Walking guide launched for Newton Stewart

A week before Scotland’s national tourism awards, one of the region’s finalists has launched a new guide to encourage even more visitors to Newton Stewart.

The town’s Walking Festival crew introduced the 24-page brochure entitled Newton Stewart Walks; Gateway to the Galloway Hills which features nine walks with each described in detail, with its length estimated and duration.

Joan Mitchell, chair of Newton Stewart Walking Festival, with experienced walker Jean MacDonald and the Regional Thistle award.

Joan Mitchell, chair of Newton Stewart Walking Festival, with experienced walker Jean MacDonald and the Regional Thistle award.

A new information board was also unveiled at The Belted Galloway Visitor Centre in the Riverside car park by local experienced walker, Jean MacDonald.

Joan Mitchell, Chair of Newton Stewart Walking Festival, said: “We hope this will give people even more reason to come and explore the countryside here and help us to live up to our billing as a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town.”

The whole project, which has been financed by grants from Scottish Natural Heritage and Dumfries and Galloway Council, involves collaborative working with Forestry Commission Scotland, RSPB, Cree Valley Community Woodlands Trust and Creetown Initiative.

Earlier the walking festival won a Scottish Thistle Award in one of four regional ceremonies held throughout Scotland. The local group beat off stiff competition from businesses based in other Scottish regions to win in the ‘Best Nature-Based Experience’ category. It now joins four other businesses from Dumfries and Galloway competing in different categories at the national Scottish Thistle Awards being held on 15th November in Stirling Castle. Newton Stewart Walking Festival will compete against The Enchanted Forest 2012, FLOW, Glenn Tanar Estate, Highland Safaris, The Royal Botanic Gardens and Southworth Development.

Jean MacDonald unveils the new walking board.

Jean MacDonald unveils the new walking board.