Mountaineering festivals give attention to nature and wholesome dwelling
A range of walks exploring nature, mindfulness, health, and wellbeing are offered as part of a pair of family-friendly walking festivals taking place this month.
The Henley Walking Festival runs from May 26th to June 2nd and overlaps with the Chilterns Walking Festival which starts next Friday (May 21st) and lasts until June 6th in the Region of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Henley event is organized by the city’s Walkers are Welcome group in collaboration with the Chilterns-wide event run by the Chilterns Conservation Board.
Annette Venters, Executive and Company Officer, said: “There are lots of walks in and around Henley as we are promoting the Henley Walkers are Welcome Walking Festival too.
“Henley is one of only two walkers who are welcome cities in the Chilterns, recognizing their amazing range and quality of walking routes and the excitement of the city and its businesses to welcome walkers and visitors.
“We are very excited to have new guides on board this year, including walks led by the Greener Henley Wildlife and Conservation Group. You focus on nature, mindfulness, health and wellbeing. “
The Henley event begins on Wednesday May 26th with a gentle 1 mile loop called “A Wildlife Wish.”
Led by Catherine Notaras of Greener Henley, walkers are asked to meet at 10:30 am in front of the entrance to the River & Rowing Museum in Mill Meadows, starting at 10:45 am.
Catherine described the hike as “a gentle circular adventure that traverses various wildlife habitats with ample time to stop and watch”.
She said, “We will use stepping stones to cross the cold stream and walk on tree-lined footpaths to meet the Thames towpath.
“When we return, we’ll stop to make a wish at the wishing tree and feed the ducks. So pack a camera, tape, and duck food for the full experience.”
A second walk to explore our connection to nature will take place on Friday May 28th in Harpsden. Hikers are invited to meet at 7:30 a.m. in the community hall.
The three mile walk, which costs £ 6, is led by massage therapist Isabelle Brough, a restorative exercise specialist with a passion for nature and its effects on people’s wellbeing.
She said: “On this tour of the Harpsden and Peveril woods, you are invited to tune in to nature with your senses. Early morning has recently become my favorite time to enjoy the beauty of nature and I look forward to joining you on this walk to explore your relationship with nature for wellbeing. “
Isabelle is taking a second early morning walk the following Friday (June 4th), this time starting at 8 a.m. at Harpsden Hall.
One mile away, the walk will cost £ 6 and will explore the benefits of walking naturally for promoting total body health.
Isabelle said, “You are invited to take off your shoes – or wear flat, comfortable shoes – and watch the way you walk. You will then be invited to wake up the often ignored “running muscles” to identify imbalances and address stiff parts. “
The Henley Walking Festival offers a total of 11 walks, full details of which are available on the Walkers are Welcome website at www.walkhenley.co.uk
Other highlights include a literary stop along the Thames between Marsh Lock and Hambleden Lock, which traces the connections between Charles Dickens’ characters and the river.
There is also a loop trail that explores the sights of Henley and another that covers the Henley Royal Regatta course.
There are a limited number of seats on each walk that must be booked in advance. For further information go to www.