Tagged with: Walking

Posts (37)

  1. Iolo's top 10 must-see locations

    Presenter Iolo Williams shares his 10 favourite locations in the Brecon Beacons

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  2. In episode one, you'll get to see two lovely walks we did back in the summer when we visited Rhayader in Radnorshire and Cemaes Bay on Anglesey.

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  3. At one time, he was the highest paid actor in Hollywood, he was married to the world's most beautiful woman and had one of the most recognisable voices in showbusiness - he was of course, Richard Burton. Despite the glamour and success of his later years, his remarkable life began in far humbler surroundings - in the small village of Ponyrhydyfen in the Afan Forest Park near Port Talbot. Last year, the local community decided it was high time their most famous son was honoured and came together to create the Richard Burton Trail, a 3 mile walk, taking in some of the places which were important to the man himself. Today, I've been to the area to walk the trail and was greeted with the sight of the Afan Valley bathed in winter sunshine, with a sprinkling of snow on the surrounding trees and on the Foel, the second highest peak in the Afan Forest Park. The old mineral line viaduct over the Afan river. My guide was Jonathan Price, a ranger with the Forestry Commission, working in the Afan Valley. We began in the Rhyslyn car park and walked across the aqueduct, high above the Afan river. The house where the famous actor was born is under the aqueduct, backing onto the river - a lovely spot, but hard to imagine that a family of fourteen once lived there. Richard was the eleventh of twelve children and his younger brother Graham Jenkins who still lives in the area, has been involved with the trail project, helping to piece together interesting facts about his older brother's life. All along the walk, there are special way markers with information about Richard Burton, his life and career. The first we passed told us that he was born on 25 November 1925 in Pontrhydyfen weighing twelve pounds. This was accompanied by a photo of him in his rugby kit, posing with the team as a youngster. We passed Penhydd Street where many members of Richard's family lived and on to the Pontyrhydyfen viaduct, another reminder of the area's industrial past. We joined the Connect2 cycle route to continue on the trail towards the portrait bench and the amazing sight of three life-sized metal sculptures of three local celebrities - Richard Burton, Rob Brydon and Richard ('Dick') Wagstaff, who was the area warden for the Afan Forest Park until he retired last year. Sculptures of Richard Burton on right, rob Brydon in the middle and Richard Wagstaff on the left. He was voted in by local people and by all accounts is quite a character. Next to the sculptures is a metal box with a dial. If you wind the dial, you can hear the unmistakable sound of Richard Burton reading extracts from the works of Dylan Thomas, including 'Under Milk Wood' and the poem he wrote after his father's death, 'Do Not Go Gentle....'. It's a great idea to 'illustrate' a walk in this way and brings the person and their landscape to life. It's just such a shame that already, only a few weeks after the trail's official opening, many of the way markers along the route have already been vandalised - many of them have been sawn off, leaving a metal 'stump' behind where the information about Richard Burton would have been. Jonathan Price, Ranger with the Forestry Commission with a vandalised sign. Why would anyone want to do this? Jonathan Price was also at a loss to explain this and pointed out that those signs will have to be repaired at considerable cost. This innovative project has been overseen by Neath Port Talbot County Council and hopes to bring tourists to the area, proving once again that 'green tourism' is the way ahead, but also that increasingly, the tourism industry needs to provide and extra something to draw people into an area. The trail ends back in Pontrhydyfen, passing Bethel chapel, where the local memorial service for Richard Burton was held after his death in 1984. Today, the chapel is boarded up and for sale but it stands in a prime location, overlooking the river and the aqueduct where we began and where Richard Burton would have spent much of his childhood. For more information about this walk visit www.visitnpt.co.uk/richardburton BBC Wales Nature blog: Richard Burton walking trail opens

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  4. A new walking trail has recently opened to commemorate the Hollywood star, Richard Burton. The trail starts at Burton's birthplace in Pontrhydyfen. Visitors can then listen to the Oscar-nominated star quote a passage from Under Milk Wood, the play by his favourite poet Dylan Thomas who also has walks dedicated to him in Laugharne near Camarthen. Signposts with facts about Burton's childhood and career are placed along the trail. The Richard Burton Trail is a three mile (4.8km) walk around the villages of Pontrhydyfen and Oakwood, surrounded by the Afan Forest Park. The trail was created by the council's tourism section with help from the Cwmavon Residents Action Group, Forestry Commission Wales and the Richard Burton Advisory Group at Swansea University. Find out more about a recent Weatherman Walk we did around Laugharne, following in the footprints of Dylan Thomas. BBC News - Richard Burton trail at Afan Forest Park opening

