Walking in a winter wonderland
Walking is one of the easiest ways of getting some fresh air and exercise, and both these things are a great help in improving your wellbeing. We are blessed in Monmouthshire with lots of fantastic places to walk, so here are some tips to help you make the most of it.
1. The green, green grass of home – exploring from your house
All of our towns have parks and green spaces which can be a destination in their own right or form a welcome green corridor on the way to shops, school or other destinations. Why not play “I spy”, count the number of houses with green doors or see how many different species of birds you can spot along the way?
2. Country roads – visiting countryside sites
These are great places to visit and go for a walk, and there is bound to be one near where you live for example Caldicot Castle Country Park, the Old Station at Tintern or Castle Meadows in Abergavenny. Check https://www.visitmonmouthshire.com/things-to-do/Countryside-Visitor-Sites.aspx for details. Don’t forget the wildlife sites such as Magor Marsh and Newport Wetlands.
3.Through a big country – the wider countryside
If you are more adventurous or become more confident, why not visit the wider countryside? Monmouthshire has special walks along the rivers such as the Wye, Usk and Monnow, the reservoir at Llandegfedd and the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal. You can visit woodlands owned by Natural Resources Wales or the Woodland Trust. What about a walk up a hill like the Sugar Loaf, Blorenge and Skirrid?
4. Can’t stand losing you – following public rights of way
Get out your map and try following the public rights of way and open access across commons. If you can’t read a map look out for courses on map reading and navigation to improve your skills. Visit our mapping system at https://access.monmouthshire.gov.uk/ for more information about the rights of way network.
5. Do you know where you’re going to? – leaflets and other sources of information
There are lots of leaflets and websites where you can find routes to follow. There are walks for most abilities on this site. https://www.visitmonmouthshire.com/things-to-do/walking-in-monmouthshire.aspx There are other sites online where you can download leaflets and even apps where you can put the routes into your phone.
6. All together now – join in with other people
Normally there are walking groups you can join and guided walks offered by organisations such as the Gwent Wildlife Trust or Monmouthshire County Council. Look out for these as we hopefully come out of restrictions next year.
7. All right now – using the Countryside Code
Remember if you are going out to stick to the rules which are designed to keep you safe and ensure everyone takes care of the countryside. Respect other users and the people who own and look after the land. Also take appropriate clothing and footwear to keep you comfortable and safe. Countryside code information can be found at https://naturalresources.wales/days-out/the-countryside-codes/?lang=en
For further information on how to stay safe on your trips to the countryside click here for the MonLife website or visit Adventure Smart.