WALKERS are being urged to put their best foot forward to discover the Jurassic Coast.

The people who look after the South West Coast Path have selected the best walking festivals around the coast.

A spokesman said: “Whether you’re a novice walker or an experienced hiker, fancy rounding up some friends to join you or want to go it alone and make new ones? Walking festivals are a great way to set new fitness goals for the New Year and experience some spectacular scenery along the way.”

The 630-mile South West Coast Path, which runs from Minehead in Somerset to Poole, is hailed as one of the world’s top walks rich in heritage, wildlife, geology and scenery.

Some 130 improvement projects have been completed after £640,000 of funding was secured from tourism businesses and sponsorship from walkers.

Walking festivals selected for people to get involved in include two in Dorset and one which crosses the county.

Lyme Regis Walking Festival (February 8-16): Visitors are invited to explore the beautiful coastline and inspiring hinterland of west Dorset and east Devon during this family-friendly walking festival. Residents share their favourite walks and organised events led by Lyme’s resident guided walk experts who will help you explore the town’s fascinating fossil, wildlife, history and literary secrets. For more information see lymeregis.org

Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival (September 20-28): Up to 50 guided walks including Nordic, for those who want to get fit, through beautiful Purbeck countryside and Dorset cliff tops for all abilities, including children and dogs on some walks. See walkswanage.com

Great South West Walk 2014 (September 20-28): People should not miss the opportunity to help protect the coastline with the South West Coast Path Association’s second annual event to help raise funds for improvements along the UK’s most popular National Trail. Details from southwestcoatpath.org.uk