AUTUMN WALKING WEEKEND PROVES A SUCCESS FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT
- Categorized in: Fitness
An addition to the hugely successful May event, the Autumn Walking Weekend was launched in 2008 by the Isle of Wight Council to introduce visitors to the seasonal delights that autumn brings to the Isle of Wight.
The event provides four days of non-stop walking to suit all ages and abilities; there are more than 60 themed and guided walks for participants to enjoy, from leisurely strolls exploring historical sites to night-time rambles through forests with chip suppers.
Although the official figures have still to come in, walk leaders have reported increased levels of attendance throughout with plenty of interest from those visiting the Isle of Wight from other parts of the UK and abroad.
The world-famous speed-dating walk – already responsible for three marriages and countless romances - was particularly well attended by female visitors.
Senior Events Officer for the IW Council, Elaine Cesar, said: “Perhaps it has something to do with the Island’s fabulous coastal setting, but love was definitely in the air. As usual, the women outnumbered the men but with 32 people meeting their ideal match, this sociable walk was a resounding success.
“I even had an e-mail from a lady in Canada who was coming to the UK to visit family in the New Forest. Her great grandmother had been lady in waiting to Queen Victoria at Osborne House. She had read about the Autumn Walking Weekend and wanted my help in finding B&B accommodation stating ‘I am really looking forward to this unique walking tour’.”
Falling as it does at the beginning of the October half-term holidays, the event also includes a range of fun and educational activities for families, such as Dinosaur Isle’s popular fossil walks where children can search Island beaches for evidence of the Isle of Wight as it was 120 million years ago.
Cllr George Brown, Isle of Wight Council Cabinet Member for the economy, tourism, leisure and planning said: “Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the Island’s scenery and with this in mind, the council-run walking weekend is the perfect package to appeal to visitors.
“Working in partnership with the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce and the wider Tourism Marketing Group, the council is keen to extend the holiday season on the Island, providing economic benefits not only for the tourist industry but also for the entire Island economy.
“Off peak events are great examples of this policy in action and I am delighted that the Autumn Walking Weekend continues to build on the success of the Isle of Wight Walking Festival in May.”
For details on how to get to the Isle of Wight, where to stay and what to see and do, visit www.islandbreaks.co.uk or telephone 01983 813813.
The Isle of Wight Walking Festival (7-22 May 2011) Autumn Walking Weekend (21-24 October 2011) www.isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk