OMAGH DISTRICT COUNCIL’S second walking festival will take place from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th October. The festival is part of a programme, funded through the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007 – 2013, and will appeal to all levels of walkers, including families and those who enjoy moderate and challenging walks.
The walking festival will take place in the beautiful GORTIN GLENS near Omagh, County Tyrone. The Gortin Glens are a part of the Sperrin Mountains range which is the largest and least explored mountain range in Northern Ireland with dramatic landscapes, rivers teaming with life, mountains, valleys, forests and lakes. With some of the most spectacular and stunning scenery as a backdrop and right on your door step, this is the perfect location to get an extraordinary experience no matter what your looking for !
Chairman of Omagh District Council, Cllr Frankie Donnelly said “This Walking Festival is a great opportunity to showcase the natural beauty of the Sperrins at all walking levels. The festival not only lends itself to the encouragement of tourism activities, it also allows both residents of Omagh and visitors to the district to enjoy the countryside and benefit from the healthy pursuits of walking and rambling”.
Clare Wright, Strategic Access Manager, from Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN) added
“It is encouraging to see Omagh District Council actively developing and promoting opportunities for people to take part in countryside recreation”.
Conor McCrory-Sports Development & Recreation Officer with Omagh District Council said “Omagh District Council wants to encourage the public to get out there and walk and to get family members, friends, work colleagues and community groups to use the Omagh walking Festival as a vital resource when planning or taking part in daily exercise. This festival will appeal to a wide range of walkers, and it is hoped that other walking and Rambling clubs from all over the country, and abroad, will take part and enjoy what the Sperrins Mountains have to offer”.
The walking festival will appeal to all levels of walkers with graded walks on offer:
Walks Grading System
Family – Family activities throughout the day are suitable for the whole family .They are guided walks by local guides along with the Councils Biodiversity officer/Forest Service officer giving an insight about the environment that surrounds us.
Moderate – Walkers with moderate levels of fitness with some experience of open mountain, hill walking and forest tracks walking participants will require full open mountain/ hill walking gear and equipment , approx 4+ hours walking
Challenging – As for Moderate walking experience must be able walker with high level of fitness, experience of Open Mountain, hill walking and forest tracks walking. Participants will require full Open Mountain/ hill walking gear and equipment, approx 4 to 6 hours walking.
It is ESSENTIAL that all walkers pre-book their place for the festival by completing an application form which is available in the Omagh Walking Festival booklet or via the festival website www.omaghwalkingfestival.com.
All moderate and challenging walks MUST book and paid for at least ONE FULL WEEK in advance of actual walk date.
For all queries, application forms, details on all the walking routes please contact Elaine or Deidre at Sperrins Tourism ltd on 028 8674 7700 or from the festival website www.omaghwalkingfestival.com
Family walks may be paid for on the day at registration and do not require pre-booking, however if you are attending with a group over 10, we request that you advise organisers in advance.