A SERIES of events has been organised by Barnard Castle Ramblers over the Christmas holidays as part of Britain's biggest walking festival.

The first of six walks will take place on Saturday, December 22.

Part of the Ramblers Festival of Winter Walks, the routes will be:

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Saturday, December 22: Take No 95 bus from Galgate, Barnard Castle, at 9.55am for Middleton-in-Teesdale. Walk starts 10.40am from the workingmen’s club car park, off the B6287 west of Hudeshope bridge, GR: NY 946256. The walk consists of 3.5 leisurely miles, including riverside with an optional lunch before the return bus. Contact Jo on 01833-637756.

Wednesday, December 26 (Boxing Day): 10.30am, Gilling West (GR:NZ 183151) (car-share 10am from Barnard Castle Health Centre). A seasonal walk of eight moderate miles, with the route dependent on weather and conditions on the ground. Contact Peter on 01833-630640.

Friday, December 28: 10am, Bowes Museum main gate (GR:NZ 055162) for 4.5 leisurely miles via Egglestone Abbey, Thorsgill and Startforth. Contact Jo on 01833-637756.

Saturday, December 29: 10am Blanchland car park GR:NY 965505, car-share 8.45am from Barnard Castle Health Centre. The route is 9-10 moderate miles, dependent on weather - Bolt's Law or a moorland circuit. Contact Maggie on 07759-033088.

Saturday, January 5: 9.45am Galgate, near Marsden the chemist to catch 9.55am Cockfield connection bus to Shipley for linear walk back to Barnard Castle. It is 5–6 moderate miles of fields and woodland. Bring a packed lunch. Contact Joan and Ian: 01833–6378825 (07745-451198 on the day).

Sunday, January 6: 10.15am Hanging Shaw car park (9.30am car-share from Barnard Castle Health Centre). The route is 3.5 miles of fairly steep ascent and descent taken at a gentle pace. Good views of Upper Teesdale. Contact Jo on 01833-637756.

Barnard Castle Ramblers volunteer Jo Bird said: “Join one of our walks led by experienced volunteers and explore a variety of winter scenery.

“There’s no reason to stay indoors this winter. Come and share a love for walking and the countryside, and discover the benefits of being outdoors as you walk with us - a free, fun and social way to enjoy the festive season.”