Record numbers take part in this year’s Walking Festival

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Experienced and novice walkers alike ventured into the local countryside in large numbers at the weekend as part of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Sperrins and Killeter Walking Festival.

The event’s six walks attracted record numbers of participants, with the action kicking off on Saturday morning in Plumbridge with the ‘Up the Moat’ charity event, where all proceeds went to the MacMillan cancer charity.

Later that evening a group of 50 youngsters and parents took part in the ‘Bat and Moth Walk’, a three km hike through the countryside in search of nocturnal wildlife with expert guide Annie Mullan.

On Sunday the action switched to Killeter for three more walks, including an 8km trek across a section of the Ulster Appalachian Way.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said the event plays a key role in highlighting the local offering for walking enthusiasts. “The Sperrins and Killeter Walking Festival continues to go from strength to strength and it was particularly pleasing to see so many young people getting out there and exploring the city and district’s hinterland,” she said.

“The scenery we have on our doorstep is breathtaking and right up there with anywhere else in the UK and beyond.

“Work is well underway to establish our region as a visitor destination for walking enthusiasts, and the many visitors who travelled here for the festival will surely have been impressed with our offering.”

The festival allowed people the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest walking and rambling, set against some of Ireland’s most spectacular and stunning scenery. The events catered for all abilities of walkers, from family and history walks, to moderate and challenging walks, all of which were guided by professional walking guides.

More information on the festival is available at www.sperrinskilleterwalking.com.