NEW and experienced walkers looking to get out and enjoy the borough will have the chance to do so as the Winter Walking Festival gets underway.

Taking in all corners of the borough, the festival begins on Monday 30 January and runs until Sunday 5 Februarywith walkers of all ages catered for on the various length hikes.

With walks ranging from gentle strolls around the borough to hikes tackling some of Redcar and Cleveland’s more tricky routes, there is the opportunity for keen walkers to challenge themselves and for more casual walkers to relax and enjoy seeing more of the area from a different point of view.

There is also the opportunity to learn more about the history of many communities with walks led by expert guides. Heritage trails on offer include an exploration of Coatham and Warrenby’s past as well as the history of the Saxon Princess, whose remains were discovered when archaeologists examined a seventh century burial ground near Loftus.

As well as the walks, anyone looking to try out Nordic Walking – using two poles – can get to grips with the technique with tips and advice from specialist instructors.

Everyone taking part in a walk will not only see the borough, but also have the perfect opportunity to make new friends and stave off loneliness.

Councillor Carl Quartermain, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills, and Leisure, said: “The Winter Walking Festival is the ideal way to shake off the January blues and get out exploring the borough. There’s something for everyone and the activities are a great, scenic, way of improving your health.”

The cost for each walk ranges from free to £2 per person with all walks led by guides from local history or walking groups, as well as members of the council’s countryside team.

To find out more about the Winter Walking Festival, and to download a brochure, go to www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/walkingfestival.