Wye Valley Weekend - June 2017
June's 4 night break was held at Lindors Hotel near St Briavels with the AGM taking place on Saturday. Many thanks to Peter for organising this stay in a fantastic location and also for leading the B walks. Thanks also to Ian for leading the A walks. The weather was mainly good apart from a downpour on Sunday. Luckily Peter's group found shelter in a wood shed, before retiring to dry out at Tintern Station. Ian’s group soldiered on. The hotel grounds were lovely as was the swimming pool. Food was good although portions could have been more generous apart from Sunday when we dined like kings.
The A walks were as follows:
On Friday, started from Monmouth and did an anti-clockwise circuit, first, past a rather dilapidated old country house called Troy House. Then uphill to Penallt Church, down to a wonderful River Wye-side pub called The Boat at Redbrook, thence up and downhill to Newland and saw the 'Cathedral of the Forest (of Dean)', up to the Kymin Naval Temple with a fantastic view to the Black Mountains and where Lord Nelson had meetings with Lady Hamilton before regaining Monmouth again.
On Saturday we walked from the Hotel down to the bottom of the Wye Valley at Bigswier Bridge, crossing over into God's own country (Wales !) and walking to Llandogo, before heading up to Cleddon Shhots, a waterfall. Thence to the Railway Station Picnic Site at Tintern, before returning via an uphill path to the Hotel.
On Sunday we started from a car park between St Briavels and Chepstow and went to the Devil's Pulpit for a view to Tintern Abbey below, in the Wye Valley. Then south along Offa's Dyke to the old leppers' church at Lancaut for lunch in the gorge of the Wye. Ignoring a loud open air concert at Chepstow Racecourse, we saw two seals and a deer nearby. We were defeated by an ascent of a steep boulder field, so had to partially retrace our steps up to the Dyke path, but this gave us a wonderful view of where we had just been. Then it was back to the cars via the Jubilee Stone, an 1897 memorial stone to Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.
The B walks all started from the hotel and were as follows:
On Friday, we joined the Offa's Dyke path to Redbrook. Lunch was at the Boat Inn a real ale pub just across the river at Redbrook. Ian’s group arrived as we were about to leave. Continued to the Kymin a naval temple on a hill with excellent views of Monmouth and the Welsh hills. Descent was then made to Monmouth where refreshments were obtained before taking the bus back to the hotel. 9 miles.
On Saturday we walked uphill to St Briavels village where we visited the church and then the village shop where free tea and coffee were being served as part of a food tasting session. Some Footprints members bought items at the shop which was the main intention by the organisers. Continued via field paths, lanes and tracks to join the Offa's Dyke path for a good distance and then we followed other paths which eventually led directly back to the hotel. 9 miles.
On Sunday we crossed Bigsweir bridge to Llandogo village then ascended steeply to join the Wye Valley Walk which follows the Welsh side of the Wye valley gradually descending to Tintern old station where refreshments were obtained. Those who wished could take the bus back and those who wished to continue their walk took the low level option of the Offa's Dyke path by crossing the river at Brockweir and following the English side of the river Wye in glorious sunshine back to the hotel. 10 miles.