Day 12 – Bridge over the River Wye

Or, to be more precise, 3 bridges over the River Wye which were a crucial factor in today’s walk!  The good news was that Simon has very generously decided to give up another day of his time to accompany me, sporting a very fetching Cricket World Cup T Shirt as you’ll see from the start of day photo.

Start of day 12 – Simon returns!

It was another lovely sunny day as we headed off up river, spotting the first of many swans.  Soon the path took us into some nice cooling woodland, but even deep in the woods, border posts have to be maintained…..

Crossing the border.

We kept on through a combination of woodland and open fields, the river always on our right, the sound of traffic from the A40 an ever present background hum.  Then we came to the first of our 3 bridges, which Simon remembered crossing as a 4 year old, the Biblins bridge;

Bridge 1 – Biblins Bridge

It was a bit swayey and spongey – and folk have started doing the padlock thing on it, but here’s a little about its history;

Bridge safety warning

We carried on, now with the river on our left, along wide straight tracks pretty much all the way to Symonds Yat East where we had our first break of the day whilst watching an alternative means of crossing the Wye…..

Chain ferry, Symonds Yat East

Rested and refreshed, we pressed on to the most strenuous part of the walk which took us away from the river uphill and through some tricky paths.  Sometimes there was a tricky stony descent, sometimes there were fallen trunks or branches to step over and sometimes there was the lethal combination of bracken and nettles to wade through, we even had to climb a large flight of steps at one point!  However, finally made it back to nice level track and open fields, heading down a disused railway line site towards the Lydney Bridge.  This had been closed for a while due to safety concerns, but local knowledge aka Mum and Dad suggested that the 2 councils had come up with a temporary solution to get it open again.  Thankfully, they had;

First glimpse of Lydney Bridge

We were so relieved we stopped for our second break of the day, looking out at this relaxing river view;

Lunchtime view

which was right next to this not so relaxing notice…..

Welcome to the Wye!

Nothing daunted, on we went and were soon crossing over the second of our three bridges, temporary but functional;

Lydney Bridge – a temporary solution

and giving great views both up and downstream;

Busy day on the river
Quieter downstream

With the river back on our right, we carried on and soon came across St Margaret’s, Welsh Bicknor which looked fascinating from the outside

St Margaret’s, Welsh Bicknor

but, sadly, there was no time to linger!  We headed on across fields, easy walking as they’d been baled.  Then, just as the outskirts of Bishopswood village came in sight, it was back into the woods and a replay of all our worst bits from earlier in the day – wading through nettles and bracken, upsy, downsy paths with stones and fallen trees.  But then, finally, the end was in sight – there was Goodrich Castle up on the hill;

Goodrich Castle up on the hill

and we had the added bonus of a quick shower from the field watering system!  Up and over Kerne Bridge, our third bridge of the day, a quick bit of road walking down to the Village Hall and there we were – journey’s end;

The end of another long hot day.

Many thanks to Simon for walking another 13.5 miles with me, at times over quite challenging terrain!  3 days to go, 134.5 miles walked so far.  Hopefully tomorrow will get me within spitting distance of that magic 150.






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