Members of the Tetbury Ladies Luncheon Club enjoyed a sumptuous lunch at the Calcot Manor, topped by a talk — “Down the Wye Without a Paddle” — delivered by a Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tour Guide.
The talk focuses on the development of British tourism in the 18th century, which started with River Wye tours, from Ross on Wye to Chepstow. The tours became very popular after the publication of the first printed tour book, “Observations on the River Wye, etc.” by the Reverend William Gilpin. Gilpin was an amateur artist who defined the “picturesque movement” with precision. He wrote extensively about Ross on the Wye, Wilton Castle, Ruardean Church, Lydbrook, Coldwell, New Weir (which we know as Symonds Yat), Monmouth and Tintern. Some of his experiences and observations were considered eccentric then, as they are today.
However, even after dining on salmon en croute and creme brulee, the members were alert enough to enjoy the talk!