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Festivals & events

Date to be confirmed

First Steps...that's where plans are at for Monmouthshire's first countryside Walking Festival and we are looking for your input to help us put our best foot torward in shaping the programme of events.

Early details of Monmouthshire's first full-length walking festival have been released.

The county's long-distance footpaths, including Offa's Dyke Path and the Wye Valley Walk will form a central part of the ten-day festival, which takes place from 22nd-31st Oct 2010, with six day-long hikes following Monmouthshire's boundary from Magor in the south to Llanthony in the north.

The county's perimeter displays an amazing breadth of landscape, from the coastal flats of the Severn Estuary to the Wye Valley Gorge; across the hills to the Black Mountains, and through the pastoral surroundings of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

Other highlights will include the Usk Valley Walk (in three stages) and the two stage Three Castles Walk, which explores the three border castles of Grosmont, Skenfrith and White Castle, as well as lesser known routes around Wentwood and The Hendre.

Around thirty walks all over Monmouthshire are expected to be offered, with all ages and abilities catered for, whilst suggestions for evening entertainment will also be provided to walkers staying overnight.

In a further bid to emphasise the beauty of Monmouthshire's green countryside, festival organisers will be encouraging walkers to leave their cars at home and to arrive by public transport. Pick ups and luggage transfers will be available for staying visitors who arrive and depart by train, whilst the walks programme will be geographically arranged so that those visitors can take full advantage of the range of walks available.

Local ramblers associations and community groups are already involved in the walking festival but there are many ways for local people to join in. Walk leaders, first aiders and route checkers are all welcome, as are volunteers for organising and publicity.

The full walks programme and booking details will be released in due course but in the meantime keep checking www.walkinginmonmouthshire.co.uk for updates.