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CTC birthday features in countryside celebration

The 125th anniversary of national cyclists? organisation CTC is featuring in this year?s celebration of the Great British countryside.

National Outdoor Week (NOW!), from May 3-5, will be the biggest celebration of the great outdoors in 2003 and rides to mark CTC?s birthday milestone are playing a big part in the NOW! timetable of events.

Walking, sailing, caving and kayaking are just some of the other activities on offer as part of a selection of taster sessions all over the country. There will also be talks and demonstrations; the aim of NOW! is to attract both seasoned enthusiasts and those new to the Great British countryside.

The following are some of the activities taking place on the May Day bank holiday weekend. For full details, visit www.outdoorweek.org.uk

Nationwide

3-5 May: CTC 125th Anniversary Rides
National cyclists? organisation CTC is marking its 125th year with a nation-wide programme of rides over the May Day weekend to celebrate social cycling and to welcome new riders. The main programme is based on rides of just 25 miles long. Highlights include CTC London?s three days of rides in the capital and Portsmouth CTC is inviting anyone to ride for just 125 minutes at their own pace. Details of all the rides scheduled for the anniversary are available at www.ctc.org.uk or contact Della McGavin at CTC on for details.

3-11 May: Go Outdoors ?Starter Kit? Promotion
Go Outdoors Approved Member retailers throughout the country will be celebrating National Outdoor Week with special promotions aimed at newcomers to the great outdoors. National chains such as Outdoors and independent retailers will be demonstrating just how easy and affordable it can be to take up walking as a hobby by offering outdoor ?starter kits? comprising walking boots, socks and a daysack at a package price of only 100 or less. For details visit www.go-outdoors.org.uk or call .

South West England

1-4 May: Devon Walking Initiative Spring Walking Festival
Programme of guided walks offering something for everyone: the tranquil Devon countryside, the bracing coastline and fascinating town and heritage trails. Guides available nearer the time from local Tourist Information Centres, the visitor information pages at www.devon.gov.uk and Holiday Line .

2-4 May: Discover Dartmoor's Leylines and Antiquities - YHA Okehampton
Learn to dowse for water and earth energies. Visit some of Dartmoor's most ancient circles, rows and sacred sites. Follow the St Michaels and Mary's Leylines as they cross Dartmoor. Two evening talks by guest speakers on antiquities star alignments and dowsing techniques. Full board two nights tel: email: .

2-4 May: Navigation - YHA Okehampton
This course is aimed at people who wish to learn to navigate confidently using a variety of techniques and equipment. Course includes night navigation, compass work, GPS and different styles of maps. Suitable for 14+ years or 10-14 year olds accompanied by an adult. Full board, two nights. Adult: 110 U14: 92 Tel: Email: .

2-4 May: Mountain Biking - YHA Okehampton
Introduction to Dartmoor off road. After a session learning off road techniques in a local forest we progress to some Dartmoor routes, all supervised by an experienced instructor. Suitable for 14+ years or 10-14year olds accompanied by an adult. Full board. Adult 110 U14 92. Tel: . Email:

2-5 May: North Devon Walking Festival.
Third year of this event with guided, self-guided and speciality walks through the newly-designated North Devon and Exmoor Biosphere Reserve, including Braunton Burrows. For more see www.westcountrywalks.co.uk.

3-4 May: RYA Windsurfing Courses - YHA Coverack
Learn to windsurf whilst staying at this country house with panoramic views of dramatic cliffs and deserted coves. Full board, equipment and all instruction included. 2 day weekend course 150 3-4 May and 5 day course 360 available tel: email: .

3-11 May: RYA Sailing Courses (8+) - YHA Salcombe
Designed for people who thought sailing was just a dream. Learn to sail on this fun packed two day, RYA certificated course to suit all abilities. Fully qualified instructors, RYA certificate and log book, all equipment and meals provided. Any two days and nights during National Outdoor Week from 148 Tel: .

10 May: Bluebells, Beech Woods & Wild Flowers - Ash Cross, Devon
Join us on a walk through woodlands awash with bluebells with a chance to learn about the late spring wild flowers. Location: Fast Rabbit Farm, Ash Cross. Charges: 3.00 Adults, 1.00 Children. Contact Coast & Countryside Service tel:

South East England

3 May: CTC 125th Anniversary Event ? Portsmouth
CTC 125th Anniversary Event. Contact Mike Elson, email:

3-5 May: Oxford Canal Walking Weekend
Events taking place at a variety of locations along the Oxford Canal. A great way to explore not only the Oxford Canal, but some hidden treasures of the Oxfordshire countryside. More information: Lucy Unstead tel: .

3-5 May and 10-11 May: National Trust Surrey Hills Explorer Bus - Dorking
Leave the car behind and catch the Explorer leisure bus linking Dorking with some of the best attractions in the area including Polesden Lacey, Box Hill, Denbies Wine estate and much more. Your 3 Explorer bus ticket includes lots of offers and discounts at the attractions. Contact Caroline Cation, tel: , email or visit www.surreyhills.org.

10-11 May: Introduction to Kayaking - Marlow
Marlow Canoe Club welcomes new members and offers a two day introduction to kayaking leading to the BCU One Star test. Adults 57.50, under 18s 41. The course fee includes specialist equipment and one year?s club membership. Contact Tim Twitchen on or visit www.marlowcanoeclub.org.uk.

10-25 May: Isle of Wight Walking Festival
25,000 participants are expected for the fifth festival on this walker-friendly island, organised by Isle of Wight Tourism with the help of local Ramblers. Visit www.islandbreaks.co.uk/walking.

11 May: Ipswich Outdoor Group New Members? Walk ? Ipswich
A six mile walk followed by a visit to a tea shop (if time). Cost: refreshments (optional), parking. Contact Russell Davey, tel: , email: , www.ipswichoutdoor.org.

