We hope to run the Ballater Walking Festival 2021.

If it is possible to run the Festival, the dates will be the 15th -21st May but, at this stage, we cannot confirm that it will go ahead. This is because we shall need to see what is happening with the pandemic, and the government guidelines, and if we can run it and keep all our walkers safe and physically distanced. It may be that walks will start and finish in Ballater, but unfortunately it looks as if the social programme will not be possible. It is a good few months away yet, so lets hope that we can keep the R number down and that the vaccines will work. We very much hope to welcome you back to Ballater in 2021 if it is at all possible and safe to do so.

Till then, we thought that this may be of interest to you. Please note that we are not affiliated in any way, and accept no responsibility. This is just something we thought may be fun to do in your area.

Slow Ways
Hello, We hope this message finds you well.We are delighted to share that we’ll be launching #SlowWays from the 23rd to 31st of January. Conditions allowing, we hope that over 10,000 volunteers will walk 100,000km of routes during that week and we’d love for you to be one of them.Please add our launch week to your diary! How many Slow Ways might you be able to walk during that week? Our mission is ambitious. We’re establishing a new people-powered country-wide walking network, from Shetland to Cornwall and Anglesey to East Anglia, connecting hundreds of cities, towns and villages in between. To achieve this goal we need all the help we can get!
A new Slow Ways website will host over 7,000 walking routes and enable people to search, browse, download, walk, enjoy, share, rate and review them. It will explain, step by step, how to Select, Walk, and Share a Slow Ways route.Please look out for an email in mid-January that will give more details.Here are three things you can be doing now:Join a Zoom meeting in December or January – We’ll explain the Slow Ways idea, update you and answer questions. Click here to see when this is happening and register.Help spread the word – The more people who get involved with Slow Ways the stronger the initiative will be. Please do share what we’re doing with your networks through social media, forums and in the media. New to Slow Ways? – If you’ve signed up in recent weeks, you can catch up on our November Slow Ways news. We are a small team and over 60,000 people have signed up so far. We’re delighted that so many people are getting involved, but if you have any questions please do look at the Frequently Asked Questions page on our Slow Ways holding website as your first port of call.Thank you very much for reading this message and your support for Slow Ways.We’ll be in touch in January with more detail of how you can be part of the Slow Ways Launch.

The Slow Ways Team

In the meantime, here is a little light relief; this take on Burns ‘Tae a Moose’ will make you smile

Tae a virus

Twa months ago, we didna ken, 
yer name or ocht aboot ye
But lots of things have changed since then,
I really must salute ye
Yer spreading rate is quite intense,
yer feeding like a gannet
Disruption caused, is so immense,
ye’ve shaken oor wee planet.

Corona used tae be a beer,
they garnished it wae limes
But noo it’s filled us awe wae fear
These days, are scary times.
Nae shakin hawns, or peckin lips,
it’s whit they awe advise
But scrub them weel, richt tae the tips,
that’s how we’ll awe survive
Just stay inside , the hoose, ye bide
Nae sneakin  oot for strolls
Just check the lavvy every hoor
And stock-take, your loo rolls

Our holidays have been pit aff
Noo that’s the Jet2 patter
Pit oan yer thermals, have a laugh
And paddle ‘ doon the waater ‘
Canary isles, no for a while
Nae need for suntan cream
And awe because o this wee bug
We ken tae be..19

The boredom surely will set in,
But have a read, or doodle
Or plan yer menu for the month
Wi 95 pot noodles.
When these run oot, just look about
A change, it would be nice
We’ve beans and pasta By the ton
and twenty stane o rice.

Many of our Leaders and helpers attended an all day First Aid course on Friday 28th February. 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!


Our strenuous walks this year include some new remote Munros, as well as some old popular ones such as Ben MacDui and Derry Cairngorm. For the less energetic we have stunning walks over lower hills and through the glens. For those new to hill walking or who just want a less strenuous day, the easy walks offer mainly low level exercise.

This year we have also introduced some Special Interest Walks embracing local archaeology, conservation and heritage. We have also added the local Health Walks which are organised independently, but welcome walkers or their partners to join them.

Whichever walk you choose you can be assured of great scenery and the best of company!

The new committee members are (L to R) Carole Nicoll, Lisa MacMahon, Jenny Macmillan and Catherine Watt with help from Gillian Sinclair of BRD. GIRL POWER!

Ballater Walking Festival Committee 2020

However our thanks go to Alan Officer who has guided us with the website and made online booking possible.