Quantock Hills Walking Festival: Beat the Boundary

Published by Vickie Sellick on

The annual Quantock Walking Festival hosted by the Stowey Walking group took place across a five-day period in June, following the Jubilee bank holiday weekend. There were a number of very interesting guided walks taking place over the main weekend of the festival (11th/12th June), with a multi-day challenge walk spanning most of the festival dates.

Beat the Boundary was a four-day event starting at Nether Stowey and followed local footpaths to circumnavigate the Quantock Hills AONB and take in a boundary at the foothills of our beloved hills and heathland. Roughly equating to a ring of parishes around the hills itself, the boundary walk followed the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme’s project boundary, all 55 miles of it!

Thanks to Somerset Passenger Solutions, guests were able to be collected each day and brought back to base at Nether Stowey, starting there again the following day. Each leg of the journey was between 20km – 28km of walking, and went in a clockwise direction taking in the different landscape characteristics from underfoot to afar – the hills were visible from all different perspectives around the route.

Covering an area much larger than the similar Quantock Greenway, the walk enjoyed parts of these routes as well as the East Deane Way and Coleridge Way. Across the journey the group of walkers experienced everything from thunderstorms and steam trains, to taprooms and tan lines, from coast to county town and all in between. The four days had just about everything to recommend it.

We hope that this event will prove to be popular again and have further iterations during the legacy of the Quantock Walking Festival. The long way around the hills is a remarkable achievement for everyone involved and we hope it will help to increase the scale of this magnificent festival, not just in terms of miles covered.

The icing on the cake were the medals given to those who completed the walk. Made by our Young Rangers and crafted from sections of Quantock oak, the wooden trophies were hand-stamped with charcoal ink made from local hazel and printed with an ‘I Beat the Boundary’ slogan designed and produced by our very own, Katie Read.