Wye Valley Walk, day 7: Monnington-on-Wye to Hay-on-Wye

September 25, 2021 0 Comments
Wye Valley Walk, day 7: Monnington-on-Wye to Hay-on-Wye

Before breakfast we meet the Couple from Chepstow properly for the first time, and have a chance to share our parallel experiences of the Walk.  S. and J., it turns out, live in Tunbridge Wells and are keen ramblers.  They’re not stopping at Hay like us, but plan to go on to Rhayader.  Not for […]

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Wye Valley Walk, day 6: Hereford to Monnington-on-Wye

September 25, 2021 0 Comments
Wye Valley Walk, day 6: Hereford to Monnington-on-Wye

It’s a still, bright Sunday morning.  We walk from our B&B through the quiet streets of Hereford, calling at our favourite lunch provider, Greggs, and make for the Cathedral to visit an attraction we missed yesterday, the statue in the close of Edward Elgar leaning on his bicycle.  As we walk towards to Wye Bridge […]

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Wye Valley Walk, day 5: Fownhope to Hereford

September 25, 2021 0 Comments
Wye Valley Walk, day 5: Fownhope to Hereford

Today our friends at Celtic Trails, who organised our trip, have taken pity on us and given us a half day off: there’s just between six and seven miles of easy walking ahead.  For the first time we’re reduced to three walkers.  We’re taken by taxi from Hereford to Fownhope, and we’ve persuaded the driver […]

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Wye Valley Walk, day 4: Ross-on Wye to Fownhope

September 25, 2021 0 Comments
Wye Valley Walk, day 4: Ross-on Wye to Fownhope

Another fine day, that starts with cloud and opens up later to sun and breeze.  No shops or pubs on today’s route, so we buy our vegan sausage rolls in Greggs and make our way down to the river, alongside a group of kayakers.  Looking back from the river plain Ross stands handsome on its […]

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Wye Valley Walk, day 3: Symonds Yat to Ross-on Wye

September 25, 2021 0 Comments
Wye Valley Walk, day 3: Symonds Yat to Ross-on Wye

I’m awake before 4:30 this morning, after a nightmare in which I’m on the run from armed police and have to hide in the branches of a tree.  The meaning’s obscure, but the presence of trees is easy enough to explain.  So far the Wye Valley Walk has spent most of its time surrounded by […]

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Wye Valley Walk, day 2: Llandogo to Symonds Yat

September 25, 2021 0 Comments
Wye Valley Walk, day 2: Llandogo to Symonds Yat

This morning’s taxi back from Tintern to Cleddon has a punctured tyre, so Kate of Celtic Trails, luckily based in Tintern, is our chauffeur back up the frighteningly steep and narrow lane.  As we pass through Llandogo we spot the two elderly backpackers we saw yesterday, the Couple from Chepstow.  At Cleddon our old friend […]

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Wye Valley Walk, day 1: Chepstow to Llandogo

September 25, 2021 0 Comments
Wye Valley Walk, day 1: Chepstow to Llandogo

It’s a gloomy Tuesday morning in September – leaves are already on the pavements – and four of us have gathered for the group photo in the Castle car park in Chepstow before making a start on the first half of the Wye Valley Walk.  C and CE are veterans of our first walk from […]

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Carnegie libraries in Wales

September 18, 2021 0 Comments
Carnegie libraries in Wales

Alfred Zimmern, the classicist and first professor of international politics in Aberystwyth (and the world) is now largely forgotten, except for one striking phrase he coined, ‘American Wales’.  He was referring to the explosive industrialisation of south Wales in the second half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, which produced an […]

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Michael Faraday watches water fall

September 10, 2021 0 Comments
Michael Faraday watches water fall

In 1819 a brilliant young chemist came to Wales on a walking tour.  He had little money – his family was poor, and he was still technically an apprentice at the age of twenty-seven – so walking was more economical than coach or horseback.  He was eager to see the country, but he had a […]

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A Gresford decapitation

September 3, 2021 0 Comments
A Gresford decapitation

Today is 29 August, the traditional date, faithtourism reminds me on Twitter, for remembering the Decollation of St John the Baptist.  Decollation is a euphemism for having your head violently removed from your body.  It’s often used of this particular episode, when Herod Antipas, puppet ruler of Galilee and Perea, ordered John to undergo this […]

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