Information for 2017 Walking Festivals
We are looking forward to the 2017 Walking Festivals and some organisers are already working hard planning their events and devising great walks. If you visited a walking festival in 2016 we hope you had a great time and will consider visiting one or more festivals this year. Although it is only January time flies and the keen planners amongst you may want to give some early thought to which festivals to visit. Although most dates for 2017 are not yet finalised the list of festivals in the box all took place in 2016 and most will probably take place again this year at similar dates.
Where 2017 dates have been confirmed we have provided currently available information below, although details of the walk programmes may still be in development. We expect most of the festivals will be repeated again but unless we have given firm dates this cannot be guaranteed. We will update as information becomes available.
The Crickhowell Walking Festival takes place around the beginning of March each year and lasts nine days. It consists of a number of guided walks of various grades, all led by local experienced guides. There is something for every level of walker, whether you are happy trekking all day across the tops of the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons or would rather keep to paths and the lower slopes.
The programme also has a range of supporting events. These are in the form of talks, some of which will be followed by a walk to illustrate the talk the next day, courses in Map Reading and Navigation – theory and practical – as well as times to relax to music and even dance, if you still have enough energy left!
For further information and to book, visit the festival website www.crickhowellfestival.com
This year will be the 10th Boscastle Walking Week, an intimate event run by local people that has grown in popularity over the years. The organisers welcome new and returning walkers who take pleasure in this beautiful part of north Cornwall. From the very best of Britain’s coastline to wonderful walks amid woods and streams, it’s all on offer during Boscastle’s increasingly popular Walking Week with 12 exciting walks planned, plus social events.
Simply one of Cornwall’s most picturesque and unspoilt villages, Boscastle offers breath-taking scenery, spectacular walks along the dramatic coastline and inland with great food, high quality accommodation and a vibrant history.
For further information and to book visit the website:
The islands of Islay and Jura have something to offer everyone. Whether it’s our famous whisky, spectacular wildlife, peace and tranquillity, music, beaches or heritage. You are certain to find something special that may entice you back again.
The walking festival on Islay lets you explore the natural beauty of places such as Killinallen with its white sands at Killinallan Point and views across turquoise waters to Mull, Colonsay and Skye's Cuillin's. There are also two RSBC nature reserves at Loch Gruinart and Oa, and the Three Distilleries Pathway. All of these can be enjoyed on the choice of ten festival walks.
Further information visit http://www.islayjura.com/view-details.php?id=535
A popular walking festival which is firmly established on the walker’s map. Join us for 5 days of walking fun! Our fantastic walks programme has walks to suit all abilities and are led by experienced walk leaders who either live or work in the area.
The Lower Wye Valley is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a rich heritage and has such a lot to offer the walker with its variety of landscape. Chepstow is an accredited ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town which aims to provide the best possible walking experience.
The price is £5 for a single ticket or £10 for a Supersaver ticket which gives you the chance to join as many walks as you wish and includes transport and parking in Chepstow if applicable. Booking essential as places are limited. The full programme will be online by the end of January 2017 which will give details and information on how to book your place or get in contact.
For further information, visitwww.walksinchepstow.co.uk
This year will be the 18th Ulverston Walking Festival and what better place to spend a few days exploring the southern fringes of the outstandingly beautiful Lake District and not far from Morecambe Bay with its sandy beaches and abundant wildlife. There will be the usual great selection of walks to suit all abilities which will allow you to experience the best of this beautiful area.
Many of the walks will be the same or similar to last year’s programme with some new additions. Details of this year’s walks will be available during February. Fees for the walks will again be at an amazingly low cost because the organisers do it for fun and just want to cover their costs.
For further information, visit www.ulverstonwalkfest.co.uk
Haltwhistle lies between the most spectacular section of Hadrian's Wall in the Northumberland National Park and the North Pennines AONB. The beautiful South Tyne valley runs southwards up into the hills. The Haltwhistle Spring Walking Festival is a well-established event which gets booked up very quickly. As usual the organisers have put together an excellent programme offering a wide variety of walks in this lovely area.
Every day there is a longer and a shorter walk. On four days there will also be a Special Interest walk. Longer walks include: West Hall Circular, 10.5 miles out in the west; West Allen to South Tyne, a strenuous 12-mile route from Whitfield to Haltwhistle; Colleges, Limericks and Swans, 11-mile circular from Edmundbyers.
Shorter walks include: Catton Circular with tea afterwards in the village hall; Lake, Linn and Burn; Around Broomlee Lough from Housteads.
For further information and to book visit the festival website
ride2stride is a festival of walks, talks and music along the fabulous Settle-Carlisle railway line. It is a week-long celebration of the wonderful landscape and culture of the western Dales and Eden Valley.
