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National Themed Events

The purposes of the National Themed Events are:

  • to do something of value to local communities
  • to give a platform to raise the profile of Walkers are Welcome, both locally and nationally
  • to build cohesion between Walkers are Welcome groups
  • to have fun and get a sense of well-being through doing something worthwhile

Towns/villages  joining in any the events below are asked to send details, with a photo, by email to

Future Events: 

  • June 2024   Slow Ways Waycheck

    • The dates this year are Friday June 14th to Sunday June 23rd.  Details are here

      Towns may be organising a walk or walk to try to  get at least one unverified route verified.  These walks may include new improved routes too. We know
      • Wellington have 2 walks planned . They say 

        “Last year we pioneered (did the first check on) routes from Wheaton Aston and Codsall to Telford.  The former was not fit for purpose and so we devised a new route which hasn’t  been tried yet. The latter was verified.  This year we have 2 walks planned. Firstly on Friday 21st June, a return trip to Wheaton Aston to try the new route, and secondly  on Saturday June 22nd, an altogether simpler walk from Broseley to Telford.  These walks are very different to our usual walks in that they haven”t been checked out (recced) by the leaders in advance.  In fact the Saturday one will form a recce for a walk in the festival in September.   Full details of both walks are here” .

      • Executive member Stuart, working with Cowbridge, has ambitious plans in South Wales.

  • September 2024     Heritage Open Days

      • Many of our towns/villages  take part in this each year  (there are a few highlighted below) .   The 2024 theme for England ,  History of routes, networks and communications, is ideal for Walkers are Welcome.

        In Wales and Scotland these events  are called Open Doors and are also in September. 

Past Events:

  • May 2024- Celebrate your local waymarked path during  National Walking Month
    • Many WaW have either developed, or have,  a local waymarked and named path near them. For example the Telford T50 50 Mile Trail or The Welcome Way.  These are valued locally and can attract walkers to WaW towns, which is one of the WaW aims.  During May  2024,  many  towns  celebrated their local path, Some were  walking ,  clearing,   re-waymarking , extending  or improving  publicity.  
      • Kirkby Stephen 
        • Organised a series of walks on each Thursday in May celebrating their local named paths including  Lady Anne’s Way, the Coast to Coast and the Kirkby Stephen Poetry Path. Full details are here 
      • Otley’s events included
        • walking and checking their  long-distance trails Six Dales Trail, and (their part of the) Welcome Way, and where necessary dealing with any problems
        • at the start of the Otley Walking Festival  (in June) presenting their new long-distance trail, the Leeds Green Gateways. This is a circular route of 43 miles between Otley and Leeds, leading through a remarkably large number of parks and green spaces. The route will be published in a guidebook similar to their guide books for the Six Dales and Welcome Way. The route will be walked over four days as part of the Walking Festival. 
      • Ross on Wye‘s contribution:
        • “At Ross on Wye we are celebrating the creation of many, many Miles without Stiles.  We have been hard at work over the past year changing stiles for gates on all our major routes and many other paths to create circular stile-free walks.    In total Ross Walkers are Welcome have replaced well over 150 stiles with gates – or even gaps!  Nearly 40 new gates went in this winter, despite the gruesome weather, with another 40 in the previous summer months.  This intensive work has been managed by Ross Walkers are Welcome – from our initial survey of all the local footpath “furniture”, seeking out landowners and gaining permissions to ordering gates and getting them installed; but funded through the Wye Valley National Landscape to improve access in the area; and carried out with the help of an army of wonderful local volunteers, landowners and some contractors.  A real team success! The feedback has been fabulous, from people who can now do walks that had become impossible because of the stiles, to dog owners and landowners.  We would like to extend a huge thank you to all involved and look forward to planning and executing Phase 3 of the project!  So now we are gradually adding stile free-walks to a dedicated area of our website walks – – usually circular walks, but some linear ones using the local buses, particularly the new community-funded Daffodil Line. “
      • Snaith:
        • celebrated one of their walks (East Cowick Circular) by leading a walk along it which gave them the opportunity to assess the condition of waymarkers, gates, etc. on the route.  Note:  the markers on this route are no ordinary waymarks, follow the link to see these very informative signs.  They have other innovative directions too, look at this for  example.
      • Wellington have been pivotal in developing  and maintaining the walks below, for this particular event they : 
      • Whitchurch (Hampshire):
        •  celebrated National Walking Month & the 15th anniversary of their popular waymarked Mill Trail, jon Sunday 12th May  with a free guided walk following the headwaters of the beautiful River Test chalk stream. See this Video . Full details are  here.
  • Heritage Open Days,  September 2023
  • Great Slow Ways Summer Waycheck,  June 16th to 25th 
    • See here for full details and a link to sign up as a group.  To inspire WaW towns, Dan Raven-Ellison,  the founder of SlowWays,  hosted  an on-line session for WaW  on April  18th. See the May Member’s Newsletter for  a report.   
  • Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, 7th March to 2nd April 2023
    • Not formally one of our events,  but some towns took part in  The Great British Spring Clean 2023. See here.
  • Countryfile Ramble / Children in Need,  October 2022
    •  Their  preferred dates were ” the first week in October”, but events could be on  any date to suit you.  We believe a least 3  towns (2 of those below plus Market Weighton)  took  part in the Countryfile Ramble with another supporting their local radio station . 
      Henley-on-Thames Bingley Wellington
      October 2nd October 9th November 12th
      A choice of 4 walks from 2.3 to 8.6 miles,  including one suitable for mobility scooters. 

