Walking around Caterham for the foodbank

If there is anybody who gets to know an area through walking, it’s a postie. Which is why David Bryan, who has lived in Caterham for 60 years, and worked for the Royal Mail for more than 40, is perfectly placed to have published a book called Walks around Caterham. 

After taking voluntary redundancy, David began thinking about what he could do to fill his time. Wanting to participate in some form of Christian service, he began volunteering for Caterham Foodbank, and it was during a conversation with founder Gill Bailey that his next project began to take shape:

“I’d been on holiday with my wife in the Cotswolds and we’d bought a book about walking in the local area. I had wondered then if I could do something similar in Caterham, which would combine my love of walking with my knowledge of the area. When I mentioned the concept to Gill, as well as how I could sell it to raise money for the foodbank, she thought it was a good idea, so I went ahead with it.” 

Featuring details of 10 walks that take in the beauty of the countryside around the town (accompanied by photographs taken by David Bryden), Walks around Caterham was launched at the foodbank’s 10th anniversary commemoration in November 2023, and so far has sold more than 150 copies.

“The book has three objectives,” says David. “To introduce people to routes they may not know about, to bring people the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of walking, and to raise funds for the foodbank.”

Each walk comes with guidance on its distance, how long it should take and its grade (easy, moderate or hard), along with where it starts and finishes, plus parking directions.  

David has included points of interest along each route, which you may not otherwise have noticed without a prompt. For instance, on Walk No.6 (Netherne-on-the-Hill), you will discover that Alderstead Heath was ‘a holding area for armoured fighting vehicles’ in the latter phases of World War II, and that if you look closely at the monkey tree featured in Walk No. 8 (the North Downs Way), you might actually be able to see monkeys perched in the branches.

There is also information about nearby cafes and eateries, perfect for walkers motivated by the thought of a cup of tea and a treat at the end of their outing!

David’s favourite walk of the 10 is No. 3 (Woldingham):

“I like to do this at least four times a year, once in each season, so you can appreciate it at different times of the year.”

There is an 11th walk mentioned in David’s booklet, which he uses to share his faith with his readers:

“I’ve titled it ‘The most rewarding walk ever?’ and it talks about the Emmaus Road walk, which is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke in the Bible.”

Walks around Caterham can be purchased from Caterham Foodbank (see their website for opening days, times and locations) or from The Lost Sheep on Croydon Road. You can also email info@caterham.foodbank.org.uk. A £6 donation per copy is suggested.

We have two signed copies of David’s book to give away. If you would like one, simply answer the following question: Which weekday is Caterham Foodbank based at Kings Church in Oxted?

Send your answer to competition@tandridgeindependent.com. The first two correct answers we receive will win. 

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