The festival is made up of lots of events and activities and things will be happening along the length of the line. Walks will be led from stations by experienced walk leaders. Speakers will share their local knowledge and love of the area, and the pubs will be buzzing with music and song.
ride2stride is for everyone who loves the Yorkshire Dales. Whether you travel to an event by train, live along the line or book your holiday to take advantage of the festival, we're sure you'll have a great time.
Information and Booking Details www.ride2stride.org.uk
This will be the fifth year the festival has been held. Close to Brecon, Crickhowell and Hay-on-Wye, Talgarth is an ideal base for visitors wishing to explore the Brecon Beacons National Park on foot, whether it’s the high peaks or the lush green valleys of the Wye and the Usk which capture the imagination. Talgarth is a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town and is known as the Gateway to the Black Mountains.
On offer will be a great range of walks from high level strenuous hikes to gentler strolls all taking in the glorious mountain scenery.
For further information and to book visit: www.talgarthwalkingfestival.org
The Isle of Wight is a walkers’ paradise. Sea breezes, big skies, springy downland turf, timeless villages; these are just a few of the pleasures that await you when you take part in the Isle of Wight Walking Festival. Over half the Island is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with 60 miles of dramatic Heritage Coastline, unspoilt countryside and over 500 miles of well-maintained and signposted footpaths. The Island has an acclaimed reputation as one of the best destinations in the UK for walking pursuits and there is something for all ages and abilities.
This year the popular Isle of Wight Walking Festival returns as IsleWalk2017, with local and visiting walkers of all ages and abilities setting off on trails across the Island’s picturesque landscape. Walkers will get up close and personal with the best of the Island's stunning scenery, as they journey from the beautiful chalky cliffs of the west coast to the lush green rolling hills of the east.
Information and booking details: www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk
Walking in North Wales doesn't get much better than Llangollen, a beautiful Victorian Welsh border town with so much to offer the casual and the keen walker. The organisers warmly invite you to explore the town and landscape in the company of friendly local and professional guides who will share with you their knowledge of local history, heritage and folk tales whilst you walk through some of the most spectacular and mystical landscape in North Wales.
Join a short leisurely history walk each day in the company of a Green Badge guide in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jump aboard the heritage steam train for a nostalgic ride followed by a scenic valley meander or a high level wilderness walk. Visit the romantic medieval castle and abbey ruins plus stunning cliff walks for big views and moor. For the fitter walker, experience beautiful World's End and high moorland wilderness walks.
Further information and to book visit: www.llangollenwalkingfestival.co.uk
Enjoy the Chesterfield Area on foot, following a magical fairy trail at Creswell Crags, combining a walk with a boat trip along the Chesterfield Canal, or discover George Stephenson’s connection with Chesterfield on a walk ending with a talk from George himself at Chesterfield Museum.
If you’re looking for a challenge, try the Chesterfield Round Walk, a 34-mile trek through the countryside that surrounds the town. Or brave the Beast of Bolsover on a 20-mile circular hike. If that sounds all too much take an evening stroll of 5 or 6 miles, a short walk around the town or a family ramble of 2 or 3 miles.
Most walks are free and are led by a fully trained guide who knows the history, wildlife and the best countryside to walk through (as well as the best pubs to visit) in the beautiful Chesterfield landscape.
For further information, visit www.chesterfieldwalkingfestival.co.uk
Bishop’s Castle is a small market town surrounded by the wonderful Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, near the Welsh border and off the beaten track. It is a welcoming place and a walker’s paradise.
This year’s eighteenth walking festival offers a great choice of five different walks every day, all beautiful, all guided by local people who know the area. They take walkers over wide open hilltops, through winding valleys, tiny hamlets and ancient hill forts and there are amazing views. Evening events round-off the day’s walking.
Bishop’s Castle is a friendly and welcoming market town with two breweries, six pubs, interesting independent shops and a well-established programme of festivals, music and arts.
For further information, visit the festival website:
New for 2017, the Chilterns Walking Festival invites people to explore the landscapes and locations of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which covers the countryside from Goring in Oxfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. There will be seperate events for spring and autumn.
The spring festival offers an exciting programme of walks, talks and special events. Highlights include:
Guided walking tours of Henley’s Midsomer Murders filmed locations, bringing to life various plotlines and ‘stand in their shoes’ activities; Woodland walks around the Chalfonts, to explore the outdoor arts of bushcraft, foraging and bread-making; Boat cruises along the River Thames and walks along a 2 mile stretch of the Thames Path National Trail with a guide to point out sights and wildlife along the way; An Ancient Feast with a recreated Iron-Age menu; Opportunities to try out Nordic Walking or Electric Cycles; A walk along the Ridgeway taking in the landscapes and places painted by John Nash.
