The 56th Across Wales Walk….answers to your questions
Is it possible to cross Wales in one day by foot?
Yes, and for the last fifty-six years West Birmingham Hostelling Group, and its successor the Across Wales Walk Association, have organised the Across Wales Walk: an event now recognised as one of the regular classics of the challenge walking calendar.
What’s included in my entry fee?
Unlike many other events The Across Wales Walk follows a linear route, starting and finishing at either end of some of the roughest, remotest yet loveliest countryside Wales has to offer. Accordingly, this event offers a full weekend package of basic accommodation in Clun prior to the event, coach transport to the start at Anchor Bridge, support along the route, accommodation at Aberystwyth University afterwards, participation in a presentation ceremony on the following morning, and return transport back to Clun. So, whilst the basic fee may seem high, you are getting a comprehensive offering in return. In fact the entry fee is considered to be excellent value by many of the regular entrants for whom participation is an essential part of their challenge walking year.
How far is it, where does it start and finish, and how long will it take?
Nominally the route is 45 miles long from the English border at Anchor near Clun in Shropshire, to the Welsh coast at Clarach Bay near Aberystwyth. How long it takes is up to you: the record times are 7 hours 22 minutes for the pre-1996 route by Carolyn Hunter-Rowe and 8 hours for the post-1996 route by Mark Lewis. Both of these times were achieved through running of course! However, the average completion is usually around 14 hours in which time one finishes the event in daylight. Note that the event has an 18 hour time limit.
Who can take part, and what is the route like?
The Across Wales Walk is open to both walkers and runners. Whilst we welcome those attempting completion in fast times, the event is not a race. To comply with The Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 1996, entrants under 18 will be required to provide a declaration from a parent or guardian to enter and must be accompanied throughout the event by an adult nominated at the time of application (two under-18s per adult maximum). Should the nominated adult retire, the accompanied under-18 entrant must also retire unless another participant will accept responsibility for them in writing.
The recommended route traverses paths, tracks, unclassified roads and open country, including Plynlimon at 2467 ft. Almost every type of terrain is encountered: tarmac, rough track, forest, farmland, open moorland and bog. Invariably this is negotiated under the full extremes of British weather in September: snow, biting wind, sweltering heat and heavy rain have all featured in recent years. Not surprisingly therefore, the event requires strength, stamina and endurance: it is strongly recommended that participants will have recently completed a one-day challenge walk of at least 30 miles before attempting this event. Also note that the ability to navigate over a variety of terrain using a map and compass, in both inclement weather and the hours of darkness, is an essential requirement.
Whilst there are other tougher events, The Across Wales Walk is not recommended as an introduction to challenge walking!
I’d like to bring a group of friends or workmates on this event. We’re also thinking of raising money for a good cause. Do you have any recommendations?
Certainly! Take a look at previous reports and, in particular, please read our article Across Wales Walk: The Hard Truth which we’ve prepared in response to the increasing number of such requests.
I’d like to bring my dog on the event. Is that allowed?
Sorry, dogs are not allowed in any part of this event.
So what’s so special about the Across Wales Walk?
Well the Across Wales Walk is a linear event starting and finishing at two points separated by approximately 45 miles of magnificent Welsh countryside. Though the actual walk takes place over an 18 hour time limit, the whole event extends over a full weekend:
Before the start
- Simple accommodation and breakfast in Clun.
- Transport from Clun to the start of the walk.
During the event
- Light refreshments at checkpoints.
- Transport of walkers’ gear to checkpoints and to Aberystwyth.
- Accommodation at University Halls of Residence, Aberystwyth.
- Full breakfast service.
- Award of a certificate at ceremony on completion.
- Transport from Aberystwyth back to Clun.
So in addition to being a superb walk in its own right, the event is a great opportunity to meet other members of the challenge walking fraternity and, basically, have a great time! We believe this is why so many people return year after year..but don’t take our word for it – ask previous entrants!
What does it cost to enter the 56th Across Wales Walk?
The basic package for 2019 is £78. Further optional meals, additional accommodation, badges etc are available at extra cost.