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Tag Archive: challenge walk

  1. Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival – Free Guided Walks

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    Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival (Saturday 3rd – Sunday 11th May) is offering a choice of over 50 free, varied walks in and around the stunning Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, where the Industrial Revolution began over 300 years ago.

    From challenging all-day hikes for the more experienced walker to family friendly trails and short informative walks, this year’s Festival has something to whet the appetite of all ages and abilities. With the newly acquired Walkers are Welcome, status a warm welcome is guaranteed in the town.

    As well as nearly 20 new walks, the 2014 Festival will be introducing the first 100 Mile Ironbridge Challenge. Those taking part must finish seven specified walks on seven different days with the combined mileage topping over 100 miles. Walkers completing the challenge will receive a certificate and woven badge for their rucksack.

    New walks include an early evening family outing on 7th May to explore the nature and wildlife in the enchanting woods at Loamhole Dingle, Coalbrookdale with a surprise for all and an opportunity to learn about the variety of wild flowers in Lodge Field under the guidance of an expert from Shropshire Wildlife Trust. There will also be additional nature walks with information to help identify trees and birds and an early evening ‘quiz walk’ around Coalbrookdale finishing at a local inn.

    Popular tried and tested walks being repeated explore historic trails and the part played by The Gorge in the Industrial Revolution. There’s also a gentle two-hour family treasure hunt suitable for pushchair and wheelchair users, alternatively experienced walkers can join a strenuous 15 mile circular hike over the Wrekin, ideal for walkers happy with steep climbs and rough terrain.

    For those wanting to discover more about the heritage of the area there is a walk that take in the history of the river bridges and a 15 mile circular walk skirting the edge of the World Heritage Site. Three walks explore the many churches and other places of worship in and around The Gorge on 6th and 9th May.

    All walks are free however pre-booking is essential; well-behaved dogs on a lead are welcome on most walks but check before booking. To reserve a place or request a copy of the programme contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre by email at; details at

  2. Suffolk Walking Festival Features New 70 Mile Challenge

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    Taking place between Saturday 19th May and Sunday 10th June, the Suffolk Walking Festival will feature around 30 guided outings including the new Flatford to the Fens five day, 70 mile challenge. Covering much of inland Suffolk, the festival will take in areas around Stowmarket, Lavenham, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Mildenhall and Ipswich. Graded according to their level of difficulty, the walks range from gentle 2-3 mile country rambles and meanders through ancient villages and towns, to longer and more energetic outings of up to 14 miles through Suffolk’s beautiful countryside.

    The Flatford to the Fens Suffolk Challenge Walk can be joined for the entire 70 miles, or for as many days as walkers wish but there will be a prize for those who complete the route. The walks will be led by countryside experts from the Dedham Vale AONB, Brecks Partnership and The Ramblers with distances ranging from 10 to 14 miles each day. The Challenge starts in Flatford on Sunday, 20th May following the Stour Valley Path long distance route through picturesque Constable Country and the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It reaches the market town of Sudbury, where it picks up the St Edmund Way to Lavenham, England’s finest medieval village, then continues to Bury St Edmunds, with its magnificent cathedral. The route then joins the Lark Valley Path and follows this gently flowing river finishing in Mildenhall on Thursday, 24th May.

    Other highlights include a seven mile, morning walk on Tuesday, 29th May around the historic Helmingham Hall estate, near Stowmarket with the head forester, who has a vast knowledge about local wildlife as well as the ancient trees. The price of £20 per person includes lunch in the Coach House Tea Rooms and a chance to explore the stunning Grade 1 listed gardens during the afternoon. Special interest walks include the 6.5 mile Medieval Marvels outing on Friday, 8th June strolling through fields and country lanes to visit the three fascinating churches of Woolpit St Mary; Drinkstone All Saints and Rattlesden St Nicholas, which has a beautiful angel roof. A short talk will be given at each church included in the £4 per person price. Nature lovers can also join a 4-5 mile walk starting at 8.30pm on Saturday evening, 9th June in search of the elusive nightjar in Brandon Country Park; adults £4, children free. There are several walks with activities to attract a younger audience such as The Story of St Edmund on Thursday, 7th June. The 45 minute amble around the medieval abbey grounds will help answer some questions about England’s former patron saint such as how he lost his head. Starting at 11am the walk is £3 per child but free for accompanying adults.


    Pre-booking is essential for all walks by calling the Tourist Information Centre in Bury St Edmunds on 01284 764667; they would also be able to advise on places to stay and post a free printed programme. Some of the walks are free while for others the prices range from £2 up to £20 per person (latter includes lunch); dogs are allowed on some outings but must be kept on a lead at all times. The programme is downloadable at


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