For more information, visit www.visitchilterns.co.uk/walkingfest
or on Facebook at ChilternsWalkingFestival/
This year will be the eighth Winchcombe Walking Festival. In previous years there have been at least five walks to choose from, varying in length and difficulty from strenuous full day walks on the Cotswold Way to half-day walks, short, level health walks, an evening walk, and a historic town walk.
Winchcombe is set in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds. It has a timeless quality about it which makes it an attractive centre for walkers. The town has "Walkers are Welcome" status which means it will endeavour to make your stay and experience memorable.
Strolling along picturesque streets surrounded by cottages of golden yellow stone and hidden courtyard gardens it’s easy to allow yourself to daydream that you’ve stepped back in time. The town is served by many footpaths coming off the hills, including the Cotswold Way National Trail.
For further information, visit: http://www.winchcombewelcomeswalkers.com/festival/
An opportunity to meet like-minded people, discover a fascinating island and have unforgettable days in the safe hands of experienced local leaders. With names to inspire the imagination, such as Ceum na Caillich (Witch’s Step) Caisteal Abhail (Castles) and the Sleeping Warrior, the mountains of Arran are some of Scotland’s most amazing landscapes. From wildlife-watching walks along the island’s coastline to airy scrambles on towering granite ridges. Scottish hillwalking at its best!
Arran is one of the most accessible of the Scottish islands, with good transport links by ferry, road, rail and air. At the end of an exhilarating day in the outdoors, there are plenty of hostels, hotels, cottages and campsites for comfort and relaxation. Arran Mountain Festival is Scotland's premier hillwalking and mountaineering festival.
There are 20 walks planned over the four days of the festival. All the walks are described in detail on the festival website, together with all the information you require to plan a trip to this stunning area. Places are limited and many walks fill quickly. Booking is now open.
For information and booking visit http://www.arranmountainfestival.co.uk
The Lincolnshire Wolds is a great place for walking and to explore this fascinating Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This year is the thirteenth Festival and 100 walks are being planned.
The programme of walks is designed to suit all abilities; whether you haven’t walked for ages or you are a sturdy regular rambler, or you simply need a walk that is pushchair or toddler friendly, there are walks just for you. Stretching over the Lincolnshire Wolds character area with views of the River Humber in the north and The Wash in the south, the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival celebrates the varied terrain of the East Lincolnshire landscape.
For booking or further information visit www.woldswalkingfestival.co.uk
Llanelli Ramblers organise and host the Llanelli Festival of Walks which is an annual event that has attracted hundreds of visitors to the town since its beginnings in 1995 and has established Llanelli as a popular centre for walking.
The main theme of the 2017 Llanelli Festival is Welsh rivers and other waterways. There is a choice of 15 walks to suit all ages and abilities, in areas including the Welsh valleys, Gower, Pembrokeshire and, of course, Carmarthenshire. The Festival ends on Bank Holiday Monday with the ever-popular traditional Welsh tea.
For further information, visit the Festival website www.llanelliramblers.org.uk
The beautiful Malvern Hills are the jewel in the crown of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This festival offers nine days of themed walks on and around the Malvern Hills and an opportunity to enjoy some of breathtakingly beautiful views in the company of others.
Friendly guides to both lead the way and indicate points of interest you may normally have missed. Walks are planned to appeal to families as well as serious walkers. Most walks have some value to walkers who are also interested in natural history, local history and the geology of this beautiful area. Challenging walks include the Malvern Hills End-to-End walk and back and several multi-day walks including the Wye Valley, Wyche Way and the Geopark Way.
For further information, visit www.malvernwalking.uk
The Corby Walking Festival is in its ninth year and celebrates the wealth of walking opportunities in and around the borough of Corby, situated within the stunning countryside of the Welland Valley and Rockingham Forest in the county of Northamptonshire. The town itself is surrounded by 8 picturesque villages and the whole area has a rich steelmaking heritage.
A walking programme is offered with a variety of led walks to suit all interests and fitness abilities. Everyone can experience the enjoyment of walking with no charge, whether they live in the town or villages, courtesy of the Festival. Whether you’re a complete walking novice, interested in local history, photography, wildlife, or just want to challenge yourself with one of the long distance routes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
For further information and to book visit the festival website www.corbywalkingfestival.org.uk
The fourth Corsham Walking Festival will be offering 18 walks to suit all abilities, including a fully accessible walk, wheelchair friendly, therefore suitable for all. Walks vary in distance from 1.5 to 19 miles including some new walks and fine-tuning some others. The lovely medieval town of Corsham, founded on weaving and stone quarrying, is at the very edge of the Cotswolds between Bath and Chippenham, and at the very heart of the Walking Festival.
