New walking festival in Winchester

Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral. Photo: John Brown/Pixabay

Winchester Ramblers, supported by Winchester City Council and Winchester Tourist Guides, have organised a new Walking Weekend event in the district.

The Walking Weekend will take place from June 14 to 16. It will include a series of guided walks in the city, all of which will start and finish at the green in front of Winchester Cathedral in the city centre.

The walks are open to all walkers aged 16 and up, and will vary in length and type, from short city walks through to longer downland rambles.

Organiser of the Walking Weekend, Phill Jennison, said: “At the local branch of the Ramblers, we have been looking at ways to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of walking to the wider public, as well as encouraging people to get out and explore the incredible countryside around Winchester.

“This is a way of reaching out to non-members, and of promoting the important work that we do to help keep our precious rights of way open and accessible for everyone.”

Winchester City Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Engagement, Cllr Kathleen Becker, added: “This first official Walking Weekend is a great way to explore some of the fantastic walking opportunities in the district whilst benefitting from the wealth of experience of both Winchester Ramblers and Winchester Tourist Guides.

“It’s a wonderful way to meet new people as well as taking advantage of the fresh air and the chance to learn more about our historic city.”  

Reservations for the Walking Weekend walks are available on Eventbrite.

There are nine free walks planned during the event, which kicks off with a five- to six-mile St Catherine’s Hill and St Cross at 6pm on Friday, June 14.

On the Saturday, there are four walks: a 10-mile circular walk from Winchester via Compton and Shawford; a walk around north and central Winchester; through the water meadows towards St Cross; and Twyford Down and Chilcomb.

The weekend wraps up with four walks on Sunday, June 16. As they all start within one-and-a-half hours of each other, it’s not possible to do all four. The first is a river walk that includes some historic buildings; Saints and Worthies is an eight-mile walk; there is a repeat of the previous day’s through the water meadows towards St Cross hike; and a five- to six-mile circular that includes Twyford.