Tourism

Walks

Head off from the Post Office in a southerly direction along Church Road until you come to the junction with The Latchen and turn right. A short distance along on your left you will come to an old stone building which is a bus stop, and just before this is a farm gate into a field � originally The Pound where stray animals were impounded (photo 1). Go through the gate and head in a straight line across the field and find a stile (photo 2), just to the left of where the brook goes through a culvert under the main A4136 Monmouth Road above (photo 3). Go over the stile and up the steep embankment to the road, where you are protected from the busy traffic by a crash-barrier which you have to climb over. Take your time to cross over this dangerous road as the traffic speeds down Hopes Hill and rounds the corner on your left at a rate of knots!

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When you reach the other side walk to your right a very short distance, where you will see a footpath sign pointing down the embankment once more, through a small woodland area, with a stile at the bottom (photo 4). Cross the stile and go on a short distance to the other stile, which you must cross too (photo 5). Again go in a straight line to the farm gate ahead of you and go through this into a well-kept grassland area. Follow the hedgerow on your left and head for the old cottage and the greenhouse ahead of you (photo 6).

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Seek out the small garden gate beside the greenhouse and go through this into someone�s garden (photo 7). You may, at this point believe that you have gone the wrong way, but you haven�t! We have checked with the owner of this cottage, Perry Barn to be certain that this is where the public right of way actually goes, which does seem a little unbelievable. The owner told us that they used to grow strawberries in this part of the garden, but for some unforeseen reason, never had a very good crop! Please admire this beautiful garden on your way through, but please treat it with respect as you turn right, down through the garden and around the house to the driveway, and out into the road (Mill Lane). Stop for a moment to see the impressive building on your left known as The Mill House but used to be known as Furnace Mill and was an early furnace, and next to that stood a tannery owned by Frederick Coleman. From here, take a right turn, ignoring all the other footpath signs, and head over the small stone bridge over the brook (photo 8), and follow the narrow lane along until you come to the end by a gated house with a signpost giving you the option of three paths (photo 9).

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Again, this is the case where one footpath goes through someone�s garden, but we don�t head that way. Instead we take the path on the furthest right (photo 10), following the brook along through a leafy glade until you come to a farm gate and a stile. Over the stile and follow the footpath for some way as it runs alongside the brook as it meanders through the fields. You will come to another farm gate which you must open to pass through (photo 11), and continue following the path and brook, until you eventually reach another farm gate that comes out into the open fields, where crops are generally grown, so please respect these (photo 12).

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From here you follow the edge of the field and the brook for quite a distance as it wriggles its way along (photo 13). At some stage you will come upon a small bridge across this brook with a footpath sign on it to your left, but you ignore this one and continue following the brook along, where the trees have been felled, and around the edge of the field (photo 14). Further on you will see another larger bridge and a farm track to your left. Again ignore this, and follow the hedgerow and wooden fence along on your left until you come to the other side of the field and seek out a small footbridge (photo 15).

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Take a left turn and follow the large trees and brook along until you once more reach the far corner of this field and another footbridge (photo 16). After crossing the bridge you may spot a stile and some steps straight ahead of you, but ignore this and instead take a sharp right turn through an archway formed by some trees (photo 17). Head across this field towards some cottages, again keeping the brook in sight on the right (photo 18).

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Seek out a muddy track that takes you over a bridge made of railway sleepers and is a track to another farm (photo 19). Don�t follow the farm track, but take a left turn after crossing this bridge and seek out another small footbridge in the hedgerow (photo 20). After crossing this, walk straight towards the wooded hill ahead of you, passing the beautiful houses to your left in a very secluded spot. You may wish to stop by another footbridge near here to admire the brook as it passes over a weir. You can�t fail to notice this, as you will certainly hear the rush of the water (photo 21).

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After stopping here, continue on towards the wooded hill that is known as Mugglewort Hill (photo 22) and is supposed to be how J. K Rowling named the Muggles in the Harry Potter series of books, as she was born and brought up in the area. Head for the footbridge in the far left corner of this field (photo 23) and then follow the path up through this part of the woods until you meet a track. Turn right and continue until part of the track comes to an end and the other part heads off to the right. Just here you will spot a narrow muddy track to your left (photo 24), which you take up through the woodland.

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Follow this track further still, but stop for a brief moment to turn around and admire the view behind you of Hopeswood Hill and the green fields of the valley (photo 25) through the trees. Go on up this steep incline through the pine woods until you breathlessly reach the top and a broken stile (photo 26). You have now reached the extent of this walk you may be relieved to read, but ahead of you is the reason for this walk � the magnificent views! To your left you will see the River Severn sprawled out across the flood plain with the Cotswold Hills beyond (photo 27). Ahead of you, you may see the red cliffs of Minsterworth in the sun, and the village of Westbury-on-Severn to their left. To your right is the small hamlet of Flaxley with its abbey nestling amongst the green hills (photo 28).

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This is now the end of the walk, and all it needs now is for you to return by the same route you came.

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