Details for the 2011 North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival have been announced by the organisers West Country Walks and Active Exmoor.
Featuring over 50 guided walks the festival extends into the Quantock Hills for the first time.
To help walkers plan their outings, the festival is being split into two. From Friday 29 April 2011 to Tuesday, 3 May walks will be centred on North Devon, while from Wednesday 4th May they will move to Exmoor and the Quantocks until 8 May.
Many of the outings are set within National Trust landscapes or the protected North Devon and Quantock Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
All walks are graded according to their pace and level of difficulty ranging from an easy three miles suitable for families up to a full day’s outing with challenging ascents and descents, so there is something for most abilities from amateur amblers to hardened hikers.
Some walks include a breakfast, lunch or cream tea stop with a chance to sample local produce, while a packed lunch should be taken on others. Well behaved dogs are also welcome on many.
New walks and talks for 2011
Amongst this year’s new walks is Chichester’s Haunt, an 8.5mile circular walk on Tuesday, 3 May following the River Yeo upstream to Shirwell in North Devon where Sir Francis Chichester is buried.
On Wednesday, 4 May there’s a 7mile circular walk led by a National Park Ranger and archaeologist looking at the early history of Exmoor descending to Culbone Church, the smallest in England, while keeping a look out for red deer in the woods.
New outings in the Quantocks include Quantocks Combes, on 4 May, which brings together the geography, murders and wildlife of the hills
An illustrated talk on North Devon wildlife is also being included for the first time presented by well-known local flora and fauna specialist, Mary Breeds at the Braunton Countryside Centre on Saturday evening, 30 April.
How to Book
Prices range from £2.50 per person for the illustrated talk and £5 to £16 for the walks (some prices include meals) with discounts for five walks or more booked in one transaction and larger groups.
For more details and to book visit www.exmoorwalkingfestival.co.uk or call 01271 863001.
A festival brochure is available via this link.
Accommodation suggestions can be found in the 2011 Exmoor guide; for a free copy call Minehead Tourist Information Centre on 0845 166 1001; information can also be found on www.exmoor.com and www.visit-exmoor.co.uk.
Advance details about the Autumn Walking Festival
The 2011 North Devon and Exmoor Autumn Walking Festival will take place between 30 September and 3 October 2011.
This coincides with the start of the Exmoor Food Festival (1 – 9 October) which will also feature some great foodie walks.