You don’t have to wait until the next walking festival to enjoy the outdoors. And where better to walk than one of the UK’s leading walking destinations: the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley?
Not to mention, there are three major walking festivals throughout the year:
- 9-12 April – Chepstow Walking Festival
- 27 June – 5 July – MonDean Walking Festival
- 25-27 September – Ross-On-Wye Walking Festival
Walking is not only healthy, but it’s a great way to experience the beautiful scenery that surrounds you every day. Below are eight awesome walking routes for this May.
GOODRICH CASTLE LOOP
Where (from and to): Goodrich Castle
How far: 8 miles (13 kms); Height Gain 95m; Approximate Time 3.5 Hours
What to see/do along the way: Two of the Forest’s best known features come together on this walk through a spectacular section of the Wye Valley Gorge
Difficulty level: Easy, fields, paths, tracks and quiet lanes
Why it’s special: Great views of the River Wye and Goodrich Castle. Plenty of places to eat and drink post walk
ST. BRIAVELS AND HEWESFIELD
Where (from and to): St Briavels
How far: 8 miles (13 kms); Height Gain 295m; Approximate Time 4 hours
What to see/do along the way: St Briavels Castle and the picturesque hamlet of Hewesfield all feature in this extended circuit of St. Briavels
Difficulty level: Moderate, old tracks, field paths and quiet lanes
Why it’s special: Medieval churches, a castle and Offa’s Dyke.
CHEPSTOW & LANCAUT
Where (from and to): Chepstow
How far: 4.5 miles (7.2 Kms); Height Gain 255m; Approximate Time 2.5 hours
What to see/do along the way: Chepstow Castle, Wintour’s Leap,
Difficulty level: Moderate, field paths, quiet lanes and a short scramble across boulders
Why it’s special: Chepstow was one of the first castles built after the Norman invasion. From Chepstow you venture along the River Wye to the ruins of St James Church
SYMONDS YAT & HIGHMEADOW WOODS
Where (from and to): Symonds Yat
How far: 9.5 miles (14.5 kms); Height Gain 465m; Approximate Time 4.5 hours
What to see/do along the way: the view from Symonds Yat; Remains of ancient hill fort & settlement
Difficulty level: Hard, woodland tracks and paths
Why it’s special: So much to see, ranging from the Symonds Yat View Point, to massive 14,000 ton boulders, reputed to be the largest in Britain
TINTERN ABBEY & THE DEVIL’S PULPIT
Where (from and to): Tintern Abbey
How far: 6 miles (9.7 kms); Height Gain 300m; Approximate Time 3 hours
What to see/do along the way: Tintern Abbey, great woodland walk, Devil’s Pulpit Viewpoint
Difficulty level: Moderate, woodland paths and tracks
Why it’s special: The walk starts at one of the most impressive ruined abbeys in the country, a great viewpoint and a fantastic section of Offa’s Dyke Path
How about this alternative from Way 2 Go Adventures?
How far: 4 x 1hr or 2 x 2hr sessions for
What to see/do along the way: Various views
Difficulty level: Easy – medium
Why it’s special: Nordic Walking taster or technique course with Way2Go Adventures. Nordic Walking is a fast growing outdoor fitness activity, if using the correct technique using poles to propel you along it give you an all over body workout, less impact on joints, as well as having a fitness element it is also a social activity and a great way of meeting new people while enjoying the outdoors.
MAISEMORE CIRCULAR WALK
How Far: 5 miles
What to see/do along the way: Various amazing views
Difficulty level: Easy
Why it’s special: We overlook large trees with birds of prey nesting and flying around – you actually look down onto the birds flying. There is also a deer farm and you can see stags and does and their young.
MAY HILL WALK
How far: 5 miles
What to see/do along the way: Spectacular views
Difficulty level: Easy
Why it’s special: The view is spectacular. Then we walk up to the top of May Hill to the 100 trees which were planted honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. You can see seven counties in England and Wales from the top and the River Wye can be followed for quite a way.