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Brecons town prepares for walkers' welcome group launch

Posted 24 August 2012
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Brecons town prepares for walkers' welcome group launch
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Talgarth in the Brecon Beacons will formally launch its Walkers are Welcome (WAW) Group at the town's annual festival this weekend (August 25th and 26th).

WAW status is accredited to towns showing they can offer something particularly special to walkers and locals alike, with a network of such towns being established.

Talgarth is ready for its big group launch after being awarded the special honour earlier this month.

Nicola Willis, who chaired the bid for WAW status, promised there will be some new developments to interest those who go walking in the area, commenting: "We are delighted to be the first town in the National Park to achieve this prestigious status and look forward to working towards creating a Walking Festival for locals and visitors in the near future."

Sustainable tourism manager for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Richard Tyler said: "This area has so much to offer and we have been very proud to support them in achieving this."

Apart from the ceremonial presentation of a bench in the town, the drive has been part of a move to put the area's facilities on the map, which also involves nearby Crickhowell and Hay-on-Wye as part of the national park authority's Walking with Offa project.

Those heading to the area will get more than just a friendly welcome because they are wearing hiking boots. The Black Mountains area of the Brecon Beacons may have a lower profile than the central area around Pen y Fan, but there are some outstanding mountain adventures awaiting visitors, with the highest peak in the area being Waun Fach at 2,661 ft.

Offa's Dyke itself runs along the fringes of the area, an ancient boundary constructed by 8th century king Offa of Mercia to separate Wales and England.

In some places the dyke still marks the border and that includes this area, where the Offa's Dyke Way reaches its highest point at the 2,306 ft summit of Black Mountain. Although as much an English mountain as a Welsh one, it is generally considered to belong to Wales.

Approaching it from the Welsh side may now be a much more popular option, not least as walkers will find the welcome in these valleys friendlier than ever.