Organised by the Isle of Wight Council and sponsored by major GPS firm Garmin, the weekend festival between 24th and 27th October promotes a healthy and fun way for residents and visitors to explore the Island ’s natural beauty, stunning coastline and rich history and its comprehensive network of footpaths.
The weekend complements the annual Isle of Wight Walking festival held each May – the largest event of its kind in the UK – and seeks to bring visitors to the Island outside of the main tourism season.
For the serious walkers and fitness fanatics, there’s the challenging round the Island walk, which is spread over three days. Fans of music nostalgia may be interested in the Hendrix in the West Wight Walk, which follows a route from Dimbola Lodge to the venue of the world famous 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. There’s also a walk where participants sing along and are welcome to bring instruments with them as well.
Animal lovers will enjoy the walking with alpacas event, or they could opt for the Labrador and cakes walk through Parkhurst Forest .
There’s the ever popular fossil walks, and even the chance to walk with a Harris Hawk. Returning once again is the famous speed dating walk, an even that has resulted in several marriages, a baby and is one that has gained national attention.
Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight Council executive member responsible for tourism, said:
“The Autumn Walking Weekend is always very popular and this year features over 60 walks.
“There really is a huge variety for all ages to choose from. Getting out and enjoying our wonderful towns, villages and countryside is a great experience while also helping to keep fit.”
All walks are led by knowledgeable walk leaders, and full details are available at http://www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/. A programme can also be picked up in council help centres and other local tourist attractions. Alternatively, to request a programme email [email protected].