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 18th 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 26th 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.