Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Forest of Dean, day two

The second day of our break was also my birthday, so I had a bit of an indulgent day, doing just exactly what I wanted. Be warned, part of my indulgence was to be able to take loads of photos without being moaned at by Rog - he was very patient, I took almost 100 and he kept on smiling all the time! I haven't posted 100 on here, but there are quite a lot, and as I dont want you to get bored you needn't read the whole way through this blog if you dont want to.

We parked the car in the carpark at the top of Symonds Yat, and made our way to the view point, quite spectacular views over the Wye Valley.

After a while we started to make our way down the steps into the valley, almost 500 ft. below. We soon found a place where the path split into two, one carried on down very steep steps, the other led to a nice gentle downward slope. Guess which one we decided to take.

Walking down the gentle slope I think we must have covered over half a mile in distance to get to the bottom.

We didn't meet too many other people doing the walk, but a couple of horse riders passed us going in the opposite direction.

We headed off towards a footbridge shown on the map, and passed these carved wooden benches

spotted some wigwams on the opposite bank

saw some rapids

When we eventually arrived at the bridge I was horrorstruck, this is NOT what I was expecting. :-(

However, holding on for grim death and looking straight ahead all the time, we made it to the other side, the bridge doesn't look quite so scary from this angle.

By this time we had already walked a couple of miles, so now we had to walk another couple of miles along the other bank to get back to civilization. It was very quiet and peaceful, we hardly saw any other people . . .

. . . until we arrived back at the ferry point.

Not being quite sure what to do, we stood around for a while until we could see some movement on the other side, a couple of walkers were being ferried over.

Once they were on our side of the river, we got into the ferry and were taken back across the river.

As you can see from this sign the ferry is provided by the pub, the Saracens Head, we thought we had better patronise them while we were there, so we went in for a drink or two and a bite to eat, and there was the ferryman, serving drinks at the bar!

Also inside the pub was this old telephone box (working, too)

After a very nice meal and a couple of pints of Butty Bach, we wandered outside to see if we could get me a birthday ice cream, but sadly the ice cream shed was closed up. We saw a couple of great woodcarvings though.

At one thirty we started the climb back up to the car at the top of the hill, almost 500 feet, this time using the steep steps and going very, very slowly.

Several times we stopped for a rest, and eventually we reached the top. The climb is worth a whole blog all by itself, but thats for another day!

Back at the car now, after an ice cream (a magnum) from the cafe by the car park, and you can see it took us just over an hour to complete the climb.

Nothing more strenuous was attempted that day, apart from wine pouring.

Happy birthday to me.


Chrissy said...

Lovely photos Joy. Know the place well. The pub at the Ferry does some lovely meals. That long, long, bridge is new isn't it? I have never seen it before. Looks very interesting

joy said...

Hi Chrissy, no idea how old the bridge is, it was in excellent state of repair. If you go to google maps and find Symonds Yat, follow the river downstream from the western side until it does a 180 degree turn and starts to head northwards, and there you will see the bridge.

niftyknits said...

I'm not at all sure I'd have wanted to cross that bridge, bu I love the wood carvings. They look as though they've been stroked by many admirers, they have that much-loved sheen to them.

Rachael said...

Brilliant views! it's been many years since I've been to Symonds Yat and you've made me long to go back, Beautiful.