Thursday, 28 August 2008

Camping in the Wye Valley

We joined Nico and Lize for a camping weekend near the Forest of Dean in the Wye Valley (on the border between England and Wales). It's a stunning location - a really beautiful place to go walking or cycling. Being the school holidays it was quite busy with many families making the most of enjoying themselves - many even brought their dogs along!

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Cycling in the Wye Valley

Muddy paths, steep downhills - and uphills, bridges and narrow streets - all formed part of the cycle paths we explored. We cycled in the Forest of Dean and in the area around our campsite along the River Wye (border between England and Wales).
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Cycling in the Wye Valley 2

One treat was taking the ferry back across the river. At this point are quaint homes, some B&B's and the Saracens Head Inn with a lively pub. We enjoyed the setting so much that we went back there (by car) the next day for a light supper.
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Camping in the Wye Valley 2

We stayed an extra day, so when Nico and Lize left we put up our own tent - Me having my morning cup of herbal tea.

The view from our tent while sipping my cup of herbal tea.
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Exploring the Wye Valley

The roads are very narrow so these road signs are a common sight.

On our last day we stopped at Harts Barn Craft Centre for lunch. The building was once an old Norman hunting lodge built by William, Duke of Normandy to keep his hounds when he came to hunt in the forest. We met 2 resident artists: Chris, a design jeweller and Carrie, a stone mason. Chris kindly offered to polish our wedding bands while we had lunch in the tea room. Carrie studied sculpture after school and then entered into an apprenticeship to become a stone mason. That morning she was busy carving the name of someone's house on stone - it was a prize that they had won at the stone mason's craft fair that had been held recently.

To find out more:

Harts Barn Craft Centre:

Cat's Eye Carving:

Chris Ball Design Jeweller:

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Exploring the Wye Valley 2

Our last stop was at Tintern Abbey. The Abbey was originally founded by the Cistercian Monks in 1131 AD and was later rebuilt between 1270 and 1300. Although only ruins remain, it is really very beautiful - one feels a sense of awe while walking through it. Much work is being done to preserve and restore the building - see
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Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Weekend Fun

Nico and Lize joined us for a leisurely cycle around Bewl Water.

No trip around the lake is complete without a stopover at the pub for lunch.

Jo and I baked 2 cakes for a charity "coffee morning" on the Friday evening - many laughs and much fun was had - George enjoyed the role of chief "taster"

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