May is the month to get outdoors and explore Farnham on foot during our free, two-week Walking Festival. Thank you to Breaking Free, the Farnham Farmers’ Market and the Co-op for sponsoring this event.

When is the Walking Festival

The Walking Festival will take place from Sunday 20 May to Sunday 3 June.

About the walks

There are 37 walks ranging from short strolls and circular walks to a 14-mile hike across the North Downs Way.

The walks programme caters for all fitness levels and abilities. It includes walk-related events such as an introduction to Nordic walking and a class where you can learn the basics of an efficient gait.

Each walk is led by a walk leader. They will take you on a journey of discovery and share their knowledge about subjects ranging from local history, heritage and archaeology through to art, nature and Farnham’s industrial past.

The walks are free of charge.

Who can take part

Anybody can book a place.

All walkers are responsible for:

  • ensuring they wear suitable clothing
  • registering on the walk prior to departure, and
  • their own fitness levels and safety.

Are dogs allowed on the walks

Some of the walks are suitable for dogs – full details can be seen in the Walking Festival Guide.

To ensure the safety of all walkers, owners must ensure their dog is kept under control at all times.

The Walking Festival programme

A summary of the walks on offer can be found at the bottom of this page. You can also download the Walking Festival Guide or pick up a copy from the Town Council office in South Street.

How to book

All walks are free of charge and places will be booked on a first come first served basis.

Complete the online booking form to reserve your space on your chosen walk(s).

A summary of the walks programme

Sunday 20 May

From Past to Present- Bishop’s Meadow 2-5pm 1 mile Waggon Yard car park A leisurely circular walk offering a lovely chance to see Farnham town centre in the spring. A great opportunity to learn or share memoreies about the places visit along the route.
Exploring Paths around Pierrepoint 2.30-5pm 4.5miles Frensham Little Pond Explore paths, tracks, woods and meadows around Frensham village and Pierrepont House and Farm.

Monday 21 May

A Change of Use- Walks and Gardens

 

10am-12pm 1 mile Front of Council Offices, South Street A pleasant amble through the gardens and along the river. A great opportunity to learn or share memories about the places visited along the route.

The Basics of an Efficient Gait

 

2-3pm N/A Gostrey Meadow Bandstand Learn a new gait, one that is comfortable, natural, easy to adopt and very efficient for those who like long walks.
Alice Holt Forest- The Arboretum 2-3.30pm 1.5miles Forestry Commission car park (SU 802434) A highlight of the 30 most interesting species of trees and a brief description of Alice Holt Forest

Tuesday 22 May

St Swithun’s Way- Farnham to Alton

 

10am-4pm 11 miles Hart car park (by toilets) A walk along the historic St Swithun’s Way from Farnham to Alton via Bentley and Upper Froyle returning by train or bus. The walk follows trackways through green countryside passing historical churches. Walkers can opt to leave the walk at Bentley or Upper Froyle but will need to make their own way back.

Farnham Archaeological Walk

 

10am-12pm 1.5miles Waggon Yard car park Explore Farnham’s past through prior archaeological excavations including Farnham Castle, St Andrews and The Borough, finishing at the Museum of Farnham where the curators will provide a special viewing of some of the archaeological material.

Farnham to Guildford Run

 

10am-1pm 13 miles Station Hill (start of North Downs Way) Suitable for those who can run 12 minute/miles. The run will proceed along the North Downs Way to Guildford, passing through The Sands, Puttenham, Watts Gallery and finishing at The Britannia pub (need to organise own transport home).
Walking for Health 10-11.30am 3 miles Farnham Leisure Centre A great way to introduce yourself to walking, meet new and people and improve your fitness. The walk will take in the riverside and the lower parts of Farnham park as well as the urban areas of the town.

Wednesday 23 May

Walking the Defence Line-Part one

 

10am-1pm 7 miles Waggon Yard car park The walk will follow the second world war GHQ defence line, through the Farnham area from Hog Hatch to Waverley Abbey.Walkers will be able to examine some of the structures on the line and have a chance to learn about other elements of Farnham’s history. For Part Two see Tuesday 29 May.

