The 14th annual National Forest Walking Festival starts in just a few days! Over 80 walks across all areas of the National Forest are planned between Saturday, 13th and Thursday, 25th May. There are multiple walks taking place every day to suit every ability – from short, easy strolls to more strenuous routes for experienced country walkers. All walks are led by an experienced guide and celebrate everything the Forest has to offer.
What and Where is the National Forest?
A project that began in 1991, the National Forest has transformed landscapes surrounding Burton-upon-Trent, Swadlincote, Melbourne, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Coalville and beyond from former coal mining sites to thriving woodlands. Previously one of the areas of the country with the fewest trees, the National Forest area now boasts nearly 10 million trees – and that number is still growing! You can learn more about the project at www.nationalforest.org.
Where and When are Walks Taking Place?
Walks begin on Saturday, 13th May, with six routes to choose from that day. Every day that follows will have a similar number of walks to choose from, up until (and including) Thursday, 25th May. You can find a full list of all walks in the National Forest Walking Festival Brochure – please click here to download a copy. Alternatively, please do feel free to pop into the Visitor Information Centre on High Street in Swadlincote to pick up a paper copy if you prefer. The majority of walks are free, but please make sure to check each listing carefully as a small number do require pre-booking and there is a small fee to join some of the walks.
Things to Remember
As always, stay prepared for the British weather and make sure to bring suitable clothing and footwear. Each individual walk key will provide details on terrain and any walking equipment (such as walking boots) that you may need. Dogs on leads are allowed on many of the walks but please check the walk information carefully, as not all routes are suitable for our four-legged friends. Finally, if you plan on bringing the kids, remember that all walkers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult, and some of the more strenuous routes may not be suitable for little legs (again, please check each walk for details).