15 Apr Strathspey Story Walks
Strathspey Storywalks was born during the Covid pandemic, but had been gathering momentum for several years.
As many of us found, lockdown brought local adventures and deep explorations of small areas, and led me to begin sharing the richness that exists in one tiny place.
Within Aviemore and its immediate area, I found so many story threads, ever-expanding. Strathspey is an incredibly rich area – in stories, songs, music – but this is sometimes not very obvious, particularly for visitors passing through, who perhaps only see a ski-resort, ‘adventure playground’ type of town.
I really wanted to make the most of what’s already here, so Strathspey Storywalks is a very low-key, low-impact little business, taking small groups of people aged 3-80+ on informal, slow explorations through the woods around Aviemore. The walks bring together folklore, history, nature, foraging and Gaelic heritage, as of course all of these things cannot be separated.
The Storywalks share hidden gems and untold stories which are often hidden, or forgotten. We taste seasonal wild teas and share local stories of kings, witches, fairy folk, highwaymen… and perhaps a Gaelic song or two.
Personally, I love being outdoors in the places of the stories – of livelihoods, of legends, of community. My hope is to build up a library of stories which can be shared by locals and visitors alike, to help continue the oral tradition. With time, I hope to expand the range of walks within and around Aviemore and Strathspey.
Storytelling for me is very much about how we enhance and change our personal relationships with the land and people around us. With the current local, national and global challenges we face, I strongly feel this is more important than ever.
This is a different adventure, a different way to explore. It isn’t high-adrenaline, it isn’t high-altitude, it isn’t fast-paced – it’s about connection and guardianship and care, which is radical in its own way. Come and join a Storywalk!
Sarah Hobbs, Strathspey Storywalks.