11:50am Sunday 3rd March 2013
By Stuart Laundy
A 40km trek taking in three rivers is among the highlights of the first ever Durham Dales Walking Festival.
Dubbed Dalescape, the festival is made up of two events – a series of guided walks in June and the Three Rivers Challenge in October.
Project manager Dr Anne Allen said there would be a choice of guided walks organised daily between June 7 and 9, linked to a programme of events based in and around Barnard Castle.
Some may be as short as 6km with others up to about 19km. Each will be led by a trained mountain leader.
Numbers are limited in total to 200 and pre-booking is essential.
Walks will be in groups of about 12 and those taking part will need their own transport.
Dr Allen added: “The Dales Three Rivers Challenge, on October 5, is a long distance route from Forest-in Teesdale to Barnard Castle taking in the Tees, Lune and Balder. It is aimed at promoting river walks in lesser known dales.
“We hope both events will encourage more people to enjoy the area and to stay overnight. “There is so much to do and see in Teesdale and Weardale, but it’s a bit of a best kept secret and we’d like to help change that.”
The festival has financial backing from North Pennines Dales Leader, which funds rural business and community organisations, and Durham County Council.
Teesdale Marketing Ltd, the not-for-profit organisation which promotes Teesdale, has been instrumental in putting the festival together.
As well as Dalescape, the Three Rivers Challenge is also being promoted as part of a North Pennines Walking Festival, which takes place from September 28 to October 6 and is being organised by the Friends of the North Pennines.
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