3rd -18th May 2014
People cross continents to walk this annual festival, the biggest in the UK and Europe, and many Islanders take part also, such is its popularity. So if you have planned your holiday to coincide with the dates in which it takes place, be sure to register. Registration is free of charge but compulsory. There are walks for all ages and levels of fitness, and catering for every interest, and it is the best way to enjoy the Island's most spectacular and beautiful landscapes.
This year will be the 16th anniversary of this now legendary walking festival, which has grown from 39 walks in the programme in 1999 to a staggering 250 walks during the summer, with an additional 70 walks in October for the Walking Weekend. With over half the Island being recognised as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including over 500 miles of well-maintained footpaths providing a fantastic variety of walks, it is no wonder that over 24,500 people take part.
Speed Dating Walks and more . . .
Established accompanying events include celebrity appearances and talks, heritage walks in the footsteps of historic literary figures, including Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and trails and fossil hunting excursions along the coast of the UK’s official “Dinosaur Capital”. Or step back a little closer in time and revisit the site of the famous 1970s Pop Festival. The two “Speed Dating Walks” have created long lasting friendships and relationships through time and resulted in no fewer than four marriages and one birth. There is the epic “Round the Island Walk”, an exhilarating 72 miles in 24 hours taking in the Island’s breathtaking coastline, and a leisurely version covering the same ground in 36 hours, or three days.
Walk the Wight
“Walk the Wight” is the largest walk of the festival and traditionally the last on the calendar. This walk crosses the Island from Bembridge in the east, travelling via Carisbrooke to The Needles in the west. Sponsored participants raise money for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.
There is also the very popular “Flat Walk the Wight” an 8 mile stretch running along the disused railway track, since reclaimed as cycle tracks.
For more information see www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk