The Isle of Wight Walking Festival is one of the UK’s longest running walking festivals.
The festival was first set up by the Isle of Wight Council in 1999. It offered 39 walks and had over 5000 walkers take part. It has grown over the years and in 2018 we are delighted to say that we have almost 100 walks on offer.
All the walks are led by volunteers, many from the local Ramblers group. All are experienced walkers with a great deal of knowledge about the Island and its stunning landscape and scenery.
In 2016 the Isle of Wight Council made the decision that it could no longer afford to run the festival. Visit Isle of Wight – the Island’s Destination Management Organisation stepped in to keep the festival going albeit with much less resource. In 2017 IsleWalk was launched with over 80 walks.
We’re now back to being the Isle of Wight Walking Festival!
Some more walking festival facts:
- The Isle of Wight Walking Festival started in 1999 with 39 walks and around 5000 walkers.
- The festival started a speed dating walk in 2006, which has resulted in weddings and babies!
- It remains one of the UK’s biggest walking festivals, and allows participants to follow in the footsteps of everyone from Alfred Lord Tennyson to Jimi Hendrix; on the trail of everything from dinosaurs to the prefect dawn chorus; and heading everywhere from Queen Victoria’s Osborne House to a non-stop walk around the entire 72-miles coastal path in 24 hours.
- Over half of the Island is recognised as an AONB. And with its 60-miles of dramatic Heritage Coastline and more than 500-miles of well-maintained and signposted footpaths the Island has long been recognised as a walker’s paradise.
- The Isle of Wight was the first county to achieve the Countryside Commission’s national target for rights of way.
- The Island is home to a number of rare species of plant and animal life. In addition, the south west coast of the Island is one of the most important Dinosaur sites in Europe.