Autumn Isle of Wight Walking Festival releases first walks with new additions for 2023
The Isle of Wight Walking Festival returns this October with some old favourites and new additions to offer those who enjoy getting out and about.
The Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival, between 07-15 October, is a popular event with visitors and locals alike, making the most of the opportunity to enjoy the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that encompasses the entire Isle of Wight.
The majority of walks are led by local volunteers, keen to share their knowledge of a subject, or to just ‘show-off’ their favourite walk on the Isle of Wight – and with limited spaces, booking is recommended.
The Isle of Wight Walking Festival website is now updated with the very latest walks and the all-important booking information.
New for the 2023 Autumn Walking Festival is a fundraiser for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
The 5k Dash in the Dark aims to bring together Walking Festival attendees and supporters of the HIOWAA to raise much needed funds for the charity which is credited with saving many lives on the Island and across Hampshire and costs £15 000 per day to run this vital service.
Nicole Davies, Events Fundraiser at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance said:
‘Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance is very excited to be a part of this year’s Autumn Isle of Wight Walking Festival, with our night-time 5k event, Dash in the Dark, returning bigger and better than last year. We are incredibly grateful for the support from everyone associated to the Walking Festival, with every penny raised helping us to save lives on the Isle of Wight 365 days a year.’
Also new in 2023 is a unique opportunity to discover the history of Northwood House, it’s 23-acre estate and the Ward families part in the development of Cowes, followed by an access all areas House tour with included tea and coffee. The £10 fee to join the walk will raise money for the charity Friends of Northwood House, who raise funds to keep the historic building open to the public.
Author, historian and walk leader Tim Wanders:
‘The Isle of Wight has a truly amazing history, from Romans to radar stations, dinosaurs to great country mansions. The walking festival gives all the walk leaders a great opportunity to take tourists and islanders alike on new adventures, off the beaten track, and show them pieces of our incredible heritage and tell stories of ages past – all mixed with breathtaking views while proving that there is much more to see and do here than festivals and yacht racing!’
A series of ladies-only walks first held during the Spring Walking Festival in May has returned due to popular demand, including a walk over the route of the Isle of Wight half-marathon held in the west of the Island.
Rachel Richards is the walk leader:
‘I’m delighted to be leading some more ladies-only walks as part of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival. The Spring walks were very popular and introduced the social benefits of walking to a new audience.’
There’s three new walks focusing on the environment for this October, and the opportunity to join the growing trend of litter-picking walks…
Local litter picking heroes Vectis Wombles will host a walk in the county town of Newport, meanwhile a beach clean with Planet Aware will also take place and there’s a litter pick in Sandown, with the Sandown Green Town Volunteers, who were featured in a Channel 5 documentary earlier about the Isle of Wight earlier this year and are recent winners of the Pride of Place Award in the annual Wight in Bloom awards.
Each walk will be an opportunity to join a group litter pick, with like-minded people who take time from their day to volunteer and keep the Isle of Wight as litter free as possible.
The longest walk during this year’s Autumn event is the Goatober Walk, an 18-mile circular walk from Kingston Smallholding Goat Farm, taking in a lunch stop at Isle of Wight Pearl and on completion of the walk, a tour of the farm and free goat hot dogs.
Amy Summers, Sustainable Travel, Trade and Exhibitions Manager at Visit Isle of Wight, said:
‘It’s great that we have been able to launch the Autumn Walking Festival with a range of exciting new walks, alongside some firm favourites with walkers.
‘This year we have also added the Dash in the Dark event to our programme of walks, which shows our commitment to supporting local charities.
‘The walking festival is led by a group of dedicated, passionate volunteer walk leaders and my continued thanks to them for making the festival an award-winning event.’
Womble litter pick: https://isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/walks/vectis-wombles-group-litter-pick/
What is the Isle of Wight UNESCO Biosphere: https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/explore/biosphere-reserve