Driffield NewsNEWS

Wold Rangers Festival to expand its range of walks

Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural Wold Rangers Way Walking Festival, plans are underway to host the 2023 event which will see an even greater range of guided walks to appeal to all ages and abilities.

Last June, saw the first ever Wold Rangers Way Walking Festival, which welcomed walkers and ramblers from across the East Riding and further afield.

The week-long festival offered 19 free guided walks ranging from three miles to 44 and it helped to encourage people to get out walking and promote the health benefits of that, while also boosting tourism and giving a welcome boost to shops and businesses.

This year’s festival will take place from 17th to 24th June and with 21 walks already scheduled, it promises to have something for everyone and help towards promoting Driffield as the walking capital of the Yorkshire Wolds.

The Wold Rangers Way is a 44-mile circular walking trail launched in 2021, which starts and finishes in Driffield.

It follows green lanes and bridlepaths through the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds as walked by the Wold Rangers in years gone by.

The Wold Rangers were a nomadic group of men and women who travelled from farm to farm seeking shelter and sustenance in exchange for work.

As well as the main trail, taking in many Wolds villages from Garton-on-the-Wolds, Wetwang, Fimber, Fridaythorpe, Huggate and Thixendale, there are also a number of shorter walks or ‘Trods’ named after some of the more well-known Rangers, with all routes following the public rights of way that were walked every day for over 200 years by this group.

Wold Rangers Way trustee Mark Blakeston said he is looking forward to the 2023 festival which will build on the success of the inaugural event.

“Our walking festival last June was the first one of its kind locally and with 19 guided walks attracting 300 people from as far afield as London, Cornwall and Scotland, it was a huge success,” he said.

“We have reviewed all the feedback we received and taken on board how we can continually improve and we are delighted that the second Wold Rangers Way Walking Festival will take place from 17th to 24th June.

“Building on the success of last year, the festival will be centred around Driffield with many walks starting and finishing in the town which provides great opportunities for local hotels, b&bs and businesses to get involved.

“We have 21 walks currently scheduled for the week and this year we will have more evening walks, including one along the canal and around Nafferton.

“For each of our evening walks we have arranged a destination such as a café or pub to finish at to round off the evening.

“Other planned walks include a Father’s Day stroll on the Sunday, a geocaching walk in Huggate, which should be quite interesting; we have teamed up with the Yorkshire Wolds Way again for another joint walk in the Thixendale area and we have a geopark walk looking at the geology of the Wolds and why the villages are located where they are.

“On 21st June, the longest day, we will be walking the full 44-mile route of the Wold Rangers Way, but this time we will walk it through the night. We plan to set off from Market Place in Driffield on the evening of 21st and walk through the night finishing the next morning.

“It promises to be another cracking week with something for everyone, whether you are looking for a big challenge walk, or a shorter walk and chance to meet new people or to try something you have never done before, such as geocaching or the geopark walk.”

Mark added that the Wold Rangers Way supports Driffield Town Council’s remit of promoting the vitality of Driffield by promoting the health benefits of walking as well as boosting tourism to local businesses.

“The reason we set up the Wold Rangers Way charity was to promote Driffield and the Wolds and its villages as a beautiful place to be and to encourage people to get out into the landscape and to promote the benefits of walking both for people’s mental and physical health,” added Mark.

“During the walking festival we will work with businesses and shops in Driffield and the Wolds to get involved and following the interest shown from last year, we think we will get a good attendance from people coming from further afield to discover what we have to offer in our area.

“I think once the tickets are released for the walking festival, which we anticipate will be the beginning of April, that they will go quickly.

“It is our ambition to develop Driffield as a centre for outdoor activities in the Yorkshire Wolds and we hope to build on the walking festival every year and hope it will become nationally recognised.”

For more information about the Wold Rangers Way, please see the website https://woldrangersway.org

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