      3 mile walk as above,

      They were very pleased with how it went and raised £333.  Photos here .

      Wellington Welly Walk

      A short 45-minute walk, for Children in Need’ in conjunction with Paul Shuttleworth of BBC Radio Shropshire.  It was   a  circular walk from outside Dothill Primary School, with both a short cut option and the chance to do a longer walk too.  

      They  raised £217.59  on the day with more online. 

      Pudsey Bear was there. Photos here

  • Heritage Open Days,  September 2022
    • The theme for the 2022 event, running from September 9th to 18th ,  was Astounding Inventions.   The full list of  events can be seen here.
    • We have been told about  7 events being organised by WaW towns:

      St Ives Heritage Walk

      Display of Motorbikes and a walk

      Celebrating Michael Faraday

      Bingley Snaith Kirkby Stephen
      September 11, 2022

      September 11, 2022

      September 15, 2022
      Cedric Farineau @ Bingley Walkers are Welcome
      Bingley are celebrating a place that is rich in heritage, rather than a specific  invention.  On their walk in the Bingley St Ives Estate.  Visitors will have a glimpse of an area that English Heritage entered into the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in 2009. The highlight of the annual Heritage Open Day celebrations will be in Market Place, where there will be a display of cherished motorbikes. In nearby Cowick, there will be a guided walk along Cowick Royal Way, where you will hear stories about visits to Cowick by Kings and Queens and many other important people with royal connections. Kirkby Stephen are celebrating Michael Faraday’s association with the town in a 1-hour family walk

      Celebrating Thomas Parker

      Georgian Town Walk

      Hunshelf Bank circular from Stocksbridge




      September 15, 2022 September 17th, 2022 September 18th, 2022
      Thomas Parker Invented the First Electric Car in 1884
      Wellington are organising a  7.5 mile walk in celebration of Thomas Parker. The walk will visit places in Madeley and Coalbrookdale that are associated with the man who invented the world’s first electric car. See for example  Dereham are celebrating a place that is rich in heritage, rather than a specific  invention. Working with Dereham Heritage Trust, they offer a walk round the Georgian buildings and sites within the town. (Where buildings have disappeared, their locations will be visited.) Ascend to the Pea Royd Lane Viewpoint and Hunshelf Bank. Extensive views across the Upper Don Valley follow as we traverse Hunshelf Bank before reaching the Green Moor Viewpoint. We then descend to the stepping stones at the Wortley Leppings before returning via Tin Mill, the River Don and the Deepcar bridleway to Fox Valley Shopping Centre.

      Coleford’s Hidden Heritage

      Coleford is actively taking part in Heritage Open Days with The Coleford Area Partnership providing events to celebrate the towns marked long history. These events can be found by visiting HOD Heritage Apps/Forest of Dean   On visiting this site, you will see the Coleford Heritage App, being free to download, this app is a brilliant way to see the old town through the magic of technology.    
  • Celebrating our heritage – Autumn 2021 All our towns and villages have something to celebrate.  for England, the dates  for Heritage Open Days were 10th to 19th September and the theme was Edible England , see  but towns or villages were free to choose another aspect.
  • Some of our members’ events:

    Bus Walk and Vineyard Visit


    September 14, 2021

    Historical Pub Crawl

    Kirkby Stephen

    September 16, 2021

    St Ives Heritage Walk


    September 19, 2021

  • National tree week 2020   The Tree Council’s National Tree Week ran  from 28th November to 6th December. We encouraged those of our member towns and villages, who were currently holding small group walks for the benefit of their local community, to hold a woodland walk  during National Tree Walk to  celebrate the work of The Tree Council. These walks were listed on our events page    Other activities were welcome too,  e.g. publicising  self-guided walks in woodland or just publishing a news item about a special local tree. 
    Kirkby Stephen  3rd December

    Wellington  6th December


    Whitchurch Hampshire


    Middleton-in-Teesdale Bingley