Welcome to Newcomers and our regular Festival Friends too.
We hope that you will have a great time making and sharing new memories. Our wonderful countryside is still here to be enjoyed and wherever you are in this country or abroad, we hope that our 2021 plans for a ‘virtual’ walking festival will help you do just that.
N. B. Government advice is changing and there are variations depending on where you live. In the UK we are starting to see how current restrictions may be eased over coming weeks. So please make sure that you stay up to date with where you can walk, with whom you can walk and how far you can travel. Simply heading out your front door would be perfect. Wherever you live please remember to stay safe and keep up to date with your local restrictions and follow local guidance.
Our walks – and your walks! So, this time the range of walks during our nine festival days is limited only by your imagination and ingenuity. We have all sorts of ideas to stimulate you, but we want you to be walking whenever and wherever you can – and we want to see and hear all about what you are up to. Get your cameras and notebooks out, sharpen your pencils and get going!
Booking - Great news! You don’t have to pay anything to take part in this festival – but we would like to know who is going to take part in our Zoom social* and a small donation would be much appreciated too.
*More details later!
The Walks We are not leading walks this year, but all the natural resources are still here to be enjoyed – just walk as often as you can during the festival week. If you can’t walk locally to us in Northumberland, then walk wherever you are. Nearby you might like to think about stretches of named trails or maybe a relay with friends:
- The Hadrian’s Wall Path Hadrian's Wall Path - National Trail
- The Pennine Way Pennine Way National Trail
- The Haltwhistle Rings Walks –Walks (Haltwhistle Rings) NB this is the Haltwhistle Partnership’s website, from which the Rings can be accessed and downloaded. Many have been updated for this years Festival.
There are lots and lots of possibilities wherever you are, and we would love to hear from you.
The Challenges – and the Craic As well as the wonderful countryside, our walking festival thrives on the fellowship it involves and this year, we know just the character to help. Halty Bear is our walking ambassador and our way in to some fun. Many of you will have already met our real live Halty Bear together with his growing band of brothers and sisters. Already we can introduce you to Horace, Henry, Hermione, Hope, Taffy and Hungry Bear but we are expecting our Festival family to grow, and there will be prizes. We hope that you can have lots of fun out and about with your own Halty Bear. Let us know what he or she gets up to. There will be prizes of glorious magnificence (remember imagination!) and here are some of the challenges we have come up with:
- Where has your Halty Bear got to? Let’s have your photos of the Bear in as many places as possible. We hear that we might expect to see Halty up and down the country, and possibly some overseas cousins too .
- Look out for spring flowers and wildlife and try to get them to pose for you.
- What about our fabulous landscapes? Entries are invited – oils, acrylics, water colour or just a photo on your phone would be fine.
- Our local Halty Bears and the young at heart will enjoy a ‘hands -free’ Treasure Hunt around Haltwhistle and up the Haltwhistle Burn.
- Why not decorate a trig point (responsibly and reversibly of course)? This could be a new trend – the modern equivalent of Well Dressing.
- We love our bridges over the Tyne and all the other local rivers. Tell us about your favourite – but make sure you go there and can prove it!
- There is so much archaeology around too – both Roman and from the Industrial Revolution. Picture it for us and maybe dress accordingly.
- The weather will as always be magnificent so the award for the wettest walk is unlikely to be claimed. Maybe the category of the wackiest walker will take its place? Refreshments too are a core part of our Festival so let’s try for the most sumptuous picnic lunch or the best afternoon tea ever. Can We Walk 500 Miles? Every festival we have a few hardy souls who chalk up more than a hundred miles each during the week. We would like to try this year for a collective total. Could we together amass a total of 500?? miles? Let us know your accumulated mileage and we will keep a running total and declare a 2021 champion. Send all your results via our Facebook page but we will also have an evening phone number too just in case technology is not for you. Your dedicated band of Festival co-ordinators will be sifting through it all and doing the sums.