Autumn and winter walking festivals

15 Oct , 2013  

Do you love to walk – but would like to find new places to hike or take your walking to a more challenging level? Perhaps you’re worried about your safety while walking in the colder months in the UK. Or you might be keen to meet new people – and to find walking buddies for future walking outings. If so, then a walking festival could be just the ticket.

At this time of year, when motivation for a walk might be waning a little, a walking festival could also be the very thing to get you outdoors and re-energised.

Benefits of walking festivals

Across the UK the number of walking festivals is growing, and many festivals have expanded their walks programmes to meet demand.

Walking festivals offer the chance to:

  • See a new part of the country
  • Follow new walking routes
  • Be guided by an experienced and knowledgeable guide
  • Push your walking ambitions further and higher
  • Learn about navigation
  • Meet new and like-minded people
  • Find out about the history, geology and wildlife during a walk
  • Become fitter and more active
  • Walk safely in more extreme conditions
  • Discover new places for walking.

Walking festivals to suit all tastes

There are so many different types of walking festivals, from small-scale walking festivals in out-of-the-way places to walking festivals near your home. Some walking festivals also focus on themes, such as wildlife, culture, food, history and arts. There are big walking festivals and smaller festivals. The choice is wide – and even during the cooler months you’ll find walking festivals to enjoy.

Guide to autumn and winter walking festivals

Crieff and Strathearn Drovers Tryst Walking Festival

12th to 19th October

There’s still time to catch this walking festival that celebrates the life, work and play of the people who made Crieff the cattle-droving crossroads of Scotland in the 1700s. The modern day Tryst is run by volunteers and built around a programme of guided walks in beautiful Scottish scenery.

Fal River Autumn Walking Festival

imgres-1218th October – 3rd November

The Autumn Festival offers a range of walks guided by experts in a mixture of fields, including wild food foraging, conservation, history and heritage. See Fal River Autumn Walking Festival.

Monmouthshire Walking Festival

18th to 27th October

Monmouthshire Walking Festival takes place in South Wales where the landscape, from rugged mountains in the north to ecologically important wetlands in the south offers the perfect location for a wide range of walks. . The festival has numerous guided walks for all types of walker.

Bollington Walking Festival

19th to 27th October

A week of great walks, fro easy to challenging, offers the chance to explore the scenery, heritage and wildlife of Cheshire’s Peak District at Bollington Walking Festival.

Isle of Wight Walking Weekend

25th to 28th October

This walking festival is themed around dinosaur-related walks this year. The Isle of Wight offers 500 miles of well-maintained footpaths through spectacular scenery and terrain, making it the perfect place for a walking festival. The Autumn Walking Weekend gives you the opportunity to walk amid fabulous autumnal colours.

New Forest Walking Festival

26th October – 3rd November

This year is the launch of this new walking festival promising a range of walks amid the autumn colours of the English National Park. There will be walks

led by the New Forest National Park Authority and partner organisations, and the Walking Festival will showcase some of the area’s best walks during the autumn half term. There are walks for all, including families.

Snowdonia Walking Festival

SWF226th to 27th October

Snowdonia is famous for its majestic rugged beauty – and in autumn the scenery takes on a new life, seemingly painted in a wealth of stunning hues. Every walk in the festival will be guided by a local expert with many years of experience and knowledge of the forests, lakes and mountains that encircle the village of Betws y Coed.

Ramblers Festival of Winter Walks

21st December – 5th January 2014

Hundreds of walks take place around the country during the Ramblers Festival of Winter Walks. All walks are free and open to anyone and everyone from toddlers to grandparents. Chosen and led by Ramblers volunteers, the walks will showcase Britain at its wintry best.  Many of the walks are short and family-friendly, although there are always plenty of longer hikes, too.


A journalist, web copywriter blogger and social media chatterbox, Fiona combines her love of the outdoors – especially Scotland – with a diverse freelance work life. If she's not at her desk writing about the outdoors, she'll be outside cycling, running, kayaking, snowboarding and walking Munros. She shares her outdoors passion with partner, the G-Force. Sometimes her teenage daughter Little Miss Outdoors tags along, too.