Wales Valleys Walking Festival
It’s time to put your best foot forward and take a step through life in Rhondda Cynon Taf, as the ever-popular Walking Festival returns for 2013.
Our county borough is rightly celebrated for being prime walking territory, with riverside paths, shaded woodland tracks, trails through historical landmarks and breathtaking mountain hikes.
And what better way to get involved – whether you are a novice or a seasoned walker – than through the 2013 Wales Valleys Walking Festival?
Running from September 7-22, the event features a range of stunning walks across the region, each of which has been assessed and graded to ensure there is something for everyone – from easy for most levels of fitness to very strenuous walks that are long, with steep climbs.
While each walk is a uniquely different experience, what they all have in common is that they have been carefully planned with experts to ensure you get the best out of your experience. Download the brochure to find out more
Walks in Rhondda Cynon Taf include:
Around Penderyn – The Long Way, which takes place on Tuesday, 10th September and is a 7-mile walk around the interesting village – home to Wales’ only Whisky Distillery – and the chance to walk behind one of the region’s beautiful waterfalls.
A Spa Break and a Hill: This walk on September 14 is six miles long and gives you the chance to explore the stunning Taff Trail to the south of the county borough, making stops at Garth Mountain – inspiration for the Hugh Grant film The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill And Came Down A Mountain – and Taff’s Well Spa, which is the only thermal spa in Wales.
Aberdare Circular Walk Launch: Be among the first to walk this breathtaking new route on Wednesday, 18 September. This is the latest way-laid trail from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and its partners and covers a 12-mile route through the beautiful open spaces, wildlife and historic glacial landscape of the Cynon Valley.
A Ridgeway Ramble: Meet in modern-day Coed Ely on Friday, September 20 and then prepare to step back in time, walking part of the fascinating Ogwr Ridgeway, tracing nine miles through windmills, ancient churches and even a visit to the legendary King Arthur’s Grave
Cllr Robert Bevan, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Leisure and Tourism at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “It is no secret that Rhondda Cynon Taf is a wonderful place to step into for walkers.
“The county borough is packed with trails, routes, treks and hikes that people of all ages, interests and abilities can enjoy.
“For example, you can download one of our Heritage Trails, or ask for a leaflet, and take a gentle afternoon stroll through one of our town centres, such as Pontypridd, Aberdare or Llantrisant, enjoying a walk, learning about our fascinating history and then relaxing with something to eat and drink, or a spot of shopping, afterwards.
“Families can get the kids or grandkids together and go bug-hunting and butterfly-spotting on one of the hundreds of tree-lined trails that run through our country parks and alongside our rivers. Or accomplished climbers can brace themselves for a challenging trek that takes them up mountains, through forestries, over ancient glacial cwms and behind breathtaking waterfalls.
“Our involvement in the Wales Valleys Walking Festival allows us to showcase that variety and appeal and we look forward to welcoming those who wish to step into our county borough for the event.”
Other highlights of the Wales Valleys Walking Festival, which involves Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merhyr, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Torfaen and Neath Porth Talbot and Swansea Councils, include:
The chance for railway enthusiasts to walk into the Dark Age and Medieval Age landscapes of Ebbw Vale before returning to the start point by train at the end
Search for the historic stones on the beautiful Gelligaer and Merthyr Commons
Learn more about the legacy of coal as you walk along the banks of the River Corrwg
A magical mooch along the Machen Forge Trail
Discover some of the wildest and most rugged landscapes in the uplands of Swansea
See the incredible industrial landscape associated with the Nantyglo ironmasters Crawshay and Joseph Bailey
Follow the Monmouth and Brecon Canal
Take in the stunning scenery between the Upper and the Lower Lliw Reservoirs
A scenic walk through the pine forests of the Garw Valley
An afternoon walk through the former abode of a Swansea steel baron
A gentle evening ramble in the historic bell-pits of Blaenau Gwent
Raven walk in Sirhowy Valley Country Park
A walk through the woodland of Swansea and beyond.
Woodland walk in Cyfartha Park
Circular walk amid the landscape above Abertillery and Cwmtillery
Find out where the bomber crashed, who was hiding in the cave and to whom the Ogham stone is dedicated to in Tredegar
Wildlife walk and talk at Keeper’s Pond, including insight from a local bee-keeper
Leisurely walk around Blackmill
Experienced walkers can enjoy views over the Loughour Estuary and Gower
Historic circular walk around Maesteg
Take in the views and industrial heritage of the new Cyfartha Park Leat
Learn the local history of the Jersey Marine and importance of lowland wetlands
View the landscape of the industrial revolution in Merthyr
Leisurely walk and talk about the uses of – and folklore surrounding – trees and plants in Bryngarw Country Park
Try the newest walking route in Swansea.
Gentle evening walk looking for bats alongside the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
Explore the birthplace of Richard Burton
Booking is essential for all walks. Find out more by visiting the Wales Valleys Walking Festival website or download the Wales Valleys Walking Festival Brochure