A COLD War bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack will be transformed into a visitor attraction for one weekend.
The bunker is hidden on private land on the Rhug Estate, on the outskirts of Corwen, but it is on the route of a history walk round the property as part of the town's two-day Walking Festival.
The festival on Saturday and Sunday, August 31 and September 1, has more than 360 miles of walks including gorge and cave walks, a hunt for trees, tea and cakes at Carrog Railway Station tearooms and even a walking fashion show courtesy of sponsors Cotswold Leisure.
With a second year of financial backing, from organisations like Cadwyn Clwyd, festival organiser Steve Layt says the infrastructure is in place to establish Corwen as a must-visit destination for walkers.
And when the Llangollen Railway steams into Corwen by St David’s Day in 2014 thousands of visitors could take advantage of the walks.
The Corwen Walking Festival is offering 21 escorted walks in some of the most beautiful countryside Wales has to offer, for walkers of all abilities.
All the walks are free, except the gorge and cave walks which require special equipment.
Mr Layt said: “A lot of people drive through Corwen heading for Snowdonia and we are saying, stop here because there are a lot of things you can do and Corwen is worth seeing.
Once the Llangollen railway comes people can get off the train, do one of the walks, and get back on the train again.
“The walks are something we can offer for free, the infrastructure is there, the Festival website has been set up.”
The festival also includes some daytime skills lectures throughout the day and some evening entertainment and Cotswold Outdoor with a fashion show and display of outdoor equipment.
Sponsorship for the festival comes from Cadwyn Clwyd, Denbighshire County Council and Corwen and District Business Association.
Every participant will receive a walk leaflet showing their walk plus a map showing Walks Around Corwen.
A badge and certificate will be awarded for completion and souvenir T shirts will be available.
Most walks will start at 9.30 am with the exception of walks 16 and 18 which will both start at 9am due distances involved.
Where a walk has three start times during the day they will be at 9.30 am, 2pm and 4pm.
Where a walk has two start times in the day they will start at 9.30am and 2pm.
For more information go to www.corwenwalkingfestival.co.uk.