Kington must be one of the best places in the world to walk. There is so much wonderfully varied countryside on the doorstep. So I always look forward to the Kington Walking Festival, a relatively new festival but very popular with locals and visitors alike. Their PR is brilliant too. What news editor could resist the picture of the Committee meeting on Hergest Ridge with the trig point in the background.
Knowing the area well, I go for walks involving transport to the start, so you can do a linear walk back which you couldn’t easily do on your own. Mine started near Llanfihangel Rhydithon. I knew this but didn’t expect the bus to take us nearly to the top of the hill 1,400 feet up!The Radnor forest is a superb area of open space, easy to get lost in bad weather, but not on this glorious sunny day with views to Plunlumon, the Carmathen Fans, the central Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains. The only blot is that you pass by an area closed off by the military, which I know from experience can involve terrifying loud explosions (but again, not today).
Our group of 10 was a nice mix of locals, some of whom kept bumping into people they knew, and others from Oxford, Malvern and Bristol.
From New Radnor we climbed the wonderfully named Smatcher where we manged to lose one of the party for about 15 minutes. The back-marker was at the front! Once re-united we pressed on to Gladestry, where we refreshed at the local pub, and then returned to Kington across Hergest Ridge, still in sunshine past the lovely ponies (and note the iconic monkey puzzles in the background). 15 miles in all. Thanks to our walk leader James for a great walk in a perfect setting.