Sunday, 15 February 2015

Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival celebrates 10th anniversary


Friday 1st - Sunday 10th May 2015
 
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival (Friday, 1st – Sunday 10th May) is offering 10 days of free, varied and rewarding walks in and around Telford’s stunning Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, where the Industrial Revolution began over 300 years ago. 
 
From challenging all day hikes for the brave hearted, to family friendly trails and short informative walks, this year’s festival promises to have something to whet the appetite of all ages and abilities. And with the area’s Walkers are Welcome status a warm welcome is guaranteed.
The programme of over 50 graded outings is split into two parts; themed walks that are mostly under five miles, and long hikes, which are more suitable for regular and experienced walkers.
 
To celebrate the 10th anniversary the 100 mile Challenge series of walks led by Graham Burgess will feature 10 new outings of 10 miles each, starting at 10am over the 10 days to view a variety of wonderful views of the Gorge from all directions. Long distance walkers will also have an opportunity to cover 50 miles in three days over the Bank Holiday weekend.
 
New outings include a linear, nine mile walk from the Ironbridge Tollhouse to Bridgnorth following the route of the former railway and a shorter three mile route discovering the significance of lime for industry. Another new walk will visit the locations of some well-known 18th and 19th paintings and vantage points used by early photographers under the guidance of John Powell, former Librarian and Information Officer  at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust , while two walks led by Neal Rushton will give a fascinating insight into the problems of subsidence in The Gorge and the current stabilisation work. 
There’s also a chance to meet the Gruffalo in Loamhole Dingle; explore the mining sites of Broseley and Benthall; find out more about the mining tragedy of the Nine Men of Madeley or just enjoy the countryside that has reclaimed this previously industrialised area, while a gentle two-hour family treasure hunt is suitable for pushchair and wheelchair users.
All walks are free however pre-booking is essential as numbers are limited; well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome on some walks but please check before booking.
 
To reserve a place or request a copy of the programme contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre by email at tic@ironbridge.org.uk or call 01952 433 424; for more details about the 100 and 50 mile challenges email ironbridgewalking@btinternet.com, information can also be found on www.visitironbridge.co.uk/walkingfestival.

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