Experts will talk about specialist subjects en route to offer walkers information, as well as experienced walk leaders to guide you. There will be walks for a range of interests and abilities, Quarrying, Geology, Railways, Natural History, plus a Children’s Free Treasure Hunt and a “Mindfulness” Walk, plus evening entertainment.
For further information, visit the website
Brochures will be available from the start of April and on line via the website.
This festival is now in its fourth year and is becoming the walking event of the year for the South East of England. Centred on the historic towns of Dover, Deal and Sandwich, this week long festival, run by the local Ramblers group, features over 40 walks ranging in length from 1 to 32 miles.
The event attracts over a thousand happy walkers each year from UK and worldwide visiting this historical area. Walks for all abilities and interests, including family walks, historical walks, wildlife walks, smugglers walk, challenging walks and a three-day trekking walk.
Whatever your walking ability or interest, this event offers walks that will tempt you out to discover beautiful coastal and nearby countryside. Bring the children and join the smugglers walk or immerse yourself walking among the fascinating military fortifications. A few special guided walks cost a modest £2. A voluntary contribution is appreciated for all other walks.
For further information, visit: www.whitecliffswalkingfestival.org.uk
Gillingham Walking Festival aims to highlight the beautiful surrounding countryside, rare wildlife and local history, with over 20 walks, from short themed walks to longer rambles and social events. Explore the hidden gems of the town or tours of the local history, industrial heritage, rich wildlife and riverside walks. Enjoy our gently rolling farmland and explore our medieval Royal Forest. Gillingham, Dorset gained accreditation to the national ‘Walkers are Welcome’ Towns network in 2015.
For more information, visit the website:
This year will be the ninth annual festival, now an established fixture in the Bedfordshire calendar. No detailed information is currently available, but usually there are walks for almost every ability level. Short 1 to 2 mile health Walks, 3 to 4 mile ambles and special interest walks. Rambler led walks for more serious walkers ranging from 5 to12 miles and for people who like a challenge the Greensand Ridge Challenge two-day hike along the Greensand Ridge is to take place on the 16th and 17th of September. All walks are led by experienced leaders
Bedfordshire may be a small county but has a varied and interesting landscape. The rural north likened by some to the “Wolds”. The wooded and most varied middle with excellent ridge views and the Chalk Hills of the South together with interesting towns and villages plus well marked, and generally a well maintained footpath network makes Bedfordshire ideal for walking.
For further information visit: www.bedswalkfest.co.uk
Kington Walks festival returns for its sixth year, already a firm fixture for all who love the great outdoors and enjoy walking festivals. Kington sits on the frontier between the green and pleasant land of Herefordshire, famous for apples, beef and beer, and the wild uplands of Wales. It is perfect walking country for the tough and the lazy alike. Bracing ascents alternate with strolls to ancient pubs drowsing by rapid rivers, and the views are sublime. More long-distance paths converge on the town than almost anywhere else in the UK.
The organizers are putting together an exciting and varied program for 2017 to include some walk repeats from previous festivals as well as some brand new ones. The program promises again to bring a range of walks and events to suit all tastes. Full details of the 2017 program will be on the website by the end of April, with the brochure being available in late May.
For further Information, visit: www.kingtonwalks.org
There are fifteen varied walks being planned for this festival, now in its ninth year, offering the chance to explore this beautiful area. Some walks include additional activities such as a ride on a steam train, a lunch cruise on the river Wye or a sumptuous farmhouse cream tea.
The town of Ross-on-Wye has a splendid setting within the Wye Valley AONB overlooking the River and dominated by the beautiful slender spire of St Mary’s church. Ross is an ideal location for walking with plenty of local accessible paths and, used as a base, it is within easy reach of the Malvern Hills, the lower Wye valley, the Forest of Dean and even the Black Mountains of Wales.
For full details and how to book visit the website
Come along to this festival for a fabulous week of free guided walks and discover the wonderful scenic coastal walking around Sidmouth and the hidden gems of East Devon.
There are three walks each day; shorter special interest expert led walks, circular walks which take in our seaside towns and beautiful countryside, and the East Devon Way linear walks. Five daily walks cover all of the 40 mile East Devon Way, walking from Lyme Regis to Exmouth through East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For these walks there is coach transport from Sidmouth to take you to the start and collect you at the end each day. There is a charge for the coach travel.
All walks are free of charge and must be booked in advance through the Sidmouth Tourist Centre 01395 516441 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, visit the following websites.
Festivals Completed for 2016 (not yet confirmed for 2017)
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