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Visiting walkers will see double next year 14 November 2005

    It’s been confirmed that there will be two Isle of Man Walking Festivals next year instead of just one!

    Dates of the 2006 events will be June 18-23 and October 12-15. The autumn festival has been added following the success of the June one which, this year, saw over 1,200 individual walks being booked by more than 250 participants.

    Said Tourism Minister David Cretney:

    ‘When we launched the Isle of Man Walking Festival in 2004, based in Douglas, we felt it had great potential for growth but even we have been surprised at how popular it has become in such a short space of time. The feedback we have received is that the walkers enjoyed it so much they would like to have another, shorter, one later in the year.
    ‘With this in mind we are now arranging an October festival centred on the South, and Port Erin in particular, although there will be walks on offer across the Island.’

    Event organiser, freelance journalist and photographer Terry Marsh from Chorley, is drawing up a suggested programme which will be discussed at a meeting next month. The concept is for a long weekend, with registration on the Thursday followed by three days of walks. Those on Sunday are to be based at Port Erin, where most of the visitors will be staying, so transport will not be an issue.

    The Island’s unique transport system has been quoted by many people as one of the principle reasons for wanting to return. This year saw extra buses having to be laid on and more coaches added to the steam trains to get the walkers to their starting destination and bring them back again afterwards.

    Those taking part this year came from all over the UK including Surrey, Lancashire and the Midlands but the record for travelling the greatest distance went to 70 year old John White from Florida in the United States who was presented with a special commemorative gift. He plans to return in 2006!

    • The Onchan-based company Travel Services (Isle of Man) works with the Department of Tourism to provide inclusive packages for the event.

    14th November 2005

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