There was a lot of mud. There were bodies in bright outfits all shuffling together. And it was certainly noisy – the wind hollered and buffeted like heavy metal at full volume. But there ended the likeness to a traditional British festival. Up on the top of Mynydd Troed in February, I’d joined ramblers rather than ravers for this outdoors celebration, the Crickhowell Walking Festival. No camping. Better food. And a chance to discover whether countryside hiking – often undertaken to escape the crowds – is actually best done with other people.
A walking festival, in Wales, in winter? A supremely soggy but super commission!
Walking festivals seem to be cropping up all over the place these days, and – as someone who usually prefers to walk alone – I was keen to find out what the fuss was about. So I pitched a piece on Crickhowell Walking Festival to the Telegraph, which involved heading to south Wales on a damp weekend to get out into the hills with a load of other people.
The result? Rain, of course. As well as excellent food and company, and the sort of scenery that’s a joy to behold – and leaves you vowing to return on a weekend with better weather.
Accompanying the main first person piece was a round-up of other great walking festivals across the UK this year. Time to start planning…