Welsh Dragon
Wye Valley Sunset
Sunset over the Wye Valley

Events from dawn to dusk at Chepstow Walking Festival, 24th - 28th April 2019

A fortified Roman market town, a garden that won a gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show and a Grade 1 listed Transporter Bridge (one of just seven left in the world) are among the highlights of the Chepstow Walking Festival taking place 24-28 April 2019.

Chepstow, an accredited Walkers are Welcome town, aims to provide the best possible walking experience all year round but April is hard to beat. Expect bluebell-filled woods, pretty villages, historic churches, spring blossom of the trees, amazing sunsets and a very warm welcome.

Dog Friendly Walks at the Chepstow Walking Festival

Chepstow Walking Festival Website

Helen Kenneally, a founder member of Chepstow Walkers are Welcome and a Monmouthshire Ambassador, helps to co-ordinate the Festival and leads some of the walks so she’s the perfect person to tell us more.

“We have an exciting range of walks lined up, with carefully-selected specialists offering insights into this beautiful area. Dr Mark Lewis, curator of the National Roman Legion Museum, is leading a tour of Venta Silurum – now known as Caerwent – capital of the most important and powerful British tribe in South Wales and the first true town in Wales.

“Chelsea Gold Medal winner Arne Maynard’s beautiful garden, at his medieval farmhouse at Allt-y-bela, forms part of a glorious walk near Usk.

“Rob Dingle, National Trail Officer for the Offa’s Dyke Path, leads us along a section of this renowned long distance trail - through the stunning lower Wye Valley ending at Sedbury Cliffs just outside Chepstow.”

Offa's Dyke National Path

In Wales, 2019 is designated as the Year of Discovery so it’s not surprising that we are being encouraged to do something different. Helen Kenneally suggested: “Bring your dog along on one of the dog-friendly walks, experience the dawn chorus at Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve or try your hand at stargazing at Trellech.

Dog Walking in Monmouthshire

“The view of the Gwent Levels from the top of the iconic Newport Transporter Bridge (weather permitting) is the climax of a walk organised jointly with the Living Levels. This organisation helps to care for the Gwent Levels – a rich patchwork of coastal habitats along the Severn Estuary, renowned for the specialist wildlife it supports.

Newport Transporter Bridge
“And if you’re looking for a challenge, why not walk an 11-mile section of the new 121-mile circular Monmouthshire Way – led by the route designer David Morgan, Chair of the Long Distance Walkers Association.”
Chepstow Walking Festival may have been running for just seven years but the town of Chepstow – located at the gateway to Wales – has been attracting visitors since the birth of tourism in the 18th century. The festival aims to showcase the rich heritage and breathtaking scenery of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and beyond.
Bluebells in Monmouthshire
Helen Kenneally explained: “Over five days, there are 35 walks varying in length from 2 to 11 miles. The walk leaders are local, with a vast knowledge of the area and a passion for taking visitors to less well-known places – including some with unexpected names, like Barbadoes, Botany Bay and Bully Hole Bottom. With the tolls removed from the bridges across the Severn, we're hoping to attract more visitors from England and help them discover the delights of Monmouthshire”,
As you’d expect, Helen loves walking in Monmouthshire: “The combination of rivers, mountains and coastline means there is always a view that takes my breath away and lifts my spirits!” The region may be known for its long waymarked trails – Offa’s Dyke Path, Wye Valley Walk, Usk Valley Walk, Monnow Valley Walk and the Wales Coast Path – but a 6-mile circular route, Picturesque Piercefield, with amazing views from Eagle’s Nest (pictured below) and Lover’s Leap is one of Helen’s favourites at any time of year.
View from Eagles Nest
Together with her fellow Chepstow walkers, she’s keen to share the benefits of being outdoors with others. Helen explains: “Our enthusiastic volunteers help out with walking activities all year round – caring for paths, removing vegetation, organising walks and arranging publicity. So if you’re keen to spend time in the fresh air, we’d love to hear from you.”
At Chepstow Walking Festival you can join as many walks as you wish with a £15 Supersaver Ticket or pay £5 for a single walk. Children under 16 are free.
 
Discover the complete programme of walks and book online at www.walksinchepstow.co.uk