This is a trip we nearly didn't make...
I wanted to record it anyway.
The plan was to take off from work early Thursday and head down to Froxfield, Friday morning head off to Symonds Yat. Then, on Tuesday, just before dinner, I (Hilary) fell unconscious in the downstairs corridor getting a spectacular black eye in the process. Ashley couldn't rouse me so he called 999. I was in hospital for 72 hours where no good explanation for the black out was found. Out in time to head out to Froxfield a little later than planned.
The weather was not good. Intermittent heavy showers meant that when we arrived at The Pelican the bike was no longer shiney. We were tired and wet. We managed to completely mistime things so that we missed visiting Ashley's brother. We had dinner which was pretty good. Sadly they did not have any real ales we fancied so we were forced to drink wine.
We made an early start and had a good run out to Symond's Yat. Got a bit chilled on the way but arrived safely. I don't think either of us had realised just how stunning this place is. White cliffs rising from a deep river valley, forests everywhere. We checked in to our really pleasant room with jacuzzi and headed up to Symonds Yat Rock where we saw the falcons. Not for long, but we did see the male. Also the wonderful view and several other birds. We walked a couple of the trails, going up to a high viewpoint, which I can see from the outside bar and down to the river where we walked to Bilbins bridge, crossed and walked back down the far side of the river. We visited the ancient ironworks and took the ferry back to the hotel. Dinner was excellent. The pub had a good range of beers which we started to sample before dinner. I had a whole baked mackerel and Ashley had slow roast belly pork. We shared a cheese slate for desert.
On Saturday we walked to Monmouth where we found a cash machine and an ordinance survey map. About six miles on path, road and old railway tracks. We wandered around and saw a regatta then headed back down the other side of the river looping around to see King Arthur's cave and seven sisters and loads of cliffs. Very quiet and pleasant. Walked solidly from 10 through till nearly 5 when we came back to the room for jacuzzi baths then out to the bar to watch the view, drink beer and eat very good Thornton's icecream. For dinner I had the gilt head bream fillet with asparagus and cherry tomatoes (lovely) and Ashley had the battered haddock and chips from the specials menu which looked very good. The food here is excellent. The full English breakfast is not too big for me and it has been noted that I ate the sausage. I do not always eat the sausage. I eat the sausage when it is good and not otherwise.
Today, at 10, after breakfast we set off, using the map. We walked up river, looping round under the cliffs where the falcons are nesting. We were very fortunate – we saw them both fly out of the nest hole to go hunting. Beautiful creatures...
Walked up to the log cabin near the rock for water then took the red trail and discovered where we went wrong on Friday. Though it does not take the 3 hours they tell you it does. Maybe half of that with one fairly steep stretch. We then looped over to the top of Lady Park Wood, taking a path along the top of some cliffs towards duck stone. We dropped back down to the Wye and walked back, arriving at the Saracen around 5.
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