Shropshire Star

Hikers take first strides for Wellington's 13th walking festival

And they're off! Walkers have set off on the first of several hikes taking place across Telford for Wellington's 13th walking festival.

The first walks of Wellington Walking Festival 2023 set off from Wellington Civic & Leisure Centre

For a week every September, dozens of ramblers and amblers take part in a range of walks and walking-based festivities to celebrate the scenery on our doorstep.

Wellington was awarded 'Walkers are Welcome' status in 2010 as part of a nationwide initiative that recognises towns as being ‘welcoming to walkers’.

Since then, the Wellington Walking Festival has run annually, presenting experienced and aspiring hikers with a packed programme of events held throughout the week.

Wellington Walking Festival 2023

Even during the pandemic, organisers arranged a restriction-friendly festival, where hikers donned masks to take in the great outdoors.

As well as guided walks and tours around Telford, this year, the festival includes a how-to map reading day, a creative writing event, days at local National Trust properties and a vineyard tour.

On Monday, dozens donned their boots for the first of many adventures.

One of the organisers, Jean Escott, took part in one of the first walks of the festival on Monday - a hike up the Wrekin, the rough way.

Jean explained: "We had a really good turnout, around 60 people turned up for four different events.

"We had a group heading to Bratton to walk along the Silkin Way, one of the Coronation Walks and a map reading event.

"I did the 'Rough Wrekin', a 10-miler up all the hills of the 'Wrekin', the Ercall, Lawrence's Hill, Maddocks Hill and the Wrekin itself.

"There was lots of ups and downs but it was great, and apart from one really heavy shower it was perfect weather for walking."

Although many events are booked up this week, spaces remain on several walks including the Coronation walks - part of 23 short walks created by the Friends of Telford T50 to mark the Coronation in June.

The full festival programme is available to view online, at