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Isle of Man gearing up for record breaking Walking Festival 11 May 2011

A record number of walkers will take part in the Isle of Man’s annual Walking Festival, which starts this weekend and runs throughout next week.

With a total of 230 walkers this year, and a record number of walk leaders, the Festival is growing in popularity amongst Britain’s walking enthusiasts and gaining a reputation for its scenic routes. The event is also becoming a significant boost to the Isle of Man’s visitor economy with more than 1,300 hotel room bed nights booked over the six days.

Registration and a welcome to the Festival will take place on Sunday before the walking festival gets underway on Monday morning. Each day has a number of different routes which are pre-booked in advance and all are fully subscribed.

This year we are pleased to announce that www.isleofman.com will be posting a daily update on the scheduled walks and the action-packed programme of social events taking place in the Villa Marina each evening.

Routes include walks covering areas such as Cregneash, the Chasms and the Ayres as well as many of the Island’s glens, the Ballaugh Curraghs and hill routes, with an emphasis on heritage sites including notable landmarks such as Tynwald Hill and Rushen Abbey. There is also a separate event where a group of 20 experienced walkers will tackle the 95 mile Coastal Path, covering the entire coastline of the Isle of Man in five separate stages.

There are two more new walks in this year’s programme which has again been put together by Festival organiser Mike Salmon. They are the Millennium Way which is completed over two days and the Herring Way (Bayr ny Skeddan) which takes place on Thursday but is for experienced walkers only.

Social activities are being supported by the Department of Economic Development, including Manx dancing, a jazz night, and the final night with an Oompah band and presentation of certificates to all those who completed the coastal walk.

Department of Economic Development Member with responsibility for Tourism, Geoff Corkish, MBE, MHK, said:

"It is a major tourism success story and we are delighted that the Isle of Man Walking Festival continues to grow every year attracting visitors worldwide. We have a wonderful team of experienced volunteer guides who make such a difference to the walks by providing interesting information and stories of folklore and Manx history, all under the leadership of Mick Salmon. It is a marvellous showcase for what the Isle of Man has to offer."

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