A POPULAR walking festival is returning for the 15th year.

The theme of the 15th Wales Valleys Walking Festival is the celebration of Wales’ Year of Discovery.

The walks, between the September 11 and 25, will allow visitors and locals to explore the culture and landscapes of Wales.

Laid-back walks, on September 11 and 20 include a five-mile walk from Parc Bryn Bach to the hamlet of Butetown, starting at 5pm.

South Wales Argus:

The route delves into the relics of the valleys, such as the industrial housing and Eisteddfod Gorsedd circle.

The seven-and-a-half-mile inaugural Ebbw Fawr Trail walk illustrates how nature is recovering the landscape and its sites, meeting at Llanhilleth railway station before 9.35am.


There are also more strenuous walks available, the longest being the mile walk with the Halls and Bryn Oer Tramroad Trail, September 14.

The two tram roads which facilitated the transportation of iron, coal and lime to the Talybont canal are visible on the 9.30am walk from Bute Town, Rhymney which joins the eight-mile walk at Trefil at 11.00am.

An eight-mile castle to castle walk in Merthyr begins at 10am on September 21 at Cyfarthfa Castle, passing Morlais Castle and St Wonno.

South Wales Argus:

September 23 offers a seven-mile route starting at Parc Y Fan at 9.30am, heading into wild areas in Caerphilly with expert guidance about local flora, fauna and fungi.

On September 25 walkers can indulge in a seven-mile walk, from 10am, beginning at the north end of Cwmcelyn Pond, Blaina, touring the seven farms of Mynydd Milfraen and Cefn Coch.

Walkers can learn en-route about the fanatics of the haunt of the Old Hag of the Mountains and the Bronze Age standing stones and ritual monuments.

Cllr Dai Davies, Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for the Regeneration and Economic Development said: "Joining in one of the festival walks is a great way to explore our countryside and there are some great new walks on this year’s program. I urge everyone to book up as spaces are filling up fast."

For full details of all walks and more information about the walking festival, call 01495 355937 or 07968472812. To book your place on a walk, visit thevalleys.co.uk or eventbright.co.uk