Why Wye Valley

Sunday was another sunny day in the Wye Valley for us. Quite unexpectedly so as the forecast had been overcast just like yesterday and turned out to be warm and sunny instead.

Started off with a short drive to Whitestone Walk a signposted little trail in the woodlands uphill from Tintern. You could think that woods are woods but believe me, those were different than the day before. Just a different feel and most of all… a lot less people. Just a few dog walkers really.

As mentioned before we only ever passed through Tintern before, stopping for a coffee or snack at the abbey if anything. Now taking one of the overlooked roads to the side we discovered another side of this wonderful area. The wide path lead gently upwards with a handful of lovely viewpoints to one side right down the Wye Valley. Stunning, even with a bit of haze in the air. The wide river winds its way through green grass lined with low wooded hills to each side. It really is quite special.

A short loop led around Cleddon Falls at the end before we walked back pretty much the same way. Great albeit short 2.5k start to a lovely day.

Next up was Cadora Woods halfway between Tintern and Redbrook. The small car park was completely full though just before lunch time so we quickly decided to travel further on to Redbrook and have a drink at a pub there by the river.

Parked up and walked across the Penallt Viaduct, a bridge built in 1876 to accommodate the Wye Valley Railway. Now it is a footbridge only and a remnant of times long gone. The aptly named Bridge Inn can be found on the other side and the pub just opened as we found ourselves a table outside. Very nice little spot this and seemingly quite popular despite being a bit off the main road.

After a couple of cold drinks we headed back across the river into Redbrook and up the very steep hillside to walk little bit along Offa’s Dyke Path. Here it actually is on the dyke itself where in many other parts it’s only nearby.

Fantastic views back down to Redbrook and further along all the way into Monmouth. Got quite a bit of a sweat on as we made our way up but the cool shade of the gnarly trees up on the dyke helped cool us down again. We were pretty much all alone up here and would’ve loved to just keep on walking, but legs and dog were getting a bit tired so we just did a short loop not missing out on our first sight of the “swathes of bluebells” that can be found in this area apparently in April.

Back down in Redbrook we jumped into the car and drove back to Tintern which was less busy and rammed as expected on a warm and sunny Easter Sunday. Sat down at Abbey Mill which we had never had the chance to yet and had some food whilst trying to figure out what the covers band outside was playing. Their purple Hawaiian shirts where more of an eyecatcher than their music was any good, but it still added somewhat to the relaxed atmosphere.

Walked back to the Wye Valley Hotel right by the road and sat outside with cold drinks watching motorbikes pass by every now and then. Ah, bliss. Late afternoon now we were a bit sunned out. Dragged a very tired pooch back to the car and drove back home.

Cooked a chilli whilst Merlin was snoring noisily on the sofa and watched the snooker later on. Another great day and more exploring of this wonderful part of the world.

The Wye Valley between Monmouth and Chepstow is stunning. Plenty of opportunities for walks under trees or along the river and enough options for a relaxed bit of food and drink. It’s been about time we slowed things down a bit and explored this area on foot rather than vehicle.

Three days have flown by and we’re going back home on Monday already. Yet it was well worth a visit and as usual we’ve only just seen a tiny bit of this beautiful area so close to home.

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