It’s that time again! The organisers of Haltwhistle Walking Festival have unveiled their consistently varied programme for Spring 2014. As usual, there are longer walks, shorter walks and special interest walks. There are also 2 evening events that everyone is welcome to join, whether they are walkers or not.
Over the first weekend, walker can test their stamina by walking to Cold Fell on Saturday and Cross Fell on Sunday. At the same time, the shorter walk is a 2 day linear walk, “Calling All Stations” from Alston to Haltwhistle taking in all railway stations on The Branch line, as it is known to locals.
The second weekend will see walkers complete the whole of the Isaac’s Tea Trail over 3 days. This is bound to prove a popular way to spend the Bank Holiday weekend. Isaac Holden was an itinerant tea seller in the Allen Valleys. He saw how poor some people were and raised money to help them in his own inimitable way. His story will be told during the walks.
Special interest walks for Spring include a History Walk around Whitley Chapel, a Sustainable Energy Walk, the very popular bird walks and singing walk. Local experts will be involved in those walks. Expect to learn more about the area on all the other walks too, e.g. walkers on a 13 mile circular from Brocolitia on May 1st can expect to hear about new archaeological discoveries on the Ravensheugh Crags.
“Walking in Northumberland” is an evening of photographs taken by walkers and local photographers and will show Northumberland at its best (and possibly it’s muddiest and wettest!). The “Tall Tales” evening is a new venture for this Festival. Walkers will be encouraged to enter a competition where the most unlikely tales sound plausible and amusing. The themes are walking and/or tea and the panel of judges includes the Courant’s Hextol.
Marjorie Baillie, one of the organisers said, “In these tough economic times, we are pleased to say there is no increase in the basic walk fee of £6. Special interest walks and walks with teas cost more to cover the costs of running them, but we do want to keep the festivals accessible to all. A generous grant from Baynes Coaches has helped us this time. The new programme has been well received, so we hope to see people from all over the UK and farther afield. Spring is a lovely time to walk in the Haltwhistle area.”
Full details of the festival programme and details of how to book are on www.haltwhistlewalkingfestival.org or pick up a leaflet from many local venues and shops.