ABOVE: Walkers gather for a group photo by the Iron Bridge at Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the Industrial Revolution began in the early 1700s.
England's Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival, now in its ninth year, will offer more than 50 free walks from Saturday, May 3 through Sunday, May 11.
All walks are in and around the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site in Telford, Shropshire, about 50 km northwest of Birmingham.
Walks range from short informative walks and family trails (one designed especially for pushchair and wheelchair users) to a 15-mile circular hike over the Wrekin, with plenty of steep climbs and rough terrain.
Along with nearly 20 other new walks, this year's festival will introduce the "100 Mile Ironbridge Challenge." Participants in the Challenge must finish seven specified walks on seven different days for a total of 100+ miles. Winners will receive certificates and woven badges for their rucksacks.
For those who want to learn more about the area's heritage, the festival will have a walk that takes in the history of the river bridges and another 15-mile circular walk that skirts the edge of the 1,360-acre (550-hectare) World Heritage Site.
The organizers tell us that all walks are free, but pre-booking is essential. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome on most walks, but please check before signing up.
To reserve a place, or to view details about the program (including a downloadable Walking Festival Map and a list of walks in PDF format), visit:
Source: Pat Edgar, PR Matters