TICKET sales for the 2010 North Devon and Exmoor Autumn Walking Festival, which runs from October1– 4,, are 70 per cent up on last year. Bookings have come from as far away as the United States. The festival features 32 guided walks, including several fo

TICKET sales for the 2010 North Devon and Exmoor Autumn Walking Festival, which runs from October1- 4,, are 70 per cent up on last year.

Bookings have come from as far away as the United States. The festival features 32 guided walks, including several foodie outings linking with the Exmoor Food Festival, which takes place from October. 2-10

Delighted with the high level of interest, Mike Bishop from Active Exmoor said: "The Walking Festival provides the perfect opportunity to visit North Devon and Exmoor National Park in the autumn when the changing colours make a fantastic display. There is still time to reserve the remaining places although these are now booking fast."

Planned to suit a range of abilities, the walks will vary from 10-mile, full day hikes to more gentle strolls of around four miles. Guides will include local enthusiasts, landowners, wardens and rangers from Exmoor National Park and two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

Organiser Bryan Cath said: "Our five food walks are very popular this year. We've got a good blend of distances, too, so there's something for everyone. We also have 19 walks that are dog friendly and many on bus routes."

Events linking with the Exmoor Food Festival include a circular, 7.4 mile moorland walk on Friday, October 1, which then drops down to the River Barle for lunch at Tarr Farm beside the famous Tarr Steps clapper bridge.

A more strenuous walk over Selworthy Beacon on Monday, October 4 stops at Hindon Organic Farm for a delicious Exmoor Brunch and a chance to sample the farm's own award-winning sausages, bacon and Aberdeen Angus beef.

Prices range from £5 per person up to £16 (to include a two-course lunch); dogs on a lead are welcome on many walks. Book online at www.exmoorwalkingfestival.co.uk or call (01271) 863 001.

Information about accommodation, attractions, activities and other events can be found in the Exmoor and West Somerset visitor guide; for a free copy call (01643) 702 624 or see www.visit-exmoor.co.uk.