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Hebden Bridge Loop

The Pennine Way, launched in 1965 did not direct people though Hebden Bridge, at that time a depressed and half-empty ex-weaving town.

Forward 50 years and the situation has changed totally, with Hebden now known for excellent walking.  The fact that the Pennine Way doesn’t come through Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall now looks quite perverse. A proposed new way-marked link route is being developed by HBWA in partnership with Hebden Bridge Hostel and is expected to be of real benefit to visitors to Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall.

The link is being funded by local town and parish councils, Rotary, Walkers Action, Love the South Pennines and Friends of Calderdale Countryside. There is still a shortfall in funding but the public can sponsor a waymarker. The average cost is £5 with about 60 needed. To sponsor a waymark, people can just text CROW42£5 to 70070.Hebden press

Snaith’s new advert for tourist brochure

John Barrett from Snaith has designed an advert, including the Walkers are Welcome logo for the V.H.E.Y, Wolds and Beyond tourist magazine.

Similar adverts have bought visitors into the town and local area to enjoy the heritage walks, with information boards.snaith poster

Does your town have a geocache?

Horncastle is in the process of developing a series of geocaches on a circular walk around their town to encourage families and young people to get out walking. They are looking at the idea of putting a ‘trackable’ in one of our geocaches which has the mission of travelling to geocaches in other WAW towns.

To do this they need to know how many other WAW towns have set up their own geocaches. This is a brilliant idea for promoting visitors to WaW towns and villages.

If you have a geocache situated in or near your town or interested in creating one, please let us know by emailing and we will pass your details to Horncastle WaW group.


Where’s WaW? has positive results

WaW National Executive members visit accredited towns at random throughout the country unannounced. They look to see how each town is promoting WaW.

We see a contrast between towns and usually report back our findings. We are pleased to see Brian from Liskeard has used the comments to positive effect.

Western Morning News December 02, 2014

I thought your readers may be interested to read an excerpt from a report by a member of the national WaW organisation after an unannounced visit to Liskeard: “You will be pleased to know that we thought you are doing an fantastic job. We thought Liskeard was a lovely town and it had a really friendly feel about it. We saw lots of WaW stickers in shops and cafes and the Tourist Information Centre was fantastic, loads of guides and leaflets about walks and staff who knew what they were talking about. Well done!”.

Llandovery has caught the WaW bug!

It can now be said with increasing conviction that the Llandovery Walkers are Welcome group is making its own particular contribution to the community life of this small market town.

An attractive collection of ten walks in the local area has been identified, and negotiations are now in hand with the Brecon Beacons National Park authorities with the aim of having these walks published into a booklet.

We have also contributed two walks to Steptember 2014, the monthly Festival of Walks in the Cambrian Mountains, organised from Tregaron by the redoubtable Dafydd Morgan, himself a Llandovery boy!

Finally, we are delighted to know that our neighbouring town of Llandeilo, some twelve miles to the west along the Towy Valley, have themselves recently been awarded WaW status. We now look forward to being able to work together in a number of initiatives, one being the delineation of a footpath joining our two towns.Llandovery bug

Ross is totting up the £s

Ross on Wye WaW group has recently identified that their efforts in attracting visitors to their town since 2009 has brought in over £100,000 to the local economy.  This has come from people staying in the town for their Walking Festival, walkers on day trips eating in local pubs and restaurants, plus use of car parks and other facilities. Maybe your town could start recording the number of visitors to your town?  TICs normally know how many visitors they get each day or the council will have a record of car park takings.Ross boost to economy

Networking can create results

Results of an earlier “Get Together”

There is always a lot of enjoyable “networking” at the annual “Get Together”. This, together with the topics of the workshops and talks, inevitably leads to lively discussions while travelling home as to what is and what is not appropriate for our own town. A few years ago the comment was made “we don’t even have a footpath map in Wiveliscombe”!

A few days later we attended a meeting to gather idea about how to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. As a result of Walkers Are Welcome we suggested a footpath noticeboard which was received very positively apart from the fact that it started to be referred to as a town map. It was therefore important that we joined the sub group to ensure we got the footpaths we wanted well illustrated. Together with the county archaeologist, town council chairman, walkers’ representatives and financial help from Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane and Wiveliscombe Town Council the attractive display board was erected in the Square late in Jubilee year. This noticeboard has received very favourable comments from locals and visitors as well as those who want to see the town plan and those who want to explore our footpaths.

I wonder if it would be there if we had not got WAW status and also attended the “Get Together”?

Wiveliscombe mapWiveliscombe map2

A very successful WAW Get Together in Chepstow

Delegates had a very entertaining weekend in Chepstow, starting with two very interesting walks. The first took us above the town with fine views of the castle, Severn Bridge and the Wye. The town walk was brought to life by a very interesting guide with lots of local knowledge. Many wished they could have been on both walks.

After the official opening there was a choice of workshops, all very relevant to towns and villages in the network. The workshops were packed with information, we heard about fund raising and generating your own income, the efficient use of media and the awareness of the needs of disabled ramblers.


Chepstow Get Together

A summary of the workshops and links to the presentations will appear on the website as soon as everything is collated.

The Chepstow Male Voice Choir entertained diners to a repertoire of classic songs before the unveiling of the brilliant WAW embroidered banner. This will grow as the network expands.

WaW Quilt

Sunday began with the AGM and the usual election of officers, a summary of the accounts, a lively debate on future subscriptions (details to follow in the next newsletter), but for 2015 the subscriptions will increase by 10% to cover the costs of managing the network. The AGM was rounded off by our patron Kate Ashbrook  bringing us up to date on the threats to accessible land and the progress of the England Coast Path. 

Discussions centred around annual returns, some members not fulfilling their obligation to promote WaW and whether we could improve the questions in the annual returns so we can glean better statistics. A task force has been formed and will report back before the end of the year. Going forward, the UK will be split into regions with a mentor for each to help and support towns and applications where we can.  If anyone would like to help with the role of mentoring please let the the Secretary know.

A thought provoking session on developing ‘Best Practice’ and the need to plan an event in some detail and write it down will hopefully be the start of creating a quality standard manual for members to access in the future.

We are all very grateful for the volunteers from Chepstow for arranging the well run event and extensive programme.

The venue for 2015 will be Sidmouth in Devon and the picture below shows John Dyson from Sidmouth receiving the banner from Paul Gowan from Chepstow.

Sidmouth banner handover

 If your town would like to be considered for hosting the event in 2016 please complete the application form.

Tregaron featured in the Guardian

The Guardian recently published a feature on the Top 10 hotels, B&Bs and hostels in Wales for walkers. Tregaron is recommended,  “Tregaron is a Walkers Are Welcome town and the inn’s owners are seasoned hikers, happy to suggest routes, pack picnics, recommend organised local walks, point guests in the direction of local guide, Dafydd or show you to the dedicated drying room.

To see the full article visit:


Tourism inquiry by Culture, Media & Sport Committee

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has announced an inquiry into tourism. It is open for submissions until 29 September.

In 2013, there were 32.8 million visits to the UK by people living abroad; 39% of these were as part of a holiday. In the same year, UK residents paid almost twice as many – 58.5 million – visits abroad. The committee say that there is a shared interest in promoting a thriving tourist industry throughout the United Kingdom.