Walk on fire and glass on the Isle of Wight this May
May sees the return of the Isle of Wight’s annual Walking Festival, sponsored by leading cross-Solent ferry operator Wightlink (0871 376 1000* www.wightlink.co.uk). Now in its 14th year, the festival is set to take place from 5-20 May and is the largest of its kind in the UK. Offering over 250 walks covering some of the Island’s 500-miles of marked footpaths and through unspoilt countryside and nature-filled woodlands, or along coastal paths and fossil-rich beaches, the fortnight-long event is suitable for walkers of all ages and abilities.
In 2010, over 22,000 people took part in the fortnight-long walking event and this year’s festival promises to continue drawing leisure walkers and die-hard ramblers from far and wide. This year, Wightlink is offering specially priced ferry tickets for just £9.50 per person for foot passengers.
Take part in the epic 36-hour, 77-mile Beaches Bars and Blisters Round the Island Walk or for a less strenuous option, try the Tennyson Down Spring Flowers & Butterfly Walk, which looks at wild flowers and butterflies on one of the Island’s most dramatic stretches of coastline. Alternatively, join in on the Twenty Mile Leg Stretcher or go on the Fruit and Nut Walk through the East Yar Valley. Also on the programme are several Fossil Hunting Guided Walks, on which walkers can see fossil trees and dinosaur footprints, while for nature-lovers, the Red Squirrel Safari offers the perfect afternoon out. Starting from Fort Victoria near Yarmouth, the easy-walk will allow walkers to try and spot the illustrious Red Squirrel.
Brave of mind and body?
Over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, couples looking to heat up their romance can brave hot embers and sizzling coals by taking part in Blaze’s bare foot charity Firewalk, and for those not content with sending their temperatures soaring, there is the new-for-2012 Glasswalk. The latter will see participants with nerves of steel navigate the festival’s shortest, yet most nerve-racking walk: a 20-metre path over razor-sharp glass, all in aid of Island charity, Beaulieu House.
Fun for the family and Spot too…
Families hoping to join in on the festival fun on a weekend day out in May can head to the Isle of Wight and bring their furry friends along for the ride (dogs travel free on Wightlink). While going walkies on Wight, Spot the dog and the kids too can keep their eyes peeled for the stars of Pawprint, Wightlink’s latest free Island guide. The booklet features twelve Island canines who provide visiting dogs with top tips for exploring the best of the Island’s walks, beaches and dog-friendly watering holes. Families heading to West Wight might even catch a glimpse of Pawprint stars, Sherrie the surf dog, catching a wave at Compton Bay, or Breez the German Shepherd, riding shotgun in his very own side-car alongside owner Graham Lee’s scooter.
Pick up a free copy of Pawprint by calling Wightlink on 0871 376 1000* or view/download the guide as a PDF from Wightlink’s website at www.wightlink.co.uk/pawprint.
Getting to the festival:
In a day: Join in on the festival fun and get walking by hopping across the Solent with Wightlink. Walkers can take advantage of one of the ferry operators special offer ferry tickets and foot passengers can pay from as little as £9.50 per person while those travelling on four wheels can snap up a short stay return ticket for a car, driver and up to five passengers from £52.50. Visit www.wightlink.co.uk/walking for details.
Staying over: Opt to spend a walking weekend on Wight and explore all four corners of this small, yet mighty Island. Try out trails along cliff tops, routes through picturesque villages or go for a stroll through wildlife-filled forests and past historic homes. Departing on 4 May, a two-night Wightlink Green Getaway (0871 376 0013* www.wightlink.co.uk/greengetaways) at one of the Island’s most romantic hideaways, Gotten Manor, costs from £117 per person (two sharing) and includes B&B accommodation and return car ferry crossings from Portsmouth or Lymington.
* Calls cost 7p per minute, plus network extras.
Issued on behalf of: WIGHTLINK LTD
By: Christine Ball PR
3 April 2012
Tel: 01798 874177
|Value for money|