RAMBLING enthusiasts are being encouraged to “kickstart an active lifestyle” with picturesque walks across the borough.

The 5th edition of the Greater Manchester Walking Festival kicked off yesterday and runs until the end of the month, with nearly 60 guided trips around Bolton.

This year’s event is aimed at encouraging residents to rediscover their local area, reconnect with friends and neighbours and get out more.

Walks cater for all abilities and interests, from a romp around the woods to a scenic wheelchair-friendly ramble along the canalside.

A Bolton Council spokesman said the festival would be a great way for people to see the most scenic parts of the borough.

They said: “Bolton has lots of green spaces and parks to explore, and the festival is the perfect time to do that.

“Walking is a brilliant way to get active – there are walks all year round and a real variety of different types of walks which everyone can enjoy. We would encourage people to download the brochure and join in.”

Some of the walks planned in Bolton include a trip across the fire-stricken Winter Hill on Sunday, May 5, and a journey over Turton Heights to see the Wayoh and Jumbles reservoirs, on Saturday, May 11.

The festival also includes walking sports events, such as netball, football and badminton, aimed at people who still want to compete in sports but at a slower pace.

Louise Robbins, GM Moving walking programme lead, said: “The event is the perfect excuse to kickstart an active lifestyle and to get outdoors more with the kids or a group of friends. Our ambition is to make Greater Manchester the first ‘Walking Region’ in the UK.

“The Festival is a fantastic chance to showcase and publicise the great walking opportunities and groups there are in Greater Manchester and to encourage people to walk more and get reacquainted with their local area.”

For the full list of Bolton walks, beginning on Friday, May 4, visit: www.gmwalking.co.uk.