At six miles, the Tuesday morning walk on March 9th was rather longer than usual and made the most of a lovely morning.
Sixteen walkers, led by David at an easy pace, set off up the hill from Lower Redbrook and through Upper Redbrook to join the Offas Dyke Path. There was plenty of time to look down into the valley of the brook, very attractive now, with features of its industrial past providing the structure of the gardens, houses, woodlands and fields.
They then carried on down through the woods to the bridge at Monmouth. From here they had to follow an official temporary footpath diversion pending repair of a landslip on part of the riverside path back to Redbrook. Unfortunately this bypassed an attractive section past the spectacular old railway viaduct. However once back beside the river it was an extremely enjoyable and peaceful stroll back to Redbrook along the riverbank.
The nineteen walkers led from Monmouth by Neville on Saturday, March 13th, felt as though spring had arrived. There was warmth in the sun that shone for most of the day, the ground was much drier underfoot, crocuses were out, as well as the snowdrops, and in some places even the daffodils were about to open.
The walkers headed west from the town and were soon shedding clothing to keep cool - despite a very easy pace - up the steady climb from the valley floor up towards Kings Wood. Keeping south of the wood the open views to the south and west were beautiful and remained in view until mid afternoon when the walkers circled back round to enter Kings Wood to join the Offas Dyke Path back to Monmouth. The woodland paths gave a reminder of autumn as the group scrunched through thick carpets of dry leaves. Brief stops were made to admire Treowen, a four-storey house, built in 1563, and often referred to as the tallest house in Gwent, and to look at the old church at Dingestow with a large mound nearby which is all that remains of the castle built in 1184 by the Sheriff of Herefordshire. But it was the beauty of the early spring countryside that made this walk so rewarding.