversary of the Caradon Trail launch

Twenty one walkers set off on Saturday 5th March to mark the anniversary of the Caradon Trail launch; 17 miles of lanes, tracks and paths suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, linking Liskeard and surrounding villages to Bodmin Moor. The day was chilly but sunny, history stops included Halbathick Farmhouse, the oldest building in Cornwall to have been used as a non conformist meeting place, remains of the 1846 level crossing keepers hut on the Liskeard & Caradon Railway at Old Treworgey and an inspection of the only surviving signpost to the Liskeard to Looe canal. Liskeard-news

The Wivey Way in one day!

A sponsored walk has been arranged on saturday 2nd April to raise funds for Wiveliscombe Walkers are Welcome and the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. Please try and get along to help two good causes.  Further details available here.

“Wiveliscombe Circular Walks” book with eleven walks between one mile and twenty three miles available to buy at £3.90 (on the day) to enable “self guided” walks or from brenda@bmbomber.plus.com at £5.50 inc.p&p

Find out more about Wiveliscombe at www.wiveliscombe.com


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