Independent Hostels UK is working with walking festivals in England, Scotland and Wales to encourage walking, fresh air and friendship. Read on to find ideal walkers accommodation close to these festivals.
Walking festivals in England, Scotland and Wales in 2020
Listed below are all the walking festivals in 2020 that Independent Hostels UK are proud to be sponsoring.
From mid April until mid October there are walking festivals all over the UK. Each festival has a programme of led walks over a number of days. Your perfect opportunity to explore new areas and routes without the hassle of route planning and map reading. Many festivals offer a variety of walks of different lengths and difficulty so there is something for everybody. What’s more many of the festivals have also added other elements such as talks, music or special interest walks. Others are completely unique! Read the festival listing below carefully and you will discover why.
All the festivals below have been hand-picked as there are Independent Hostels and Bunkhouses in the area. These self catering hostels and bunkhouses offer great value accommodation for those who want to stay for a day or more and make the most of these wonderful walking events.
To find out more have a good look through the listing of walking festivals below.
15-19 April Chepstow Walking Festival, Monmouthshire
Join this popular walking festival which is firmly placed on the walkers’ map. A programme of 35 walks between 2 – 13 miles for all abilities led by experienced walk leaders showcasing the rich heritage of the Lower Wye Valley and its stunning landscape across the borders of England and Wales. Ticket price includes parking and transport where applicable. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Chepstow and the full programme and how to book online can be found at Chepstow Walking Festival’s own website from early February.
24-26 April Kington Walks Spring Festival, Herefordshire
24th-26th April Galashiels Walking Weekend, Socttish Borders
25 April-4 May Ulverston Walk Fest, Cumbria
The Ulverston WalkFest has a programme of volunteer led walks over 10 days, exploring many areas of this beautiful South Lakes region. Ulverston itself is a pretty market town with many festivals and events throughout the year, and many pubs and restaurants. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Ulverston and here is Ulverston Walk Fest’s own website.
28th April-4 May Ride2stride Music and Walking Festival on the Settle to Carlisle Line, North Yorkshire/Cumbria
The Yorkshire Dales Ride2Stride is a week long festival of walks talks and music along the scenic Settle to Carlisle railway line. All the free guided walks start from a station and finish at a station where the local pub will be buzzing with live music. The talks will enhance your knowledge of the local area. This is a festival for everyone with four or five walks every day, graded strenuous, moderate and easy. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near the Settle to Carlisle line and here is Ride2stride Music and Walking Festival’s own website.
2nd-10th May Haltwhistle Walking Festival, Northumberland
This 35th Haltwhistle Walking Festival includes a three day trek along the Isaac’s Tea Trail – you can walk its entire length without worrying about logistics, as a coach travels to the start point every morning and returns to Haltwhistle. The challenge walk, the 2020 Big Round, will take place around Rothbury, going up onto Simonside, down over the Coquet and back up to the Rothbury Carriageway. Other walk destinations include Hallington, Cambo and Hartburn to the North East, Edmundbyers and Cauldron Snout to the south east, Plankey Mill and Slaley to the south, as well as the usual walks in and around Haltwhistle and up on to Hadrian’s Wall. Special Interest Walks will include our popular Bird Walk, Tea Walk and Singing Walk. In recognition of the fact that the Festival co-incides with the 75th anniversary of VE Day, there will also be a special, Special Interest Walk to the rarely visited Otterburn Ranges. A guide from the Army will show us practice trenches dating from the First World War as well as other points of interest. The Ranges are usually closed to the public, with exceptions made only in spring for the lambing season. The Social Evening will carry on the VE Day celebrations, with a 1940’s theme. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Haltwhistle and here is Haltwhistle Walking Festival’s own website.
2nd-10th May Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival, Shropshire
The 2020 Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival will be the opportunity to discover the wonders of the Ironbridge Gorge, its World Heritage listed Iron Bridge and the host of towns and villages that make this part of South Shropshire an excellent base for walking. On offer will be approximately 60 walks, with something to suit all abilities, from short, often themed, walks in and around the Gorge, to all day hikes of 15-20 miles. For the more adventurous, there is the well-established 50 or 100 mile medal challenge, awarded to those who complete either distance during the 9 days of the Festival. All walks are FREE to enter, though prior booking is essential as the event is growing in popularity every year. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Ironbridge and here is Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival’s own website.
