Newtown Outdoor Festival 2023



Please use the links to Videos below of the longer walks available during the festival weekend created on Relive software:


Information for French visitors
Informations pour les visiteurs français



Final French walk choices June 2023 French version.PDF


Saturday Welsh walk to Kerry Lamb.

Walk leaders: Alwena and Andrew Gentle
The walk included a visit to Kerry Church which our French friends thoroughly enjoyed. History suggests that there may have been a church on this site since the 7th century. The church stands in an almost oval churchyard in the centre of the village. It was rebuilt and re-dedicated in 1176 at the time of the Normans so a strong French link! Everyone was impressed with the very early Welsh Tudor chained Bible and the very early blacksmith made clock mechanism from 1740; however our French visitors couldn’t understand why a Bible of this rarity was uncovered and unprotected!!!
We enjoyed a good lunch at the Kerry Lamb where we all enjoyed a traditional Welsh beer or a French favourite Guinness and Fish and chips!
The only problems on our walk were the unexpected Cows, calfs and Bulls we had to negotiate in fields where we didn’t expect cattle, although a thanks to Howell Davies at Genau Hafod Farm for moving his cattle to an adjacent field for the duration of the walk. Our reconnaissance walks obviously paid off!

Saturday Ceilidh at Hafan Yr Afon.

Ceilidh provided by Geoff and Monty folk with caller Claire Weston
Our French friends and their hosts thoroughly enjoyed the Saturday evening Ceilidh, we know how much our friends from Les Herbiers enjoy dancing and we were very pleased that so many of our French walkers and hosts attended after a hot day of walking in the hills! We had excellent reports from our hosts about the quality of the Ceilidh and special thanks to the caller Claire for making the dancing very enjoyable.

Sunday French walk to the Fachwen pool

Walk Leaders: Andrew Gentle and Fred Mathieu

Our walk unexpectedly included two impromptu but very enjoyable visits.  As we passed by Rhyd-y-felin Chapel we had some interesting history of the Methodists in Montgomeryshire and the Newtown area from one of our local walkers Mr Peter Pike who spoke French and was currently learning Welsh.  Rhydyfelin Baptist Chapel was built in 1791 and is the mother Baptist chapel for the Newtown area and it includes two secret doors to allow dissenting worshippers to escape should the need arise from violent protests from the Congregational chapel followers during a time of religious turbulence in Wales.  The route from Newtown along the Severn Way was the early Newtown Baptists route taken on Sundays.

Our second unexpected stop thanks to Mrs Deborah Pike was a visit to a beautiful garden at the Crossroads above the Fachwen Pool close to The Hollies.  Mrs Deborah Pike knew the owner of the garden Mrs Thornton and asked if we as a group could sit and have our picnic lunch which was an excellent idea and a beautiful setting for the picnic.

Fortunately we didn’t experienced any problems on our walk from any unexpected Cows, calfs or Bulls thanks to Mr Hopkins at Y Banc farm who helped us find an alternative route around the Fachwen Pool to avoid cattle with calf.  Also thanks to Wyn and Elaine Benbow at the Ffrydd Farm for moving their cattle to an adjacent field for the duration of the walk.  Our reconnaissance walks and negotiations obviously paid off!

Sunday evening Social and Presentations.

We enjoyed the space at Hafan yr Afon and the use of the balcony area in the great weather and the evening was a great social event with our visitors and hosts enjoying the last evening before or French friends return to Les Herbiers on Monday Morning. The announcement of an even earlier start at 6.30 am after a very active weekend wasn’t something many of our hosts and French friends relished!
We thanked all our hosts for their hospitality during the weekend and briefly talked about our forthcoming events and activities.
Marie-The Gauthier President of Les Herbiers Twinning Committee presented Kate Rayner Chair of Newtown Twinning Committee with a gift to show their appreciation for organising the weekend activities and the accommodation.


One of the pleasures of hosting is the opportunity it brings to meet new people, make new friends and catch up with old friends. We have many examples of friendships developed through hosting which have lasted decades and continue to flourish providing those involved with many opportunities to experience another culture, different traditions, food and lifestyles.
During the weekend our hosts and French guests had many opportunities to get to know one another in a social context, visiting different places and spending time together.

• Heritage Walk

Walk Leader: Edward Parry
Our French visitors thoroughly enjoyed the Heritage walks on the Saturday and Sunday and were fascinated to learn about the history of Newtown and its Industrial heritage. The walk was made accessible to our French friends because of the efforts of our friend and translator Nelly Ratier.
Edward Parry a local historian provided a very interesting tour of the historical sites of Newtown and some history relating to French prisoners during the Napoleonic wars and the painting of the galleon in a building on Park Street which our French Friends were fascinated with.

• Visit to Cwrt Plas Yn Dre

Owner and guide: Tim Chilton
Tim Chilton very kindly agreed to provide our French friends with a history of this fascinating Welsh building saved from demolition by Sir Pryce Jones of Plas Dolerw, brought from Dolgellau and rebuilt on his grounds in 1885. The internal timber panelling was made by the famous Newtown school of craftsmen and wood carvers.
Tim arranged for a local French National to translate for him and even provided refreshments as a part of the visit. This fascinating historical building where the famous Pennal letter was possibly prepared by Owain Glyndwr, the last real Welsh Prince of Wales in 1406 to King Charles 6th of France asking for support against the English. The original letter now resides in Paris in the Archives National.

Saturday 5 ways walk.

Saturday fachwen pool walk.

Sunday Dolforwyn walk.

Leaving from Plas Dolerw.

Bwylch y Ffrydd walk Sunday.