Motivated by this year’s Comic Relief trek across the desert?

If the 40⁰C heat or the constant danger of snakes and scorpions sounds slightly too adventurous for your holiday break, then how about signing up to the 2011 Isle of Man Walking Festival?

Swap creepy crawlies for friendly basking sharks and dolphins that populate the Isle of Man’s coastline and help make it one of the most attractive wildlife spots in the British Isles.

With the Walking Festival taking place in May it’s the perfect time of year to see many of the twelve species of whale and dolphin that have been recorded off the coastline in recent years.

Expert walking guides will be on hand to reveal the secrets of these beautiful creatures as well as share stories on these gentle giants, who can grow to be the size of a bus.

Mick Salmon the co-ordinator of the 2011 Isle of Man Walking Festival said: “We can guarantee you will make new friends and you won’t find a similar festival anywhere. We think ours is unique.

"As well as a vast selection of walks to choose from there is also a full social programme each evening so there is no need for anyone to sit in their hotel rooms with nothing to do.

"Take part in some Manx dancing or watch the local choir. There’s also Dixieland jazz, an oompah band, and an evening of entertainment including free prize bingo and dancing to 1960s music.

The 2011 event takes place from May 15-20 and there are several new walks added this year, including the 15-mile Herring Way and the challenging Millennium Way trek which covers a total distance of 24 miles spread over two days.

Another long distance hike is the traditional Coastal Path which involves walking an impressive 18-20 miles a day for five days. For those who prefer shorter adventures organisers have also included a trek based around Dhoon Glen in the North of the Island. This stunning walk, peppered with breathtaking waterfalls, takes you along rugged pathways through terrain that changes from mountain to coast with staggering speed.

Finally, the Isle of Man boasts some of the darkest skies in Britain meaning that at night it becomes the perfect place for stargazing.

Why not enjoy a private, romantic evening walk under the stars or join one of the organised strolls whilst listening to the experts on hand talking you through the stories of the skies.

Alternatively, for the brave at heart, there are a variety of chilling ghost walks where you can take in the island’s legendary haunted sites.

The Isle of Man has something for everyone, whether you wish to simply relax in beautiful surroundings or push your boundaries by getting involved in one of the many walks on offer.