Greater Manchester is again putting its best foot forward with the region’s second annual Walking Festival taking place throughout May.
The festival, which runs from Sunday 1 to Tuesday 31 May, has doubled in size, this year offering more than 200 free guided walks exploring local towns, cities, countryside, canals, riversides and parks across Greater Manchester.
The walks are coordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and are supported by around 30 walking groups and charities, showcasing all the region has to offer.
There will be expert-led walks covering interests including wildlife, history, music and much more. While enjoying a walk, people taking part could also learn how to forage for food and listen out for bats or get tips on taking a great photo – and there’s even the chance to give Nordic walking a go.
There are around ten walks in the Oldham area organised by Dunwood Park Nordic Walkers, Active Oldham Outdoors, Lees Health Walks, Experience Community CIC, Oldham Community Leisure and Oldham Ramblers. The full list of walks is at the Greater Manchester Walking Festival website.
Laura Vayro, from Experience Community CIC, said: “We’re looking forward to our ramble around Dovestone Reservoir in May as part of the Walking Festival.
“Why not bring your own mountain trike or contact us to hire one of ours for the day? Quite a few people took up the challenge last year to get past Yeoman Hey Reservoir and up to Greenfield Reservoir – a massive achievement!
“If you love the countryside, but haven’t been able to get out and about for a while, then this is the event for you.”
The festival aims to get as many people as possible across Greater Manchester to find out how easy – and enjoyable – walking more can be. The walks, which cater for a variety of abilities and ages, provide the chance to explore Greater Manchester, meet new people and get more active.
Helen Ramsden, Head of Travel Choices and Active Travel for TfGM, said: “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to run the festival again following the success of last year. This year it’s bigger and better and we want to get even more people involved.
“We owe a huge thank you to all our walking partners and walk leaders, many of whom are voluntary, who run all the walks and make this festival possible.
“We hope that by encouraging people to join a local walk that they will be inspired to continue walking regularly after the festival has ended.”
“People are often surprised that walking briskly for just 20-25 minutes a day can add up to seven years to your life – it really is that simple”
In addition, in 2016 TfGM will be keeping the momentum going with ‘Walking Weekends’, offering more free guided walks, held over a series of weekends throughout the summer and autumn months as well as engaging with businesses through the ‘Walking Workplaces’ project, which works with businesses to encourage walking in work and during the working day.
Funded by the Department of Transport, the Greater Manchester Walking Festival is part of TfGM’s Walking Works project, encouraging people to make a walk part of their daily routine.
To find out what’s happening in each area, visit www.tfgm.com/walking where there is an online copy of the festival brochure containing all the walks. Copies of the brochure are also available in TfGM Travel shops and various other outlets across Greater Manchester. Or you can order a copy from: email@example.com.
On social media, check out the GM Walking Festival Facebook page or search for the #GMWalkFest hashtag on Twitter.
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