Sunday, 12 March 2017

Offa's Dyke Path

Monmouth → Pandy

lone-tree.jpg Distance: 16.49 miles
Ascent: 672 metres
Duration: 5 hours 19 minutes

Remarkable trees
« Not walked | Not walked »

What stood out most for me today were the trees. Soon out of Monmouth the path works its way through an area of forest, but those aren't the trees I'm thinking of: the remainder of the walk was through farms and across fields, and in almost every one stood an old wizened tree watching over the crops and livestock.

In the bedroom of last night's B&B was a book called "Meetings with Remarkable Trees". I didn't read it - the title alone spoke volumes - but I'd like to think there's a chapter in there about the fields of Monmouthshire.

Three other images stand out: White Castle, St George and Hatterrall Ridge.

white-castle.jpgThe castle is one of three joined by a waymarked walking route, but the only one of the Three Castles that Offa's Dyke Path directly passes. It's everything a castle should be: a stable ruin, free to enter, with minimal interpretation. It has an outer ward and an inner keep surrounded by a moat. Utterly delightful.

st-george.jpgThe encounter with St George was unexpected. The whitewashed exterior of St Cadoc's church in Llangattock Lingoed was startling enough, but inside – just to the right of the main door – is a life-size painting of St George vanquishing a recalcitrant dragon. The colours are faded, and the dragon a little indistinct. Does the dragon represent the Welsh nation being conquered by the English? The relationship between the two countries will be something on my mind for much of the week as I cross back and forth over the border.

towards-hatterall.jpgThen finally Hatterrall Ridge fell into view as the walk ended. Illuminated by a spotlight of sun, the golden brown bracken-covered high ridge was a welcome change to today's farmland. Or rather, it will be; the majority of tomorrow's walk involves walking the length of the ridge. I can hardly wait.

Posted by pab at 15:48 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!