Offa’s Dyke in Gloucestershire

Offa’s Dyke starts at it’s Southerly end on the banks of the river Severn near Sedbury in Gloucestershire. The course of the dyke can be seen in the photo above running up the hillside beyond the left-hand side of the stone that marks the start of Offa’s Dyke Path Walk. Another large stone marks the other end of the walk 177 miles from this one at Ffrith Beach, Prestatyn, Denbighshire.

An image showing the start of Offa's Dyke near Sedbury, Gloucestershire
Offa’s Dyke near Sedbury, Gloucestershire

The large block of Conglomerate stone is just out of sight in the cleared area at the top of the cliff in the photo above. The photo is taken from the North bank of the Severn Estuary.

Chepstow

A stone with Offa's Dyke Path symbol in Chepstow
A stone with Offa’s Dyke Path symbol in Chepstow

Nearby in Wales, at Chepstow, the Offa’s Dyke Path symbol is carved into a stone set on the bank of the River Wye (the Dyke walk is actually on the other side of the river Wye in England) The centre of Chepstow bridge in the background is the border between England and Wales.

Wales Coastal Path

A photo showing the Start of the Wales Coastal Path in Chepstow
The banks of the River Wye in Chepstow

Also at Chepstow, is the start of the Wales Coastal Path. On the left in the photo is a piece of fossil-bearing stone from Flintshire and on the right is a slab of local Pennant Sandstone from the Forest of Dean. The two stones frame the start of the walk. The coastal path ends on the border with England near Saltney, Chester in Flintshire. The route covers 870 miles.

10 Years of the Coastal Path May 2012- May 2022

A photo of maker of the bench with the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drayford

Photo by Monmouthshire Council The bench to mark the 10th anniversary of the walk was made by Tony Bonnici.

Other Walks

The Wye Valley Walk and the Gloucestershire Way also start from Chepstow.

The Gloucestershire Way in the Forest of Dean

Above: the border between England and Wales runs through the centre of this bridge over the river Wye at Chepstow. This historic iron bridge also separates Gloucestershire from Monmouthshire. Beneath the bridge the tidal range can be more than 40 feet. A massive 48 foot tide can be expected a few times a year.

Wye Valley Greenway

A photo of the entrance to the Tidenham tunnel
The entrance to the Tidenham tunnel.

The Gloucestershire Way passes close to the entrance to the Tidenham Tunnel on the Wye Valley Greenway. Check the Wye Valley Greenway web site for details of this acclaimed walking and cycling route.

A lonely Monolith

A photo showing a monument to Queen Victoria
A lonely monument in the woods

This monolith was erected to commemorate 60 years on the throne of Queen Victoria. It can be seen in an isolated location very close to the Gloucestershire Way approximately 3 1/2 miles from the start in Chepstow. Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee year was 1897”.

DB explained on Facebook: “Erected in 1897 to celebrate the jubilee of Queen Victoria; the story goes it was transported by boat up the river and then broke en route to the forest. It was erected near to where it broke rather than just smash it up hence the towing ironwork still left in it.

A carved wooden gate

A carved wooden butterfly at Poor's Allotment.
A carved wooden butterfly at Poor’s Allotment.

In the same area, further North on the Gloucestershire Way is this butterfly carved onto a heart on a wooden gate to Poor’s Allotment. Another, more often seen carving, is an adder carved on a roadside gate on the B4228 opposite the car park on Tidenham Chase.

A secluded pond on a farm.

A photo of a pond at Wilsbury.
A pond on the Gloucestershire Way.

As the Gloucestershire Way approaches Bream it passes very close to this pond on private land. The water from this valley eventually ends up in the river Severn. In the past the water was used to power downstream mills.

A Dean Forest Boundary Stone

A photo of a boundary stone near Bream.
A boundary stone near Bream

This is one of more than 200 boundary stones erected in 1832 to mark out the boundary of the Forest of Dean. This one, as the path nears Bream, is number 51 and carries an additional inscription (in Latin): ‘J? Benfield fecit’.
This photo was taken in winter. It will be difficult to locate this stone in summer when the vegetation grows up – unless you have a guide.

Parkend Folly

A photo of a gallery at Parkend Folly
The gallery at Parkend Folly.

As you near Parkend, at Parkend Folly, behind the window is the gallery of renowned potter and artist Mary Rose Young. The gallery is open to the public most weekdays and the entrance is nearby.

A crocodile in one of the ponds at Cannop

A photo of a crocodile at Cannop
A croc lurks in Cannop Pond.

A crocodile lurks, stone-cold and still, very close to the Gloucestershire Way at Cannop. The croc. is a creation of nearby Forest of Dean Stone Firms.

A bridge in the woods

On a recent walk visitors were shown a stone built bridge deep in the Forest. It was built as one of two separate bridges to carry the mineral railway over the Blackpool Brook and a forest ride. The photo shows the bridge over the ride from below. The railway has long gone but the bridges now carry the popular Family Cycle Trail across the valley.

A photo of Family Cycle Trail near Central Bridge
The Family Cycle Trail near Central Bridge

Autumn is Approaching

It’s still warm in the Forest and beetles are very evident at this time of year on the Forest footpaths. The small gathering above was seen on a recent walk near to Boy’s Grave.
There is a profusion of bright red haws in the woodland and in hedges this year and plenty of rose hips to be seen on New Fancy – where the Geomap has just had it’s annual clean.