Walking and talking

Walking and talking – two things which very good for your mental health as well as your physical health. I’m not the only one who believes this – and this weekend I joined up with a group of people who walk every week with the specific aim of connecting people, combating loneliness and helping people improve their mental health as well as their physical health.

The organisers of Walk and Talk saw how much communities suffered during the pandemic. They saw how isolated some people became and were inspired to do something about it. The idea is very simple, every Saturday at 10.30 you can turn up and there will be someone else to walk with. There is no need to book, there is no charge and both buggies and pets are welcome!

I chose to try out the group which meets at Morden Hall Park and found a very friendly group of people from all different backgrounds and life situations enjoying spending time together in the outdoors. Not only do they walk together but those who want to stayed on and had a coffee together in the National Trust cafe!

Unknown to me I was especially lucky to choose this particular Saturday because they had a local history expert leading the walk. As well as telling us stories about Morden Hall’s history, she pointed out some hidden features and had brought old photographs to help us picture what it would have been like.

At the moment they have five groups, but they are aspiring to set up more. Check out their website for more details.


The Wayfarer

I’ve a new challenge – the Wayfarer’s Walk!

This is a 70 mile long recreational path which runs between Inkpen Beacon in Berkshire to the village of Emsworth in Hampshire.  I liked the idea that it is going to take in towns, villages, woodland, open downland.  It starts in an area I’ve never explored, the North Wessex Downs and makes its way to the coast.

Actually, I believe we’re doing it backwards and that it’s supposed to starts in Emsworth on the south coast of Hampshire and proceed north/north-west the full length of Hampshire to finish at Combe Gibbeton on Inkpen Hill, just over the Berkshire border. But I like the idea of starting at the top and making our way down to the sea.

The Wayfarer’s Walk was initiated in 1981 by Bill Bide (Principal Officer for Rights of Way in Hampshire) and at least in parts is based on old tracks that were used by farmers to drive their sheep to animal fairs held in New Arlesford and Farnham.


Here’s how we got on with the first section.