Enjoying the great outdoors couldn’t be easier, with over 100 events and walks during the Peak District Walking & Outdoor Festival, from April 26 to May 12.
Showcasing the very best of the Peak District – with the UK’s first National Park at its core – the Festival highlights the area’s wealth of wonderful landscapes, from rare moorland habitats and scenic limestone dales to attractive towns and pretty villages.
It’s the ninth year of the Festival, sponsored by Hi Tec and The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, and it provides amazing walks and inspiration to thousands of people living and visiting the Peak District this spring.
Select a route to suit – from a leisurely stroll around town to a more challenging hike across open countryside – or opt for a specially-themed event to indulge your interest in subjects from history and heritage to wildlife.
New highlights include a three day walk along the White to Dark Way – specially devised by Country Walking Magazine to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2012 – and a four-day trek along the scenic Derwent Valley Heritage Way.
Beginners caving and bush craft are also on offer for the very first time, and a special feature will be the second Peak District Walk for All on April 28, with routes ranging from five miles to 25 miles, in aid of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and a host of other local and national charities.
Other highlights include a foraging walk at Atlow Moat – perfect for the inner Scout in all of us. It’s a guided walk through 20 acres of organically managed land in a secluded valley in the Derbyshire Dales, with the land owner’s permission you can explore meadows, woodland and river side, identifying and foraging for wild and garden plants which are traditionally used for food and medicine.
For those with a more relaxed approach to walking, try the Tipple Trail at Chatsworth – a fabulous walk through Chatsworth Park, packed with snippets of local knowledge, culminating in a visit to the secluded Peak Ale Brewery for tasters and a talk with a complimentary bottle of Real Ale to take away and enjoy.
There are even films about walking on offer at Castleton YHA, where you can settle in and watch all the adventure on screen with two multi award winning walking films being shown on April 27, 7.30pm.
David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District, is a huge fan of the Walking & Outdoor Festival and an advocate of encouraging people to get outdoors:
“With the quality of the landscape on our doorstep, I cannot recommend enough to people the virtues of getting on your walking boots and hitting the trails and tracks of the Peak District.
This year, we hope for the Peak District Walking & Outdoor Festival to be bigger and better than ever, with a range of new and exciting events which aren’t just about putting one foot in front of the other. From bat safari to rock climbing, there’s a fresh-air activity for everyone this spring.”
If you’re spoilt for choice, why not book a short break or longer holiday and make the most of the Festival period? You’ll find hundreds of accommodation options, from cosy pubs and campsites to comfortable hotels and B&Bs, on the Visit Peak District website www.visitpeakdistrict.com
Contact details for each walk and booking information can be found at the beginning of the event listing at www.visitpeakdistrict.com/events/PDWalkingFestival.aspx