THE country’s largest walking festival gets under way on the Isle of Wight today (Saturday).
Now in its 14th year, the award-winning Isle of Wight Walking Festival features a packed programme of walks for all ages and abilities.
The festivities begin this evening with an exhilarating walk over hot coals and razor sharp glass in St Thomas’s Square, Newport.
The speed dating walk returns on Sunday and, once again, organisers are looking to recruit more single men.
Those with plenty of stamina might like to try the non-stop Round the Island Walk on Saturday, May 19, where walkers are challenged to walk the entire coastal path in 24 hours. Places are still available.
There is also a 36-hour Beaches, Bars and Blisters coastal walk this weekend, led by author David Yates, as well as a three-day version of the walk from May 18 to 20.
The Whippingham Double Diamond Walk on Thursday takes walkers on an historic walk through Whippingham and the church where Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated.
There is an Elizabethan Newport 1952 to 2012 walk on May 17, looking at the changes in the town and events over the past 60 years.
Those who fancy a taste of the extreme might like to try tomorrow’s Charybdis Pass-age, a coastal scramble across the rocks from Ventnor to Whitecliff Bay and back.
Meanwhile, people can join Robin Lang, from the National Trust, on a stroll through the meadows and woods of Newtown to experience the Dawn Chorus, on Wednesday, or join Ian Boyd in the woods and marshes near the Gift to Nature Wetland walk in Sandown on May 19.
Visit www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk or see the official Isle of Wight Walking Festival programme for more details.