Keynsham Walkers Are Welcome announce town's first walking festival

March 04 2016

Keynsham Walkers are Welcome group is hosting the first Keynsham Walking Festival from April 9-10. Here they tell us about the group, the events planned for the festival and how everyone can get involved.

March 2016

Keynsham Walkers are Welcome group is hosting the first Keynsham Walking Festival from April 9-10. Here they tell us about the group, the events planned for the festival and how everyone can get involved. 

Keynsham Walkers are Welcome is a registered, voluntary group, part of a national organisation, which has been in operation locally for almost two years. After a slow start it is now thriving, with over 80 walkers on the contact list.

We organise a walk each month, mainly on a Sunday morning, and they range from two-mile themed walks to 10-mile treks for the more experienced walker. Because we are not a club there is no membership, so there is no need “book”, just turn up on the day. The walks are free, although optional donations are welcome. Children and dogs under control are welcome on some walks, and these are clearly defined.

The aim of the group is to promote Keynsham as a centre for walking, where walkers will be made welcome, be they local or from afar. This is run for the benefit of residents and traders alike, and this is already in evidence with all walks including a stop for refreshment, either during or at the end.

We have the backing of Keynsham Town Council, which awarded us a grant last year, and the Keynsham Chamber of Commerce, which keeps the local traders involved. We were fortunate to be awarded a community grant from Waitrose, and Tesco has supported us by advertising our events and allowing us to use the supermarket’s foyer for promotional purposes.

Both the grants were awarded to help finance a walking festival, and because of our success this has come to fruition with a two-day walking festival on April 9-10.

There are a total of eight walks, all of which start and finish in Keynsham, spread evenly over the two days.

Themed walks

We will have two two-mile themed walks during the festival. The first is on Saturday, April 9, at 2.30pm, which is photographically themed with professional photographer Andrew Wells giving us expert advice on taking pictures en route. On the Sunday at noon, we are fortunate enough to have members of the Avon Wildlife Trust guiding us on a nature walk.

Our other themed walk is longer at five miles, and is run by the Keynsham & Saltford Local History Society, who will be pointing out places of historic interest as we wander around Queen Charlton and Chewton Keynsham.

Longer walks

For three of the longer walks we are pleased to have on board Saltford Walkers, Keynsham Methodist Ramblers and Somerdale Ramblers, who will each be in charge of a different walk varying from four to six miles in length, and we like to thank them for their enthusiasm in helping us. The longest walk of all is an eight-mile trek to Compton Dando, Burnett and back to Keynsham. All walks will include a refreshment stop, be it at a local hostelry or a picnic.

Family and social events

The festival culminates in a family event, which will include a treasure hunt around the park on Sunday at 1.30pm in the Memorial Park.

There is also a social event on the Saturday evening at 7.30pm in the Scout Hall, where speaker Carol Thompson, who is one of our walkers, will be giving presentation entitled Walking the Great Wall of China. A free drink on arrival and a finger buffet are included in the £5 entry fee.

Details of all these events, plus terms and conditions etc., are on the Keynsham Walkers are Welcome website, as is a registration form. Booking is advised for each walk, and is essential for the social event. Each walk has a fee of £3 if booked in advance, and £4 on the day

This is our first walking festival and, if successful, we hope to make it an annual event. We would like to thank most sincerely the individuals, groups, organisations and traders who have offered support, to make this event possible

We hope you will come and join us for one or two walks over the weekend; we are a very sociable crowd, so don’t be afraid to come on your own because we will give a proper “Keynsham Walkers are Welcome” welcome.