Sunday, March 11, 2012

Special events for walking festival - Winchcombe Cotwolds Walking Festival

Organizers are gearing up for the Winchcombe Walking Festival which will include some special events for 2012.

The festival, which will be held from Friday to Sunday, May 18 to 20, offers 17 guided walks for all abilities and will have a whole host of knowledgeable guides on hand.

This year the festival will be celebrating Katharine Parr’s 500th anniversary with an insight into Tudor life in and around Sudeley Castle, where she is buried.

Highlights also will include a walk along the Windrush Way from Winchcombe to Bourton passing the remains of ‘lost’ medieval villages, a walk of a section of the Cotswold Way with the National Trail Officers and the opportunity to learn about Winchcombe’s military history during the two World Wars.

Secretary Robert Talbot said: “This year bookings are beyond our expectations. With 10 weeks to go we already have some walks full or nearly full. The committee are now exploring increasing the number of walks to meet the demand.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Autumn festival will boost success of Glens walking

Following the success of the Angus Glens Walking Festival each year Angus Council are proposing a similar event to begin this autumn.

A survey of participants at last year’s Angus Glens Walking Festival showed that 86 per cent would be interested in a similar event in the autumn.

Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, said: «It is proposed that a new two day outdoors festival be developed which will offer, not only walking as an activity, but also taster sessions of other activities such as mountain biking, canoeing or horse riding. This will be branded as an extension of the Angus Glens Walking Festival allowing this new activity to capitalise on the success of the current walking festival, targeting those who already visit Angus in spring to return again in the autumn»
He continued: “It is proposed that the new festival, Angus Autumn Adventures, will take place on September 1 and 2, working with the Outdoor Angus Industry Group and other activity providers in Angus. This has the aim of attracting visitors to the area at a traditionally quieter time of year and will showcase our year-round tourism products.»

Meanwhile, the local authority is proposing to underwrite the spring festival up to a maximum of £4,500 for 2012.
The festival has grown each year since it was introduced in 2003.

Mr Lowson said: «In 2011, the Festival increased the number of available walks from 24 to 28 to encourage people to participate in more walks, to stay longer in the area and to experience the great outdoors in Angus. 2011 was the first year the festival offered ‘All Abilities’ graded walks on each day allowing inexperienced walkers to participate, thus encouraging people to take up walking as a hobby. During the festival, three evening events are organised with the introduction of two new events; a quiz night and a Taste of Angus evening while keeping the traditional Ceilidh on Saturday night.»

«These events are aimed at encouraging people to stay longer in Angus, experience local food and drink and to offer a unique entertainment programme to attract visitors to Angus. In 2009, online booking was introduced to bring in-house the booking and purchasing procedure as this had traditionally been carried out by VisitScotland. In 2010, online purchasing was established so customers can book and pay for their walks and evening events in an efficient and customer friendly manner.»

Friday, February 17, 2012

Scilly Islands on foot - Walk Scilly

Now in its sixth year, the UK's most south westerly walking festival – Walk Scilly – takes place across the islands between March 31 and April 7.

The perfect way to explore these wonderful islands and find out more about their rich history, diversity and wealth of flora and fauna, the festival has retained some of its favourite walks and added new ones, along with a range of evening entertainment.

Throughout the week there are dozens of organised walks ranging from the easygoing to the strenuous taking in various aspects of the islands' individual character. Alongside the walks, there are talks, museum open evenings, cookery demos and live music.

Walks cover a range of themes, lengths and difficulty from the less strenuous which introduce visitors to the formation and structure of the landscape of the islands to a walk across the sand flats between Tresco, Samson and Bryher giving you a chance to investigate the marine life that the low tide reveals.

You can stroll across Chapel Down with its prehistoric and mediaeval remains, observe the sky at night free from light and industrial pollution on a stargazing evening and improve your photo-taking skills on an organised photo shoot capturing the islands' natural beauty.

As in 2011 the 2012 festival will also offer visitors a range of roam-alone routes recommended by leading walkers.

Official Website:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hundreds expected for weekend of walking - Dingle Walking Festival

THE Dingle Walking Festival which gets underway this weekend is expected to attract hundreds of avid walkers to the Dingle Peninsula.

