Isle of Wight Walking Festival to return in 2023 after 2022 success
The Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival has drawn to a close and organisers are hailing the event a success, releasing the dates for the Spring and Autumn Walking Festivals in 2023.
The nine-day October event saw more than a thousand people take part in 75 separate walks, discovering over 290 miles of the Isle of Wight coast and countryside.
The longest walk in the Autumn Walking Festival was the 13 miles Needles Half Marathon route, while shorter walks included a half a mile walk in a meadow.
Walks covering a range of interests from local history, flora and fauna and the arts, with 16 walks hosted by the New Carnival Company as part of the Crossing the Bar arts programme, linking coastal walking with the heritage, environment, and landscapes of the local area and celebrating the England Coast Path which will be unveiled in 2023.
Visit Isle of Wight, the destination management organisation that puts on the events, says the combined Spring and Autumn Walking Festivals brought an estimated 1000 people across the Solent, generating approximately £300 000 of visitor spend for the local economy.
David Howarth of the Isle of Wight Ramblers Association said:
‘This year’s Autumn Walking Festival has been another great success, following the Spring Festival this May. I’d like to thank all the volunteer walk leaders and Visit Isle of Wight for ensuring this incredible event goes ahead and, of course, everyone who took part in the Walking Festivals to make it such a success.
‘Being able to enjoy the outside is vital to our health and well-being and brings with it many opportunities to discover something new – be it a part of the Island that has not yet been explored, learning about the history, finding out about the flora and fauna here, or just meeting with like-minded people and enjoying a stroll.’
‘I am looking forward to next year’s Spring Walking Festival in May and I’m sure it will be another fantastic occasion for the Island’s many visitors to enjoy!’
Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight spoke of the value of the Isle of Wight Walking Festivals:
‘We estimate a combined visitor spend of just under £300 000 to the Island’s economy, while highlighting the Isle of Wight as an outdoor walking and Biosphere experience during the shoulder season.’
Dates for the Spring Walking Festival 2023 have been announced.
The 2023 Festival takes place between 13-21 May and will once again highlight the Mountbatten Walk The Wight on Sunday 14 May.
The Mountbatten Walk The Wight is a popular event, which thousands of walkers take on short walking challenges, or take on the full 26 miles from the east coast to the west of the Island, raising money for the Isle of Wight hospice.
Registration will open on January 30 and walkers can pre-register now at https://www.mountbatten.org.uk/walkthewight Add another date for your diary, as the Autumn Walking Festival takes place 7-15 October 2023.