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The Across Wales Challenge Walk Details

Here’s an epic walking challenge that’s difficult, but with proper preparation, within the ability of a fit walker. The Across Wales Challenge Walk is a serious 73km challenge walk from the Welsh border to the sea, all undertook in 18 hours!.

It starts off around 500m from Anchor, Shropshire, slap bang on the Wales-England border, with little but the differing wheely bins to mark one nation from the next.

geograph-4235963-by-Bill-Boaden (1)
The stream running under the road, Nant Rhuddwr, marks the border. This is looking from England towards Wales, but the wheelie bins on the right are Welsh. © Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

   © Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It then continues by following the Kerry Ridgeway, parts of the Glyndwr and Severn Ways before summiting wild Pumlumon.

 © Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
This viewpoint on Two Tumps is at 506m above sea level the highest point on the entire 15 miles long Kerry Ridgeway. The viewpoint provides wonderful views across Wales. On a clear day most of the high hills and mountains are visible from here. In clockwise order starting in the south they are, Black Mixen, the Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons, Plynlimon, Cadair Idris, the Arans, the Rhinog[ydd] and the Berwyn in the north, all rising above [600m]. © Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

  © Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

pumlumon_foter
Photo credit: PhilDGR / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: PhilDGR / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Even if it’s mainly downhill after Pumlumon, you’ve still got a good 30km to go before arriving at the welsh coast at Aberystwyth.

Photo credit: bruceruston / Foter / CC BY
Photo credit: bruceruston / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: bruceruston / Foter / CC BY

If that’s whet the appetite, this challenge walk is held annually in early September, and is a fully organised event by the Across Wales Walk Association. Entries begin in early May, so you’ve got a few months to figure out whether you’re fit enough or not! If it’s not enough challenge, then there are usually a few hardy souls who set off the previous day for a double or even a triple crossing, with a quadruple crossing planned in 2015! Even if you’re not going to be the fastest, then a wooden spoon is sometimes awarded to the most ‘deserving’ participant, be that the person who’s had an absolute epic by almost drowning in a peat bog or fallen asleep in their car and missed the lot.

Remember to check out the official website for more insight on the challenge, as well as reports on the previous walks and how to enter – http://www.acrosswaleswalk.co.uk/. They’re quite clear on the level of fitness expected, for good reason, as this is a challenge walk. It’s not meant to be easy!! For more information on long distance walking, visit the Long Distance Walkers Association website.

Were it not for the logistical nightmare of the starting point, then this would make a good, but tough, weekend backpack – ideally wild camping on the summit of Pumlumon, and finishing the Sunday in some of Aber’s lively pubs. The most practical option would be to set off from Y Drenewydd (Newtown), perhaps getting a taxi to the starting point, as you can return to the starting point by train from Aberystwyth. Of course, if you’re undertaking the challenge event, then so long as you can get to Clun as a starting point (strange choice, considering there’s a station at Y Drenewydd), you’ll be returning in a coach after the challenge.

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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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