Sunday, 3 May 2009

Journey to Exeter (part 3)

In the afternoon we continued down to Monmouth; having at one stage a brief spell on narrow B roads which allowed us a view of this cottage with its lovely Wisteria. It was about here that we lost the sunshine for a while and the rest of the day was intermittent sunshine and cloud.

Throughout the journey we had been meandering in and out of the English / Welsh border.

Approaching Monmouth the trees were beautiful and I can imagine this hillside being a riot of oranges and yellows in the Autumn.

As we passed through Monmouth I managed to get this almost on target shot of a fine Georgian house.

Monmouth is a Welsh border market town situated at the confluence of the Rivers Wye, Monnow and Trothy. This 13th century stone gated bridge is unique in Britain for its design and state of preservation, and only one of three such structures left in Europe. It was built primarily as a means of defence and possessed a portcullis and sentry rampart.

Crossing over the River Wye.

Driving down the Wye Valley towards Chepstow.

We stopped for a short while to admire the river. The bank we are standing on is in England - the opposite bank is in Wales. (This photo can be enlarged by clicking on it.)

The woods alongside the road were full of bluebells and wild garlic.

Keen-eyed Jo spotted a splash of Kingfisher blue on the far bank.

Sadly it turned out to be a piece of cloth, hung in a bush.

At Tintern there was a sign saying 'Stella's Bookshop - 50,000 books, rare and out-of-print' so we could hardly drive past without stopping.

This antique shop also served tea and cakes and was irresistible.

From the bookshop we could see the ruins of the Cistercian Abbey which was founded in 1131 and partially destroyed four hundred years later when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries.

We passed closer to the Abbey as we continued on our way. (This photo can also be enlarged by clicking on it.)

A few miles later we crossed the wide expanse of the Severn on the Severn Bridge. opened in 1966 after taking five years to be built and costing £8 million.

The bridge is 5,240 ft (1,600 m) long, consisting of a 3,240 ft (988 m) central span between the towers and the two 1,000 ft (305 m) side spans. The towers rise to 445 ft (136 m) above mean high water and are of hollow box construction.

From then on the journey is best not described as we spent a long, long time stuck in traffic a Bristol before heading down the motorway to Exeter where we were, of course, made warmly welcome.
More about my Exeter stay will appear on my Exeter Blog.


  1. Your camera must be red hot!
    Such a superabundance of photo's. Looks like a lovely journey taking in all the sights. That cake looks yummy!

    Love Granny

  2. Enjoying the journey...but I have to comment on one of the photos, because you didn't mention this and when I showed Ray, he hadn't noticed it either. It was the first thing that stuck out to me when my eyes came upon it.

    The photo where you wrote, just below it "The woods alongside the road were full of bluebells and wild garlic."

    That large hump of moss with tree branches, looks like a hidden monsterous spides...ready to attack. Glad you got out of their safely :o).

    Love to you.

  3. We didn't notice the spider - fortunately it didn't notice us either! So much to blog, so little time!

  4. Wondrous! Captivating! Spectacular! I am so glad to be able to experience this journey through your photos and blog.
    Thank you!
    The tea and cakes look wonderful. I love the Abbey. I love to stand in the middle of them and just let the history soak in. I don't think I've ever been so moved as when I was in England and was able to do that.

  5. Thanks to Cynthia, Granny, Heather and everyone for their comments on the journey - glad you enjoyed it.


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