A pleasant outward journey along country lanes and narrow wooded pathways. Return along an undulating waterside wooded pathway, with a section of challenging bouldering or across open fields within a rolling landscape. Take time to appreciate fragments of the medieval church nestled within the nature reserve, one of the earliest within the Wye Valley, and visit the Cadw owned Chepstow Castle during your day.
Begin your journey at the entrance to Chepstow Castle, hovering on the banks of the wandering River Wye ( Grid Reference: SJ 53498 94173) Leaving the castle behind you, turn left onto Bridge Street before admiring views from Chepstow Bridge, a beautiful architectural masterpiece defining the country border.
A stone walled path entices you forward and frames your gentle ascent, leaving the river behind and meeting a road crossing at the top where your journey continues directly ahead. Leave Mopla Road as the road curves and where the route is softened by fields. Follow signs for Offa’s Dyke Path, passing on your right a ruined lookout tower or windmill and bluebell encrusted woodland to your left. Skirt around the walled gardens and toward the dominant Victorian dwelling ahead. At the end of the field take the path to the right, as it wraps in front of the property and dips beneath a garden bridge before reaching the road.
Look out to views across the Severn Bridge as you turn left, cross the road and travel just beyond the bend, taking a small gate to a leafy path of Moyle Old School Lane. Continue ahead, carving your way along the quarry clifftop, reaching Wintours Leap viewpoint where the world falls away from your feet. From here follow the road around to the left and take the side road ‘Lancaut Lane’ toward the Lancaut and Ban-y Gor nature reserves. Drop down from the lane at the finger post to Lancaut church, wandering along the woodland path, past the lime kilns where the top path meanders onwards to the edge of the wood, through a field before reaching the small captivating cluster of buildings at Lancaut.
Pass through the gate at the top of the field and head diagonally downhill, toward a gate that meanders to the church for a flood of medieval memories of a now lost village, once filled with fisher folk.
Here your journey can take two differing returns, either through a woodland path along the waters edge or through open fields for expansive views of rolling hills.
If returning along the old fisherman’s path on the waters edge, drop below the church, passing the ruins of Fish House cottage and follow an adventurous path of occasional steep slopes and a boulder scree scramble. Feel like an Astec explorer beneath the cathedral cliff face and rejoin Offa’s Dyke Path at the wrap around pathway of the Victorian mansion before retracing your steps back to Chepstow.
If returning across cliff top landscapes, take the path upwards, climbing above the church, past the levelled platforms of the lost medieval village and back toward the lime kilns. Here retrace your steps to the left, along Lancaut Lane, to the car park and beyond to the road junction. At the junction head right, slightly downhill and, following the road just beyond the Wintour Leap viewpoint and your previous entry onto the road, to the Offa’s Dyke Path waymarked narrow pathway nestled between houses on the left.
Continue across two fields, dissected by a farm track. Side step your route through the gate on your left, avoiding the narrow path leading to houses to your right, and continue right along the hedge line toward open fields, following the track to the right of the next hedge until reaching the country lane.
(2) For a wow detour take a peek at the 5 mile traffic free Wye Valley Greenway and it’s 1080m Tidenham Tunnel.
Returning to where you left off, meander right toward Tutshill along the country lane a short distance and follow the Gloucestershire Way into the field to your right where a track runs parallel with the lane. Follow the track downhill toward the farm, skirting around the buildings before open fields blend into dwellings and enticing narrow pathways. As you emerge turn right toward the road and head left, past the bus stop and community centre, bearing right into Mopla Road until you meet your outward journey and retrace the early steps back to the bridge and the castle cluster.
Other things to note:
- Lots of food and drink outlets in Chepstow
- Highlights – Chepstow Castle , Old Chepstow Bridge, Wintours Leap viewpoint, riverside interpretation alongside River Wye in Chepstow, Lancaut Church
Option to walk to start /finish of Offa’s Dyke path at Sedbury Cliff , just after point 2 on map. 3.5 miles there and back
Transport to the start:
Parking available at Chepstow Castle or within one of the public car parks within Chepstow.