Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom
July 22, 2012
From journal Going West, South-West
October 1, 2006
Westbury Court is in Gloucestershire at the side of the River Severn in the small-unspoilt village of Westbury-on-Severn. It was only a 30-mile journey from Abergavenny and we passed through some exquisite countryside on route, crossing picturesque canals with pleasure boats idling their way down stream and having great overviews of the Wye valley before encountering the mighty Severn, which at 220 miles is the longest river in the UK. It starts its journey high in the hills of mid-Wales before arriving at the Bristol Channel and as we started our descent to Westbury-on-Severn we were able to appreciate its indisputable majesty.
The Forest of Dean places an important role in the local’s eyes and is full of history having ancient megalithic sites (Clearwell Caves) through to the industrial revolution and the coal mining of the 20th Century. Further enquiries certainly suggest that this is a place to return to and investigate more fully. Today we just enjoyed a leisurely drive through this royal forest that was the first forest to be designated, in 1938, as a National Forest Park. It was known as "the queen of all forests" and is said to have been inspirational for JRR Tolkien in writing the Hobbit, Dennis Potter and more recently JK Rowling in the magical adventures of Harry Potter. Certainly there is no denying the mystical qualities of the forest although I have to join in the scepticism of a recent disclosure that Robin Hood was based here rather than in Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood.
Westbury-on-Severn is itself a pretty little village and claims to be one of the best villages in which to view the "Severn Bore" (The Severn is a tidal river and "the Bore" is the wave) and it’s apparently not unusual for surfer or canoeists to ride the "bore" as it progresses up the river. I’d love to have seen that! On low tide (as long as you’ve got Wellington boots) you’ can check out the foot of the Garden Cliff, with its distinctive red and grey bands, for prehistoric memorabilia – notably fossilised plesiosaur bones and sharks teeth copralites (fossilised dinosaur dung), fool's gold, and "devil's toenails" (fossilised oyster shells).
We were on a mission Westbury Court Gardens – here we come!
From journal Westbury and Beyond
Leicester, United Kingdom
April 28, 2006
Guides to this place can be obtained from the tourist information centre in the docks and will lead you either through the royal forest route or through the heritage trail. I combined the two and saw the best of both. The royal forest can be reached from Gloucester in just 30 minutes by car (take A48, turn onto the B4151 and join the B4226).
First stop the Arboretum. Next to the entrance is a hand-carved, wooden sculpture made by the Visually Impaired Wood Carving Group. The trail takes you through the forest, where many different kinds of exotic trees are planted, all intended to be explored by touch.
Drive on to the Speech House Hotel, built in 1676 as a hunting lodge for Charles II, or stop in front of the hotel to see the stone monument marking the centre of the forest.
For a nice outdoor picnic, turn to B4234 toward Lydney and stop by the Cannop pond where a woodland stream will hold the fascination of younger visitors. If industry attracts you, make sure you visit Hopewell Colliery. Go underground and back to 1820's coal mining life.
Another stop on your trip could be the town of Coleford. Here you can visit the GWR Museum, leaving the car at the free car park in front of the museum, or you can head through Mushet Walk Archway, designed by Thomas John Sibley to commemorate the life and achievement of metallurgist David Mushet and his son. Coleford is also home to Ribena blackcurrant drink, the Carter’s original factory was set up in 1947. The town centre is a conservation area and there are some fine examples of Georgian Architecture, so why not to have afternoon tea here?
Take the B4228 toward Chepstow and ideal attraction for children is Perrygrove Railway. You travel for one and half miles on a unique 15" gauge estate steam railway! Some 400 yards further on is a pre-Roman opencast ore mine, which today is mainly popular for its extraordinary landscape.
For another glimpse into a unique part of British heritage stop and visit Clearwell Caves. Large caverns show how the iron ore was won. Ochre pigments are still mined here and used in various industries.
After having enough of the 18th-century mining atmosphere, turn to the village of St. Briavels (pronounced Brevels) where the castle dates from the 12th century and is now a youth hostel, so you can stay here in the middle of the forest, sleep at the castle and dream of the lives of King’s who would return here after their hunting adventures in the Royal Forest of Dean.
From journal Birthplace of My Angel Housemate