The joys of the UK’s best walking festivals

The UK’s 150 walking festivals make hiking convivial, as we found on a Black Mountains trek in Wales. Plus, read on for more events around the country

We started in drizzle, progressed into blow-you-off-your-feet wind, moved into milk-chocolatey mud and finished in stair-rod rain. But it was great to be outside. Following guides Anthea and Wally, their energetic collie and a bunch of other waterproof-encased walkers along this Black Mountains route, I’d ticked off 11 miles, three hills and one legend-laced lake (home, they say, to the Afanc, the Loch Ness Monster of Wales). Had I been alone, I’d have been lost – or, more likely, wouldn’t have ventured out at all in such inclement weather. But spurred on by walking with others, I’d had a mini-adventure. At the end, I bade goodbye to a new walking mate. As he was peeling off his sopping gloves and over-trousers, he smiled: “This is what it’s all about.”

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