About Haltwhistle & The Walking Festival

Haltwhistle Town Centre


Haltwhistle is the Centre of Britain, equi-distant from the north coast of Scotland and the south coast of England, from the Solway to the west and the North Sea to the east. It is also the centre of some of the best walking countryside in the UK. A huge variety of national trails, open access land, forestry paths and other footpaths is on the doorstep.

The town lies immediately south of Hadrian’s Wall, within easy reach of its most dramatic features. These include Housesteads Fort, Vindolanda and Walltown Country Park. There is also ready access to Northumberland National Park. A short distance away is the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Haltwhistle is well served with amenities, including pubs, cafes, accommodation, launderette and leisure centre. It is therefore the perfect location for a walking festival. Visitors and locals alike can spend a whole week walking, enjoying a different experience and completely different views every day.

Haltwhistle Walking Festival Ltd

The Haltwhistle Walking Festival is run by Haltwhistle Walking Festival Ltd, which is also registered as a charity. We have a team of directors who each take different roles in ensuring the smooth operation of the company and the success of every Festival. You can find out more about our committee members here.

How it all Began

Triggered by the need to counter the negative legacy of Foot and Mouth, local enthusiasts developed the Haltwhistle Rings – a series of circular walks. The success of the Rings in promoting walking in our wonderful countryside inspired the development of the Haltwhistle Walking Festival.

The first Festival took place in 2003 and, over the years, has gone from strength to strength. It has gathered together loyal walkers from all over the world as well as from the immediate vicinity.

Haltwhistle Walking Festival Logo
Gathering for a walk

The Walks

Every Festival includes over 20 walks. We try to ensure that the walking programme offers a variety – a variety of walk destinations, a variety of grades and a variety of specialist walks. We currently offer one Festival a year which takes place in the spring. Details of our walking programme are published on our website as soon as they are ready. 


Over the years, we have built a team of experienced volunteers. On every Festival walk there is a team of at least three of these volunteers to guide and assist the walkers. All are trained in First Aid and Navigation Skills. Each walking team member brings a different set of skills, expertise and local knowledge to make every adventure “more than just a walk”.

The Local Community

We try to work closely with local businesses to ensure that the Festival is of benefit to the whole community.

The Environment

Haltwhistle is readily accessed by public transport and more people are making the decision to leave their cars at home. We therefore make every effort to ensure that walkers can take part in a walk without having to use a car. The town offers a range of accommodation and places to eat meaning that walkers can come here without a car and still enjoy a week of walking.

We have reduced our use of paper. Full details of our Festivals are now only available online.