Farnham Art Walk

 

10am-12.30pm 1 mile Longbridge (between Gostrey Meadow & The Maltings) The walk will explore Farnham’s craft town status, ending with a welcome from Simon Olding, Director of the Crafts Study Centre at the UCA.
Alice Holt Lodge 6-7.30pm 1 mile Car park at Alice Holt Research Station (SU 803428) A walk around the grounds of Alice Holt Lodge on a trail of 30 specimen trees.

Thursday 24 May

Waterside Wanderings

 

10am-2pm 8 miles Front of Council Offices, South Street Stroll along paths and country roads from Farnham to Badshot Lea to join the Blackwater Valley Path, onto rural Basingstoke canal to end at Mytchett Canal Centre (Optional boat trip back has been arranged for an additional charge)
Farnham Watermills 10am-3pm 7 miles Riverside car park 2 (opposite Hatch Mill) A walk that looks at the history and siting of the watermills. See how the river route has changed for mills and flood prevention. Walkers must be fit enough to cross the A31 twice.

Friday 25 May

Basingstoke Canal and Dogmersfield Park Circuit

 

10am-12.45pm 5.7miles The Barley Mow Canal car park, Winchfield Hurst (SU 778538) A flat but interesting circular walk along part of the Basingstoke canal, part Tundry Pond and through Dogmersfield Park, returning back to the canal past Wilk’s Water and King John’s Hunting Lodge.
Rowledge 10am-1pm 5 miles The Old Vicarge, Rowledge (SU 820430) A walk that will take in the old lanes of Rowledge, parts of Wrecclesham and Holt Pound, covering the history of the area. The walk ends at the Old Vicarage for plenty of free food and wine.

Saturday 26 May

Chapels & Chalk 10am-5.30pm 14 miles Station Hill (Start of North Downs Way) The walk will head along the National trail, stopping at Puttenham eco barn and a tour of St John the Baptist Church, lunch break at Watts Gallery, then onto St Catherine’s chapel and Martha on the Hill for views over Albury. The final leg passes through Newlands corner, onto Chilworth Gunpowder Mill, finishing at The Percy Arms, Chilworth.
Real Ale Trail 10.45m-4pm 8 miles St Martin’s Church on the Bourne Green (SU 848447) Walk through woods and forests, visiting pubs in Frenhsam, Dockenfield, Rowledge and The Bourne- learn about the history of these pubs. Please bring lunch as there will not be enough time to buy food in the pub.

Sunday 27 May

Otter Wey Art Trail

 

10am-1pm 3.7 miles Gostrey Meadow Bandstand A walk to view all of the otters that are part of the Otter Wey Art Trail (made up of model otters, decorated by professional, amateur and community group artists and sponsored by local organisations. The otter sculptures will be then auctioned in July and the proceeds will be donated to the Mayor’s charities).

Otter Wey Art Trail

 

11am-12.30pm 1.8 miles Gostrey Meadow Bandstand A walk around the west end of the Otter Wey Art Trail.

Otter Wey Art Trail

 

2-3.3opm 2.5miles Gostrey Meadow Bandstand A walk around the east end of the Otter Wey Art Trail.
History and Archaeology of Farnham Park 2-3.30pm 1.5miles Farnham Park car park A guided tour of Farnham Park, the historic hunting ground of bishops and kings.
The Heritage, Wildlife and Conservation of the Bourne Valley 2.15-4.45pm 3 miles St Thomas on the Bourne The walk focuses on the development of The Bourne from the nineteenth century, learn also about the conservation work undertaken by the Bourne Conservation group, visiting sites at which they work.

Monday 28 May

The Spotted Cow Circular 2-4.30pm 4 miles The Spotted Cow pub A circular walk through beautiful woodland, heathland and quiet village lanes. Walkers must have been Nordic walking before.

