2012 Haltwhistle Spring Walking Festival
The 19th Haltwhistle Walking Festival got underway last weekend, despite the weather forecast. 31 walkers completed the 13 mile Crags and Loughs walk and 21 went on the 7mile Wonders South of Haltwhistle. The rain held off all day and it was sunny and bright. Conditions underfoot were very wet, to be expected after the recent heavy rains.
On Sunday 21 walkers tackled Crags and Loughs, Day 2, another 13 mile walk. The north easterly wind was strong and bitterly cold, so the walkers had to keep up a brisk pace throughout the walk to keep warm. They enjoyed views of 4 loughs (Crag, Broomlee, Halleypike and Greenlee) and Folly Lake and walked on Dove, Kings, Queens and Crow Crags. Rain and a little hail arrived in the early afternoon and helped the walkers to keep up the pace, completing the whole walk in 6 hours.
The shorter walk on Sunday was a celebration. It was led by Brian Hart (see photo attached) who was 80 on the day. His walk from Steel Rigg was only 6 miles long but included some of the best and steepest parts of the Hadrian's Wall Trail. There was a surprise party for Brian at the Twice Brewed Inn.
During the rest of the week, a wide variety of walks have been provided. This has been the first year when so many walks were fully booked before the start of the Festival and shows how popular it has become. One man, George Westlund, came from Illinois especially for the festival. He walked nearly every day, including the Real Ale Walk and enjoyed meeting local people as well as seeing the countryside.
The organisers cannot rest at the end of the festival because they are busy with preparations for the Haltwhistle Challenge on May 19th. There are still places for this 26 mile walk or run via www.haltwhistlewalkingfestival.org.
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