Ballater Walking Festival is happening – 15th-21st May 2021

We are delighted to say that the Walking Festival is GO!

Obviously, due to Covid, there are lots of restrictions, but we have a great new programme of 14 walks, and volunteer leaders and helpers eager to guide you.  As we are not providing transport this year, many of the walks start and finish in Ballater. Other walks starting further afield, will require your own transport. The situation may change, but as of 15th April, car sharing is not allowed unless with a member of your own household. These 14 walks are free.

Walkers need to prebook their walks using the online booking form and by paying the registration fee via internet banking. Please do not send your bookings or any cheques by post as the office is closed. There are ten places on each walk, so please only book walks that you really want to do, and if you need to cancel, please let us know, so that someone else can take your place. There are places available on Monday’s Strenuous walk Walk 5, on Thursday’s easy Walk 12 , on Fridays moderate walk on the Balmoral Cairns and on Friday’s easy Tarland archaelogy walk.

Please bring a facemask, hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and a small first aid kit for self-treatment of minor injuries. Also bring a pen to complete the waterproof ‘in case of emergency’ (ICE) card, which you will be asked to complete at the start of your first walk.  The ICE card should be put in the top of your rucksack, and you can also speak to the leader or a helper should you wish to give further information.

Do not forget that our climate in May can be very changeable, from freezing to roasting and anything in between!  Please dress accordingly and pack your rucksack with extra gear as required. Do not forget to bring water, hot drinks, snacks/lunch, gloves, woolly bunnets, sun hats, sunglasses, sun-cream, walking poles and £5 in coins for car parking.  The leader has the authority to shorten, change or abandon any walk in the case of bad weather or dangerous terrain such as high rivers or waterlogged bogland.

Another difference this year is that the walks are starting on Saturday 15th May. There is a rest day on Tuesday when you can do as you wish and enjoy what Ballater has to offer.  Sadly, there will be no evening entertainment programme this year.

Many of our Leaders and helpers attended an all day First Aid course just before the first lockdown. This was quite an intense course and we are pleased that with our extra new first aiders, there will be qualified first aiders on all our Strenuous and Moderate walks and on most of the Easy walks too. We just hope no-one will need to take advantage of this!

We wish to thank Alan Officer for adapting the website and creating online bookings at short notice. Finally we wish to thank Ballater (RD) Ltd , without which Ballater Walking Week would not be possible.

As of the 4th May, people from any area of the UK are allowed to travel to Ballater, so we look forward to walking with you at the Ballater Walking Festival 2021.

The Committee

Carole Nicoll, Catherine Watt, Lisa McMahon, and Jenny Macmillan

PS. If you can’t come this year, the dates for 2022 are 21st-27th May.

The committee members are (L to R) Carole Nicoll, Lisa MacMahon, Jenny Macmillan and Catherine Watt

Ballater Walking Festival Committee 2020