Thursday, 21 April 2016

144.Chepstow - Tintern Abbey (12 Miles)


Another Welsh / English wander this week starting from Chepstow on the most glorious day.  Soon after leaving van we are surrounded by Bluebells and peace and quiet .

Chepstow Racecourse with its beautiful grounds with views out over Bristol channel and back to England.

Plenty of Lambs resting in the morning sunshine.

Looking back to Race course.
The 2 Mile course and grounds were purchased in 1925 by 10 South Wales business men opened for racing in 1926,personally i think the horses should ride the jockeys but each to their own !

From just in front Piercefield House now derelict looking across to Severn crossing and England.
The house owned by David and Simon Reuben, They are Worth a few quid $10.6 billion and 2nd in richest people list. Make ya wonder why house is in ruins ?

The first view over the Wye is from Giant's cave, 
a superb viewpoint and a cave that cuts through limestone to carry on with walk, built in 1781.

After following on along Bluebell lined forest walkways and then a steep warming up hill stretch after Lower Wyndcliff car park we reach a fabulous viewpoint a place to definitely rest and marvel at view. The Eagles nest.

Who needs color ! 

From here Chepstow castle our final destination can be seen stunning stuff.

After a few more miles of Bluebells and Wood Anemones we come to Tintern Abbey.

 It is situated adjacent to the village of Tintern in Monmouthshire, on the Welsh bank of the River Wye, which forms the border between Monmouthshire in Wales and Gloucestershire in England.

House sparrow in full song :)

Built starting 1136 in took 400 years to look this good ! 
Falling into disrepair in the 16th century. 

Tintern Wireworks Branch Railway Bridge,TWR shut in 1935 when the rails buckled in the heat of the summer ! In Wales ! Must have been a hot one .

View from bridge Cracking Eh ?! The River Wye Running on under.

After now climbing up to Devil's Pulpit following Offa's Dyke path which is a about 600ft 
from river and Abbey but O so worth it !

Monks thought the Devil was trying to lure away the young monks from the Abbey. 
Spectacular .

Gotta be done, Me.

Can't get enough of a good view the River Wye Below travels on up to 
its source in the Welsh mountains at Plynlimon. 
Its the 5th longest river in the UK,
and is 134 miles long.

After leaving Offa's Path rather abruptly strangely we have to walk down a busy road for 
1/2 mile or so. 
But now as we come in to Chepstow more civilisation starts to appear. This looking back up to the road.

Then bit more Black n White to add to scene Chepstow Castle.


A Great looking Castle built in 1067 by William the Conqueror is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain at around 400 AD.

A very tall ladder needed with towering walls on three sides and cliffs 
and the River Wye the other side .
No Mr Whippy and the fact that on leaving for home got caught speeding !! Me. Doing 34 in a 30 no excuse but no 10/10  - 9.5 /10 
a truly stunning walk a must for any walker 12 miles, up and downs the best views and early summer forests full of flowers and bird song !

Thanks for reading Now walk it !!!

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

143.Garth's 50th (9.2 miles)


A special this week as it's Andy's 50th birthday !!
So we headed over the Severn crossing to Wales and the first mountain in Wales Mynydd y Garth or The Garth standing @ 307 m (1,007 ft)
In the UK, geographers historically regarded mountains as hills greater than 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level, which formed the basis of the plot of the 1995 film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain.
But Today, a mountain is usually defined in the UK and Ireland as any summit at least 2,000 feet (or 610 meters) high, while the official UK government's definition of a mountain is a summit of 600 meters or higher

This is View of said mountain or hill

Starting below Castell Coch, which this one was built in 1875 but a castle of sorts has stood here since 1081.

A Coch heading into Castell Coch :). Castell Coch in Welsh means Red Castle.

After following the Taff Trail we head under Barry Railway Penrhos Branch / GWR Rhymney Branch line, Then head towards the small hamlet of Taffs Well

Passing over the River Taff then a very steep uphill hill climb on to Garth hill

Once at Lan Farm which has a Zoopla Estimate of  £2,609,000 !!! its just beyond wall .

You start to see a few views up in to the valleys this view shows Pontypridd to left.

Quite a few birds about as well 5 Wheatears my first this year and many Skylarks up and singing Nuthatch,Buzzards,Jay to name a few.

Blue skies add to stunning vistas

Llantrisant and wind turbines at Tonypandy

Jogger for scale

And finally the trigpoint standing at 307m or 1007ft , just over half a mountain.

Sorry special occasion had to post picture !
A 50 year old man and my walking companion of 24 years !!

Sun was shining bright (my excuse for B+W ) here's Castell Coch and looking back across Bristol Channel towards England

Trigpoint and valleys .

Me looking on :)

After leaving summit we make our descent passing Wood Anemones and Crossing remains of the Barry Railway again then skirting along the side of a very busy and noisey M4.

A few more views of Castell Coch.

This one as we cross the Taff Vale Railway, which runs from Pontypridd to Cardiff

Then finally crossing the River Taff which runs from Pen Y Fan ish  to Cardiff about 40 miles.
A great walk scoring a high 8.5 nearly 9 but lacked a Mr whippy but well worth the trip We shall return to Wales again soon .

Thanks for looking now walk it !!