A fast walk in the woods

Chris Brydone on a flying visit to us suggested a walk; I offered him four possibilities – this is the one he chose; not that I’m into blame you understand, just that I knew how it was going to end up knowing that Chris needed to be in Bristol by 16:30 the same day!

So … I give you “Wye Valley Yomp” …

Wye Valley Yomp at EveryTrail

The real challenge with this walk is the amount of time you spend in the forest. The morning is OK, you’ve got Offa’s Dyke to look out for, some impressive real estate, quarries and possibly some bird and animal life. We had the challenge of finding the right path off The Offa’s Dyke Trail to get down to Tintern – we failed and found ourselves on a very overgrown trail; machetes would have been useful – but it’s a good walk.

No the problem is the afternoon, a really long path leading up towards the ridge out of Tintern should be a warning; it’s not the climbing that’s the problem – it’s the unrelenting woodland. Only when you get to Eagle’s Nest, and again at The Alcove do you see the River Wye and these views are splendid. It’s just that they’re both accessible from the Tintern – Chepstow Road and you don’t need to walk through miles of woodland to get to them! The 365 Steps are a challenge too. I’ve only gone down them towards the end of this walk so far, when I’m getting tired – they’re challenging and slippery in places too. I’m guessing that they’re easier to go up than come down.

In between the morning and afternoon was a lunch break at Tintern and here we can give a thumbs up to The Rose and Crown – a good pint of Hancocks HB and a nice plate of ham sandwiches and steak and kidney pie set us up well.

The avoidance walk

This Ramblers walk was announced as “could be muddy” therefore upgraded to a B, Strenuous – well even without the mud (you can see from the photographs just what a wonderful day it was), the walk was still strenuous – even with all the “avoidance” action our leader Vic took.

We didn’t “summit” Waun Fach, stopping for lunch just a short way from the top – in fact we could see it! – thus avoiding the boggy ground; we didn’t descend via Y Grib – but took a clever route that flanked the ridge to descend; and we didn’t do “the sting in the tail” – clamber up Castell Dinas.

For me, still in training mode these were all “good decisions”. I arrived home, tired but with a huge grin on my face as a result of a wonderful walk that nearly took me to the highest point in The Black Mountains. Those final 200m of walking and 20m of elevation will have to wait for another day. However the stats of the walk are still impressive as you can see from the Everytrail track.

The photos may not be as accurately placed on the map as they usually are. I’ve done something wrong with the automatic placement from the GPS data. What … I don’t know :-).

Avoiding the bog, the steep descent and the castle at EveryTrail