Looking for friendship and maybe a bit of romance? Isle of Wight Walking Festival are running their well-renowned Friendship & Speed Dating Walk on the 24th October and it’s the perfect opportunity to meet and have fun with other single Islanders…


The festival’s previous speed dating walks have generated many matches, as well as five weddings and a baby! And with hobbies frequently listed as one of the top ways to meet like-minded people it’s no surprise that so many have found success at this relaxed event. The walk is also an excellent opportunity for finding platonic friendships and new walking partners so you can be sure regardless that you will come away with some new friends!

The walk starts at the The Beach Cafe in Sandown and will also finish at this lovely location, with an option to stay on for lunch and socialise with your fellow walkers. There will also be a stop-off for coffee at the Fishermen’s Cottage halfway through the walk.

MEN – There is always a shortage of men on the walk!  Please if you are single, come along and join in as it really is a lot of fun – you don’t have to be looking for romance and you’re sure to make some great friends along the way.

Young couple walking in park

Registration costs just £12 which includes lunch, making this walk incredibly good value! To register head to the Isle of Wight Walking Festival’s website.


And if you needed any more convincing, take a look at this beautiful testimonial from the first couple who wed eight years ago after meeting on the very first Speed Dating Walk!

March 12th 2006 seems a long time and another lifetime ago now. It was a bitterly cold day when we joined a nervous looking assortment of people for the first Island Speed Dating walk. Various emotions, nervous laughter, anxious chatter, knowing smiles, assessing glances, frowns and feigned nonchalance flitted across the faces of the assembled group in the pub at Wroxall like butterflies amongst summer flowers.

A need to make contact with someone equally nervous and equally unsure of what to do prompted Eric to talk to the two nearest people in the crowded bar.

Someone was smiling on him as his nervous conversation lead to the realisation that the person he was talking to shared his interest in golf, (he’d left Westridge Golf Course just an hour before the start of the walk), walking, dogs and so on. By the time we paired up, (and as chance would have it we had the same starting number) we could have walked back into the pub and skipped the walk as conversation flowed and shared interests came to light.


5 years on we are still sharing those interests in our house in France. Huge decisions followed as we sold two houses, were married in April 2007 and moved to France 2 days later. Together we pursued a dream and set up a smallholding with sheep, pigs, geese, and chickens for meat and eggs. Turning a rough 2 acres of ground into pasture and vegetable patch was a hard challenge and took effort. Not just with the physical side of things but getting to grips with doing everything in a different language, with different systems and different practices. We have had so many funny, maddening, exciting and frustrating experiences it would fill a book. But it all started on that first Island walk.

Since being in France we have moved house after our application for immigration to Canada didn’t work out. We are not sorry as we love the new house and area and we have stayed closer to family and friends in England. Our neighbours, French and English, are very special and as we grow to understand the natural reticence of the Cruesoise people we treasure the developing relationships we have with the people we meet.

It hasn’t always been straightforward and at times has challenged a new relationship but there have been so many moments to treasure and it is often that the end of the day looking out across the valley of the Creuse river we raise our glasses to the organisers of the very first Island Speed Dating Walk.


A huge thank you to all concerned.



If you’re looking for love on the Isle of Wight why not try Wightbay Dating? With 6000 users already registered it’s the perfect place to meet other like-minded Islanders!