Step up for the return of Walkfest

After an enforced break of two years due to the pandemic, Newton Stewart Walking Festival is returning with a full programme of walks.

By Brian Yule
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 11:18 am
The Buchan Ridge in the Galloway Hills is one of the areas to explore. Photo credit: B Mitchell
The Buchan Ridge in the Galloway Hills is one of the areas to explore. Photo credit: B Mitchell

One of the longest-running and largest walking festivals in Scotland, Walkfest Newton Stewart has run since 2003 and is organised on a purely volunteer basis.

The week-long festival, from May 6-12, is designed to offer unique walking opportunities for both local people and visitors with a view to promoting walking tourism in an area.

Routes offered this year stretch from Carsphairn in the north to Mull of Galloway in the South, from Balcary Bay near Auchencairn in the east to the Rhins Coastal path in the west.

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Many routes fall within the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere.

The 30 walks are rated from ‘easy’ to ‘very strenuous’ and range from three miles in length to 15 miles with ascents from just 50m to 1900m.

Chair Joan Mitchell said: “We’re delighted that in May we will be able to welcome friends old and new to enjoy our great programme of over 30 walks and evening events.

Our routes explore our hills, our coasts and some of the beautiful rivers of the south-west. Bookings so far have been incredibly positive.”

She added: “It is still a challenging time but I would like to pay tribute to the volunteer committee which has stuck tirelessly to the task, keeping in touch with our clients who are also friends, and to thank Wigtownshire Ramblers and Galloway Mountain Rescue for their continued support.”

This year festival has been possible due to the support of Kilgallioch Community Fund, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership and Wigtown Community Shop, as well as the ongoing support of Stewart R Cunningham Outdoor Centre and The Belted Galloway Visitor Centre.

To read the full programme of all the walks available and to make bookings visit www.walkfestnewtonstewart.com

You can also keep up to date via www.facebook.com/walkfestnewtonstewart/

It should be noted that there will not be a paper brochure being produced this year.