'Per-Rambulations' looks for ways that go beyond mere mileage. Walking is more than a way to go between two points as quickly as possible. It is important to "see" the countryside rather than just looking at it. If we were to have a "mission statement" the nearest we would admit to is the last verse of W H Davies' poem Leisure
We want people to enjoy where we go and what we do. We believe that enjoyment can be deepened by creating a sense of place and of belonging to and understanding that place, even if just passing through. We try to give some indication of what lies alongside the path and what has happened along the way to lead to a greater appreciation of the surroundings. We look for some of the answers to those questions posed by Rudyard Kipling's six honest serving men: What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.
But, above all, it is to be enjoyed. And if it is fun, so much the better.
The core team of 'Per-Rambulations' is Terry Owen (right, in photo) and Peter Anderson. They met in 1998 when working for Country Walks, a Surrey based walking company, where they researched, developed and led walks in East and West Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey. Since then they have walked together mainly in the south east of England but also together and independently elsewhere.
'Per-Rambulations' itself came into being in 1999 when with Tony Pearson and with the sponsorship of the Tandridge District Council and the support of the Surrey County Council, it created the Tandridge Border Path to celebrate the Millennium.
The Tandridge Border Path is a recognized long distance footpath of 50 miles (80 kilometres). It traces the borders of the Tandridge District not only with the remainder of Surrey but also Kent, Sussex and Greater London. It is fully waymarked throughout. In the spring of 2009 a new Guide to the Tandridge Border Path was published. Copies are available from selected outlets or direct from Per-Rambulations.
In 2005 three years work culminated with the opening of the 42 mile (67 km) long distance footpath, the Sussex Ouse Valley Way. The formal opening was followed by an inaugural walk of four days organised, escorted and led by the 'Per-Rambulations' team. The second edition of the guidebook was published in April 2012.
The 'Per-Rambulations' team contains a wealth of experience and competencies. Between them they have designed and led walks both voluntarily and professionally throughout the south east of England. They lead walks within the Discovering Sussex walking programme and previously led walks for both the Exploring East Sussex and Exploring West Sussex walking programmes. Between 2003 and 2012 they led walks at the West Sussex Walking Festivals and since 2001 have been part of the support team on the annual traverse of the South Downs Way. Terry also leads walks for HF Walking Holidays and is Field Advisor at their Abingworth country home in West Sussex.
In 2006 'Per-Rambulations' published their well received A Companion on the South Downs Way, a collection of fascinating facts, folklore and information about the National Trail and the perfect 'companion' to the walker and compliment to existing guides.
Following a four day walking event 'over and around' the Ashdown Forest in the autumn of 2006 they published the perambulation in their An Ashdown Forest Perambulation booklet. The walk seeks out all corners of this wonderful area of Sussex countryside.
2007 saw the culmination of 12 months work with the launch and inaugural walk of the West Sussex Literary Trail. A joint project between 'Per-Rambulations' and Footprints of Sussex, the trail links Horsham and Chichester and discovers the literary characters that have lived or worked in the county. The accompanying guidebook was published that same year.
In 2009 Terry wrote Abingworth - A Brief History following his long association with the HF Holidays House at Thakeham and in 2010 I-Spy What & Why on the South Downs was published, drawing upon their knowledge of the Way gained over the previous ten years.