Here’s hoping September brings fine weather as Bathscape has released the programme of walks for its popular annual walking festival, which this year will run from the 10th to the 25th of the month.
The two-week programme includes events to suit walkers of all abilities. Some of the walks will be led in small groups with stopping points, while others will be self-guided trails for which people can download a map.
The festival programme will also feature the events for the Somer Valley Walking Festival which takes place on the weekend 10 and 11 September.
Councillor Mark Roper, cabinet assistant for Neighbourhood Services said: “The Bathscape Walking Festival and Somer Valley Walking Festival will encourage people to get outside and enjoy the magnificent landscape across Bath and North East Somerset. We are lucky to have such wonderful countryside and so much history on our doorstep to explore.”
Nature lovers can sign up to join a bat walk, learn about the trees in the Royal Victoria Park or wildlife at Newton Park. There are plenty of longer rural hikes to explore the countryside outside the city: around Upper Weston and Kelston, Swainswick and Solsbury Hill, Lansdown, North Stoke, Somer Valley or Combe Down.
History enthusiasts can learn about industrial heritage on a walk from Paulton to Dundas following the Limestone Link and the route of the Somersetshire Coal Canal, which was built to carry coal down to the Kennet and Avon Canal. (There’s the option of a minibus back to Paulton after the walk.)
Walks led by local experts are a mainstay of the festival and this year they include: A day in the life of a Georgian Visitor with Kirsten Elliott, Ralph Allen’s Garden with Robin Dixon, William Beckford with Amy Frost and Radical Bath with Andrew Swift, celebrating Bath’s honourable history of protest and rebellion.
Popular walks returning this year include those exploring the LGBTQ+ history of Bath and Haile Selassie’s time in the city.
The festival will close with the 20-mile Julian House Circuit of Bath walk on Sunday 25 September. Walkers can take on the full route, or a distance of their choosing, and raise sponsorship to help support men and women experiencing homelessness and escaping domestic abuse across the South West. Places book up fast, find out more on the website: https://www.circuitofbathwalk.co.uk/
Bathscape’s work is largely funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund with match funding from partners.