8th-10th May Langollen Walking Festival, N/E Wales
Come and join professional and local guides in Llangollen, the charming Victorian border town on the beautiful River Dee. Walk with local historians, guide book writers and our local botanist through the UNESCO World Heritage site; visit a medieval castle and Cistercian Abbey ruins, huge glacial limestone cliffs plus… walk Thomas Telford’s world famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Walk across the high grouse moor wilderness and take a nostalgic steam train ride. Take-up the challenge of 20 miles on the famous Offa’s Dyke Path (possibly the best bit!) and the 5 Ugly Sisters challenge walk, see the horse drawn canal boats, and try Nordic Walking for beginners. There are short, medium and long walks all within the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Llangollen and here is Langollen Walking Festival’s own website.
8-10th May Whitchurch Walking Festival, Shropshire
Three days of varied walks and other activities have been organised in and around Whitchurch, a Walkers are Welcome town. There should be something for everyone. This year, the “Shropshire Lady” canal boat will be venturing up the Prees Branch Canal giving scope for some different walks. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Whitchurch and here is Whitchurch Walking Festival’s own website.
8th-11th May Kendal Walking Festival, Cumbria
Kendal is set to host it’s fourth walking festival. Surrounded by beautiful scenery it offers a wide variety of walking experiences. Kendal makes a superb base for those who enjoy walking and the festival has something for everyone regardless of his or her walking abilities. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Kendal and here is Kendal Walking Festival’s own website.
9th-17th May Coleford Area Walking Festival, Gloucestershire
Returning for 2020 this event has now grown to a 9 day festival showcasing walks in and around Coleford in the beautiful Forest of Dean area of Gloucestershire. The festival features 24 walks to suit an audience of all ages and physical abilities. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Coleford and here is Coleford Area Walking Festival’s own website.
10th May Bingley Walking Festival, Yorkshire
A one day free event with 5 walks leading through the beautiful countryside surrounding Bingley. The walks are suitable for all ages and abilities, ranging from a family friendly route to 4, 5 and 14 mile walks. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Bingley and here is Bingley Walking Festival’s own website
15th-17th May Trefriw Walking Festival, Conwy
Trefriw lies on the edge of the beautiful Snowdonia National Park, and its Walking Festival, now is now in its 8th year, has in that time become Snowdonia’s most popular walking event. Each year there are over 20 walks, spread over the long weekend and offering plenty of variety, with something for everyone. A not-for-profit event, it is run entirely by volunteers. The comprehensive website will tell you all you need to know. Have a look too at the gallery and feedback page – a warm welcome and good company are guaranteed. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Trefriw and here is Trefriw’s own website.
16th May-7th June Farnham Walking Festival, Surrey/Hampshire
Now in its 4th year, the festival has expanded to nearly 70 walks over three weeks. These range from a short Treasure Trail for children around the town to long-distance walks of 15 miles and more. Many walks have a theme such as history or local authors, but some just revel in the glorious Surrey and Hampshire countryside that surrounds us. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Farnham and here is Farnham Walking Fesstival’s own website.
22nd-25th May Crieff and Strathearn Drovers Tryst Walking Festival, Perthshire
The 19th anniversary of this very popular walking festival will include the usual mix of challenging walks, easier interest walks along with a full social programme in the evenings, all set in the stunning Perthshire autumnal scenery. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Crieff and Strathearn and here is Crieff and Strathearn Drovers Tryst Walking Festival’s own website.
Postponed this year Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival
The Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival will undertake a major revamp in 2020 with the aim of returning in 2021. Unfortunately this means that the festival in its current form will not take place in 2020. Accommodation can be found at The Viking Centre and here is Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival’s own website.
30 May-7th June Gower Walking Festival, West Glamorgan
Gower Walking Festival, winners of the Best Small Event in the Swansea Bay Area 2019, will be back in 2020. Organised and led by an enthusiastic team of volunteers and experienced walkers, the festival is 8 days of at least 30 walks on Gower and around the Swansea Bay area. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation on and around the Gower Peninsular and here is Gower Walking Festival’s own website.
5th-13th June The Annual South Downs Way Walk , East Sussex/Hampshire
This will be the 41st year of this nine day supported walk along the full 100 miles of the South Downs Way National Trail. The walk follows the ridge of these gentle chalk hills from the iconic white cliffs of Beachy Head to the medieval cathedral at Winchester. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation in the South Downs and here is The Annual South Downs Way Walk’s own website.
12th-21st June Moray Walking and Outdoor Festival, Morayshire
Whether it’s a big challenge or a gentle amble, the Moray Walking & Outdoor Festival welcomes you. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Moray and here is Moray Walking and Outdoor Festival’s own website.
