Love at first step

Singles in search of a love match can lace up their walking boots to find their dream date on the Wales Coast Path.

The stunning backdrop of Newton Beach, near Porthcawl is set to be the venue for the first speed dating walk in South Wales on Sunday, October 7, from 3.30pm. The event is part of Bridgend Council’s Love2Walk Festival; a nine-day celebration of all things pedestrian and follows in the footsteps of a successful speed dating walk on the Isle of Wight. Tourism officers there noticed a lot of single people turning out for organised walks and set up a trial speed dating stroll. People came from as far and wide as London, Birmingham and Kent. In the six years since it was established, the event has been responsible for four marriages and a baby.

Rural Discovery Coordinator, Zoe Livermore, who will be leading the walk, said: “We would love to be able to replicate the success the Isle of Wight has had. “It’s a lovely beach walk through the dunes along the famous Wales Coast Path. It’s really pretty and a nice, friendly environment, which at the very least gives people the chance to have a lot of fun with like-minded people, but who knows? You could meet the perfect man or woman of your dreams, or just create a great friendship.”

Participants are promised a warm welcome and an easy walk along the Wales Coast Path, before retiring to the relaxed surroundings of the Jolly Sailor pub in Newton for a light meal.

The Wales Coast Path was developed by the Welsh Government in partnership with the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), sixteen local authorities and two National Parks and has been split into eight geographical areas. Sue Rice, Wales Coast Path Project Manager, of the Countryside Council for Wales, said: “One of the reasons for the creation of the Wales Coast Path was to encourage active lifestyles. Walk2Love does exactly this; providing fresh air, beautiful surroundings and a fun, organised activity. “I hope this new addition to the festival goes from strength to strength. It would be a great for the Wales Coast Path to be the setting of a future love story.”

For more information on how to book, visit www.love2walk.co.uk. Now in its third year, the Love2Walk Festival takes place throughout the borough of Bridgend, between September 29 and October 7. It offers more than 40 walks, which include ghostly encounters, bat detection and meeting the cows on a dairy farm.