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Forest Hill Walking Festival 2024

The Forest Hill Society is excited to announce the launch of the first annual Forest Hill Walking Festival to take place on Sunday, 9th June, 2024.

This is a great way to showcase some of the beauty and history of the area, and show that there's a lot more to Forest Hill and the surrounding neighbourhood than you can see while simply driving through it on the South Circular.

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What is Happening?

There will be 5 different walks. You can follow these routes at any time of the day, but each route will have one guided session where a member of the committee will take you on the tour to show you the route, point out any local features and answer questions.  

The 5 themed walks will be:

Peaks & views

Family walk

Green spaces & biodiversity

Victorian history

Music & art connections

As well as different themes to introduce you to different aspects of the area, the walks also have different lengths and difficulty levels to suit more or less experienced walkers.

Each walk has been described and uploaded to GoJauntly so that you can explore the route at your leisure, either on the day or at any other time. 

Make sure you check in at the start and end of the walk so we know how many people have taken part and we can see how many miles of walking we can log together as a community in just one day!

SCHEDULE

09:00  :: EVENT OPENS

10:00  :: GUIDED WALK: Peaks & Views

11:00  :: GUIDED WALK: Family Walk

12:00  :: Plant giveaway starts (first 30 minutes is kids only)

12:30  :: GUIDED WALK: Green spaces & Biodiversity

13:30  :: GUIDED WALK: Hidden History

14:30  :: GUIDED WALK: Art & Music

16:00  :: EVENT CLOSES

Details of the Walks:

PEAKS & VIEWS

Distance: 4.5 miles

Difficulty: medium, with steep sections

Time (length): 2 - 2½ hours

Leader: Claus & Sacha Murmann

Guided walk time: 10:00

Details: A circular walk, starting and ending at Forest Hill Station, that visits several different peaks around this elevated corner of London, with views over London and the City and beyond, but also across Kent. If the weather cooperates you will get a new perspective on London.

Link: click here for the route on GoJauntly

FAMILY WALK

Distance: 1 mile

Difficulty: easy

Time (length): 30 minutes (plus time in Albion Millenium Green)

Leader: John Firmin

Guided walk time: 11:00 

DetailsA circular walk, starting and ending at Forest Hill Station, that takes you along Dartmouth Road then to a hidden park at Albion Millenium Green, then back along the railway path to the station. There will be some activities for children and adults in the park with some Forest Arts & Crafts fun. As well as bug and bird spotting in the woods and pond, kids will be able to make mobiles to take home and more.

And don't forget that you and the kids can pick up some edible plants from our giveaway at the station from 12:00.

This walk is suitable for families including prams / buggies but the paths around the Green are not paved so may not be suitable for all wheelchairs. The exit to the railway path is via a 'kissing gate' so if you may choose to come back via Dartmouth Road.

Link: click here for the route on GoJauntly

GREEN SPACES & BIODIVERSITY

Distance: 11 miles

Difficulty: medium (some steeper sections and some walking on uneven ground)

Time (length): 3-4 hours

Leader: Robert McIntosh

Guided walk time: 12:30 

Details: A circular walk, starting and ending at Forest Hill Station, that offers a real challenge for more committed walkers, but also shows off the many green spaces and different natural landscapes that are available in the area. Because we want to make this a route anyone can follow at their leisure in future, it does not feature the Nature Reserves in the area (that will be pointed out on the walk), but focuses on public parks, green spaces and woods. 

Link: click here for the route on GoJauntly

VICTORIAN HISTORY

Distance: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: medium (one steep section, one pedestrian bridge)

Time (length): 1½ - 2 hours

Leader: Tim Walker

Guided walk time: 13:30

Details: A circular walk, starting and ending at Forest Hill Station, that explores the legacy of two prominent Victorians that had a major impact on the area, including some exclusive access to historic sites.

 

Robert Harrild and George Baxter lived and died in Forest Hill. One invented an inking method that revolutionised the print industry across the world, and he became a very wealthy man, philanthropist  and local property developer. The other, his son-in-law, was a talented artist and engraver who invented the printing process that introduced mass produced coloured images to the world. Images of the 1854 Crystal Palace opening and a portrait of Queen Victoria are among his collectable works, though he himself became bankrupt. We will trace their footsteps around the area, hear about their notable lives and visit each of their final resting places in local churchyards. 

For more details of the history, visit our guide

Link: click here for the route on GoJauntly

MUSIC & ART CONNECTIONS

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: easy

Time (length): 1½ - 2 hours

Leader: Gary Thornton

Guided walk time: 14:30

Details: A circular walk, starting and ending at Forest Hill Station, that explores the many exciting and sometimes surprising connections that Forest Hill has in the worlds of music and art. The walk also has an accompanying playlist which you can explore here.

This walk even has an associated SE23 playlist on Spotify - check it out and see if you can work out any of the connections! (all will be revealed on the walk)

For more details of the history, visit our guide 

Link: click here for the route on GoJauntly 

If you are planning on coming along, let us know so we can send you a reminder and know how many people to expect. Sign up (for free) on our events page here

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Why a Festival?


A walking festival is a great opportunity to meet other people who also love walking and to make new friends who live or are interested in the area. Participants can learn more about the local area, history and biodiversity, join in social events and informative talks and generally have a good time.

 

The festival is a great way to introduce kids to walking, with a family walks designed for children and parents with pushchairs as well as challenges for more active walkers. If anyone is new to walking, unsure about where to go in the area, or needs an incentive to get boots on, then this Festival might be just the answer to get started.

 

The goal is not only to encourage active exploration of the area, but to meet other locals. It is also a chance to get to know the Forest Hill Society, and help us to encourage more walking and exploring in our community and make this a healthy and welcoming neighbourhood.

 

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Contact

If you have questions or comments, or wish to join the next meeting, do get in touch

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