This is a walk/social rolled into one as we will travel to Chepstow and then do a short afternoon walk along the River Wye. In the late afternoon, we will return to Chepstow town centre to enjoy a drink or two in a pub and then watch the unique Mari Lwyd celebrations that take place in the town every winter.
The Mari Lwyd combines the English tradition of wassailing (blessing apple trees to ask for a good harvest) with the Welsh Mari Lwyd. Mari Lwyd is a first footing tradition in which the “mari” (a shrouded horse skull) is carried from house to house or pub to pub and the performers carrying the mari aim to gain entry for free food and drink.
Being on the border, Chepstow is well placed to combine these two traditions and the town has done so in a unique way. The wassailers meet on the English side and then march to meet the Mari approaching from the Welsh side right in the middle of the Wye bridge. However, rather than a battle, much merriment ensues not least because each side has already partaken of their respective alcoholic beverage.
Expect maris, mummers, morris dancers and general English/Welsh idiosyncratic customs. (An attendee last time Brunel went likened it to the Wicker Man…… I’ll let you decide.)
Please remember to wrap up warm or bring extra layers to put on after the walk as we will be standing around watching the festivities. Also, please bring a headtorch, as it will be getting dark by the time we finish the walk and expect the path to be muddy. A change of shoes is very advisable.
Pub to finish.
Walk Leader: Kirstie G (07967 452060)
New members are very welcome to attend this walk!
Meet: 14:00 at The Water Tower (Clifton)
Alternatively meet at 14:45 at Pay & Display car park, Welsh Street, NP16 5EL.