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Join the Walking Festival 4 May 2004

Residents are being invited to polish their hiking boots ready for the first Isle of Man Walking Festival.

Holiday packages have been selling well to people from all parts of the UK for the weeklong event from June 28-July 2. However, Island residents are also welcome to join individual walks or purchase the Festival Package at 25 - which includes all daily walks and evening social events.

The festival is being staged by the Department of Tourism and Leisure and has received coverage on numerous radio stations, as well as recent articles in national press such at the Daily Mirror, The Times, and Country Walking magazine.

Tourism Minister David Cretney said:

"There has been a lot of interest in the festival both on and off the Island and many people are looking forward to the event. I'm particularly grateful to John Dog Callister, the volunteer walks co-ordinator, for assisting in the recent publicity drive, and to all the volunteer walk leaders whose enthusiasm for the project has enabled us to stage the festival."

The walks range from dramatic coastal and hill walks such as the Port Erin to Peel walk (WE1) on Wednesday June 30, to gentle rambles such as the ghost walk around Peel (TU5) on Tuesday evening, June 29. Prices start at 1.50 per adult (accompanied children under 12 go free) for the ghost walk up to 5 per adult (child 2.50) for more strenuous walks. More details are available on the booking forms or on the website www.isleofmanwalking.com. Residents are encouraged to participate in the walks using their own transport.

Judy Arnold of Travel Services in Onchan commented:

"I have been very encouraged by the amount of bookings we have taken for the Walking Festival. The majority of visitors are booking walks for every day of the week and the evening social events are also popular. I would urge anyone on the Island who wants to take part to book now to avoid disappointment. They can be booked on-line at www.iomtravel.com under 'events'."

Alternatively, booking forms for the walking festival are now available at the Tourist Information Centre at the Sea Terminal, Douglas; at the Special Events Unit, Noble's Park, Douglas and at Travel Services' office in the Village Walk, Onchan.

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