Tuesday 29 May

Walking the Defence Line- Part Two

 

10am-1pm 7 miles Waggon Yard car park The walk will follow the second world war GHQ defence line, through the Farnham area from Hog Hatch to Waverley Abbey.Walkers will be able to examine some of the structures on the line and have a chance to learn about other elements of Farnham’s history. For Part One see Wednesday 23 May.

Badshot Lea- Past and Present. A walk Through Time

 

7-9pm 2.5 miles Badshot Lea Village Pond (SU 864485) The walk will pass Long Barrow beside Harrow Way, exploring the Victorian village which grew following the enclosure and arrival of the army. The walk will then finish at the pub.
Walking for Health 10-11.30am 3 miles Farnham Leisure Centre A great way to introduce yourself to walking, meet new people and improve your fitness. The walk will take in the riverside and the lower parts of Farnham Park as well as the urban areas of the town.

Wednesay 30 May

Farnham to Waverley Abbey

 

10am-2pm 6 miles Riverside 2 car park (Hatch Mill) The walk will follow the North Downs Way and Greensand Way, via High Mill and Moor Park House, passing Mother Ludlum’s cave to arrive at Waverley Abbey where there will be the opportunity to explore before returning back to Farnham.
The Bourne Walk 10am-12.30pm 4 miles St Thomas on the Bourne (SU 844455) A walk covering Lower Bourne, the Bourne Valley and the Bourne Woods including local history, wildlife conservation and the extensive use of the woods for blockbuster filming (Gladiator, Superwoman, Terminator etc.)

Thursday 31 May

Above Farnham’s Rooftops

 

10am-12.30pm 5 miles Front of Council Offices, South Street A walk from town to country, following paths and small farm roads up into the farmlands above Farnham. The walk will offer serveral good viewpoints back down to the town.

Farnham Park History & Heritage

 

2-4pm 2.5 miles Farnham Park car park The walk explores the historic features of Farnham Park, from its origins as a medieval deer park, through its role in the Civil War, World War Two and up to the present day.
Farnham to Guildford Run 6.30-9pm 13 miles Station Hill (Start of North Downs Way) Suitable for those who can run 12 minute/miles. The run will proceed along the North Downs Way to Guildford, passing through The Sands, Puttenham, Watts Gallery and finishing at The Britannia pub (need to organise own transport home).

Friday 1 June

Ewshot

 

10am-12.30-pm 5 miles Ewshot Village Hall car park The walk will pass Beacon Hill, middle Old Park, Dora’s Green and the Warren across fields, footpaths and country lanes.

Exploring RSPB Farnham Heath

 

11.30am-1.30pm 2.5 miles Rural Life Centre car park (SU 858433) The walk offers an opportunity to explore parts of the nature reserve that aren’t usually open to the public. Discover the history of the land, how it is managed to promote its special wildlife and a chance to see and hear some of the creatures that make their home there.

Saturday 2 June

A Nature Walk in the Bourne 10am-12.30pm 4 miles Cricket Pavilion car park, Bourne Green (SU 849446) The walk will ascend through Sable Wood along the edge of the Bourne woods to overlook RSPB Farnham Heath Reserve, it will offer the chance to learn about the conservation, identify pants and insects and examine the contents of a moth trap.

Sunday 3 June

Central Farnham’s Green Spaces 10am-12pm 2 miles Victoria Gardens A tour of ten parks, gardens and other open spaces within Farnham, an outline of their history, structures, uses and planting. To inclue: Haren Garden, Borelli Walk, Gostrey Meadow, St Andrew’s Churchyard, Library Gardens, UCA Sculpture Park and Farnham Castle.
Nordic Walking Taster Sessions

2pm

2.3opm

3.30pm

n/a Gostrey Meadow Bandstand These sessions will introduce the basics of Nordic walking

For any changes to the programme or for last minute walk additions please check back to this webpage.

Sponsors

A big thank you to our sponsors for their support.

 

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