Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A Great Future for Walking in Corwen

I attended a meeting at the Rhug Estate Farm Shop on the evening of Tuesday the 4th of June. It was a 7pm start on a beautiful evening. The presentations were made in the Bison Grill restaurant, and it was a classic example of just how much can be done to promote North Wales as a walking destination of choice if everyone in the community gets together and pulls together. This was a meeting to promote the town of Corwen as a walking destination. It already has Walkers are Welcome accreditation, but it has long been hidden under the shadow of larger and better known neighbours - the town of Llangollen to the east, and Betws y Coed at the heart of Snowdonia to the west.

The Bison Grill / Bistro

Steve Layt

David Shiel

Ross Stockdale

Malcolm Clements

However, it has a number of great assets and this meeting was designed to make everyone aware of these. For a start, the town has a very go-ahead business association - the Corwen and District Business Association, a support and networking organisation run by its subscribing members. The Chair is Trish Aldridge and the secretary is Malcolm Clements, who was present. These are the people who have spruced up the street decorations in the town and assisted with the Owain Glyndwr statue. The association supports the Corwen extension of the Llangollen Railway and the Corwen Walking Festival which was the brainchild of Steve Layt (Cynwyd Activity Centre). The aim of this event is to increase visitor numbers and make Corwen the walking capital of North East Wales. The festival which takes place August 31st to September 1st is being heavily sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor and has some fascinating walks planned including and Ancient Tree Walk, a Fashion Show, Nordic Walking and a Church Walk (Rhug-Llangar-Corwen). And of course our very own Introduction to Geocaching.

Presentations were made by Steve Layt, ably supported by his wife Kay, Ross Stockdale and David Shiel of the Clwydian Range and Dee ValleyAONB, and Malcolm Clements of the Business Association. It was established that Corwen has much to offer walkers - fantastic countryside, good access, a brilliant car park, excellent transport links, shops, cafes, restaurants, history, a national nature reserve, great leaflets and free maps, walks of huge variety, a high mountain ridge, the highest spot in the AONB, plenty of open access land, accommodation to suit every pocket, good river access, good long distance trails (Offa’s Dyke and Berwyn Way) and soon the crowning glory of the steam railway which is being extended from Llangollen.

What struck me about the evening was the enthusiasm of everyone involved and I was hugely impressed by the way that the Business Association, the Activity Centre and the AONB, and the people who run the Rhug estate were all working together to bring the clear economic benefits that sustainable and responsible tourism can offer the area through the medium of walking.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am truly sorry we could not be there for the meeting. We attended the first walking festival last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was really well organised and run.
    For a while I thought I would have to miss this year but I managed to arrange some shift swaps. All power to the people of Corwen. you are doing a great job.