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  5. What's 177 miles long, has the sea at either end and is celebrating its fortieth birthday this year? It's Offa's Dyke, the ancient border which at one time separated Wales and England. I spent the day walking along parts of the pathway, which is one of Britain's National Trails. I think it's fair to say that other paths in Wales (like the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path) may be better known, but the Offa's Dyke trail does attract thousands of walkers every year, including 3,000 determined people who complete the entire route. I met Rob Dingle, the Offa's Dyke Trail Officer at the standing stones above Hay on Wye, surrounded by thick fog. A foggy view point Rob assured me the view was stunning but I had to take his word for it because I couldn't see my hand in front of my face! It's part of Rob's job to walk the entire trail every year and he explained that as part of the anniversary celebrations this year, a new tourism project has been launched - 'Walking With Offa' aiming to promote the path as a tourist destination. The trail begins in Chepstow on the edge of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) - one of five in Wales and ends in Prestatyn near another ANOB, the Clwydian Range. The idea is to encourage businesses to 'welcome walkers' along the route, by improving facilities like accommodation and food outlets. There are also plans to improve public transport links, to get walkers to the area without relying too much on their cars and create more circular walks, realising that not everyone wants to walk 177 miles in one go. Offa's Dyke trail But the biggest challenge is the fact that the pathway passes back and forth between Wales and England 27 times along its route, which means that two countries and a lot of local authorities have to come together to co-ordinate the project. Imagine what King Offa himself would have made of that! His feat was to construct the entire border back in the 8th Century - probably to keep feisty Celts out of his kingdom, Mercia. Last year around 100,000 walkers completed circular walks that included parts of the Offa's Dyke trail, generating an estimated £2m for local economies. Offa himself would have been horrified.

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  6. You can get a lot of walking done in a week - as I've just discovered after spending half-term in North Pembrokeshire, getting back to basics. I stayed in the hamlet of Tregwynt (location of the famous woollen mill), a stone's throw away from the coastal path, which can guarantee a good braci...

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  7. This year's Monmouthshire Walking Festival takes place from October 22 - 31October . The festival features a selection of 30 walks over 10 days, showcasing the best walks in Monmouthshire. The walks all vary in length and difficulty and are all led by qualified and experienced walkers. ...

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  8. The National Trust have enlisted eight celebrities, including the comedian Omid Djalili, the best selling crime-writer Val McDermid and Time Team's archaeologist Francis Pryor to find the nation's favourite walk. Representing Wales is celebrity weather presenter, Sian Lloyd who chose Powis ...

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  9. Well, what a difference a week and a cold front makes! Last Thursday it was hot and sunny with temperatures reaching 23 Celsius in Snowdonia whereas today it was only 10 Celsius. Our correspondent Iolo af Dafydd took this photo on the A5 near Capel Curig today. It looks like snow but it's actually hail which we can get at any time of the year - even in the summer. It's chilly and windy today with gales on some coasts and hills and gusts of 50 to 55 mph. Tomorrow will be a better day with less wind and a few showers but most of the showers will be in the north and west. Powys might also get some rain too but not as heavy as today. The south east will be drier with the best of the sunshine and top temperatures between 12 - 14 Celsius and a north-westerly breeze. Friday night will be dry but on Saturday it's all change. A bright start in the south east but clouding over with some rain and drizzle. Most of the rain will be on the high ground in the north and west with the wind picking-up but it should turn milder. The Hay on Wye Walking Festival starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday, 9 October. A little rain is likely on Saturday afternoon but it'll be wetter on Sunday, so keep the waterproofs handy! Derek

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  10. Discover the best of Bridgend county on foot! This year's walking festival kicks off on Saturday and runs from 1 - 9 October, 2011. The festival offers a range technical walks for the experienced plus an eclectic mix of experiences for dabblers, families and novice walkers. Visitors can t...

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