22 Feb 2013 Last updated at 00:00

Walking Festival programme out now

A programme containing details of hundreds of walks and events taking place at this year's Isle of Wight Walking Festival is now available to pick up from libraries, council help centres, travel hubs and various businesses across the Island.

This year, the festival features more than 300 walks of all types and for all ages, ranging from simple strolls to 72-mile endurance walks.

Among walks at this year's event, which takes place between 4 and 19 May, is the popular speed dating walk (which has resulted in four weddings and a baby so far),  ghoulish ghosts walks and new for this year, a challenging ‘Seven Hills’ walk.

Many of the walks take in the spectacular views of the Isle of Wight, with guided walks passing through the Island’s pretty towns and villages such as Ventnor, Bembridge, Newport, Ryde and Sandown.

Learn to read a map

There are educational walks, including events where participants can learn how to read a map and other's based on historical stories and myths.

This year Brian Blessed returns to the Island to give a fascinating talk about his mountaineering adventures. Brian entertained walkers at the 2010 walking festival and is back by popular demand. Tickets for the show at Medina Theatre on Sunday 5 May are selling fast, for bookings call Medina Theatre box office on (01983) 527020.

The famous Walk the Wight, which raises money for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, takes place on Sunday 12 May. Thousands of walkers are expected to walk from Bembridge to the Needles, a total of 26.5 miles.

Musical stroll through the countryside

Those looking for the more quirky walks may like to be part of a 'sing along' walk, where anyone can take along musical instruments and sing all the way along the three mile amble. 

Full details of all the walks, including distance, difficulty and any cost, can be found on the Walking Festival's official website at www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk. Programmes are available in libraries, council help centres, travel hubs such as ferry ports and also various businesses across the Island.

The programme also includes details of the Autumn Walking Weekend, four days of guided walks taking in the Island’s colourful countryside.

Pick up your festival programme at libraries and many shops across the Island
Pick up your festival programme at libraries and many shops across the Island
  • The Isle of Wight has more than 500 miles of carefully maintained public rights of way.
  • The network provides access to most of the Island's 147 square miles of coast and countryside.
  • Over half of the Island has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • There are almost 30 miles of 'Heritage Coast' which is a designation applied to coastlines of only the highest quality in England and Wales.
Isle of Wight