** The 1st North Wessex Downs Walking Festival 8th – 23rd June **
The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a stunning landscape of big skies, chalk ridges, ancient byways and wooded valleys; the very first North Wessex Downs Walking Festival is in celebration of it all.
This is top class walking country and June is the perfect time to get outside, stretch your legs, breathe deeply and venture into unknown territory – maybe even make new friends or learn a new skill along the way. We have put together a selection of walks to encourage you to do some – or all – of those things, but most importantly, we would like you to enjoy this quintessential – and outstandingly beautiful – English countryside.
Please note: Spaces on all walks featured must be pre-booked.
Please follow the link for the full programme of walks and how to reserve your place.
Family Fun Walk, Beer & BBQ
Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome are once again pleased to announce their annual FREE Family Fun Walk across the water meadows to Freefolk with the opportunity to participate in the popular Watership Down Beer Festival & BBQ; a pleasant sociable event for all.
Meet at the Gill Nethercott Centre, Winchester Street, Whitchurch RG28 7HP, we will be setting off at 11.15. Please note, the return to Whitchurch is not a guided walk, people can depart the pub at a time to suit themselves, or catch the bus back from Freefolk. Visitors staying in the area are very welcome to join in.
You can expect to encounter livestock in the fields around Bere Mill – Accompanying dogs must be kept on a lead.
Plan your summer walking in North Hamsphire…
Daisydown Gifts was the first shop to display one of our accreditation stickers and remains an enthusiastic supporter of Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome.
Visitors to the town are often seen asking Jackie for advice, so as well as doubling up as our tourist information point when the next door Town Hall is closed, she has now increased her range of Yellow maps for North Hampshire to help you plan your summer walking in advance. Daisydown Gifts
New Heritage Trail Launched
In 1888, the Star newspaper reported: ‘Whitchurch is in Hampshire. People who live IN it call it a town. People who live OUT of it call it a village. It is about as big as a good-sized pocket handkerchief. It has three shops and 19 public houses’. Today Whitchurch is still the smallest town in Hampshire, unfortunately with less pubs, but a few more shops and a story to tell….
Much of the town centre is now a conservation area and the Heritage Trail takes you on an easy two mile walk passing many of the surviving historic buildings and points of interest along the way.
The leaflet can be downloaded from the Walks section of this website
‘Mill Trail’ Footpath Improvements
Walkers are Welcome volunteers have completed the work to widen and in places level a narrow section of the Mill Trail. Hopefully this will help to eliminate some of the problems encountered during the winter months.
CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards 2018
A fabulous evening was spent at the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England’s Annual Awards Ceremony and it was great to meet the team finalists involved in so many wonderful countryside projects around Hampshire. Although we didn’t come away with the trophy, on the night everyone was a winner and we are so proud of the achievements of our volunteers and all those giving their time to help protect and improve our environment.
‘The Harroway’ Re-opens to all Users
Walkers are Welcome volunteers have been supporting the North Hampshire Countryside Access Team to complete the work of filling in the potholes caused by off road vehicles on our local section of ‘The Harroway’ long distance byway.
The byway has now re-opened to all users.
Three Times Award Winners
Whitchurch Walkers are Welcome were three times winners at this year’s Annual Mayor’s Assembly and Community Day with three volunteers picking up special 25th Anniversary Awards in recognition of their tireless work and commitment to the town and the North Hampshire countryside.
The Spring Clear Up is Underway
Now that the snow has cleared, volunteers have been out assessing the condition of the countryside footpaths radiating out from town and removing litter from the paths and verges.
A big thank you to the young members of Whitchurch Scouts group who contributed to the effort over two evenings, collecting 15 sacks of litter.