Walk Fest is a breath of fresh air for coast

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The Castlerock WalkFest, now in this its sixth year, takes place on Saturday, September 3.

The Festival offers guided walks for all levels of capability along the magnificent North Coast. Routes take walkers through both the Binevenagh and Causeway Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty,

Walks range from Hill Walks to a Gentle Journey and include Challenge Walks (ie long ones), a Moderate Walk, two History Walks, Nordic Walking, a Family Walk and the Gentle Journey.

The Hill Walks are on and around Binevenagh and a walk through the high Altikeeragh bog. You will hear local stories and other interesting information on the walks.

The Challenge Walks are from Bellarena to Castlerock via Binevenagh and the Causeway Walk from Portballintrae to Dunseverick and back. It’s a great opportunity to have a good leg-stretch in beautiful countryside.

A walk through the dunes of Grangemore on the west side of the river Bann will be lead by a National Trust conservationist. It’s the perfect chance to appreciate the fragile environment we are surrounded by.

The History Walks are both led by local historians. The Castlerock walk tells the history of this interesting village with its links to famous names such as C S Lewis. The other, tells the story of the Earl Bishop Hervey the 18th century eccentric who built the Mussenden Temple.

The Festival organisers will provide poles and a trainer for you to learn the skill of Nordic Walking and having grasped the basic skills go for a walk on the beach.

The skill allows participants to get the maximum benefit from walking by exercising both legs and arms.

The very popular Family Walk is led by a National Trust environmentalist. The kids love it as do parents and grandparents.

The Gentle Journey is a guided walk through the Castlerock village for about an hour, This walk is to encourage those not used to group walking, to try and hopefully gain the exercise and social benefits.

Paddy Bailie, the originator of the Castlerock WalkFest told The Coleraine Times: “It is wonderful to see how the WalkFest has grown in support and range of walks, we get walkers from Belfast, some from the South and even from Scotland.”

The Castlerock WalkFest is organised by the Castlerock Community Association supported by the National Trust, the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust, Translink and the Health Alliance.

More detailed information is available on the Festival website www.castlerockwalkfest.wordpress.comor on Facebook page Castlerock Walkfest.