Walking festival is a great success

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People from all over the place are coming here to Pendle at the moment – because they want to enjoy the Pendle Walking Festival’s rambles round our lovely countryside.

It is one of the UK’s largest free-walking festivals and covers all sorts of parts of the borough. There are more than 70 different hikes.

The 11th festival was launched at Barley at the weekend by the Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle, Coun. Graham Roach and Joanna Sagar, and since then many people have enjoyed the walks, which are in different forms. Some are long and tough and others are short and, in some cases, look at the history of towns.

There are a number of great challenge walks, such as the Pendle Way and the Lancashire Witches Walk.

There are also a number of walks celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, within which Pendleside is situated.

Lots of people have been taking part in the events so far, including folk from France and Eastern Europe. The two-part Lancashire Witches Walk involved 33 in the morning and 35 in the afternoon.

And there is a four-day walk to cover the way the Pendle Witches went from here to Lancaster where they were executed more than 400 years ago. The separate hikes, which had up to 20 walkers, took place on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday and the final part took place today.

Pendle Council’s countryside access officer Tom Partridge, who organises the festival, said: “As long as you have good, sturdy and comfortable shoes suitable for walking in, you’re good to go! A jacket to keep you dry if it rains would come in handy, too.

“Why not come and join us on one of our free guided walks?”

The last day of this year’s event will be on Sunday.

Coun. Paul White, who represents tourism in Pendle, said: “Our hugely successful walking festival attracts thousands of walkers, and not just from across Lancashire. Walkers from other parts of the UK, Pendle’s twin town Marl in Germany and even from Australia came to enjoy last year’s event!”

Free Pendle Walking Festival programmes, which contain information about all the walks, are available to download from www.visitpendle.com

This year’s festival organisers are encouraging walkers to share photographs of themselves and fellow walkers out enjoying Pendle’s stunning countryside and its urban routes.

Tourism Officer Mike Williams added: “We’re also encouraging our walk leaders and walkers to take selfies while they’re out on their walks and to share them on social media using the hashtag #PWFselfie.”