Places to stay, things to do, good food and drink
To celebrate the fantastic areas for Dog walking in the Dean Wye, we’re inviting dog owners alike to send in blogs and pictures of your pooches enjoying their Forest and Wye Valley walks. Don’t forget to also share your poochy pictures on social media using the hashtag #DeanWyeWoof!
If you would like to contribute a #DeanWyeWoof send it with some pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terrier Tom – Wye Valley Walk from Bigweir Woods
Hello folks, it’s been quite a while since I last put paw to paper, and now here is summer with us at last!
My folks have a friend visiting, so thought it was a good opportunity to take us both on a new route today. They drove us down to a car park on the Offa’s Dyke Path, a little way up the hill towards St Briavels and Mork from Bigsweir Bridge…..of which more later!!
We set off on Offa’s Dyke Path, climbing through what some information signs said were two areas of ancient woodlands, one called Bigsweir Woods, the other Highbury Woods (this second one I’ve talked about on one of my earlier posts). There were some great scents in both the woods, and I was delighted to find that in between them was a long section walking at the edge of some grassy meadows….I love leaping high over the tall grasses and feeling them tickle my tum!
We met a group of walkers who said they were doing the whole Offa’s Dyke Path, which is a long long walkies of over 177 miles….crikey, I do like my walks, but I’m pleased to say OUR walk today was only about 7 miles…
We came down to the River Wye at Redbrook, and had coffees (for the humans) and water and a piece of nice stinky tripe brought from home (for me…yummy!) at the The Bell Inn, which is open by 11am most days.
After our refreshment break we were on our way again, dropping down to cross the river (oops – nearly put ‘Rover’ there!!) by the wooden footbridge, which the folks say is next to what used to be a railway bridge…not much left of the tracks, so I was glad we weren’t planning to let a train take the strain today….Mum and dad say that once we cross that bridge we are in Wales, so this was an ‘international’ walking route.
Now, at this point my folks usually head straight for the lovely Boat Inn which we all like very much. Today instead it was onwards onto a disused railway track beside the river to Whitebrook, and then through meadows right at the water’s edge for a time, back to Bigweir Bridge where we crossed back to the English side of the river. On the way we met some giant wooden fish…..I had a nice chat with them as you can see from my photo.
Now, about that bridge, it is really old (a lot older even than my dad) as it was built in 1827. 190 years old…wow! And mum told us that this is the spot, way up from where it joins the river Severn below Chepstow, that the river Wye stops being tidal.
After that we had a little bit of a climb back to the car park, on the road at first then back into the woods. We got back just before there was a short shower of rain, so I didn’t even get my paws wet!
I enjoyed this walk, and hope some of you might try it too. There were only a few stiles the whole way round, which meant mum and dad didn’t have to lift me up much.
Terrier Tom – a walk from Redbrook
I thought you might like to hear of another walk I’ve been on recently with my folks. It was a nice spring day, with trees coming into bud, and we saw early spring flowers, including snowdrops.
Mum and dad drove us down to Redbrook, right on the banks of the River Wye. We often go across the footbridge beside the old railway crossing there, sometimes to walk and sometimes to visit the Boat Inn, a nice little pub that is dog friendly. I like going there, and so do my folks!
Today we didn’t cross the river, and instead set out on a new route, which mum said she was researching for the Coleford Area Walking Festival which takes place between the 15th and 21st May.
We set out climbing uphill for a while, then went into some really old woodlands, where there were lots of exciting animal smells that were most interesting. At one point we heard a sort of cracking twigs noise, and in the distance saw maybe six or seven deer. I was held very tightly on my lead!
Later we saw loads of white ducks or maybe geese on a pond. It was so funny watching them, stretching up tall! To start with I thought they must be swimming around, but then realised the pond wasn’t quite deep enough, and they were actually wading!
There were also loads of pheasant. I think someone might have been hunting them somewhere near by, as we could hear quite a bit of shooting. But dad said, maybe they were just clay pigeon shooting?…
The other place we visited was Newland, which mum and dad say is a very historic old village. We went as far as the church, which is sometimes called the Cathedral of the Forest. At the moment there are repairs being done to the tower, which is all wrapped up in scaffolding. You’d have thought maybe they could have spared just one stick from it, for me to play with….!
Then it was back into the woods again for the return back down to Redbrook. I really enjoyed my walk and think any dogs that go on it later this year will also enjoy the walk through those woods!
Griff’s #DeanWyeWoof Blog
Woof, my name is Griff and I have only been in the Forest of Dean for three weeks as I am only 11 weeks old. I have been getting to know my family over the past few weeks and have decided to start blogging about my adventures (after all human babies are computer literate before then can walk these days, so why not?).
