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 2021
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.
Ulversten Walk Fest
23rd-25th April Galashiels Walking Weekend, Scottish Borders
Waiting for Updates 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.
24th April -3rd 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.
Cancelled 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.
1st – 31st May Farnham Walking Festival, Surrey/Hants. MONTHLY WALKS AVAILABLE
Discover new parts of Farnham during this year’s Walking Festival. The selection of self-led walks have been suggested by Farnham people. The walks vary in length and difficulty. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Farnham and here is Farnham Walking Festival’s own website.
CANCELLED 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.
7th-9th 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.
CANCELLED 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.
29th-31st May Crieff & Strathearn Drovers Tryst Walking Festival, Perthshire.
This festival will still be hosting a programme of walks in 2021 for groups of up to 8 people over two weekends – one in May and one in July. There will be a wide range of walks for all ability levels as well as some new ones for this year, all set in the breath taking landscapes of Perthshire. Walks will be subject to COVID restrictions, details of which can be found on the festival website. 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.
Waiting For Updates 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.
CANCELLED 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.
CANCELLED Snowdonia Challenge.
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.
26th June-4th July Otley Walking Festival, West Yorkshire
In line with government guidance, Otley Walking Festival 2021 will be going ahead as planned. A warm welcome, good company, fantastic scenery await you. Variety of walks – short town-based walks, strenuous moorland hikes and everything in between. A feature of this year’s festival will be the launch of Eavesdrop – a sound installation comprised of field recordings of local wildlife, fused with a musical underscore. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Otley and here is Otley Walking Festival’s own website.
17th-19th Jul Crieff & Strathearn Drovers Tryst Walking Festival, Perthshire.
This festival will still be hosting a programme of walks in 2021 for groups of up to 8 people over two weekends – one in May and one in July. There will be a wide range of walks for all ability levels, as well as some new ones for this year, all set in the breath taking landscapes of Perthshire. Walks will be subject to COVID restrictions, details of which can be found on the festival website. 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.
6th-9th Aug Kendal Walking Festival, Cumbria.
Kendal is set to host it’s 5th 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. All walks are free in 2021. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Kendal and here is Kendal Walking Festival’s own website.
28th Aug – 5th Sept 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.
30th Aug Bingley Walking Festival, Yorks
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
30th Aug – 5th Sept Corwen Walking Festival, Denbighshire
As part of their 10th anniversary celebration, you will be treated to seven 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.
1st-30th Sept 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.
3rd-7th Sept Coleford Area Walking Festival, Glos.
Returning with a mini festival for 2021 this event will showcase walks in and around Coleford in the beautiful Forest of Dean area of Gloucestershire. Coleford’s 5 day walking festival features around 12 walks to suit an audience of all ages and physical abilities. When we return properly in 2022 we will return to 9 days and around 24 walks. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near Coleford and here is Coleford Area Walking Festival’s own website.
4th-12th Sept Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival, Shropshire.
The 2021 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 a smaller selection of 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.
Waiting for Updates 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.
Waiting for Updates Bedfordshire Walking Festival
10th-12th Sept Scottish Borders Walking Festival
Due to the time restrictions on the organisation of the event this years festival will be a shorter, weekend long festival. It is the intention though of the festival that 2022 will see the festival running for the traditional week long period. The 2021 and the 2022 events will both be co-hosted by Galashiels and Stow. Over the remainder of July we will be looking to release the timetable of walks that will be available through the weekend of the event. Accommodation can be found at Kirk Yetholm Friends of Nature House and here is the Scottish Borders Walking Festival’s own website.
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.
Waiting for Updates 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.
11th-19th Sept Yorkshire Wolds Walking and Outdoors Festival
This fabulous festival in the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds is back and offering superb activities over 9 days that will appeal to families, casual walkers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The festival has grown in reputation showcasing the wonderful landscape and celebrating the rich heritage of the Yorkshire Wolds. The rich and varied programme of activities features something for all ages and abilities from relaxed strolls around our market towns to a planned longer hike (details to be announced) We are delighted of offer over 100 individual activities. Join us for cycling, special interest and historic walks, horse riding, nature safaris, nordic walking, historic house and parkland tours, specialist guided walks, boat trips and even a Buddhist experience plus lots more. Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation in and around the Yorkshire Wolds and here is Yorkshire Wolds Walking and Outdoors Festival’s own website.
11th-20th 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.
13th-19th 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.
15th-19th Sept Gower Walking Festival, West Glams.
Gower Walking Festival, winners of the Best Small Event in the Swansea Bay Area 2019, will be back in 2021. Organised and led by an enthusiastic team of volunteers and experienced walkers, the festival is 5 days of 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.
16th-19th Sept Kington Walking Festival, Herefordshire
The 10th 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.
16th – 22nd 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-26th 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.
21st-22nd Sept 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.
24th-26th Sept Llandysul and Pont-Tyweli Walking Weekend
The Llandysul and Pont-Tyweli Walking Weekend is back for 2021 with a programme of 4 walks, all for moderate level walkers. Festivals Website.
24th – 26th Sept 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.
25th – 26th Sept The Quantock Hills Walking Festival, Somerset.
A weekend of walking in the beautiful Quantock Hills and West Somerset Coast, supported by the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme. This year’s festival has something for everyone with some exciting new walks venturing further into the Quantock Hills and surrounding area. We have nature rambles, history walks, high level hikes, dog walks and even a family treasure hunt, all followed by delicious tea and cake here in Nether Stowey. Places are limited so make your booking today! Accommodation can be found on our map of accommodation near the Quantock Hills. Check out Quantock Walking Festival’s own website for more details and book your tickets here.
Waiting for Updates South Lincolnshire Walking Festival
Waiting for Updates 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.
23rd – 26th October 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 .