Activities galore at walk festival

Otley Walking Festival organising committee chairman Ruth Blackwell

Otley Walking Festival organising committee chairman Ruth Blackwell

First published in Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Fifty different activities will feature in the 2014 Otley Walking Festival.

The organisers have lined up everything from testing, 16-mile moorland hikes to a gentle Teddy Bear stroll for this year’s event.

Running from Saturday, June 21, to Sunday, June 29, the festival will also feature a variety of themed walks, with bats, a Christian pilgrimage route, wild food, literature, cakes and ale, and local history among the subjects.

On top of that there will be clue-solving events, like the Troll Stroll, Morris dancing, and a musical mystery pub tour, with Otley Ukulele Orchestra.

Otley Walking Festival Organising Committee chairman, Ruth Blackwell, said: “It’s back again!

“I would urge everyone to get their boots ready for the 14th Otley Walking Festival, which will have events and walks running each day and evening.

“With a choice of 50 walks and events, there really is something for everyone. You can be sure of a warm welcome from all our walk leaders, and the chance to meet other friendly folk.

“As always, there are walks for all ages and abilities, including short town-based strolls, themed walks, waterside walks, strenuous moorland hikes plus a full evening programme of themed events.”

A nine and a half mile trek from Shipley to Otley, meeting at Otley Bus Station at 9.15am, will start proceedings off on June 21.

A deceptively easy sounding Bacon Buttie Walk – in fact a 12-mile circular featuring steep climbs “with stunning views” – will leave from The Buttercross just after on the same day, at 9.30am.

Another likely highlight over the nine days looks like being the Saunter with Strolling Minstrel on Monday, June 23, when minstrel Eddie Lawler and friends will lead a musical wander around the town’s inns.

And the Sociable Saunter on Saturday, June 28, will offer walkers a chance to tuck into a rewarding barbecue after a five-mile workout.

As always the festival will end with a grand finale held at the Manor Pub on its last day, Sunday, June 29, when there will be a prize raffle.

Festival programmes are available from Otley Courthouse along with local libraries, Tourist Information Centres and businesses, and the Festival office at Chevin Trek, off Gay Lane.

Full details can also be found at

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