Everyone Needs a Wendy

Travel Adventures

A bit and bite size amount of history along the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean

This month of May and my very first blog for my shiny new website is about Monmouth in Wales. 

Monmouth is in the south west where the River Minnow meets the River Wye. Nestled three miles from the boarder of England and Wales wrapped in the beautiful and breath-taking Forest of Dean and undulating sheep laden fields of The Wye Valley. The landscape is breath-taking on the most beautiful of spring mornings. 

Back in the day, Monmouth was a chosen location for a Roman settlement with a Fort. The land and location were of value that the castle was later built in 1067. Some 300 years later, King Henry V was later born in 1386. In more recent times Lord Nelson visited as his strategic naval mind identified the ideal wood for building. Fast forward a few wars and the HMS Monmouth was tragically sunk with all hands in WW1 in 1914. 

Through history it seems Monmouth definitely seemed to be a place to set up home as the land was profitable for industry, trade, military and farming. Four railways were built through the industrial age but Beeching closed them in the 60s and along with mine closures all contributed to dramatically changing the earning climate in the area. 

While industry was booming in the industrial revolution, various creative and artistic folk and the likes of Wordsworth, Coleridge and JMW Turner are said to have enjoyed the odd boat trips up and down the River Wye. I wonder what their discussions were as I have to say the land is abundant with stories, views and words full of inspiration. You can’t not be creative and feel moved even when there is chaos in other worlds.

In more recent times, this beautiful town has adapted to the modern-day tourism and all my interactions with the locals, the majority have been welcoming. If you want to ride your bike (road or mountain), meander along the river, go fishing, river or lake, sit on a veranda drinking gin cocktails or a good pub for a pint with your mates and families. Monmouth caters and is an ideal place to come and visit. 

Wherever and whatever my adventures have taken me, I always research and work out the lay of the land. For this trip, the A466 pulled my interest in and what a good decision that was.  Dogs loaded in the car we just went with it and was breath-taking in the spring sunshine this road seemed to be perfect to stop at various locations, but none so impressive as Tintern Abbey looking upon the road with a majestic medieval authority. Good parking and lovely river walk too. 

Cadora woods was another magical drive the most beautiful of walks. The trees are glorious in this ancient woodland as the bluebells were peaking their way through and no one seemed to be there except me and my two snuffling Frenchie’s. 

I am a traveller who likes to go with it. I have a vague idea where I want to go but then see where we land. Harold’s Stones, Backney Bridge, Skefrith Castle, Foy Church, all were welcoming, full of families, singles, groups, couples and all seemed to be smiling walking, or with a range of bikes and or wagging tailed dogs. 

I heard through the trees of the Forest of Dean ‘Come on Mum, you can do it’ with giggles quickly followed by ‘Your joking me aren’t you’.

I imagined a Mum desperately trying to keep up with her young boned eager son. Good ole Mums eh. Overall, I would recommend a visit as it truly is such a beautiful land and even the supermarket staff were polite. That is a bonus in this day and age.

With Smiles,