After a successful 2016 which saw a record 6.7 million visitors to the destination, Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism is joining forces with Visit Wales to celebrate the Year of Legends. A new website and trail have been launched to encourage visitors to delve into the fables and folklore of the area.
The new trail showcases the great mythic tradition of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. As an area that spans the border of England and Wales, across three counties, it boasts an eclectic mix of legends for visitors to discover including Roman curses, witch trials and King Arthur himself.
Stunning landscapes, ancient monuments, and unique geological formations have inspired storytellers for thousands of years and steeped this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in thrilling tales of fantastic figures and mythical creatures.
Created by Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism, the trail is the start of a year of celebrations of this legendary destination. An inspiration for iconic figures such as Henry V and J R R Tolkien, the region was also the childhood home of J K Rowling as well as providing locations for key scenes for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Maureen McAllister, executive director of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association said: “The Year of Legends allows us to spread the word about all the incredible stories and legendary figures that have their home in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.
“Alongside our work with Visit Wales, we’ll be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in June as part of VisitEngland’s Year of Literary Heroes. We’ll also be adding to our popular Film and TV Trail, when the new King Arthur film – which had scenes filmed in the Wye Valley – is released.
“Millions of people discovered the destination last year, and we were proud to receive the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence as a result of their resounding praise for our attractions, accommodation and eateries.
“We look forward to welcoming even more visitors on the hunt for a legendary adventure in 2017.”
Using information on the website and downloadable maps plotted by location and production, visitors will be able to plan their own paths and discover the woodlands, historic sites, caves and glades that have fed into a rich mythic tradition and inspired modern legends.
The website, in addition to highlighting all of the locations that have hosted productions, provides information of accommodation, food and drink and additional attractions to provide tourists with everything they need to plan and enjoy a longer stay.