Monday 3rd July 2006
Walked 5 miles including the first 2 miles of Offa's Dyke Path
This was not a real walking day,
but our evening stroll from Upper Sedbury House
took us first to the start of the path and then into Chepstow for a meal.
We'd travelled by train from Downham Market to Chepstow via Ely, Birmingham and Gloucester, with taxis at either end.
The first three trains were air conditioned, so we didn't fully appreciate how hot is was until we were on the final train. The weather forecast indicated that the hot weather would continue for the rest of the week, so we were beginning to wonder what we had let ourselves in for. The swimming pool at Upper Sedbury House was very gratefully received!
After our swim we walked the short distance to the start of the Offa's Dyke Path, on the cliffs above the Severn Estuary with views of the bridges. A stone marks the beginning (or end) of the walk and we got to it just before Jonathan and Angela from Oswestry who were just finishing the walk, having completed it in several stages.
They were clearly feeling the effects of the heat and were elated to have made it. We took each other's photograph with the stone; unfortunately my camera was malfunctioning so we don't have a photograph of the three of us here.
Then we set off... the start of the path follows the ridge and ditch of Offa's Dyke over open countryside and then through a housing estate
(albeit a far nicer housing estate than the book implies); in places we were walking along the ditch with houses about us on the ridge. From a position on the limestone cliffs high above the River Wye we doubled back on ourselves and across the old bridge into Chepstow. We sat by the castle for a while then had a lovely meal at the Red Lantern Chinese Restaurant. Then we walked back to Upper Sedbury House, through fields with sweetcorn growing; it was strangely reminiscent of walking holidays in France.Following day