Central England

2-4 May: Introduction to Kayaking (16+) - YHA Edale
Learn the basics of handling a kayak on flat water, theory sessions will also teach safety. There will be an opportunity to take the British Canoe Union one star test over two nights, at 116 per person. Tel: email: .

3 May: CTC 125th Anniversary Event - Streetly Gate, Norfolk
20-30 miles anniversary rides. Free. Contact John Bedford, tel: .

3-5 May: KanuKarnival 2003 - National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham
A weekend showcasing paddlesports. From Freestyle Canoeing to Extreme Fun Zones. Free participation on Monday 5 May. Contact Chris Ball tel: , email or visit: www.nationalwatersportsevents.co.uk

9-11 May: Introduction to Caving (16+) - YHA Edale
Qualified and knowledgeable instructors will guide you through the subterranean environment of the Peak District's lead mines and limestone caves. All equipment and training is provided, no experience is required. Two nights tel: Email: .

Northern England

3-11 May: Lake District National Park Events
A range of different events will be taking place at the Lake District National Park during National Outdoor Week. Why not take the opportunity to try one of many varied walks or even some sailing. For further information visit www.lake-district.gov.uk.

4 May: Macmillan Cancer Relief Rides York Race Course
North Yorkshire CTC group anniversary event. Free. Contact Colin Clarke, email or visit www.amkirby.demon.co.uk/nyda.

5 May: 125 Miles for 125 Years Ride - Meadowhead
CTC anniversary event organised by South Yorkshire DA. Free. Contact Michael Stainer tel: , email: , web: mysite.freeserve.com/southyorksDa

6 May: Evening Walk - Kendal
Four to five mile walk on paths on land used by livestock farmers. Meet Old Hutton church. Free. Contact Geoff Hodkinson, Kendal YHA Group, tel: .

9 May: Drawing and Painting from Nature (15+) - YHA Stainforth
A weekend of drawing, painting and relaxing in the unspoilt Yorkshire Dales with comfortable accommodation, home-cooked meals and tuition from a specialist Art Teacher. For beginners and the more experienced alike. Two nights adults: 79 U18: 69 tel: email: .

9 May: Hooky Proddy - YHA Windermere
Come and discover "hooky and proddy" the techniques of rag rug making with a local expert. Learn how to recycle old clothes into a family heirloom over two nights. Cost: Adult: 75 U18: 65 tel: email:

9 May: 4 Peak Challenge - YHA Windermere
Climb the four Lake District 3,000 footers in one weekend - Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Scafell and Scafell Pike. A challenging weekend for fit hill walkers. Are you up for it? Two nights. Adults: 110 tel: Email: .

10 May: Well Being Weekends - YHA Osmotherley
Enjoy good food, great company and pamper yourself, with sessions of reflexology, aromatherapy, Indian head massage and sports massage (all inclusive with 4 treatments). Tel: Email: .

Scotland

2-4 May: Ramblers' Association Scottish Groups Gathering - Peebles
A weekend of walks for all members of Scottish RA Groups in Peebles. Tel: .

4 May: CTC Anniversary Event, Gifford
Lothian CTC group are running four rides from 16 miles to 125 miles all passing through Gifford. All members are encouraged to take part, and visitors and friends are welcome. Contact Mike Harrison tel: or visit www.ctclothians.org.uk.

4 May: CTC Anniversary Event, Dumfries
CTC 125th Anniversary Event. 125km or 100 miles. Free. Contact John Taylor tel: , email: .

11-17 May: Aviemore Walking Festival.
Everything from short leisurely strolls through forests and along rivers and lochs to more strenuous hill walks to the remaining snowfields, plus wildlife and fun walks, in and around Aviemore, Cairngorms, Monadhliaths and Strathspey. For details visit www.aviemorewalking.com.

Wales

5 May: Scenic Cycling in North Wales (50+) - YHA Conwy
Fit and active? Appreciate breathtaking scenery? Join us for guided cycling along coastal paths, rambling country lanes, maybe a hill or two! With plenty of time to take in the views and relax with tea and cakes. Includes 2 days bike hire and 2 nights B&B accommodation. Other meals can be provided by the hostel on request. Tel: email:

9 May: Sustainable Living/Green Awareness (16+) - YHA Poppit Sands
Experience sustainable lifestyles in the beautiful Preseli Mountains, includes a guided tour of Brithdir-Mawr eco-village a self-sufficient community. A tour of Castell Henllys fort (BBC1 - surviving the Iron Age) and a visit to a wind farm or hydroelectric plant. Self-catering only, for two nights. Cost: 65 tel: email: .


9 May: Hurdle Making (18+) - YHA Capel-y-Ffin
Enjoy an energetic weekend and come away with a hurdle for your garden or vegetable patch made from Hazel and Willow from our own conservation site. Two nights accommodation 90. Tel: .

The above is just a sample of the wide range of activities that will be taking place during the course of National Outdoor Week 3-11 May 2003. For a comprehensive listing of all National Outdoor Week events, or to register new events, visit: www.outdoorweek.org.uk

NOW! is supported by:

British Canoe Union, British Mountaineering Council, British Waterways, Countrywide Holiday Association, CTC ? the national cyclists' organisation, Girlguiding UK, Go Outdoors - Outdoor Industries Association, Sustrans, The Camping and Caravanning Club, The Countryside Agency, The National Trust, The Ramblers' Association, The Scout Association, Youth Hostels Association (England & Wales), National Parks and AONBS, local authorities and other organisations with an interest in the enjoyment and conservation of the British countryside.

For more information contact:

GO OUTDOORS - NOW!
Morritt House, 58 Station Approach, South Ruislip, RUISLIP, HA4 6SA
Tel:
Fax:
Email:


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