Friday, 18 August 2017

Friday 18 August. R&R Chepstow.

We spent today sightseeing in Chepstow, definitely worth a visit! The castle must be one of the best preserved in the UK. There are two tours, blue and green, which are well signed to guide you around, providing you with information at the same time. The start point, tourist information, is between the bridge over the Wye and the castle.

We also found the correct end of our walk,
near the castle, a boulder taken from Plynlimon. We walked back uphill to find where we lost the official route into Chepstow yesterday. Just one thing to remember, Chepstow is hilly!

The last picture, the map of the walk, has been printed in higher resolution to enable you to read detail.

Thursday 17 August. Tintern Parva to Chepstow.

We left our B&B at 9:45 today, a little later than normal as it was a short day. It was bright and sunny as we set off as the first photograph looking back to our B&B shows. We passed Tintern Abbey, before we crossed the highway and headed up to near Riddings farm.

The path was a re-route from our OS map and climbed steeply up what appeared to be an old stream bed. There were no views back to Tintern Abbey.

We eventually came out in farm paddocks with a fence ahead behind which lay an extensive area of forest. We were shortly to walk in that forest for the rest of the day, but first we had to negotiate the boggy gate.

The next photo is taken looking back towards that gate and fence line, you might just be able to pick out Shiel on her way up. The extensive view gives an idea of how far we had climbed already.

When we entered the forest we found the toughest climb of the day before the track eventually levelled out.

The rest of the day was spent walking in forest, the path going up and down, somtimes stony, sometimes very boggy. In fact it was very much like an NZ bush walk but with deciduous trees rather than evergreens. Most distant views were restricted but there was the odd spot, like The Eagle's Nest, that provided majestic views over the river  Wye to the Severn beyond.

The path went through a tunnel, constructed in Victorian times to improves acces to the great views, such as the limestone crags on the far
 side of the valley.

The forest has matured since Victorian times, as the location of this "viewpoint" shows.

We reached the last viewpoint, of Chepstow, just after 2:30pm and were in pur B&B, The George, by check in time (3pm).

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Wednesday 16 August. Monmouth to Tintern Parva.

We didn't learn the lesson of Ross-on-Wye! We should have used our R&R day to find how the Wye Valley Way left Monmouth. We assumed our 1 in 50,000 electronic O.S. map was up to date, it wasn't. We walked over the bridge, to the east bank of the Wye to find the way down off the bridge blocked off. We decided to follow the A466 as we thought this may be the new route out. We walked past the town boundary, but still no signs, so we took a short right of way down from the road to river and found the path. How it left Monmouth we don't know.

The path was first in wood but opened out to give a clear view of the river. Not as many canoeists as yesterday though. The river bed got quite rocky as we approached Redbrook where we had to leave the river and join the busy road for a short way.

The path soon left the road to join a newly cleared way to the old rail bridge, now a foot bridge over the Wye. We crossed over to the 'Boat Inn' on the West bank but sadly it was only 10:30am  and the pub doesn't open until midday.

The path then followed the old rail bed to meet a road at Whitebrook. It was easy walking, but not very scenic having been diverted away from the river bank. It was more like a 'Greenway' in an urban area.

We followed a country road for a short way before the path turned off to the left and began a long steep climb up to Pen-y-Fan. As our height increased we got occasional views but remakably we were never far away from housing. There were roads up as well as our path.

We chatted for a while to a chap who lived by the track. He had a 15 year old collie dog. He gave us useful information about the track all the way to Chepstow. He warned us about a left turn from the track to a view. It was when the road had reached its peak and the going was flat and easy. Without his warning we may hae missed it. There was a seat to take in the view. It was fantastic, you could see all the way to the river Severn and its bridge pylons, all across the Wye valley. Sadly the wide angle photographs from my cell phone, shown below, do not do it justice. There was a second view a little further on but the view was a bit more restricted.

There followed a long descent through forest, at times very boggy. We stopped to chat to a young woman on a horse, accompnied by two dogs. One of them quickley trained us to throw a stick for it. The descent to the road, near  the bridge at Brockweir was steep and a little tricky but we met the A466 on an inside bend and we needed very acute hearing to effect a safe transit.

We followed the old rail track to  Tintern railway station, now a tea rooms, where we paused for refreshment. The whole way is lined with sculptures, wooden and metal, mainly we suspect to amuse children.

The path then joined the river Wye with animproved view of our srroundings.
Our B&B, Parva Farmhouse, was right on the track, and we were greeted by a black metallic dog, we christened Basil. We had an excellent evening meal at the pub across the road, The Wye Valley.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Tuesday 15 August.R&R Monmouth.

We had an early breakfast, 8am, on a fine sunny day at our B&B, The Queen's Head. The building is over 400 years old.

After breakfast we headed to a laundrette, The Rub a Dub Dub, located just the other side of the Monnow Bridge.

After finishing the laundry we had coffee and an almond croissant at Cafe Nero, before heading out for some sightseeing. We visited the ruins of Monmouth Castle and photographed the outside of the museum of The Monmouth Regiment.

We then walked down to Monmouth Bridge via St. Mary's Priory Church. The steeple was too tall to photograph.

Then we walked north beside the river to visit the small white church we passed yesterday on the way into Monmouth. The church, St. Peter's,
has been flooded many times in it's long history. There was a church on the site in AD735, but the current building dates from the 12th century.

Friday 18 August. R&R Chepstow.

We spent today sightseeing in Chepstow, definitely worth a visit! The castle must be one of the best preserved in the UK. There are two tour...