ONE of the biggest events in Haltwhistle’s calender continues this weekend.

The Haltwhistle Spring Walking Festival, now in its 33rd year, has been running since April 27, and now incorporates a far wider area than just Haltwhistle.

The festival, which runs for ten days, ending on Monday, offers a range of walks in different parts of the district, with all walks led by experienced guides and back-ups.

Organisers say that each of the treks will reveal something new and interesting about the area.

Keen walkers can chose between at least two guided walks on each day – one of 10 miles or more, and one slightly shorter and easier.

The festival has also included four special interest walks, allowing ramblers to sing while they walk, or search for archaeology, bastle houses, or birds.

Other highlights include a four day trek from the River Eden and back to the Tyne in Haltwhistle, a walk in the foothills of the Cheviots in Elsdon, two walks in the remote parts of the North Tyne and walks around both Haltwhistle and Hexham.

This year’s event also featured a hog roast last week, to get hungry walkers in the mood.

Organiser Marjorie Bailey said the festival’s popularity has grown and grown over the years, and has attracted visitors from far and wide.

She said: “It’s the only walking festival in Northumberland. Rothbury and Morpeth have tried and failed, but Haltwhistle’s has just gone from strength to strength.

“People come again and again, there’s something about the festival. We’ve got one woman who’s coming from Chicago.

“It’s been really good to get people into the area. It’s one of the main events in the area, like the carnival.

“There’s short walks, longer walks, and there’s lots to do to make sure it all runs smoothly.”

All of the festivals walks have limited availability, so anyone interested is advised to book early.

Further information can be found on the festival’s website.