18th-21st June Church Stretton Walking Festival
Mainly made up of locals, the volunteers lead groups along favourite routes on the beautiful hills that surround Church Stretton and there’s also a selection of themed walks, including the Map & Compass Course, the evening Stars in Your Skies Walk and the Geology Walk. For those looking for a challenge, there is also the Mynd Drover and the Skyline Walk. The festival attracts visitors from across the country. The thriving market town is always welcoming to visitors who can enjoy the many varied local independent businesses whilst in the town. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Church Stretton and here is Church Stretton Walking Festival’s own website.
26th-28th June Snowdonia Challenge.
Now in its 4th year this unique 100km walking challenge is attracting walkers from across the world. Held in Betws-y-Coed, North Wales, the perfect base to explore some of the less visited parts of Snowdonia with some of the best views the national park has to offer. Not just your average walking challenge, Snowdonia Challenge is the only event of its kind in the UK! Not for the faint hearted, to take on the full three day challenge you will need commitment and determination to prepare for and complete this event. It is a test of mental and physical resilience and team work and will take you on a journey of self-discovery. It is inspired by multi-day challenges used as military training events in Europe. This is not just about challenging yourself though. Taking part in the Snowdonia Challenge you will be part of an amazing adventure where you will make new friends and explore parts of Snowdonia you’ve never been before. Full event – 3 day walking event – 100km over 3 days. Or if you’d like to be a part of it but can’t commit to the full 3 days then join us for 1 or 2 days. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation in and around Snowdonia and here is Snowdonia Challenge’s own website.
27th-28th June The Quantock Hills Walking Festival, Somerset
Come and explore the Quantock Hills and Somerset Coast with us. A host of exciting new guided walks this year to suit all abilities, organised by Stowey Walking, the Walkers are Welcome group based in Nether Stowey. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near the Quantock Hills and here is Quantock Walking Festival’s own website.
27th June-5th July Otley Walking Festival, West Yorkshire
You will be sure of a warm welcome at the 19th Otley Walking Festival with 50 great walks in stunning Wharfedale . Warm welcome, good company, fantastic scenery. Variety of walks – short town-based walks, strenuous moorland hikes and everything in between, plus full evening events programme. Festival Highlight – An 8 mile walk incorporating a guided tour of Farnley Hall with its wonderful collection of unseen Turner water colours. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Otley and here is Otley Walking Festival’s own website.
22nd-30th Aug Dartmoor Walking Festival, Devon
The Dartmoor National Park are fully supporting the week with ranger-led walks as well as archaeological visits and events. The aim is to have at least four events each day during the nine-day festival, so there really is something for everybody, with evening talks and walks included. The week is only limited by your imagination so come along and explore Dartmoor and find out more about this incredibly special place. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation in Dartmoor National Park and here is Dartmoor Walking Festival’s own website.
Awaiting Dates Guildford Walkfest, Surrey
Guildford Walkfest is a series of organised walks designed to encourage people of all ages to get out and enjoy our wonderful town and beautiful countryside in and around Guildford. With more than 70 guided walks on the programme there is certain to be something to suit everyone regardless of age, ability or experience and as every year, all the walks are guided, free, and everybody is welcome to join in. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Guildford and here is Guildford Walkfest’s own website.
4th-7th Sept Much Wenlock Walking Festival, Shropshire
Walkers of all ability are invited to the annual Walking Festival at Shropshire’s picturesque Much Wenlock. The walks are of various lengths and difficulty, in and around the town and local countryside, and are led by experienced walk leaders. All walks are free. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Much Wenlock and here is Much Wenlock’s own website.
5th-6th Sept Corwen Walking Festival, Denbighshire
Two days of wonderful walking, skills talks and evening entertainment in and around the town of Corwen in the magnificent and majestic Dee Valley. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Corwen and here is Corwen Walking Festival’s own website.
5th-13th Sept Bedfordshire Walking Festival
7th-14th Sept Scottish Borders Walking Festival
Taking in three counties, Derbyshire, Yorkshire & Nottinghamshire, and 46 miles of tow paths over nine days, the third Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival is billed as the biggest canal walking event in the country. The expectation is that there will again be about 50 guided walks – the majority of which are free – ranging from a children’s walk of just two miles to the full 46-mile length of the canal in three days. There will be special interest walks, e.g. Nature, History, Architecture, Restoration, Bird spotting, Bat spotting and Geocaching. There are opportunities to combine a walk from two miles up to seven miles, with a cruise on one of the Trust’s trip boats. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation in and around Chesterfield and here is Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival’s own own website.
Enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the moorlands to the fascinating heritage of the industrial revolution. Join events for families, cyclists, horse riders and walkers as part of the South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation in and around the South Pennines and here is South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival’s own website.
12th-27th Sept Autumn Footprints, Derbyshire
Set in picturesque Derbyshire, The Autumn Footprints Walking Festival offers a great choice of over 40 FREE guided walks over sixteen days. All walks are led by knowledgeable local volunteers who provide information about the local heritage and natural history, as you walk. Come along to discover this area’s natural beauty and superb scenery. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation in Derbyshire and here is Autumn Footprints’ own website.
14th-20th Sept Wellington Walking Festival, Shropshire
A varied programme of walking including themed walks with leaders who are experts in their fields and . Walk lengths will vary between 1 mile and about 15 miles and all walk are free. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Wellington and here is Wellington Walking Festival’s own website.
17th-20th Sept Kington Walking Festival, Herefordshire
The 9th annual festival has over 35 walks across the 4 days and the programme will be as varied as ever, featuring a variety of lengths and difficulty and, as well the great border countryside and views, will cover subjects such as geology, history, archaeology, flora and cider making. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Kington and here is Kington Walking Festival’s own website.
19th-27th Sept Richmond Walking and Book Festival, North Yorkshire
Boots and books, walks and words… Come and join our unique festival with nine days of guided walks in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales plus a programme of town walks and book events in the original Richmond in Yorkshire. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Richmond and here is Richmond Walking and Book Festival’s own website.
19th-28th Sept Barmouth Walking Festival, Gwynedd
Set in the dramatic beauty of coastal Snowdonia, Barmouth sits on the Northern side of the stunning Mawddach Estuary, sheltered by the Cader Idris Range to the south and the Rhinog Mountains to the north. The Walking Festival has been developed with the aim of encouraging visitors to explore these magnificent surroundings on foot –in the company of keen, experienced and knowledgeable local guides. Historians and naturalists lead some walks and expert advice has been taken to ensure a safe, interesting and varied programme. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Barmouth and here is Barmouth Walking Festival’s own website.
Awaiting Dates Snowdonia 24
Snowdonia’s brand new individual or team entry 24 hour challenge. Complete as many 10km laps as you can and do each one at your own pace. Take on the challenge by yourself and see how far you can go, or enter as a relay team with each team member doing their own distance at their own pace. The 10km trail takes you from the gorgeous village of Betws-y-Coed, up into the Gwydyr Forest and around Llyn Elsi with fantastic views across Snowdonia, before heading back down to the village. The stunning but challenging 10km trail consists of forest tracks, narrow paths and tarmac, with a couple of hills thrown in, and will be well signed to show you the way. You’ll be fully supported throughout the 24 hours by our team of qualified mountain leaders along the route and our ‘base team’ at the end of each lap. There’ll be a first aid and emergency team on hand for medical support. There’ll be water, snacks and refreshments to keep up your energy levels and hot meals included. Take home an exclusive, locally sourced Snowdonia 24 slate medal and some amazing memories.
Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation in and around Snowdonia and here is Snowdonia 24’s own website.
Awaiting Dates South Lincolnshire Walking Festival
2nd-4th October Ross on Wye Walking Festival, Herefordshire
Ross-on-Wye Walking Festival offers a wonderful opportunity to explore some of the incredible countryside of South Herefordshire, offering dramatic gorges, rolling hillsides, spectacular views, meandering rivers, ancient forests and parkland. This year to mark the 250th anniversary of the tours down the Wye from Ross to Chepstow led by Rev William Gilpin there will be several walks with a ‘Gilpin’ theme. There will also be at least one bird-spotting walk and the popular steam train walk will run again. Plans are afoot for a silent walk, away from the noise and bustle allowing walkers to listen to the sounds of nature. All walks will be led by experts who will give and informative commentary along the way. It’s a recipe for a great weekend, in a great place, with great people. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Ross on Wye and here is Ross on Wye Walking Festival’s own website.
Awaiting Dates Hay Walking Festival, Powys
The Hay on Wye Walking Festival is a celebration of two-footed fun in and around the beautiful border town of Hay on Wye. We warmly invite you to join us to enjoy our lush countryside, stunning hills and to step into our beautiful town of independent shops, a proudly chain-store free destination. Our walks programme, will be broad ranging in terms of geography and interest. There is something for all abilities and interests – all day in the hills, town walks, historical walks, a chance to learn from experts and exclusive access to paths and sites not normally open to the public. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Hay and here is Hay Walking Festival’s own website.