Excitement ramps for Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival

A Visit Isle of Wight press release

With just a couple of weeks before the start of the Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival, we’re being urged to book a walk to avoid disappointment!

The popular event, which sees thousands make their way across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, gets underway on October 8 and runs until October 16, ready to experience the history and the rich colours of the Isle of Wight in autumn.

With varying levels of difficulty to choose from across a wide range of interests, from a half a mile walk in a meadow to a 13 mile walk along the route of the Needles Half Marathon, covering history, nature, politics and more, there are over 60 walks available.

The majority of walks are free or require a small donation to charity and will reflect interests or passions of the walk leader.

Numbers are limited on many walks and booking via the Isle of Wight Walking Festival website is a must – nearly 50% of the walks available are now fully booked up for autumn 2022 but there are still many great routes to choose from.

This year, the Isle of Wight’s New Carnival Company are hosting 16 walks. Titled Crossing the Bar (XTB), the walks are part of a 3-year arts and community programme which links coastal walking with the heritage, environment, and landscapes of the local area.

Supported by Arts Council England, the Isle of Wight AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and Visit Isle of Wight, XTB celebrates the Island’s unique status as a designated UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Crossing the Bar will end in 2023-24, celebrating with National Year of the Coast and the opening of the new national trail – the England Coast Path.

The XTB walks are led by artists and/or knowledgeable community volunteers and will start and finish at a coastal heritage site, ending with a community artwork or performance inspired by the heritage.

Frankie Goldspink, freelance Creative Producer for New Carnival said:

‘The opening of the new National Trail is such a great opportunity for us on the Island to shout out about what we have to offer. As well as encouraging more people to visit and discover for themselves, we want local people, and our children especially, to be proud of our UNESCO Biosphere status, to learn about their local environment, to look after it, and ultimately to immerse themselves in it’

Another new family friendly route is Hullabaloo’s nature themed ‘Trail with a Tail’.  Sandown’s newest wildlife characters, Shrewbert the Shrew and Iris the Rock Pipit will help young people aged 5-10 and their families to explore Sandown Bay, a designated AONB.

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival is organised by Visit Isle of Wight, encouraging people to explore the Island in the autumn, when it can often be less crowded, and offer a rich array of colourful views in this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.