Having sorted the route across Earlswood from Itton to Wentwood, all that remained was to check the paths through Chepstow Park Wood. My French cousin Amy is staying with us, she loves the dogs, the dogs love her, it looked as though it might stay dry …
We started from Penterry Church and rewalked the route to Chepstow Park Wood from the old blog post. The fields between the Gaer and Pen-y-parc were knee deep in hay but apart from that it all went well. We did look at alternatives through the woods on the way back – walking across farmland isn’t easy especially with dogs – but we would have had to make quite a long diversion north to keep on walkable tracks. So what follows (partly repeated from the old blog post) is the recommended route.
Cross the main road past Tintern Abbey and walk up past St Anne’s (once the outer gatehouse chapel). Turn left and walk along the back lane past the Beaufort Arms. Once past the hotel car park, the track bears right. The OS web site marks the Wye Valley Walk up the stony track ahead of you but it’s waymarked to the left, past the limekilns and up to Rudding Farm. This is a long way up to go down again. Better to stick to the track up hill ahead of you. This is the Stony Way, built for the monks to provide access to their grange farms up the hill. It has been very eroded and overgrown, though it seems to be recovering. When you get out of the woods, the climb becomes less steep. At ST 524 988, there are stiles to left and right. Go right, walk up the field and cross another stile to a metalled road.
In wet weather the alternative is to follow the Wye Valley Walk waymark then turn right at the top and walk along the edge of the woods. Rejoin the Stony Way by a stile at the end of the woods, cross the track and take the stile up into the fields.
Cross the metalled road, walk up the hedge to your right, and bear left across the next field to the stile into Penterry churchyard.
Leave the church by the footpath going south-west across the fields. Cross the metalled road and take a stony track ahead. When the main track goes right to a cottage, keep straight on and into the forest. When the forest road divides, take the left fork, then bear left again up a waymarked hollow lane between massive stone walls. In 2005 it was possible to turn right at the top of the hill and walk on through the woods but this path seems to have vanished. Instead, go over the waymarked stile, walk to the middle of the field then turn right and walk to a gate in the far hedge, then walk along the hedge to your left. You are now on the St Tewdrig Trail (http://www.thecircleoflegends.co.uk/tewdrigtrail.htm ).
Turn left on the metalled road then right along a stony track. Bear left with the track and walk round the slope. There are wonderful views to your left. The big farm below you is on the site of Tintern’s Rogerstone Grange, and the reservoir was once a holy well. The St Tewdrig Trail goes downhill to the grange. When the stony track goes left into the field, keep straight on.
After some sadly decaying memorial benches the track bears right into the forest. Take the first track to the left. This swings along the edge of the woods to ST 48770 96518.
Here you bear left and walk down to the edge of the forest. Just past the Forestry office,
turn right on the metalled road and walk down to Itton. Turn right on the main road, left past the council houses and right on a very minor road down to the Glyn and Coed Llwyfos.
I still need to check the routes through Wentwood but there shouldn’t be any problems there, so we are pretty much sorted from Monmouth to Llantarnam.
Ymlaen a ni i’r Eisteddfod!