The RETURN of a popular festival is almost upon us.

It is just one week to go until the 2023 Evesham Walking Festival.

Organised by members of the Evesham Rambling Club, 18 walks have been planned with places booking up fast.

Club spokesperson Glyn Hayter said: “We have seen bookings far outstrip previous years with many walkers returning year on year to take part.

“By altering the programme each year, we are able to offer something different for everyone although we include some favourites that are extremely popular or have been booked out in previous years. 

“Many of this year’s walks are again themed, often with guest speakers who convey fascinating local knowledge.

“The festival allows us to showcase the fantastic possibilities to walk in the Vale of Evesham and the surrounding countryside.

“Several of the walks this year incorporate Evesham Vale Circular Walks that the club has created over recent years.

“Of course, we couldn’t leave out the Round Evesham Walk which has become an absolute favourite for locals, especially those who discovered walking during the recent lockdown.”

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Evesham Journal: The festival begins on Wednesday, June 28The festival begins on Wednesday, June 28 (Image: Evesham Rambling Club)

This year will be the fourth edition of the Evesham Walking Festival.

It gets underway on Wednesday (June 28) with a train-themed walk setting off from Broadway, following the route of the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway.

The 10-mile expedition will take in the villages of Buckland, Laverton, Stanton, Stanway and Didbrook before arriving at Winchcombe Railway Station, where walkers will be treated to a train ride back to Broadway.

Other walks over the five-day festival will include a sheepdog demonstration, a collaboration with the Festival of Words, a 300ft fountain at Stanway House and an afternoon tea in Cleeve Prior Heritage Trust Garden.

Evesham Rambling Club is currently leading a campaign to gain accreditation for Evesham as a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town and the festival is an integral part of that project.

Mr Hayter added: “Not only is it an ideal opportunity to promote Evesham as an area to walk, but it is also a chance to demonstrate the health benefits walking can bring and to show that it is good for the local economy.”

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Evesham Journal: There are 18 walks planned over the course of the five-day festivalThere are 18 walks planned over the course of the five-day festival (Image: Evesham Rambling Club)

The festival runs until Sunday (July 2) culminating with a BBQ at The Lenches Club in Church Lench.

For more information or to book a walk, visit the Evesham Walking Festival website.