Over the next few months, the Mentrau Iaith and the National Centre for Learning Welsh will be organising two new series of ‘Ar Droed’ guided tours for Welsh learners and first language speakers alike to discover special places in Cymru.

Following the success of last year’s ‘Ar Droed’ (on foot) nature walks, this year there will be one series of guided tours in four significant buildings, and one series of tours in four gardens across Cymru.

Local guides will be leading the walks, which will be held between February and July, and there will be a few well-known names joining in too.

Kick off for the series of building tours was a guided tour through Senedd Cymru, the Welsh Parliament, on the 8th of February. The Presiding Officer/Llywydd, Elin Jones, joined the group for a chat about the building, the Senedd’s work and her work as Llywydd.

Margaret White, a Welsh tutor said: “The group really enjoyed the tour. And Elin Jones and Huw (the guide) found the right level of speaking Cymraeg with their audience.

The next guided tour will visit Owain Glyndŵr’s Parliament in Machynlleth on 22 February. To be followed by guided tours through the ancient hillfort Castell Henllys in Pembrokeshire and the National Library in Aberystwyth at the end of March.

In the spring and the summer the series of guided garden walks will visit Portmeirion (29 April), the National Botanic Garden (13 May), the Physic Garden in Cowbridge (8 June) and Pont y Tŵr near Ruthin (28 June), where Sioned and Iwan Edwards work and live, who are well-known from the S4C programme “Garddio a Mwy” (gardening and more).

Helen Prosser, Director of Teaching and Learning at the National Centre for Learning Welsh said:

“Creating opportunities for our learners to enjoy using their Welsh outside the classroom is one of the National Centre’s key aims, and we’re delighted that the ‘Ar Droed’ walks will be offered again this year. As well as learning more of our rich and varied Welsh vocabulary, these walks will be a fantastic opportunity for learners to meet and socialise with other learners in their area.”

Daniela Schlick, Project Coordinator with Mentrau Iaith Cymru said:

“The Mentrau Iaith all over Cymru are organising activities that give people the opportunity to enjoy speaking Cymraeg wherever they live. We are very happy to be able to organise these two new series of guided walks under the ‘Ar Droed’ banner again this year. The tours are in Cymraeg and we’d like to invite everybody who can speak Cymraeg – learners and first language speakers.  Conversations are much easier while doing things like going for a walk and socialising.”

Members of the SIARAD scheme are welcome to join the tours. SIARAD brings first language Welsh speakers and learners together to meet up and chat in social settings.

On each of the tours there will be tea and coffee available and more opportunities for a chat. Daniela Schlick added:

“A panad/paned or a cuppa is perfect to relax and certainly creates an ideal atmosphere for a chat.”

For more information and to register for the tours, get in touch with ardroed@mentrauiaith.cymru