Winchcombe Cotswolds Walking Festival 2018
A very successful 2018 Walking Festival and probably our best.
Looking back on the 2018 Walking Festival.
After months of research and planning, the 2018 walking festival appeared to be over in the blink of an eye. The great atmosphere, seeing new and familiar faces and the lovely words of thanks make the whole event worthwhile.
The organisers would like to thank all the volunteers who came forward to help with the management, the walk leaders drawn from the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens and Ramblers and the landowners who allowed us access to areas not normally accessible. Many enjoyed refreshments upon arrival courtesy of the Greet Women’s Institute.
Friday’s diverse walks included going to a jail followed by tea and cake rather than a jail sentence. We retraced old drovers routes used through the Cotswolds to get animals to market. We sought Royal connections to Sudeley Castle and visited a private estate where a huge amount of environmental work has taken place with over 5 miles of drystone walls built. The day finished with the customary dinner followed by a quiz.
Saturday started off with the Winchcombe Way Challenge which increases in popularity each year. This year we had a group of Russian ladies enter who normally reside in London. Whilst the first walker back arrived 5.5 hours after starting, the Russians decided to take a longer route and took 10 hours, tired but still in good spirits.
The longer 13 mile walks proved popular with two walking back to Winchcombe, one via a pub lunch. Others decided to visited the lofty Cleeve Common and see some rare wild plants, go sketching or finish their walk with tea and cake. A fascinating talk in the evening by Alan Pilbeam about the origin of footpaths completed a perfect day.
Sunday was an early 5am start with the Dawn Chorus walk
followed by a full English breakfast.
For those wishing to rise later, we visited a roman villa and deserted farm, combined walks with steam train rides, discovered more about Winchcombe Abbey’s past and enjoyed the sun drenched Cotswold countryside.
Finally, thank you for the donations for the tea, coffee and welsh cakes on offer, you raised over £80 and the WI is donating this to the Air Ambulance.
Thank you for all the cards, emails and messages. We really appreciate the comments arriving.
“The organisation of the whole festival is excellent and the leaders friendly and knowledgeable. I found the pace just right and the whole day was very enjoyable. “
“The festival is very well organised and the walks are lovely and well lead”.
“It was a very relaxed and interesting experience. Walks were good and where applicable specialist speakers interesting and presented well.Leaders we informative about the route and drew our attention to various points of interest along the route, very special thanks to the beer carrying leader!”.
“Excellent overall. Good and varied selection of walks. Very welcoming (to a newcomer). Well organised and really sociable bunch of people”.
“Access to private areas e.g. Farmcote, Abbey House garden, access to people we may not normally meet, e.g. land agent, conservation officer Saturday evening talk – interesting insight into history of paths”.