FROM gentle strolls to an epic 66-mile challenge, the 2018 IW Walking Festival has officially launched with a new look website.

The festival runs between April 28 and May 13, and is sponsored by Warner Leisure Hotels.

It is one of the UK’s biggest walking festivals, and the aim is to bring thousands more visitors to the Island outside the traditional peak season.

This year there are more than 90 walks to take on.

Among the new walks are two that celebrate the iconic IW Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Visitors can take part in the Jimi Hendrix Afton Experience, an anecdotal guided walk to the site of the legendary 1970 IW Festival, or head to Wootton for a tour of the area, which saw Bob Dylan headline the 1969 festival.

A Visit IW spokesperson said: "We're proud to put on the IW Walking Festival, and are delighted that we have secured sponsorship support from Warner Leisure Hotels.

"It was highlighted by Wight BID levy payers as an important event in the IW's calendar and vital to bringing visitors during the traditional non-peak 'shoulder' season."

Warner Leisure Hotels sales manager Joanne Forey, said: "The IW has so much to offer walkers, from its breath-taking coastal paths to forest trails, so we're excited to sponsor this year's walking festival."

Tomorrow, (Saturday, March 17), as part of English Tourism Week, there will be a guided walk run by the IW Ramblers. The walk will cover part of the Warrior Trail. Island MP Bob Seely will be accompanying the walk that follows in the 'hoof prints' of the famous First World War horse Warrior, which was owned by his relative General Jack Seely.

Mark Rowe, Countryfile Magazine's contributing editor, will lead a walk on the first day of the festival, followed by an evening talk at Quay Arts, Newport.

The event has been organised by Discovery Travel, self-guided UK walking holiday specialist based on the Island.

The final day will see thousands make the annual trek across the Island in aid of Earl Mountbatten Hospice for the iconic Walk The Wight, now in its 28th year.

A new website published by Visit IW can be found at Walkers can reserve their walks online.