This week we headed up the M5 to Tewkesbury a small Gloucestershire town close to the river Severn on the western edge of the Cotswolds. The town was the site of a decisive battle in the wars of the Roses. It has a magnificent Norman abbey and a remarkably well preserved old town full of black and white half timbered houses with overhanging upper storeys.
We went further up the Wye valley for our Sunday walk to Monmouth a small market town that lies at the confluence of the rivers Monnow and Wye. The settlement was first mentioned on a Roman map as Blestium , a place on the road from Caerleon to Gloucester. It is close to Offa’s Dyke the earth wall that Offa built to separate England and Wales in the 8th century. Its position meant that it needed to be heavily defended.
In the Domesday book it was described as a settlement with inferior farmland. However it became more prominent under the Normans. Geoffrey of Monmouth a celebrated medieval historian probably lived in Monmouth Priory and Henry V was born at Monmouth Castle.
The Frome valley riverside walkway forms a green corridor from the Bristol harbourside for about twenty miles to the source of the river Frome in Dodington Park near Chipping Sodbury on the edge of the Cotswolds. Last week our walking group covered the first five miles from the centre of the city east through the inner city with its graffiti and litter on through Eastville Park and Oldbury Court estate to Frenchay. The green corridor means that otters, bats, foxes squirrels and rabbits can often be seen in the heart of the city. Part of the walkway is close to where we live and we often spot cormorants, kingfishers and herons waiting to catch something for their dinner. Continue reading “Frome riverside walkway”