Walking festival to be launched at weekend

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Next year’s Newton Stewart Walking Festival will be officially launched this Saturday in a joint event with Galloway Mountain Rescue Team.

The walks programme for the 2014 event, which will mark the festival’s twelfth anniversary, will be available from the Stewart R Cunningham Outdoor Centre in the town’s Victoria Street. Walk leaders will also be on hand in store to provide information and advice on next year’s festival.

Chairwoman of the organising committee Joan Mitchell said: “This year we have extended the range of walks to try to offer something for everyone. Our programme includes new mountain challenges and coastal walks from Almorness in the east to Mull of Galloway in the west. We will also be breaking new ground with a number of walks in the Carrick area.”

The 2014 festival will run from May 9 to 15 and will feature of programme of 29 walks as well as evening events.

The schedule includes an exciting and varied mix of tough hill walks taking in the Minnigaff Hills, the Merrick and Awfu’ Hand ranges as well as the Rhins of Kells. In addition, a varied selection of lower level and coastal walks is on offer, with a number focusing on wildlife, geology or history.

The detailed festival programme will be available online and in booklet form in the new year, when online and telephone bookings will also open. To keep up to date with the 2014 Newton Stewart Walking Festival sign up for the free festival newsletter at www.newtonstewartwalkfest.com.