Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Walking Season Starts

The recent dry weather has made geting out with the kids much easier than in previous springs (and last summer!) and the walking season is really kicking off. Many local parks and woodlands have organised Bluebell walks, some with cream teas and ice creams available. And of course, the walking festivals have kicked off.

When I hear somebody say walking festival I always think of the Isle of Wight Walking festival, which this year runs from the 9th - 24th May with over 200 guided walks ranging in length from 1 mile to 72 miles! So there is bound to be something there to suit every body, whatever your fitness levels or age. There is a small charge for some of the walks, details of which can be found at http://www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk/.
Also in May there is the;

Garstang Walking Festival - running from 9th-17th May. The walks cost from £2 and include Bluebell walks, a cheese walk(?), afternoon tea walks and family cycle rides. details at www.wyrebc.gov.uk/find/garstangwalkingfestival

South and Heart of Suffolk Walking festival - runing from the 9th -25th May with 61 guided walks to suit all ages and abilities. Visit http://www.southandheartofsuffolk.org.uk/ for details.

Keswick Mountain festival from the 13th-17th May makes me wish I wasn't quite so far from the Lake District. http://www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk/ has full details of the events which include guided walks, phtographic walks, climbing, scrambling and water sports.

Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival from the 16th-31st May has walks taking in coast, nature reserves, medieveal towns and the dambusters story. No website for this on I'm afraid but details can be obtained by emailing customerservices@e-lindesy.gov.uk

In Wales both the Preseli and Llanelli walking festivals run through May. Visit http://www.planned.org.uk/ and http://www.llanelliramblers.org.uk/ for details of these.

Walk Fest 09 runs from the 8th-14th May in Dumfires and Galloway with walks and social events throughout. http://www.newtonstewartwalkfest.co.uk/ goves further details of all the events taking place.

The 7th Angus Glens Walking Festival runs from the 28th-31st May in and around Kerrimuir, Angus Glen. These walks vary from lowland glens to Munro peaks taking in the wonderfull scenery and wildlife of Angus including red deer, golden eagles and peregrine falcons. The walks cost from £12 and details are available at www.angusanddundee.co.uk/walkingfestival.

And finally, the Aviemore and Cairngorms Walking and Mountain Festival runs from the 9th -16th May with walks varying from easy strolls to strenuous treks to some of Scotlands highest peaks. Alongside the walking is mountain biking, river rafting, canoeing, kayaking, canyoning and climbing. Full details and contact details at http://www.aviemorewalking.com/.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and if you have a walking/outdoors event coming up that you would like to see mentioned here please drop me a line at campingkidz@littlewideworld.co.uk.

Our family walk this week was a 6 km walk through farmland and bridle path that was followed from The AA's 50 Walks in Oxfordshire. The walk started at the unusual 14th century church in Ewelme which houses the tomb of Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet Goeffrey Chaucer, and the grave of Jerome K Jerome can be found in the church yard. Taking in mostly farm track the walk wasn't strenuous with little ascent that Small managed well. I couldn't recommend the walk for puschair users as for the last 500m or so the path gets very narrow and although the path was good for walking I think I would have struggled to get a buggy through.

Whilst on holiday in Yorkshire when our son was very young the owners of the cottage we were renting had left some leaflets called "Walking with Wheels" which gave details of wheelchair and pushchair suitable walks. Many local authorities produce similar leaflets which are often available from tourist information centres or local information offices. If you know of any good publications for wheelchair or pushchair users please drop us a line and we will mention them here. Whilst OS maps are fantastic for planning a walking route trying to establish whether a terrain is suitable for wheels isn't always easy.

Contact: We are on Twitter (our Twitter user name is @LittleWideWorld) and we have a Camping Kidz page on FaceBook, so it's easy to get in touch. Alternatively we can be emailed at campingkidz@littlewideworld.co.uk and of course you can see all the Camping Kidz gear at http://www.littlewideworld.co.uk/.

Our Twitter prize draw took place last week and congratulations to @CharlieMoos who were drawn from the hat by Small. A Rukka Anorak has been sent out and we hope you enjoy exploring the big wide world in your new rainwear.

And at the online store, http://www.littlewideworld.co.uk/ we have just taken delivery of a big box of goodies from Vaude, including sun hats, back packs and sleeping bags. These will be added to the store in the next couple of days (Small and Loki have already picked out the hats they want).

And finally, good luck to everybody who is taking part in the London Moonwalk on the 16th May.

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