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Pendle set to host 10th walking festival
10:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
Walkers from across the country are expected to converge on Pendle for its tenth annual free walking festival.
The festival, which was launched at Earby Youth Hostel, will run from Saturday to Sunday, September 8, and will include more than 70 guided walks of varying lengths and difficulty.
The walks, of two to 14 miles, will take in woodland, moorland and rolling hills, a wood sculpture trail and the dramatic Pendle Hill.
It will also include a four-day walk of the Pendle Way, taking in Pendle Hill, and, new for this year, the 23-mile Pendle Marathon through the Ribble Valley and linking Earby and Slaidburn.
Coun Paul White, responsible for tourism, said the council believed it was the largest free walking festival in the country and a highlight in Pendle’s tourism calendar.
“The variety of walks shows that Pendle is the place to be for exploring the countryside,” he said.
“We have a huge network of footpaths over unspoilt wild moorland and rolling hills and through historic villages, with stunning views round every corner.”
Thousands of walkers are expected to head to Pendle for the duration of the festival.
The festival will include a two-and-a-half-mile walk along the Aitken Wood sculpture trail featuring sculptures and art installations illustrating the Pendle Witches.
Experienced walkers may want to try the four stages of the Pendle Way, which will take place over four days and include Pendle Hill.
There will also be the Lancashire Witches Walk, from Barrowford to Lancaster, where the Pendle Witches were hanged for practising witchcraft.
Some walk leaders have been part of the festival since it started in 2004, and every year they come up with new ideas to help visitors find out more about Pendle.
This year’s new Pendle Marathon walk was last a guided walk in the 1980s and links the youth hostels in Earby and Slaidburn.
Mike Williams, Pendle Council’s tourism officer, said the marathon walk was not for the faint hearted.
“We reward anyone who completes our harder walks with certificates of achievement – they’re an accolade money just can’t buy,” he said.
“There’s always a brilliant atmosphere and camaraderie among the walkers who come along to take part and that makes for a really positive walking experience for everyone.”
Organisers encourage people to share their experiences of the festival on the festival’s Facebook page.
Free festival programmes are available from visit pendle.com or by telephoning the Discover Pendle Centre on 01282 856186.
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