Avid amblers set for annual South Downs Way trek

WH 020315 South Downs Way walk feature. Organiser Keith McKenna with Sally Dench left and Molly MacCreadie. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150303-100128001
WH 020315 South Downs Way walk feature. Organiser Keith McKenna with Sally Dench left and Molly MacCreadie. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150303-100128001

A pensioner is getting ready for her tenth South Downs Way Annual Walk and has encouraged residents across Sussex to join her in this year’s ‘fantastic’ nine-day event.

Molly MacCreadie, from Withdean, said she started the nature trek ten years ago to prove that she was still young and able at 70-years-old.

“I just love it so,” said Molly, who will be celebrating her 79th birthday when she sets out on the walk this June.

“It’s just so much fun and it’s good for you. It’s also very challenging and that is what’s so fantastic about it.”

Organised by Keith McKenna and Sally Dench of Footprints, which specialises in walking holidays, the duo took over the event in 2001 and have since attracted avid amblers from across the country, and even overseas.

Keith said: “Last year we had 280 people take part. I have been walking with people from Norfolk and the Netherlands who say to me ‘you live in a beautiful part of the world’.”

This year’s event will start on June 6 in Eastbourne and finish on June 14 in Winchester, stopping at countryside locations along the way, like Devil’s Dyke, Washington and Queen Elizabeth Park.

“It’s always in June because that’s when the wild orchids are out and the Chalkhill blue butterflies arrive,” said Keith.

“This time we’re going through Alfriston, which is a beautiful honey pot of a village, we will also circle the trees at the Chanctonbury Ring, and see the trout farm at Meon Valley.”

The whole event totals at more than 100 miles and each day includes around four to five hours of walking. Coaches will collect participants from four pick-up points including Shoreham, Worthing, Arundel and Chichester.

Keith and Sally have urged people to book promptly as spaces go fast. “So if you want the pick-up point that suits you it’s better to book before Easter time,” said Keith.

A spot on the walk costs £227 and the coaches will pick up people and drop them off each day.

To book, visit www.footprintsofsussex.co.uk or call 01903-813381.