Walking holiday: 50 walks for a staycation as the Isle of Wight Festival returns

Princess Anne visits yacht club on the Isle of Wight

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Autumn is a fantastic time to go out and explore the great British outdoors, something that Visit Isle of Wight has recognised. A walking holiday is a popular staycation option, with Britons keen to stretch their legs and explore after 18 months stuck at home.

Whether Britons challenge themselves with strenuous hikes or decide to take it easy and go for a stroll along the coast, travelling on foot – even just for a few hours – is a fantastic way to see the country.

For the Isle of Wight Walking Festival, locals and holidaymakers alike will be able to join mostly free guided walks across the island.

The whole of the Isle of Wight is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and exploring it on foot through over 100 walks could turn October into a staycation highlight for British walkers.

Ian Griffiths, a walk leader and Chairman of Visit Isle of Wight said: “There are so many spectacular walks, filled with adventure, history and fun so now is the time to start booking yours.”

READ MORE: Most beautiful coastal town in the UK named

He continued: “If you are ready for a longer challenge along some of the Isle of Wights river trails, it would be great for you to join one of my walks, The Wroxhall Stream Trail, Scotchells Brook and Red Squirrel Trail or a walk over two days following the Eastern Yar river from its source to the sea!”

With limited numbers, keen walkers will need to pre-book for the walks, even if the majority are free.

Whether Britons want to go on themed walks, – speed-dating, ghost walks, pub walks or smugglers trails – or a quick discovery of rock pooling and fossil hunting, the island will deliver.

The longest walk on the schedule so far is 18.5 miles.

The Eastern Yar Source to Sea is split across two days.

There is also a 18 miles walk that will be completed over the course of one day, but it’s got a twist.

The Goatober walk is a circular walk centred around the fast-growing goat meat movement.

The walk will finish with a tour of a goat farm and free goat hot dogs.

While walking is a popular hobby, Britons who aren’t ready for a two-day event or 18 miles of trail will be able to explore the island in smaller, more manageable chunks.

One walk will follow a trail that takes in views of The Needles.

Walkers will learn of shipwrecks, a murder and a top secret Government project, making this much more than just a stroll along the coast.

There’s also an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Queen Victoria through the coastal town of East Cowes to her seaside home from home at Osborne.

And there is even a walk that includes a drink at the pub.

The Dodgy Knees Walk is described as “a walk for those who like to walk on a level ground and enjoy the social aspects of walking, including a drink at the pub as a well-earned reward for all that effort”.

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival will take place from October 9 to October 22 but places are limited and booking is essential.
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