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Peak District and Derbyshire Walking Festivals 2010
Public footpath sign

Walkers and hikers who enjoy the Derbyshire countryside can look forward to five walking festivals in the county in the coming months.

The festivals include around 300 events during spring and autumn and focus on walking for all ages, abilities and interests.

The range of walks includes everything from simple strolls to moorland treks.

It's hoped the festivals will encourage more visitors to Derbyshire to explore the great outdoors.

The first of the festivals is the Peak District Walking Festival which starts in April.

Footpath on Kinder
Peak District Walking Festival - Saturday, April 24 to Sunday, May 9
Peak District Historic Borders Walking Festival - Saturday, May 15 to Sunday, May 23
National Forest Walking Festival, 'Footsteps in the Forest' - Saturday, May 22 to Wednesday, June 2
Amber Valley and Erewash Walking Festival, 'Autumn Footprints' - Saturday, September 11 to Sunday, September 26
Derby Walking Festival - Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3

It features around 170 walks and many of them will be led by guides such as park rangers, archaeologists and ghost hunters! The festival will be launched in Buxton's Pavilion Gardens.

Second is the Peak District's Historic Borders Walking Festival in May. A range of walks will be on offer - from short tours of Hardwick Park and Sutton Scarsdale Hall to the 34-mile long Chesterfield Round Walk.

The National Forest Walking Festival - 'Footsteps in the Forest' - is at the end of May. It includes nearly 50 walks and has been extended to 12 days for 2010.

More than 30 walks are on offer during Autumn Footprints, the Amber Valley and Erewash Walking Festival.

And the first ever Derby Walking Festival takes place in September offering walkers the chance to discover some of the city's natural, cultural and historical wonders. The walks coincide with Derby Festé, the annual street theatre festival.

Walks for all

This year, many of the walks can be booked online via visitpeakdistrict.com. A 64-page booklet will also be available from Derbyshire and Peak District Tourist Information Centres and online.

David Thornton, Deputy Chief Executive of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, stressed that there will be a wide range of walks on offer and that everyone should find something suitable for them - whatever their fitness level or walking experience.

He said: "One of them is called Sally and the Chocolate Factory - that's a walk for families around Castleton where you also go into the factory and see how the chocolate's made.

"We've got walks down leafy canal towpaths - and we've got some of those more extreme walks where the National Park rangers are there as well.

"Many of those walks are free so we really do think this is time for everyone to get out there and have a go."

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