The most exciting thing is that I am now “walk ready” because I’ve had all my vaccinations, but I can’t go too far just yet! This weekend, Mum took me to Beechenhurst as it is a great place to meet lots of people, dogs, bicycles and even children who are having loads of fun in the play park! It was so great! I met loads of people and they were all very friendly. I also made a few doggie friends and can’t wait to see what else there is to explore in the #DeanWye! #puppysocialisation #DeanWyeWoof
Bob & Jess New Fancy to Mallards Pike Walk
Hello we are Bob and Jess and we live in Coleford – The ‘Pride of the Forest’. We took our Mum and her friend on one of our favourite walks today which starts at New Fancy Viewpoint, which is only a short drive from Coleford. We like New Fancy as there is lots to do before we even leave the carpark. First of all we explored the Miner’s Memorial and then walked up to the amazing viewpoint, it is a bit early yet but soon there will be lots of birdwatchers up here looking for the goshawks which means lots of opportunity for extra cuddles. After admiring the view we then walked down to the Geomap where the humans never seem to tire of looking up mines and finding them on the map to see where they were and what they mined. (There is a lovely leaflet on New Fancy that can be found here the humans tell us).
Once we had finished our tour of New Fancy we took Mum and her friend off on our walk which heads to Mallards Pike. There are some Geocaches along the way but sadly they never seem to contain doggy treats despite how helpful we try to be when the humans are looking for them. The walk starts right over in the left hand corner of the carpark (if you are facing the viewpoint) and this takes you on to a path where you can see some of the wall from the old mine, there is a big wooden marker at the start of the path with a yellow bike tyre pattern on. We go along this path and through a gate until you reach the cycle path (Mum says it is fine to walk on the cycle trail as long as you move out of the way when the bikes come). At the junction turn left and follow the trail to the crossroads. At the crossroads go straight on until you get to a T junction at the end of the path and turn right. Follow this path all the way until you get to Mallards Pike, just go straight on at the path junctions.
On the way to Mallards Pike we pass Go Ape where the humans for some reason seem to like swinging through the trees like monkeys. We don’t understand this as there are lots of lovely things to sniff on the floor and trees and bushes to explore. Once we reach Mallards Pike, we always have to wait while one, or usually all, of the humans go to make use of the toilets, we often seem to hear the phrase ‘never miss an opportunity’ here for some reason. Any poo bags are disposed of in the bins and then we can admire the view, sometimes we get an ice cream from the van but shhh daddy doesn’t know about that. There is a mermaid on the back of a frog sculpture here and lots of ducks for us to admire. We then head around the lake in an anticlockwise direction. There is a doggy swimming point just over the bridge but we don’t do clean water, only mud. After a tour of the lake we start to head back to our doggy transport. At the far end of the lake there is a bridge / view point. Cross the bridge and go straight on here (don’t head back towards the toilets) and that then brings us back on to the main path that went past Go Ape. Turn right here and head back up the path. At the staggered crossroads this time we turn left where the windy path works its way back up to the cycle trail (there is a white arrow on a post pointing this way). At the crossroads we turn left and head back up the path until we reach the sign post for New Fancy which directs us to turn right back through the gate and up to the carpark.
The walk is about three miles so we are pretty pooped afterwards and tend to curl up and snore for the afternoon, sometimes the humans do too! We always meet lots of lovely humans on this walk and the lake looks fantastic on a cold and frosty morning. Sometimes though we pop into The Speech House Hotel for a nice cream tea on the way home.
Walks with Harvey
Hello my name is Harvey and I live in Coleford in the Forest of Dean, it is the most wonderful place to live and I go out for a walk most days. My Mum calls herself a fair weather walker so most of the time I go with my Dad. In Coleford we have what my Dad calls the VC recreation park this park is named after Captain Angus Buchannan, a very brave Coleford resident who won the Victoria Cross in 1916. The area is great to run around in and my Mum and Dad have both said that it has plenty of bins to put my business in.
As you see from the pictures I sometimes go with my Auntie Kathy and my family. We all run together as it is very safe for us all. I meet lots of other dogs at the park and we all have such a great time.
My Mum and Dad have lots of favourite places in the forest and so many of them are on our doorstep, Mallards Pike is one. My Mum likes this place as it has toilets and she always seems to want to go. I can have a lovely walk around the lake and meet so many doggy friends, some go into the water but not me I prefer dry land. After our walk sometimes Mum and Dad have a coffee as it has a mobile van by the lake, I just get a dry dog biscuit.
If any dogs are reading this please show it to your human family as the forest is very dog friendly and it is a fantastic place to come with so many walks for everyone.
Terrier Tom – A walk from Coalway
Today my folks popped me in the car for the short drive from our home to Parkend Walk in Coalway. I was delighted when we got there as this is the start of several of my most favourite walks in and around Coleford!
We started out along the wide track which heads to Nagshead Lodge, but pretty soon turned right onto a grassy track through the woods, that drops quite steeply downhill, coming out on the cycle track just above Fetter Hill. It was a bit frosty this morning, but not slippy, I would love to lead my folks down that hill in the snow – that would be fun!
