Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Wye Valley Woods~

11th June 2010

They said it would rain today and maybe brighten up later. So we started in the safe environment of Cribbs Causeway Shopping Centre. However, it brightened up sooner than expected and I started looking at options. I decided we should take a trip over the Severn and up the Wye Valley to find a walk in the area around Tintern Abbey.

Severn Bridge

The Severn Bridge

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Marks and Spencer

Cribbs Causeway, Bristol

The promised shopping trip and as the weather cleared up, I found that I'd left my cap in the hotel, so I bought another; I discovered my shorts were also back at base - so I bought another pair - such decadence.


River Wye

We parked next to Tintern Abbey, a ruined Cistercian Abbey and set off along the river to the bridge you see here.

River Wye

The Bridge over The Wye

There used to be a railway line along the Wye Valley and this bridge supported a branch to a wireworks factory. Built in 1875 and last used in 1935, when heat-buckled rails were not repaired.


The Abbey and River Wye

The walk described in a book bought from the village shop will take us up into the woods that dominate the valley and to a viewpoint known as The Devil's Pulpit.


Up into the woods

A steep ascent on the cobblestoned track will lead us to Offa's Dyke and a high point of about 700ft asl.

Offa's Dyke

Offa's Dyke

Part of the National Trail that runs for 177 miles from Chepstow to Prestatyn.

Wye Woods

Dense Woodland

Devils Pulpit

The View from Devil's Pulpit

So named because the rock I'm stood on is rumoured to look like a pulpit and the Devil is said to have preached from here to the monks of Tintern Abbey, below. This is the only viewpoint from the walk and all the rest of the time we are in the woods - which is fine, but limits the photo opportunities.

Devils Pulpit

Me on Devil's Pulpit

Not so easy to get up and down, you may just be able to see that I emptied my pockets before making the climb.

Tree on rock

Tree on Rock

A fir tree has seeded in the crack of a rock and has now grown to such an extent that rock has split and in time the tree's growth will be its downfall as the rock will probably split again.

Railway track

The Wye Valley Railway cl. 1964

We walked along the trackbed for more than a mile, there is very little evidence of the railway other than the flat bed and glimpses of the boundary fence, here and there.

Wye Valley Railway

The Tunnel

A tunnel used to take the railway under the steep headland that the river meanders around.

Wye Valley Railway

Into the Tunnel

The recesses are provided for railway workers in the event of a train coming through the tunnel.


The Woods

Those are the woods that we have been walking through for the last couple of hours.

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey

Last year we nearly went into the grounds, but didn't have enough time. The same has happened again, but the priority was to have a good walk and I suspect that the abbey will still be there next time. We went back to the North side of Bristol, had a meal and then went for a drive down to Severn Beach to see what was on offer.

Severn Beach

Looking South to North Devon

2nd Severn Crossing

Sunset and 2nd Severn Crossing

2nd Severn Crossing

2nd Severn Crossing

This photo taken three minutes later from a different spot and with a different camera setting. The bridge was opened in 1996 and is just over three miles long with the centre span measuring 1496ft (456m).

Walkers: Karen and me.

Time taken: 2hrs 40 minutes.

Route: Tintern, over the old wireworks bridge, up to Offa's Dyke and the Devil's Pulpit. Down through the woods to the old railway track and along the bed back to the bridge and Tintern.

Weather and conditions: Sunny and warm.

Greetings Count: Quite low, nobody else in the woods, but a few folk on the old railway bed.

Richard's Refreshment Review: Nothing to report, we had coffee and a bite to eat in M&S and that's familar territory for most folk, nothing special and a fight for seats. I wish old ladies wouldn't go and bag a seat whilst their husbands or daughters stay in the queue - one day I'll have to say something.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2010 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....