This week we are hosting a group of fourteen Nordic walkers from Girona, Catalonia. We have visited them twice during the past year and now they are coming to us for a full seven days. I am so excited that we can show visitors some of our fabulous walks and a little of our history. Whilst the whole of the UK is a walker’s paradise, there’s real diversity around us - Bath, the Cotswolds, Wales and the Mendips all just a short drive away plus a clutch of scenic walks right from the heart of Bristol.
So we plan to immerse our Girona friends in gorgeous walks, cultural tours, a bit of sightseeing and plenty of food. As well as several pubs, we have booked The Stable for what is described as ‘The ultimate cider tasting experience’; the fabulously quirky Yeo Valley Canteen for a proper local breakfast; Urban Tandoor for a British curry; and a BBQ with us at Underfall Yard.
Their programme of events is (I hope) an enticing synthesis of walking and culture. We’ve lined up:
- A circular walk from Millenium Square (where they’re staying) along the floating harbour, tow path, Leigh Woods and Ashton Court returning via the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
- A day in Bath, starting with the stunning National Trust Bath Skyline walk (we’re running this for BNW walkers on 26th August – it’s a must if you’ve never done it before) followed by free time to explore Bath.
- The Tintern Abbey section of Offa’s Dyke, travelling over the Severn Bridge, plus tickets to look round the ruins of Tintern Abbey itself. (Click here to book onto our club Offa's Dyke walk on Thursday 9th August).
- The first section of the Cotswold Way National Trail, from Chipping Campden to Broadway (finishing with a pub lunch in The Swan); then a circular evening walk with us from the Cumberland Basin.
- A linear walk from Blagdon across the Mendips to Cheddar Gorge, with tickets to the Caves as well as a tour of the cheddar cheese factory.
- A private boat tour of Bristol harbour, disembarking at the Pump House and walking through Ashton Court, Abbots Pool and Lower Failand to Tyntesfield for a big fat National Trust cream tea.
With so many excellent walks so close it was a tough choice. But I hope you approve. Many of you will have done these walks with us in previous years.
Strengthening relationships with Nordic walkers from different countries is something we are keen to develop. Aside from the cultural links there will be variations in Nordic walking style and different warm-up and stretching routines which we can learn from. We are proud to be part of an international Nordic walking community and proud to bring walkers to Bristol to show what a beautiful part of the country this is.