The New Forest Walking Festival is returns this autumn after last year’s event became an online one due to the pandemic.
This year’s festival is promising to be bigger than ever before, taking place over three weeks from 16 October to 7 November 2021.
To incorporate the autumn half term, the festival will feature guided walks suitable for families of all ages.
The New Forest Walking Festival gives people the chance to explore new parts of the Forest, connect to nature and enjoy all the mental and physical benefits that being outdoors brings.
Expert guides will lead a number of bespoke experiences, highlighting the unique countryside, wildlife, culture and history of this internationally important landscape.
New Forest National Park ranger Adam Vasey said: ‘After last year’s virtual Walking Festival, we’re really looking forward to seeing people again in person, in what will be our ninth year.
‘Autumn is a wonderful time to explore the New Forest, with its fiery foliage and colourful displays of fungi, and the relatively flat terrain and wide designated tracks make the National Park accessible for all.’
Dave Absalom, general manager of Hoburne Bashley which is sponsoring the festival, added: ‘As one of the leading accommodation providers within the New Forest, we are delighted to be supporting this year’s New Forest Walking Festival.
‘Hoburne Bashley is very proud of its New Forest roots. Over the last 60 years, we have been dedicated to promoting the New Forest as a visitor destination, while ensuring guests understand how to maintain and protect our wonderful surroundings for future generations.
‘After what has been a difficult time for so many families, we believe this year’s Festival will be bigger and better than ever before.’
For 2021 there will also be guided rides to encourage responsible cycling in the National Park.
Festival themes typically include birdwatching, fungi spotting, hidden histories, ranger walks and woodland wild play events for children. Walks and rides will be available to book online from 6 September 2021, and many are free to join.
The New Forest Walking Festival is run in partnership with many local organisations including Forestry England, New Forest Association, New Forest Ramblers and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
For more information about the Walking Festival, visit newforestnpa.gov.uk/walkingfestival.