8th August There's something really odd about The Forest of Dean! Set on a plateau between the Severn and the Wye, it's cut off from the rest of the world. As far as this walk is concerned, there's really not much to record...a pleasant walk in the woods on another hot August day. A couple of summer showers blow through during the walk but you'd hardly know. We're hidden away, deep in the Forest. Occasionally we catch fleeting glimpses of Fallow Deer ghosting amongst the shadows but no sign of the famous wild boar...but plenty of evidence of their rooting.
7th August A gentle walk after yesterday's exertions. It's too warm to do much else! We park in the car park at Goodrich Castle and head off for Coppet Hill. Symonds Yat Rock towers above us as we sit in the shade at the edge of the woods. Peregrine falcons wheel and swoop through the haze. Other than the herd quietly grazing by the River, the silence is complete.
5th August If possible, it's hotter today than yesterday...so we opt for another walk in the woods, this time in the Wye Valley. Highlights? The cable bridge at Biblins, the hand-pulled ferry back across the Wye at Symonds Yat (£1.20 per person) and the cool shade of the woods. A relaxing 7.8 mile stroll in the woods.
4th August The first part of this walk follows the Sculpture Trail. Some of them need an explanation, others are more obviously worth looking at. There are plenty of cycle paths and we bump into cycling families at every turn. However we leave the families behind by the time we reach Great Kensley Inclosure and cross Speech House Road into Little Kensley and Russell's Inclosure. For a while the walk is more like I imagined the Forest would be, peaceful and undisturbed...until we reach Cannop Ponds...and once again we're dodging bell-ringing bikes all the way back to the car.
3rd April We find a quiet road in English Bicknor (not hard, the whole village is a quiet as the grave) and set out across the fields towards Symonds Yat. The view from The Rock is spectacular and, if the weather was a touch better, we'd have been able to miles!