The sun was shining all the time we were out, making the woods look gorgeous for my folks. For me, there were loads of exciting scents to sniff and enjoy!
The folks decided to follow the cycle path past the site of the old Darkhill ironworks, which have information boards telling the humans the history of these works, as well as the Titanic works a bit further along the path.
We followed the cycle path through Milkwall, and then went over a stile (with a doggy gate for me!) onto a footpath crossing the Bell’s Golf Course.
This can be an exciting stretch, where the folks have to watch out for any golfers. Today I came across a golf ball right where I was about to put my paw! I was very interested, because I do like playing with balls! My folks told me ‘no’ so sadly I had to leave it exactly where I found it…such a shame!
The path comes out in Coalway, via another stile with doggy gate, leaving just one more short stretch of woodland to explore before arriving back at the car.
It was a great 2.5 mile walk. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it!
Colin the Springer Spaniel
Hello, my name is Colin and I live with my owners Lisa and Julian Morris at Paws a While with Me.
I have been a very busy boy lately, welcoming new doggies into our house and going out with Mum on lots of small group walks and spending some time with Wills who came over with his owners from Bristol for the day.
It all started at The Old Ferrie Inn on the River Wye at Symmonds Yat – I thought I was going for a walk and swim but Mum, Dad and our guests wanted to eat. The pub is very dog friendly and made us very welcome though we had to stay on our leads – I didn’t mind as we were lovely and warm near the open fire and we got fed some treats – a bit of Springer Spaniel eye persuasion always helps!
Then we drove back over the other side and parked at The Yat – where we explored the wooftastic views and then went on the Mailscott view trail. There are lots of trails to do depending on how adventurous you wish to be, plus the added bonus of a coffee shop at the top if you just wanted a leisurely amble.
Wills and I had fun exploring on the trail and we got our humans worried as we went off on our little adventure but only for 10 minutes! Unfortunately we couldn’t finish the walk as the sun was going down quickly and had to retrace our paw prints and get back to the van … aggh well another days adventure.
What a pawsome day we had – food, fun and walkies in the glorious #deanwyewoofwoof!
Monty the Beagle
Hi, I’m Monty the Beagle and on a Saturday morning we have a lovely walk in the woods behind 5 Acres Garage (I call it the ‘All roads lead to Gloucester’ Walk.) We cross over the main road as well and walk towards Edge End which has lovely views.
Our walk takes about an hour during which time I try and chase as many squirrels as possible. My pack leader needs her wellies (wimp) but she loves the fact there are no steep hills and the views can be superb from Edge End.
I’ve attached some photos but if you want to meet me in person, I work at Forest Hills Golf Club, just down the road from those woods, from Monday – Thursday. Do come and say hello!
Teffi the Schnoodle
Merlot the Woofer
Here are some pictures of me up May hill with my Mum. She let me off the lead so I could have more fun and guess what? I found a big mass of muddy fun to play in. My mum wasn’t very pleased and threw me in a stream! What was that all about?
Daisy the Dog
My name is Daisy and I’m a West Highland White Terrior. I live at Summerhouse Photo Studios in the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley and well, I’m not one to brag but I own the gaffe. There are a couple of humans who live in my house too. They make a bit of a mess, have tons of “stuff” they don’t really need and to be honest they smell a bit funny. I keep them around because they can be useful at meal times, for opening the fridge door (who on earth thinks it’s a good idea to have the handle that high!) and when I need a scratch in those difficult to get to places.
The Forest of Dean & Wye Valley is a great place to live and I’m really happy here. To be honest it knocks spots off the Highlands with its driving stair rod rain and 6 month winters! Me, I have NO desire to head back across the wall to the motherland and the wheezing sack bladder that passes for music – I’m doing just fine here thanks! I’ve got a great country estate here and loads of exciting woodland to explore; except at this time of the year, the smell of truffles can be over powering. We dig them out of the ground whenever we can just to get rid of them otherwise the whole forest smells like a giant mushroom – really brings the forest neighborhood down! The humans go mad for them for some reason! But what do you expect? They are on the go all day with apparently no interest in getting their heads down in the afternoon, nowadays they don’t like anything with the bone still in it, they don’t chase cats and they are always conspicuous by their absence at #dogshouratdusk when the neighbors and I like nothing better than a good chin wag across the village boundary.
Anyway, back to the picture. I was having a bit of patrol and found these bottles lying around my country estate. My human was lying in the grass opposite with his camera thingy taking pictures of them. I mean, I could wait for the apples in my own trees to fall off and then make my own great tasting award winning single variety ciders. But I’m one for an easy life and someone appears to have already done the job for me. Not too sure who because I can’t read human – it’s an awful language! When we want to talk to them we just have be careful to use just a few syllables and shout really loudly otherwise they just don’t get it!
This time I took the moral high ground. I’m sorry I said, but I found them. They are in my back garden and so technically, I think you’ll find they belong to me! And no, I’m not shifting until I’ve worked out how to get the top off or you make it worth my while.