Petersfield Walking Festival 20-27 August

Published: 10 July 2022

Come and have the ‘Downs and Weald Revealed’ at the inaugural Petersfield Walking Festival

Petersfield talks a good talk about being a gateway to the South Downs, but this summer the town will be ‘walking the talk’ when it hosts the first Petersfield Walking Festival. Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, where dramatic chalk scarp meets patchwork weald, heavily wooded sandstone hills and colourful open heath, Petersfield, and its surrounding villages, are a striking location for this exciting new walking festival.

This weeklong event from 20-27 August is for habitual hikers, seasonal striders, weekend wanderers and amateur adventurers alike. With 47 guided walks, plus information for self-guided walks, you are sure to find something to make your toes tingle.

Festival organiser, Malinka van der Gaauw said “We had great fun playing with the walk titles, to make the programme an entertaining and enticing read. It was also all about balance, ensuring we had long, short, informative and relaxing walks every day, as well as a spread of geographic areas. With so much beauty to choose from and just 8 days to fill, we were always going to face some tough decisions. To make amends to those places left out, we’ll just have to do it all over again another year!”

The festival’s priority is promoting our beautiful area as a leisure destination as well as encouraging people to spend time outdoors. However, supporting local enterprise is also a key element. Several walks on the programme are joint efforts between experienced walk leaders and local businesses. One that is bound to be a hit with families is ‘Deer To Be Different’. This is a partnership between Instagram’s Ambling Path and Sky Park Deer Farm in West Harting. Sky Park have put together a generous package for 30 festival goers to visit as part of a guided walk from Petersfield.

Another fun walk is going to be ‘Buriton, The Bard & A Bevvy’. Buriton clearly gives you the ‘where’ while you probably have a good idea of the ‘what’ from the word bevvy! So, yes, it’s an evening pub walk around the delightful Five Bells. But what do you make of ‘the Bard’ element? Well, this wonderful walk has been put together by the creative geniuses that are Petersfield Shakespeare Festival and Vespucci Adventures and promises to be a thoroughly entertaining evening.

With everyone feeling the pinch financially at the moment, there surely can’t be a better and more cost-effective way to enjoy this summer than by signing up for some free walks. You’ll save the pennies, burn off calories, work up a thirst and possibly get a tan - what’s not to love? You can view the programme on the festival website ( or pick up a brochure from various outlets around the town.