Walking, wellbeing and world music

September is one of our favourite times of the year – as the leaves turn every shade of orange, we can enjoy a welcome freshness to the air after this year’s unprecedented heatwave. The autumnal equinox is also on the horizon, marking the official end of summer and beginning of autumn.

This month is also marked by the stunning Harvest Moon, the name given to the full moon that occurs nearest to the autumnal equinox – historically its light was said to enable farmers to work late into the night, helping them to bring in the crops from the fields.

The modern Pagan ritual ‘Mabon’ also marks the autumnal equinox, giving thanks for a plentiful harvest and recognises the need to share the Earth’s fruits in the coming winter months.

We have much to be thankful for in Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley – we have an abundance of beautiful countryside and scenery where we can enjoy walking for miles, taking in the ever-changing autumnal landscapes. Our very own Ross Walking Festival is a highlight of the year for many walkers who come from far and wide to join in the wide range of walks right on our doorstep. This year, the festival programme includes short walks in the town centre itself, rambles along the riverside taking in the wildlife or hiking in the hills a little further afield in the Forest of Dean, Offa’s Dyke or amongst apple orchards around the stunning May Hill. Full details of the festival programme can be found here so book now and enjoy the great outdoors, meet new people and maybe learn something new.

Also in September, Ross-on-Wye’s first wellbeing and world music event – the Equinox Festival – takes place by the riverside on Caroline Symonds Gardens. The Bandstand comes alive with a programme of unique world music.

Artists, musicians, volunteers, charities and wellbeing practitioners come together to enjoy the last of the summer and celebrate wellbeing in the fresh air. This year’s programme includes circus skills, arts & crafts and percussion workshops; Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s Wellbeing Walks in Nature; Jenn Singleton’s Singing for Wellbeing workshop at 2pm with a performance at 3.30pm plus the Wye Valley River Festival tent will be onsite with their incredible silk flags, made by youngsters from Ross and the Wye Valley.

The festival opens at midday with local choir, the Border Belles, and Jon Sterckx will perform a tabla set at 1.30pm. The incredible award winning Omar Puente Sextet from Cuba will perform a Buena Vista style set at 4pm, followed by a chilled ambient sundowner with dr trippy at 5.30pm. Transglobal Underground‘s vibrant and inimitable Afro-Asian sounds will bring the day to a close at 7.30pm.

Street food & drink will be available onsite. Further details from tourism@rosstc-herefordshire.gov.uk.

Book your place at the free percussion workshop: https://bit.ly/3BeuOVh