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Walk into summer with the Summer Solstice Stride

Welcome the start of summer alongside fellow walkers and volunteers with the Summer Solstice Stride on Thursday 13 June.

Admirals Park By Claire Naylor
Summer Solstice Stride walkers will pass through Admirals Park.

This annual event is a gentle evening walk, with two routes to choose from: one 5km and the other 10km. Friendly walk leaders and cycle marshals will guide you along Chelmsford’s rivers and through its parks, into the sunset.

The perfect time to get active

Walking is a great way to increase your level of activity: it’s free, with little to no equipment required (especially in the summer months, when you shouldn't need to worry about an effective rain jacket), and it’s a great way to see more of your local surroundings.

Antony Bensley, from the council’s Community Sport and Wellbeing team, says group walks are a great way to get started:

“Adding regular, gentle exercise to your routine can boost your mood, increase your cardiovascular health, and increase endurance. Our Explore Chelmsford maps are available online for free and offer short, medium, and long route options, so you can find walks to suit you.

“But if you don’t like the idea of following a route on your own, joining the Summer Solstice Stride is a fantastic way to get walking and meet new people while doing it. The walk leaders you’ll meet at Summer Solstice Stride are part of our Heart and Sole team, so can tell you all about the other guided walks they have coming up and how easy it is to get involved!”

Antony Bensley, Community Sport and Wellbeing Manager, Chelmsford City Council

What you need to know

Walkers will meet at 6.45pm at the Lord Ashcroft Building of Anglia Ruskin University for a 6.55pm briefing and 7pm start. Both the 5km and 10km routes end back at Anglia Ruskin University, where the university café will be open for you to purchase refreshments until 9pm.

Both groups will set out in the same direction, with the routes splitting after approximately 2.5km. You can find a map of both walks on the Explore Chelmsford page (just click ‘Walking Maps’).

There is a £5 entry fee per person which, after covering event costs, goes to the Mayor of Chelmsford’s chosen charity, Farleigh Hospice.

Summer Solstice Stride 2023 Pre Walk Briefing At ARU
Summer Solstice Stride 2023 pre-walk briefing at Anglia Ruskin University.

Suitable for all levels

The Summer Solstice Stride is accessible to all. The walks are low intensity, use public footpaths, and everyone is free to walk at their own pace. So, whether you’re a regular Summer Solstice Strider or this will be your first experience of walking with a group, this one’s for you.

Walk leaders will be guiding the way and middle marking and back marking each walk, with cycle marshals also joining to help keep everyone on track.

Summer Solstice Stride 2019
Summer Solstice Stride is suitable for all ages and levels.

Please bring a bottle of water with you and be sure to wear comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothing. We advise that you wear layers as, while we’re hoping for a dry, warm evening, there may be a chill in the air!

High-visibility wristbands will be provided for all walkers and must be worn at all times throughout the walk. Please note, only assistance animals are allowed.

Sign up now

Please register your interest online, so that organisers know how many walkers will be joining. You can register here.

The £5 entry fee should be paid on arrival. Please bring the correct cash, as change will not be available.

If you can't make the Summer Solstice Stride but would like to get walking, you'll find upcoming Heart and Sole guided group walks here. Alternatively, check out our Explore Chelmsford walking maps for routes you can follow yourself.

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Molly Smith
Molly Smith

Molly writes stories about public health, community safety, leisure, community sport, parking and Chelmsford Market.