Town stepping up for 24th walking festival

From left to right  Iain Crozier, Alistair Hogg, Margaret Cairns, Margaret Smith, Ian Landles, French Wight, Drew Dickson, Marion Short, Max Arthur and Andrew Farquhar.
 
Missing from the photograph  Sandy Jarvis, George Thomson and Dougie Rae
From left to right  Iain Crozier, Alistair Hogg, Margaret Cairns, Margaret Smith, Ian Landles, French Wight, Drew Dickson, Marion Short, Max Arthur and Andrew Farquhar. Missing from the photograph  Sandy Jarvis, George Thomson and Dougie Rae

Hawick has been announced as host of the 24th annual Borders Walking Festival.

Having last hosted the festival back in 2011, organisers are now calling on the town’s businesses to sponsor next year’s event.

The event will take place during the first week of September 2018, and three main routes are currently being established, all with varied distances and gradings, led by organiser French Wight.

Drew Dickson, of the Hawick Walking Festival Group, will lead routes closer to the town, such as in Wilton Lodge Park, around Williestruther Loch and at Martin’s Bridge.

The group is now working towards providing night-time entertainment throughout that week, with a welcome reception to be held on the Sunday.

Group chairwoman Marion Short said: “The group are currently approaching some businesses in the town seeking sponsorship for the event, and thereafter restaurants, cafes, hotels, guesthouses will be approached seeking advertising in the brochure and also there may be a chance for companies to sponsor a particular walk.

“However, even at this early stage if anyone wishes to contact me now for specific further information regarding advertising and sponsorship, I would be delighted to hear from them.”

She added: “The group at this stage fully recognise the importance of this event being in Hawick, therefore providing a boost to the local economy and attracting tourists from not just surrounding Scottish and English counties but more nationally, which hopefully will in turn provide revenue for the town through accommodation, cafes, restaurants and tourist shops.

Details of all the walks, once they are finalised, with all other details of the event will be posted on the website at www.borderswalking.com

Peebles hosted this year’s festival, and last year’s was at Coldstream.

Hawick has hosted it three times before – in 1996, the event’s second year, then in 2003, jointly with Jedburgh in 2009 and, most recently, in 2011.