Statistics: 15.4 miles, ascent 1776′, 7 hours.
Upon finishing a superb Welsh breakfast, our hostess, Kathy Redwood at The Florence Hotel, showed us a secret path through her spectacular, 6 1/2 acre garden back to the trail.
We walked in heavily wooded trails for most of the morning until reaching Lower Redbrook, an English village in the Forest of Dean. The weather remained sunny as we then crossed the border into the Welsh city of Monmouth, much larger than the little villages encountered so far. The trail took us through the streets of this urban area and the Offa’s Dyke acorn logo became our guide/trail marker.
On our way through Monmouth, we enjoyed a pastry lunch (to our way of thinking, the best kind of lunch) before departing this fascinating Welsh community, which included an “old town” area preserved as it was hundreds of years ago, a medieval castle and the 13th century Monnow Bridge.
The remainder of the day we walked through beautiful countryside and were able to avoid several rain showers!
It is a bit disconcerting when trail obstacles refuse to stand aside, however.
We had planned to meet this evening’s B&B host at Abbey Bridge, where we were expecting a substantial road bridge with, perhaps, a sign identifying the bridge. However, it was merely a small culvert with bushes around it. This culvert occupied the bridge location indicated by our GPS. The hosts appeared soon after we reached the culvert/bridge, to drive us to their working cattle farm.
Their B&B, Penylan Farm occupied a converted barn with beautifully appointed rooms, a separate building apart from the main house. Cathy Bowen, our host, had planned on making us dinner, but several members of her family arrived from Germany unexpectedly. To accommodate these folks for dinner at her B&B, Cathy kindly booked us into a charming restaurant in a neighboring village and provided our transportation!