One of the things I wanted to do while in the Forest of Dean area was to cycle the Peregrine path alongside the Wye. Our wild camping spot was a bit too far from the Wye for our cycling legs so we moved a bit closer. We were going to miss this camping spot and the forest generally. I haven’t heard so much bird song in a long time, it was as if the dawn chorus continued all day, and there is something special about deciduous forests which have a much wider variety of plant and animal life that some of the heavily managed coniferous woodlands.
We couldn’t find any free spots nearer to the Wye so we booked a couple of nights on an enormous campsite – Bracelands – a mile or so from the Wye. Luckily it was very quiet so we felt like we had loads of space – I wonder how it feels in high season with all the pitches taken?
Over the last couple of days we had seen the weather really start to heat up, and during our couple of days at Bracelands we saw barely a cloud in the sky. We even treated ourselves to a BBQ.
We rode our bikes down the long hill from the campsite, trying to put the return climb out of our minds. When we reached the river cycle path we turned right at first towards Symonds Yat, then we turned back towards Monmouth. Although the bike path was well maintained, wide and level, it was annoyingly a little far from the river to really allow us to get great views. So at the Biblins bridge we decided to cross the river and take the footpath instead. A little more tricky under our wheels, with narrow sections, roots and dips, it was both more fun and much more scenic, even if it was a bit naughty.
Along the route we stopped for occasional rests to watch the river life, there were plenty of large fish (trout or maybe even salmon) jumping for flies, lots of birds as well as canoeists and swimmers making the most of the lovely weather. The trees created lots of pleasant dappled shade to keep the sunshine at bay.
At Monmouth we topped up supplies for the BBQ, this meant I had a pannier with another 10kg in it to get up the hill back to the campsite. I walked up the last steep section!