Fri-Mon May 4th-7th
Nick and Rachael
£85 (including supplement) per person for the 3 nights; camping at the hostel £15 per person per night
Travelling to the Forest of Dean for early May bank holiday. There is much to see in this ancient woodland bounded by the river Wye. This popular tourist area was traditionally a source for charcoal, iron working, coal and of course forestry. Thus creating places of interest like Cannop Ponds, Clearwell Caves, Dean Forest Railway, G.W.R. Museum, Hopewell Colliery Museum, Soudley Ponds and the Sculpture Trail.
On Saturday we plan to hire bikes and head towards St Briavels then onto Tintern Abbey on the Welsh bank of the Wye, which forms a border between England and Wales. It was the second cistercian foundation in England and the first in Wales, falling into ruin after the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. We then head up to Whitebrook along the Wye Valley Walk to the dismantled Ross to Chepstow railway line now a cycle path with stunning views of the Wye. At Redbrook we stop for lunch at the famous Boat Inn. Then carry on along the Wye Valley Walk before picking up the dismantled railway again at Monmouth, through Biblings along the majestic Wye Valley to Symonds Yat, home to peregrine falcons and stunning views over the Wye Valley. Here we will make our second stop. After being refreshed we carry on to Goodrich Castle, the noblest ruin in Herefordshire. Then back through the Forest of Dean. Approx 23 miles.
Sunday is an opportunity to take to the river Wye on kayaks from the hostel, and paddle down to Symonds Yat, approx 7 miles. There is also a walk planned, taking in the Sculpture Trail and wonderful sights of the Forest of Dean, approx 12 miles.
Monday after debunking we will be heading again to Parkend for the steam train trip to Lydney where a short walk is planned, taking us to the mouth of the river Severn. For those not wishing to take the steam train, an alternative will be available.
Many pubs and cafés on all routes as this is a touristy area. Also the hostel does everything. For the evening there will be a choice of pub, restaurant, hostel, take-away etc.
Car share, contact organiser. If you're driving, the postcode will take you to the other side of the river to the hostel - follow these instructions: from the A40 from Ross on Wye to Monmouth, turn left signposted Goodrich. In Goodrich village (post code HR9 6HX), turn left opposite Jolly's stores signposted Courtfield / Welsh Bicknor. Follow the single track road for approx 1.5 miles, crossing the cattle grid and going through the meadow, and when road splits, take the right hand track. The track down to the hostel is narrow and steep with hairpin bend, not suitable for larger vehicles and coaches. We advise that you drive with caution as the road surface is uneven. Public transport: best by coach (National Express) from Heathrow Airport.
YHA Wye Valley, Goodrich, Ross on Wye, HR9 6JJ. Full facilities including kitchen, bar, cooked breakfast and other meals.