Walks And Walking – Hampshire Walks Isle Of Wight Walking Festival 2012
Isle of Wight Walking Festival 5th – 20th May
Autumn Walking Weekend 26th – 29th October
The Isle Of Wight Walking Festival is the biggest walking festival in the UK and this year the fun starts from the 5th to 20th May followed by the Autumn Walking Weekend from the 26th to 29th October.This year is the 14th year of the Annual Isle of Wight Walking Festival and includes over 250 walking routes, with the Autumn Walking Weekend including about 70 walking routes. If you haven’t experienced Hampshire walks on the Isle of Wight before then you can expect the walking to be generally quite easy with fairly mild ascents and descents on the Coastal Path and inland with only a few steep climbs.
All of the walking routes are designed to suit walkers of all ages and abilities and you can choose your walks by distance, pace, difficulty and date covering over 500 miles of well-maintained footpaths throughout many paths recognised as areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Last years event attracted over 20,000 walkers making it the most successful walking festival ever staged on the island. All walks are led by experienced walkers with the Ramblers organising a series of much longer walks for those who would prefer more than just a leisurely stroll. There are also exciting walks available for young toddlers and children.
A popular walking route is the Round The Island Walk, a demanding non stop 72 miles in 24 hours. This offers the opportunity to complete a guided walk around the Coastal Path encountering the Island’s dramatic coastline and truly beautiful countryside scenery. What makes the Island so unique for walkers are the 360 degree views and, if it is a clear, you really can see for miles. Another classic walk is the Charybdis Passage, a coastal scramble across the rocks from Ventnor to Whitecliff Bay and back. One for the early birds this walking route starts at 4am with a very brisk 17 miles in 7 hours.
This year will see the launch of 2 new footpaths, albeit only for the festival launch, designed to get the festival off to a fiery start. On Saturday 5th May in Newport there will be a 20 foot pathway of hot embers no less. And if that is not enough to warm your feet up for miles of fantastic countryside walking routes then you can also try the path of broken glass that will be created from thousands of smashed wine bottles, presumably drunk and emptied by the people brave enough to attempt the challenge!
The full Isle of Wight Walking Festival programme is now available online along with a downloadable .pdf and with hard copies available by request so you can plan your walking routes well in advance. To get you straight in the mood there are also some competitions you can enter to win a Goodie Bag, a walking holiday with Wight Walks, a weekend hotel break with Step-By-Step Walking Holidays, a camper van holiday with Isle of Wight Camper Vans, a pair of Hi-Tec Walking Boots and a full board break for 2 at Freshwater Bay House with HF Holidays.
For more information please visit The Isle Of Wight Walking Festival Official Website.