This is an archived press release
Monday 11 April 2005
11 April 2005
Stroll up for the first Peak District Walking Festival
Hikers, ramblers and strollers are lacing up their boots for the start of the first ever Peak District Walking Festival on April 16.
Running until May 2, the Walking Festival will be one of the biggest in the country, with some 150 brand new guided walks - over hills, down dales, along old railway tracks and into history with a host of town trails and literary wanders. Some walks even go below ground, through long-disused railway tunnels or into caverns by candlelight.
Though other walking festivals have covered parts of the area, this is the first Walking Festival to be organised for the whole Peak District, including Derbyshire and parts of Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
One of the country's top international travel writers, Sheffield-based David Else, is delighted that the Walking Festival will introduce many more people to the delights of the Peak District. He said: "As a writer of guidebooks for global travel publisher Lonely Planet, I have trekked and travelled in many fascinating parts of the world, from the Arctic to the Sahara, from the Himalayas to the Great Rift Valley. These journeys helped me find a tremendous appreciation for my own country and especially for my own back yard, the Peak District.
"Working as lead author on the best-selling Lonely Planet guides to Great Britain and Walking in Britain was the perfect opportunity to extol this wonderful region's virtues to local and worldwide readerships. I hope other people enjoy their walking in the Peak District as much as I do."
Most walks are free, but they must be booked on 0870 444 7275. Among the huge variety of walks are: Literary Trails through Castleton, Caverns by Candlelight, Old Pubs of Wirksworth, a choice of biodiversity walks looking at wildlife, a Roaches Rocky Ramble, Wildlife in Dovedale, Buxton Town Trail and Leek Arts and Crafts Trail.
The Walking Festival, aimed at boosting staying visitors in the early part of the season, has been organised by Visit Peak District, the tourism partnership of the Peak District National Park Authority and Derbyshire Dales, High Peak and Staffordshire Moorlands councils.
Festival walks vary in length and terrain - several are accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, others amble through historic towns and villages, and some are aimed at those with fitness and stamina for hikes among the hills.
Walking Festival guides are available at Tourist Information Centres throughout the Peak District, or by logging onto www.visitpeakdistrict.com/walk or by ringing 0870 444 7275. You can also find a Walking Festival supplement in the Peak District 2005 newspaper, available at information centres or libraries.