How many people can go on each walk?
We allow 15 people on each walk per guide. If a walk fills quickly, then the guide is asked if he can find another guide to backmark and help him (her) on the walk. If the answer is affirmative, then the walk may be increased up to 25 to 30 maximum.
How do I choose from all these walks?
The walks are divided into those under 7 miles and those over 7 miles. From experience this mileage seems to be the dividing line for many walkers as to a long walk or a more manageable walk. Exmoor walks will tend to be more challenging than those in the rolling countryside of North Devon. Coastal walks will also tend to be more strenuous because of the valleys dissecting the coastline. The main exception to this is the Taw and Torridge estuary with Braunton and Northam Burrows.
How do I judge what the guide will be like?
Each walk has a ‘pace’ and a ‘grade’. As walkers we all have our preferred pace, or speed of walking, and that applies to our guides as well. Rather than ask a guide to walk at a pace that does not suit him(her), I have instead suggested the pace that the walk will be led at. This will hopefully mean that a walk led at a brisk pace will attract walkers who fancy a quicker walk, and vice versa, a gentle walk will be taken at a slower pace probably taking in more of the local flora and fauna and other short stops along the way.
How do the walk gradings work?
An easy walk means a height lost/gained of no more than 20 metres per mile. They follow easily defined paths. An easy to moderate walk has a height lost/gained of 20m to 45m per mile, and has some ascents and descents on paths of varying surfaces. A Moderate walk has a height lost/gained of 45m to 75m per mile with some notable ascents and descents. These walks are suitable for the averagely fit walker. Moderate to strenuous walks have a height loss/gain of 75m to 120m per mile and take in one or more steep, physically testing ascents and descents. These walks are not recommended for inexperienced or unfit walkers.
What do I need to bring on the walks?
Don’t forget your walk ticket as this gives you entry on to your chosen walks. Bring sturdy footwear. Most walks in this area, particularly Exmoor, are best with walking boots. Some walks could be muddy, others passing over loose stones or gravel. Bring a rucksack with sandwiches, as required, waterproofs and/or windproofs, a hat or hooded waterproof. Binoculars and cameras can add to your enjoyment of the walk. The guides give time for their use. Dogs are welcome on some walks. There is a section that shows all the dog-friendly walks on this site.
What makes it a ‘festival’?
The collection of guided walks through our beautiful countryside. There is a selection of walks lead by the Exmoor Rangers, AONB and NT wardens and the Crown Estate with their special local knowledge. You could join a special holiday that will take you along the first 35 miles of the South West Coast Path over 4 days.
I would rather not use the festival web site to buy my walk tickets. Can I do it another way?
Yes, please phone Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre (TIC) on 01271 863001 between 10.00am and 5.00pm. They will be happy to book your tickets on the site for you. They will then post you your walk ticket, which will have all your chosen walks on it. Please be ready with your choice of walks and a form of payment, ideally a card. You may need to have alternative choices in case your chosen walk(s) are already fully booked. Cheques are acceptable but you will not be sent your tickets until your cheque has been received. If buying through a TIC then the cheque is still made payable to Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre.
Is the festival site secure for card payments?
The site uses SSL technology as well as using Paypal for the payment routing. You should see a closed padlock at the top of the payment screen confirming that the site is now secure. Your card details are not held by us or Paypal for the transaction. If you do not have a Paypal account you can still use your credit card by choosing the relevant option at the paying stage.
Do any of the walks have sections that might cause vertigo?
Yes. The Exmoor coastline is made of high hog-backed cliffs, which means that generally you will be walking slightly inland with sheep possibly being on the seaward side of you. There are occasions when the cliffs are more sheer for short periods. Please let your guide know if you suffer from vertigo so that he/she can ascertain with you whether you will be able to cope with any difficult sections before the walk commences. If you do suffer from vertigo, it is recommended that you consider whether it is sensible to take part in the high coastal walks on Exmoor. If you want friendly advice before booking your chosen walk(s) then call Bryan on 01271 883131.
I want to change or cancel walk(s) I have already purchased. What do I do?
Please call Bryan on 01271 883131 if you bought directly off the web site. If you bought your tickets through a TIC and paid cash then please go back to that TIC. Otherwise please still call Bryan as above. Refunds cannot be given for cancellations made from 14 days prior to the walk date. This is necessary because this could cause the walk to become unviable and we need the time to cancel a walk before the start of the festival. Walks cancelled by the organiser in the run-up to the festival will be refunded in full unless another walk is chosen instead in which case any difference will be refunded.
Can I bring a dog on any of the festival walks?
Yes. Under ‘Find Festival walks’ drop-down, go to ‘Walk Categories’ and choose ‘Dogs Welcome’. This will then list all the walks that are open to those with dogs. Not all walks are open to dogs for various reasons. These are decided on with the experience of the local guide and the co-ordinator’s knowledge of the area being passed through. Please respect our decisions and choose from the walks on offer.