Otley Walking Festival started life as a one-off Millennium event in June 2000. Planning started the year before in 1999 when the Tourism sub-group of Otley Town Partnership were tasked with looking at ways of marketing Otley as a tourism destination – putting Otley on the map.
Our very own Walking Festival inspired us all – especially as we were, and are, very proud, and privileged for Otley to be at the centre, of the wonderful walking environment of Wharfedale.
Since then we have gone from strength to strength. This year is the twentieth Otley Walking Festival with around 50 walks and events. Quite an achievement for a market town!
Otley Walking Festival is run entirely by volunteers who give their time and expertise freely to ensure that the Festival can continue to be an outstanding event in the walking calendar of the region.
An overriding principle of the Festival is that all walks and events should be free at point of entry unless there are costs, such as entrance fees, minibus hire etc to be covered – all of which are indicated on the programme. The Festival is supported by our programme sponsors, Bondgate Bakeries, Yorkshire Water and by Otley Town Council and Leeds City Councillors for Otley & Yeadon. Local businesses support the Festival through generous donations.