Sun shines for walk­ing tours

The Galloway News - - DISTRICT NEWS -

Hun­dreds of peo­ple from across the coun­try en­joyed glo­ri­ous Gal­loway weather as they took part in the 17th New­ton Ste­wart Walk­ing Fes­ti­val.

Sunny, clear days with only a light wind pro­vided per­fect walk­ing con­di­tions for those who at­tended the fes­ti­val.

The pop­u­lar an­nual event of­fered a pro­gramme of more than 30 guided walks and other events ex­plor­ing the wild hills, rugged coast­line and rolling coun­try­side of Gal­loway.

Chair­man of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, Joan Mitchell, said: “We have en­joyed some great weather again this year which is the ic­ing on the cake for the group of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers who put the fes­ti­val to­gether.

“De­spite the on­go­ing chal­lenges of se­cur­ing the mod­est lev­els of ex­ter­nal fund­ing re­quired to run the event each year, see­ing our vis­i­tors en­joy the won­der­ful Gal­loway coun­try­side makes the months of plan­ning all worth­while.

“We have man­aged to once again show­case the huge va­ri­ety of walk­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties which Gal­loway has to of­fer.”

She added: “With the co-op­er­a­tion of our local landown­ers we have again man­aged to dis­cover new ar­eas this year. Thanks to the sup­port of Wig­town­shire Ram­blers and Gal­loway Moun­tain Res­cue Team, as well as many other vol­un­teer guides, one day our walk­ers have been able to en­joy the views from the sum­mit of one of our re­mote hills and the next watch­ing wild goats and seals in the wa­ter along our rugged coast­line.

“In ad­di­tion, our local busi­ness sponsors, Belted Gal­loway Vis­i­tor Cen­tre and Ste­wart R Cun­ning­ham Out­door Cen­tres, as well as sup­port from the Kil­gal­lioch Com­mu­nity Fund, have al­lowed us to wel­come walk­ers to New­ton Ste­wart once again this year.”

The fes­ti­val forms a core part of New­ton Ste­wart’s des­ig­na­tion as a Walk­ers are Wel­come town, a net­work of more than 100 towns and vil­lages across Bri­tain who pro­mote walk­ing tourism.

Joan said: “I hope that local busi­nesses and the wider com­mu­nity will con­tinue to ben­e­fit from vis­i­tors com­ing to the area through­out the year and I hope that we have man­aged to pro­vide some en­joy­able days out for the many local res­i­dents who have en­joyed the Gal­loway Hills and coun­try­side on our walks this week.”

Great scenery Peo­ple en­joy­ing one of the fes­ti­val walks

Mag­nif­i­cent Walk­ers en­joy the spec­tac­u­lar views from Cairns­more of Fleet on the first day of New­ton Ste­wart Walk­ing Fes­ti­val. Photo cour­tesy of R Peace

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