Bristol Walk Fest will return from May 1 to 31 2021 with a COVID-19 secure edition offering digital excursions, signposts to a variety of walking routes and activities, step-counting incentives and, it is hoped, a choice of guided and themed walks catering for all ages, interests and fitness levels.
The call-out for ideas for the 2021 programme is already underway, including via approaches to the scores of walk leaders and organisations disappointed when pandemic safety concerns forced the cancellation of last year’s festival.
Festival director and Active Ageing Bristol Manager Karen Lloyd said: “A rare positive from lockdown is that many more people have discovered how much pleasure can be gained from exploring Bristol and its surrounds on foot. Bristol Walk Fest 2021 will aim to build on that by highlighting the many and varied ways in which it is possible to do more walking and enjoy the health benefits it brings no matter what COVID-19 rules are in force in May.”
The full line-up for Bristol Walk Fest 2021 is due to be unveiled in mid-April.
Bristol Walk Fest 2021 is co-ordinated by Active Ageing Bristol, a project of The Anchor Society and St Monica Trust and hosted by Age UK Bristol. Principal funders of Walk Fest are Bristol City Council, with further sponsorship, in cash and/or in kind, from Bristol Health Partners, Bristol Ramblers, Bristol Waste Company, Cotswold Outdoor, Good Miles CiC, Living Streets and Visit Bristol.
When the festival last took place, in May 2019, a record 71 different local organisations signed up to offer 257 walks and walking sports events, attracting more than 7,800 participants.
Karen, who is also a Director of the Active Older People Health Integration Team, added: “Pandemic control measures may make it difficult for us to out-perform the amazing 2019 response but walking remains one of the very best ways to exercise. It eases stress, lifts the spirits and encourages better sleeping as well as improving physical fitness. So whatever Walk Fest 2021 can do to get more people walking will make its return worthwhile.”