Isle of Wight Walking festival kicks off

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival, which sees local and visiting walkers of all ages and abilities invited to set-off across the Island on a wide choice of themed walks, gets underway today (Saturday).

The popular festival was saved in 2017 following an 11th hour injection of support from Visit Isle of Wight. This year the event is sponsored by Warner Leisure Hotels and introduces a brand new website, including for the first time, the opportunity for walkers to reserve their walks online.

Over half of the Island is recognised as an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). With its 60-miles of dramatic Heritage Coastline and more than 500-miles of well-maintained and signposted footpaths, the Island has long been recognised as a walker’s paradise.
Walkers participating in the 2018 Festival will have the chance to get up close and personal with the best of the Island’s stunning scenery thanks to a selection of spring nature walks. The Isle of Wight is often referred to as ‘England in Miniature’, and in just one day of walking it’s possible to see the finest English countryside from sand dunes and pebbly coves to thatched villages and bustling sailing towns.

Mark Rowe, Countryfile Magazine’s contributing editor, broadsheet columnist keen walker and fan of the Island will be making an appearance on the first day of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival. Mark will be leading a walk this afternoon (Saturday), followed by an evening talk at Newport’s Quay Arts, hosted by Paul Armfield. The event has been organised by Discovery Travel, self-guided UK walking holiday specialist based on the Isle of Wight.

Joanne Forey, Warner Leisure Hotels’ Sales Manager, said:

“The Isle of Wight has so much to offer walkers, from its breath taking coastal paths to forest trails, so we’re excited to sponsor this year’s Isle of Wight Walking Festival.

“Our Bembridge Coast and Norton Grange hotels attract walkers from across the UK who love exploring everything the Isle of Wight has to offer, so it’s important that we support local events like this that showcase the Island and its treasures.”

A Visit Isle of Wight spokesperson said:

“We’re proud to be able to put on the Isle of Wight Walking Festival for a second year, and are delighted that we have secured sponsorship support from Warner Leisure Hotels. It was highlighted by Wight BID levy payers as an important event in the Isle of Wight’s calendar and vital to bringing visitors during the traditional non-peak ‘shoulder’ season.

“We are especially thrilled at the passion and dedication the walk leaders have shown in making this year’s Walking Festival into what promises to be a fantastic event.”

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