It all began in 2014, that was the first year we walked from Merthyr to Roath in the name of culture. Back then it was called the “Red Shoes” and was born from a growing feeling of frustration with the way that modern life was eroding the time that we have to enjoy doing the things we like such as experiencing culture. The walk was a way to make time for art. It was also a reaction to the austerity cuts which had started the previous year and which still affect us today.
The walk began as a reclaimer of time. Then, as it is today, time is an ever decreasing commodity. Demands on our time grow more and more. We are told that we must be productive, that we must use our time wisely, we must do this and update that. Red Shoes and now Red Walk began as a way to reclaim that time. To make time for art and for culture. To spend time with friends. To simply walk from one place to another. To really experience the earliest way to get around.
But what is Red Route?
It’s a walk from the Red House in Merthyr Tydfil, along the Taff Trail to Roath in Cardiff. It takes place over two days (5th and 6th of May this year). Day one sees us walk from Merthyr Tydfil to Taff Wells. The second leg on day two goes from Taff Wells to Roath where, after arriving, we’ll enjoy Made in Spring – Longer Tables (Made in Roaths May Day festival).
Along the route there are plenty of breaks for tea as well as displays of art and culture along the way to enjoy. These pieces have all been specially commissioned for the walk. The walk progresses at a fairly easy pace and there are plenty of opportunities to leave or join in along the way.
This will be the fifth year we’ll be holding the Red Route walk and it’s always been a fantastic experience. The countryside along the Taff is some of the most beautiful in Wales, if not the World. You will pass incredible remnants from our industrial past, seeing the ghosts of the bricks which built the Valleys and Cardiff. But the best thing about Red Route is that it allows you to chat. To talk to the person next to you, the person in front of you and the person behind you. The walk suspends time. For those few hours the worries that pervade your daily life no longer matter. Social media doesn’t need updating. Smart phones don’t need constant checking. It gives you back that time to just walk and talk, to look and enjoy. To think and to breathe fresh outdoor air.