There are two walking festivals coming up and if you have the energy, both look like they’ll be great fun. The Chepstow Walking Festival is running from Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th April. There will be 5 days of walks for all abilities, plus events and a chance to see Chepstow and the Lower Wye Valley at it’s finest.

The programme for Chepstow hasn’t been announced as yet, as soon as it is, we’ll let you know. They do have some amazing walks there as a visit to the Chepstow Walkers Are Welcome site will prove.

Chepstow lies on the border of Wales and England and is an ideal base for walking in Monmouthshire, the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. With such a diverse landscape there is everything to offer the walker and visitor whether it be a riverside stroll or a challenging walk along a long distance trail.

In April 2012 Chepstow received a feather in its cap by becoming the first Walkers are Welcome town in Monmouthshire. The area was already established as a destination for walkers but now Chepstow has achieved Walkers are Welcome status it reinforces our ambition to provide the best walking experience for visitors and the local community alike. This has been recognised when we won the ‘Best Social Enterprise’ award in the Monmouthshire Business awards.

Why Chepstow for walking……

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  • Stunning scenery in every direction
  • Rich industrial heritage
  • Meeting point for 8 major trails
  • Easy to reach by public transport
  • Toll-free access from the motorway network
  • Fantastic cafés, restaurants and pubs
  • The Wye Valley Area of Natural Beauty
  • The Forest of Dean and Wentwood Forest
  • The Gwent Levels and The Vale of Usk

The Crickhowell Walking Festival takes place around the beginning of March each year and lasts nine days. It consists of a number of guided walks of various grades, all led by local experienced guides. There is something for every level of walker, whether you are happy trekking all day across the tops of the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons or would rather keep to paths and the lower slopes.

Crickhowell Walking Festival is organised by the Crickhowell Resource and Information Centre, in partnership with Walkers are Welcome in Crickhowell and Crickhowell Adventure. The organisers and walks leaders are all volunteers and all proceeds go to cover the costs of the Festival. The Festival receives no external funding and is not a profit making concern.

The programme also has a range of supporting events. These are in the form of talks, some of which will be followed by a walk to illustrate the talk the next day, courses in Map Reading and Navigation – theory and practical – as well as times to relax to music and even dance, if you still have enough energy left.

If you’d like details on the Crickhowell Festival just go here. CRICKHOWELL.

What you need to know before you go on a walk.

  • As most of their walks take place on open mountain and moorland, appropriate clothing is required at all times.
  • This includes:- Walking Boots (not trainers), Hat, Gloves, Warm clothing, Waterproof jacket and trousers.
  • You will need to bring your own food and drink (preferably a hot drink for the 3 and 4 boot walks).
  • You should carry a rucksack to put your spare clothing, food and drink and personal items in.

Note: Jeans are NOT acceptable, as they act as a refrigerator when wet and can cause hypothermia.

The Crickhowell Walking Festival programme is really extensive. If you’d like to download a copy to your device, just go here. PROGRAMME

They have lots of event around the walking. Things where you can kick off your boots, have a drink with friends and talk about the fantastic day you’ve had. One of those is to celebrate the end of the festival. You can go along and listen, tap your feet have a drink and above all relax and enjoy yourselves at the end of the Festival with the great Whiskey River Band.

Finally, we just want to give a mention to the charity Crickhowell are supporting this year.

Search And Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) South Wales Mountain Rescue Search Dogs is dedicated to the training, assessment and operational deployment of air scenting search dogs. The operating area is predominately South, Mid and West Wales, but can be anywhere within the UK where their services are required.

Originally, the primary role of SARDA South Wales search dogs was to search for missing walkers and climbers in mountainous and high moorland areas, but it now finds itself increasingly assisting the police in searching for vulnerable missing people in urban and rural environments. These incidents range from missing elderly people to despondent individuals and missing children.

All SARDA South Wales handlers are full members of local Mountain Rescue Teams that cover South Wales- Longtown MR Team, Central Beacons MR Team, Brecon MR Team, Western Beacons MR Team or Seven Area Rescue Team.

And now we must mention their “dog’s bodies” who come to hide on the hillside, in forestry, in rural and urban areas for our dogs to find them. Without these amazing volunteers, no dogs could be trained.

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