The Wellington Walking Festival has been included in Outdooractive’s list of ‘best walking festivals for 2022’.
The first Wellington Festival was held in 2012 and has been held every year, last year activities included: walks on The T50, a 50-mile Trail linking the new town of Telford with the Severn Gorge, a World Heritage Site and birthplace of the Industrial Revolution; exploration of canal tunnels with torches; bat hunting; a fungi foray; a visit to the vineyard and enjoyment of wood fired pizza on an Eco Trail.
Organiser Naomi Wrighton says: “Over the 10 years that the Wellington Walking Festival has run it has attracted many people into the town, some of whom have stayed for the week. There was one visitor from America who took part in 3 festivals across England to make a guided walking holiday.
“I enjoy the chance to meet a wide variety of people, both locals and from further afield, and introduce them to hidden places in our corner of Shropshire.
“Since the pandemic, we have noticed that more locals are discovering the footpaths on their doorsteps, it is heartening that many have continued walking and cycling after the restrictions were eased. If more people use the paths, it keeps back vegetation and makes it easier to lobby for improvements.”
Craig Wareham, of Outdooractive, Europe’s leading outdoor adventure platform says Wellington is an excellent example of how festivals can introduce new people to walking and stimulate economic activity.
He said: “The British have a fine tradition of walking festivals and we are looking to profile the best to our international community. The Wellington Walking Festival team have impressed us with their enthusiasm and passion and the 2022 festival brings together both heritage and landscape.”
It was out of concern that many communities and festivals like Wellington would be impacted by Covid-19, that prompted Outdooractive to support many create a virtual presence in 2021. Its team helped to digitise paper-based walking routes to create self-guided walks that could be followed year around using its free navigation app.
Details of the virtual festivals with ‘taster’ walks chosen by the organisers, were then shared with Outdooractive’s growing community of enthusiasts. This has encouraged people to visit the region, discover walks recommended by local people and look forward to future in person events.
Naomi explains: “We have uploaded the T50 route to Outdooractive to help introduce a wider audience to the Wrekin area and we will be uploading more routes to enable the walks to be enjoyed for more of the year.
“The T50 is an excellent route for winter if taken in sections, with plenty of stops at local cafés along the way to warm up!”
For more information about the Wellington Walking Festival, 12th to 18th September 2022 visit https://www.wellingtonwalkersarewelcome.org.uk/festival.