With autumn in the air, the outdoors is surely calling. It's such an atmospheric season with the change of the trees, the falling of leaves and the vibrant colours sweeping through the countryside. It's difficult not to be tempted outdoors for a frolic amid the crisp scenery. But where to start? Luckily it seems we're not the only ones who think an autumn walk is a fantastic way to wile away some hours; a number of walking festivals take place this season in the milder months of September and October. And they're all a fantastic excuse to get outside and get the blood pumping.
Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival
In Autumn the Dorset coast is a stunning walker's paradise with low golden sunlight reflecting off the cliffs and sweeping countryside covered in leaves, early morning mist hanging in the air. The Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival takes place between the 19th and 27th September and there are 28 themed walks to choose from. Whether you're hoping to explore hidden gems, marvel at exquisite scenery from the very finest viewpoints, or learn about the rich history of the area, there will be a walk for you. Each walk is led by a knowledgable, local guide who really knows the area and you're guaranteed to enjoy your excursion. There is a great range of lengths from 1-mile history walks to 12-mile coastal hikes. So bring your walking boots! Take a look at the website and the full list of walks here.
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Ullswater walking festival
The Lake District has always been a firm favourite with walkers. And it is little wonder when you experience the sheer beauty of this breathtaking National Park. Romp through fells and dales and enjoy views of the large glistening lakes that gave this iconic location its name. Between the 19th and 27th September see the Lake District in all its autumnal beauty during a series of walks that comprise the Ullswater Walking Festival. Throughout the week there are more than 20 stunning walks on offer taking in the very best of this varying landscape, from lake shores to mountain peaks. Learn about the history and the wildlife and breathe some of that refreshing Cumbrian air. For a full itinerary, take a look here.
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Sussex walking festival
The Sussex Walking Festival, between the 26th September and the 4th October offers a little something of everything. This county is home to coast, countryside, woodland, the South Downs National Park and the High Weald Area of Outstanding National Beauty. In this collection of walks you have the opportunity to experience the vast variety of landscape and learn about your surroundings. Why not try the 'Forest Foray', a wild food walk teaching how to forage for edible and medicinal plants, or the 'Saxons, Giants & Pharisees' walk, which delves a little deeper into the interesting history. Find the full list of walks on the website here.
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The Isle of Wight Walking Festival
This weekend of autumn walks is taking place from the 23rd to the 26th October. The Isle of Wight is hosting over 200 walks with more than enough to interest everyone. Each one showcases the island's magnificent scenery and there are all sorts of different themed rambles to spark your interest including fossil hunting walks, hilly walks, old railway routes, relaxing trails, short distance routes, even a speed dating walk! Discover the beauty of the island on a trail that suits you. Take a look at their full programme on the website here.
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Norfolk Walking Festival
The wide open spaces of Norfolk are just calling for walkers and lovers of the outdoors. There's a whole array of habitats and wildlife to discover and between the 17th October - 1st November the first Norfolk Walking Festival comes to the county's north east coast. Knowledgable locals, guides and experts will be leading a great selection of walks over the course of the festival and they give you the opportunity to discover the history, learn about archaeological finds, spot different wildlife, have fun with the family, explore the coast and much more. Norfolk is a great place for birds on their autumn migration so you're guaranteed to spot something. For the full list of walks take a look here.
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