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All systems go for Isle of Man Autumn Walking Festival 7 September 2007

Everything is set for the Island’s second Autumn Walking Festival.

The festival takes place over three days from October 12-14 and is based in the South of the Island with a total of 15 walks on offer.

Tourism Minister Adrian Earnshaw said:

‘The June event is now an established attraction in its own right but listening to the comments of the walkers we felt there was a demand for a second Festival later in the year and this has proved to be correct. We were pleased with the numbers last October and looked forward to building on its success.

The organising committee has put together an interesting and varied programme of walks with something for everyone, whatever their walking experience or fitness levels.

Two new walks have been included – one covering eight miles and taking in Colby and Ballakilpherick to finish in Castletown; while the other is about half that distance featuring St.John’s, Slieau Whallian Plantation and the Heritage Trail.

A revised schedule has been compiled to include as much variety as possible while retaining the old favourites such as the ever-popular stretch from Port Erin to Port St.Mary and The Sound which is part of the Isle of Man Coastal Path.

Mick Salmon, Walking Festival Organiser said:

‘I have always been a campaigner for an autumn festival as I believe that this is a really beautiful time of year in the Island. In June the plants and flowers are in full bloom which is special in its own way but in October the foliage has gone which allows some stunning views when the Island is seen at its best. People who took part in both our festivals last year said they were amazed at the difference four months could make. They described it as seeing two different islands and this is the point we are trying to get across to our first-time visitors.’

The social side of the festival has not been neglected with plans for the traditional Manx Night as well as an evening of jazz and a ceilidh to round off the weekend. Mick adds: ‘Many UK festivals have a varied programme during the day but walkers are left to their own devices in the evening. They can still do their own thing in the Isle of Man if they wish but we organise a lively social side in the evening as well if they want to join in.

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