As Dorset slowly emerges into late Spring on the magical Isle of Purbeck, meadows are full of cowslips and weekly dolphin sightings have been logged already.
Bob Westwood, Chair of the Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival, is delighted, “We are very lucky in this part of the UK to be relatively sheltered, and often get weather from the coast of France. It means residents and visitors get to explore some of the UK’s most beautiful coast and countryside all year round, in relative comfort and safety.”
The Walking Festival, now in its seventh year, has adapted to its new time-slot of mid-September well with a packed programme of special interest. Those taking part will get to see parts of the area that are usually inaccessible. Walks commemorating both World Wars, quarrying, shipwrecks, smuggling, fossils, literature, art, photography and ghost stories are all planned. There is also a new ‘Family Bug Walk’.
Bob adds, “The festival has grown enormously, the idea being that we cater for all tastes and fitness abilities. There is such a diverse range of activities and attractions in the area, as well as protected wildlife areas, that we can provide something for everyone. Purbeck has some of the UK’s rarest species, and those taking part can expect to encounter Sika deer, a variety of sea birds, as well as the potential for sightings of dolphin, minke whale and other local wildlife. September works well for us now, the region is quieter and can bring very warm temperatures, enough to encourage some to take a dip in the sea!”
The Swanage and Purbeck Walking festival runs from 17-25 September.
To book walks online, as well as accommodation, and find full programme information, visit www.walkswanage.com Walks can be booked in advance, and accommodation providers and festival organisers will help plan your itinerary. Alternatively, contact Swanage Tourist Information Center on Tel: 01929 423636.