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Victoria harbour walk
Walk 6066

Country - Canada

Region - Vancouver Island

Author - Lou Johnson

Time - 3.00 hours

Grade - easy

Photo from the walk - Victoria harbour walk
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This walk is a suggestion of what can be done during a day visit to Victoria. Victoria is seen by many as one of the most attractive downtowns in North America. With many historic buildings and a busy harbour scene there is certainly plenty to see and do. The basic concept is a circular walk around the Inner Harbour at Victoria using footpaths wherever possible. In addition the Victoria Harbour Ferry, itself an attraction, is used to cross the Outer harbour saving the need to retrace your steps.

The start is the Visitor Centre on Wharf Street, opposite the Empress Hotel. There was a wide range of information on hand and the staff were very well-informed and ready to help with enquiries. From the Visitor Centre, walk with the harbour on your left towards the Johnson Street Lifting Bridge. Try to keep as near to the harbour as possible passing the seaplane departure terminal, which always seems to have something going on. We took a short cut across a car park to regain Wharf Street which led us to Johnson Street.

Go over the lifting bridge from where you get a good view of the whole of the Inner Harbour. Once across the bridge go left and follow the Westsong Way as it meanders alongside the harbour. Not far along is the Songhees jetty for the harbour ferry. Ferries seemed to be every few minutes in the summer and you need to cross to Fisherman's Wharf which is the second stop after boarding. The ferry captains are a mine of information and they will tell you a few anecdotes as you cross the Outer Harbour.

Fisherman's Wharf is an interesting locality with floating houses and apartments, some interesting eateries and a busy atmosphere. There is some sign of fishing but its original reason for being there has been somewhat overtaken by tourism. Leave Fisherman's Wharf and follow the Waterfront Walk which leads to the downtown area. You will soon arrive by the lawns in front of the British Columbia's Legislative Buildings where free guided tours are available.

The basic circuit of the Inner Harbour is now complete. Other attractions that can be added are a visit to the Royal British Columbia Museum or you can enjoy a stroll around the Old Town taking in Johnson Street and Chinatown. Alternatively you can take a seat close to the harbour and just watch the world go by.


Stay Safe

Do enjoy yourself when out walking and choose a route that is within your capabilities especially with regard to navigation.

Do turn back if the weather deteriorates especially in winter or when visibility is poor.

Do wear the right clothing for the anticipated weather conditions. If the weather is likely to change for the worse make sure you have enough extra clothing in your pack.

Do tell someone where you are planning to walk especially in areas that see few other walkers.

Do take maps and other navigational aids. Do not rely on mobile devices in areas where reception is poor. Take spare batteries especially in cold weather.

Do check the weather forecast before leaving. The Met Office has a number of forecasts for walkers that identify specific weather risks.

Please Note - These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that Walking Britain is not held responsible for the safety or well being of those following the routes as described. It is worth reiterating the point that you should embark on a walk with the correct maps preferably at 1:25000 scale. This will enable any difficulties with route finding to be assessed and corrective action taken if necessary.

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