An expanded programme of walks will showcase Bath as a walkable landscape city during this year’s Bathscape Walking Festival, which takes place from 9th to 24th September.
Families, groups and solo walkers will have more than seventy five walks and events to choose from this year, most of them free. Walks are of varying lengths and include wheel friendly walks and sensory walks.
This year, for the first time, there are trained guides available to support walkers who have a visual impairment. Several of the Bathscape volunteers have been trained by Sight Support to guide the walkers and anyone wishing to take advantage of the service will be able to contact Bathscape in advance to arrange.
Nordic walking is gaining popularity as a way to burn calories and improve overall fitness and this year there will be a series of taster sessions in Pennyquick Park. The health theme continues with weekly wellbeing walks and exploring wildlife and wellbeing at Newton Park campus.
This year boasts more rural hikes, allowing people to discover the picturesque villages and valleys within easy reach that surround the city of Bath. The 11-mile Upper Swainswick to City Circular walk offers exceptional views of the city and the surrounding area as far as the Mendip Hills and Salisbury Plain, while the Bath Skyline is a medium length walk of five miles.
The popular Bat Walks return at Bath City Farm, Kensington Meadows and Weston for children aged six upwards. Early booking is recommended, as these walks are always popular.
New for this year is the Sensory Smallcombe Walk, a Ukrainian Families Walk and a Spiritual Walk on the South Side which explores a variety of sites of religious and historical interest on the south side of Bath.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Once again Bathscape has pulled together a fantastic programme of walks around the city and surrounding landscape. We would encourage everyone to take part, either by joining a guided walk or activity, or by choosing a self-guided walk. There are plenty of themes and special interest walks suitable for solo walkers or families and it is the perfect opportunity to get out in the fresh air and see the city and surrounding villages from an unfamiliar perspective.”
The Somer Valley Walking Festival takes place Saturday 9 September and Sunday 10 September. All the walks and activities are free of charge and most do not require booking, you can simply turn up on the day and register at the start. The programme includes Saturday walks of various lengths in Radstock, Paulton and Midsomer Norton, including for the first time a family-friendly pram walk alongside the Somersetshire Coal Canal. The Sunday walks of various lengths all start from Timsbury and include a 10-mile loop through the Cam Valley and Clandown, skirting Paulton and returning for tea and cake in the Conygre Hall, Timsbury.