A number of walking routes have been organised for walkers attending the two-day festival and, according to festival director Colm Bambury, there is a route available to suit every level.
It will help, of course, if the weather is kind to the event, but the hardy walkers will head for the hills in any event.

This year's festival will help raise funds for The Mark Pollack Trust, with walkers being invited to donate to the fund. Colm explained why he chose the trust as this year's festival charity.
«Mark Pollock, a native of County Down, became blind at the age of 22 and for over a decade afterwards he began a new journey as an adventure athlete competing in the harshest of environments possible,» he said.

«He became the first blind man to walk to the South Pole; he has climbed Mount Everest; he ran six marathons in one week in the Gobi desert; competed in the frozen Arctic Ocean and won two Commonwealth medals in rowing-plus.»

In July 2010 Mark fell from a second story window in London and suffered multiple injuries that left him paralysed from the waist down.
He is now trying to regain the use of his legs using «a bionic suit of sorts. Mark's story is truly inspiring and the 2012 Dingle Walking Festival is supporting his efforts all the way» said Colm.

The Dingle Walking Festival takes place this weekend on February 18 and 19.

Source: Kerryman - 15th February 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A 'smashing' start to May's Isle of Wight Walking Festival

This year’s Isle of Wight Walking Festival is set to get off to an adrenaline-fuelled start with two walks designed to test people’s nerves.

Although the Isle of Wight is famous for hundreds of miles of public footpaths through scenic countryside, on Saturday 5 May, St Thomas’ Square in Newport will be transformed for the launch of the walking festival as hot embers and broken glass will be laid across the square to create two unusual footpaths.

To celebrate the festival’s 14th year, people are being invited to test their willpower and courage by walking over a 20 foot stretch of hot coals or – new for this year – a path of broken glass created from thousands of smashed wine bottles.

The sponsored glass and fire walks will raise money for Beaulieu House in Newport, a respite centre providing support for children with severe learning disabilities or health issues.
Training for both walks is based on proven motivational and psychological methods. It does not involve any elements of hypnosis, spiritual training, chanting or brainwashing, however organisers say it is tremendous fun.

Elaine Cesar, senior events officer at the council, said: «The walking festival attracts people from all over the world and we are excited to be able to feature these two exciting walks on our launch night. It promises to be a fun evening for spectators as well as those taking part, as live music will entertain the crowds while the walkers take part in the training sessions beforehand. We look forward to welcoming both residents and visitors to this year’s festival which features more than 242 walks over 16 days.»

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rovers’ walking boost - Get Doncaster walking festival

DONCASTER Rovers have teamed up with the council to help this year’s Get Walking Festival into step.

The club helped to train 14 walk leader volunteers as part of Natural England’s Walking for Health scheme, giving all participants the chance to earn a qualification and become members of organised walks taking place throughout the borough.

Each participant learned the correct way to organise and stage a safe health walk, as well as being given the opportunity to take part in Doncaster Rovers’ own walking event, as qualified walk leaders.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Haltwhistle Spring Walking Festival Goes Online

The organising committee for the Haltwhistle Waking Festival is putting the final touches to the Spring Walking Festival which is scheduled to run from Saturday 28th April to Monday 7th May.

There are 29 proposed walks (and the social evening) in all of varying grades of difficulty and interest, as well as a social eveing. All of the finalised walks and social events will be fully described on their website before February and also booking will be available for online.

Spring brings a renewed freshness to this area which is both wild and rugged as well as very beautiful, and the walks provide a great opportunity to see the best of this area in good company. The headline long walks this spring will be the Burns and Crags over the first weekend and the 3 day Hexham to Haltwhistle via Burn Tongues over the second weekend. There will be something of interest to everyone as Real Ale, Bird watching, Drumming, Singing, Conservation, Alpacas and much more have all been included in the programme.

So now it is time to dust off your walking boots and prepare yourself for this brilliantly organised and well established walking festival and may be even the Haltwhistle Challenge

The full programme of walks and events for the 2012 Haltwhistle Spring Walking Fesival is now all online. The cost for most of the walks remains at £6 but where they run over a series of days or where additional costs are incurred, such as transport or food (like an afternoon tea) then prices are higher.  Birds, alpacas, beer, singing and drumming are just some of the themes available in the programme for this spring.

Bookings for the walks can also be made through the website so people can plan their Walking Festival visit in the comfort of their own homes.