By Gill Stewart at
The Isle of Purbeck in Dorset once again became PURPLEBECK this September when Nordic Walkers from around the World arrived to take part in the 3rd Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival organised by local company Nordic Walking UK
Dressed in their signature Purple branded shirts they took part in over 120 different walks and workshops which saw them experience this amazing location at its best. The walks took in the coastline, the history, the geology, the scenery and the literature that makes the area so unique whilst the local hospitality added delicious cream teas, meals and more!
The main HUB for the event was ideally placed by the Norden Park n Ride in Corfe Castle which meant Festival goers could easily park for free and get around the area via buses and the local Steam Railway. There was even a Purple Express Train that took them back to Swanage after the Saturday Evening music event where bands played as people enjoyed a rustic Hog Roast or choice of suppers and local Cider.
On the Saturday, a large proportion of the walkers took part in two challenge events organised by the Purbeck Marathon team. The 16 mile and 27 walks took them out in to the most dramatic and rugged scenery and it was certainly no walk in the Park!
The outright winner this year in a time of 6 hours 26 mins was Tracy Larvin from Bromsgrove who is fast becoming the one to beat when it comes to endurance Nordic Walking. Here she is getting her trophy. You can view the rest of the results HERE
It was not only the speedy folk who were celebrated at the Prize presentation either – These three (Duncan, Kathy and Caroline) were awarded the Inspiration prize as nominated by their Instructors. Great stories that remind us of how many people battle ill health to stay active or how in just two years it’s possible to go from coach potato to taking part in the Marathon challenge (yes the two Ladies are wearing marathon medals!). They were no dry eyes in the crowd and it was great to embrace how Nordic Walking is for all levels and really changes lives.
The new scenic and private HUB area was buzzing with registrations, retails opportunities, presentations and workshops which included beginner’s courses, rehabilitation sessions, Ski fit, Speedhyking (see picture) and a host of other technique and training options.
All participants were given a T shirt (purple of course) plus a goodie bag which contained a festival neckerchief courtesy of Fizan poles. Every walk was lead by a qualified and first aid trained leader and back markers where in place to ensure everybody made it back safely too. A Team of Orange clad volunteer Hosts which included NWUK Instructors from around the UK plus local Nordic Walkers from the Dorset Nordic walking group made the event go without a hitch and Festival goers remarked on their efforts which even included rubbish recycling and traffic management.
Organiser Gill Stewart from Nordic Walking UK said, “we simply could not put on the walks and workshops without this team of dedicated Folk who spend all year mapping and risk assessing walks and helping come up with our innovative programme” On that note…. Many of the Festival goers have already reserved their accommodation for next year and Gill and the team have already pre booked the Cream Teas, Ferries and Bands that make this event so iconic. Dates for 2019 are 13th – 15th September and tickets are about to be released. Get in early as those who book first get the first choice of walks and workshops when the full timetable is released in June and those with tickets can log in to book specific walks and workshops in order to make up their own schedule for the weekend. Tickets cost from £25 a day which gives access to at least 3 walks and workshops plus presentations and access to the HUB and music events.
Don’t take our word for it – check out this feedback…………………….
Thanks for a great festival, great walks, lovely people and enjoyed the hub on Saturday night!
Thank you so much for a fantastic day on Saturday, I had a brilliant time and thoroughly enjoyed every single moment. Great walk in the morning followed by several workshops, all excellent and well run, I very much appreciated it all.
Congratulations on a great event and people were saying how much they were enjoying it. I loved your new hub location in Corfe, great to have all the parking, space for the Workshops too as well as very scenic.
It was great to see people I hadn’t seen since last year’s festival and to meet new people too. It really was a lovely atmosphere.
Well done for everyone’s hard work and organisation I know how much work goes into these events and you organised the great weather too.
I’d like to thank your team for organising such a brilliant Festival-it was evident that so much thought and care had gone in to arranging everything and it must have been a logistic challenge to think of all the contingency plans. Everyone from the Purbeck Team was so welcoming and friendly. The walks were an absolute delight and the classes were wonderful. The leaders were really superb. It was the first time I’ve attended a Nordic Walking Festival and it won’t be my last!
What an awesome event. A very big thankyou to All the team. My wife & I had so much fun. Please email us when you set a date for next year !
I would like to say a huge thank you to you, the whole NWUK team and the local hosts for the totally enjoyable Festival 2018. I know you all worked so hard before, during and probably after the event too, to give everyone such a fab time.I loved the walks – in particular Corfe to Creech, Secret Arne (what a beautiful location) and the Foraging with Joe was wonderful. He hinted that he could include a cookery session next year which could offer a brilliant addition.The local hosts were excellent, especially David and Sally and Pam who I walked with.I’m now very excited about the possibility of going on one of the Exodus holidays with a party of Hampstead nordic walkers.
Come and join us – See the Event website HERE and take advantage of Earlybird ticket prices up until Christmas. First come first served and don’t forget that NWUK Members save £5 on ticket prices too.