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Penallt and the Wye Valley

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Penallt and the Wye Valley
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 07 Apr 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guidestar1 Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guidestar1 Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guidestar1 Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guidestar0 Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guide
Monmouthshire, Wye Valley
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Penallt and the Wye Valley
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guide boot Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guide boot Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guide boot Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guide
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A 4.2 mile circular walk from Penallt in Monmouthshire taking in a beautiful stretch of the Wye Valley. Penallt is set high on a hill above Monmouth and the walk begins with a long descent into the valley, before following the path alongside the River Wye and then climbing back steeply into the hills to return to the village. The views throughout are spectacular and in spring the woodlands boast a beautiful carpet of bluebells. A fairly strenuous outing, but well worth it!

The walk has several fairly steep and long ascents and descents including some sections with uneven steps cut into the woodland paths. There are a few gates plus five stiles on route, two of which are stone stiles which most dogs (and some humans!) could need help to climb. The paths are mainly mud woodland and river side tracks which will be muddy after wet weather. Approximate time 2.5 hours.

The walk starts from the village of Penallt in Monmouthshire. If you want refreshments before or after your walk then parking is available at the Inn at Penallt, otherwise roadside parking is available near the village green. Approximate post code NP25 4SE.

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Walk Sections

Penallt to Old Railway
Penallt to Old Railway

Start point: 51.7792 lat, -2.6941 long
End point: 51.7779 lat, -2.676 long

Leave the Inn at Penallt’s car park via the exit to the road and turn immediately left down a grass lane to the right of Pentwyn Cottage. Follow the grass track winding downhill and at the T-junction with a tarmac lane turn left.

Penallt village may be small but is has a few famous residents including Jeremy Cook, the BBC's rural affairs correspondent, and TV presenter Kate Humble.

Follow Lone Lane winding downhill between farms and cottages. After almost a mile you will come to Hillside Cottage on the right and a waymarker for a footpath to the River Wye. Turn right here through the wooden gate onto a stone track continuing downhill.

Pass by a few outbuildings on the left and then after just a few paces turn left marked by a yellow arrow waymarker. Climb down the long flight of steps cut into the woodland path (take care as they are a little uneven and can be slippery). At the bottom of the steps turn right and continue further downhill along a stone track to reach a T-junction with a more level stone lane. This lane is the Old Railway.

Old Railway to Washings Wood
Old Railway to Washings Wood

Start point: 51.7779 lat, -2.676 long
End point: 51.7932 lat, -2.6845 long

Cross over and go straight ahead through a wooden gate. Go down a couple of steps and then down the grass path to meet the banks of the River Wye. Turn left to follow the Wye Valley Walk with the river running on your right.

Continue along the wide grass path for more than half a mile and you will reach the old Penallt Viaduct across the river. The viaduct was opened in 1876 and carried the Wye Valley Railway across the river. Passenger services for the railway ceased in 1959.

Pass under the viaduct and follow the path as it bends left for a few paces to reach the T-junction with a road with the Boat Inn public house in front of you. Turn right along the lane and on the left you will see the various mountain springs trickling down the rocks behind the beer garden. Soon after passing the pub’s garden, fork right through a gate to rejoin the grass path running alongside the river.

Follow the riverside path and you will pass through three gates in fairly quick succession alongside a stone cottage on the left. Eventually the path enters a small section of woodland. Just before a gate ahead you will see a waymarked path (marked with yellow and blue arrows) heading up into the woodland on the left.

Washings Wood to Penallt OldChurch
Washings Wood to Penallt OldChurch

Start point: 51.7932 lat, -2.6845 long
End point: 51.7923 lat, -2.694 long

Turn left up this steep narrow woodland path into Washing Wood. In springtime the woodlands have a stunning carpet of bluebells. The path eventually emerges onto a gravel track with a vehicle gate to the right. Fork right here up the narrow woodland footpath to the left of the vehicle gate.

The path finally meets a tarmac road. Turn right to follow the road uphill. Pass a number of houses on the right (the owner’s of one of these has kindly placed a wooden chair at the end of the drive for those who need a rest during the climb!).

As you reach a sharp bend to the left in the road you will see Penallt Old Church on your right, which is well worth a quick visit.

Penallt Old Church to Stream
Penallt Old Church to Stream

Start point: 51.7923 lat, -2.694 long
End point: 51.7865 lat, -2.6937 long

The church dates from the late thirteenth century or early fourteenth century and is a grade one listed building. The main fabric of the building is medieval, although the base of the tower is earlier and the porch is later, bearing a date of 1539. The church is constructed of old red sandstone.

Follow the road past the church around the bend to the left and then ahead on a slightly more gradual climb. Follow the road as it curves round to the right taking care of any oncoming cars. After about half a mile and immediately after a fenced horse ménage, you will see a footpath waymarker on the left. Ahead of you is the Cross Derment Coffin Stone which marks the place where mourners halted and the coffin was rested on the long climb to the church.

Turn left here onto a gravel drive sloping downhill for a few paces. Take the narrow woodland footpath to the right of the tree, down a few steps and then through a gate on the right into a field. Follow the path down through the field and pass through the gate at the bottom.

Follow this woodland footpath heading steeply downhill, taking care as the path can be a little slippery. At the bottom of the path you will reach a small concrete slab over a stream.

Stream to Penallt
Stream to Penallt

Start point: 51.7865 lat, -2.6937 long
End point: 51.7797 lat, -2.6942 long

Go straight ahead into the field either using the stile or the adjacent gate which is normally open or unlocked. Follow the narrow field uphill and pass over another stile (which does have a gap underneath suitable for most dogs) to reach a lane.

Cross over and go straight ahead up the steep narrow rocky woodland path opposite which curves gradually to the left and then to the right. The path emerges through a step in the wooden fence onto a tarmac lane with a farm opposite. Turn right to follow the lane climbing once again uphill.

At the junction in the road, keep left signed for Monmouth. As the road bends to the right, fork left over the stone stile marked with a yellow arrow and a footpath sign (dogs may need a bit of a hand over this) into a field. Continue ahead with the field boundary on your left. Pass over a second stone stile at the far end of the field (or you may be lucky to find the adjacent gate unlocked) and turn right along the lane. The car park for the Inn at Penallt is further along the lane on the left.

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network Penallt and the Wye Valley Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Penallt and the Wye Valley "

Followed this walk today and really enjoyed it. Your directions are spot on and it was easy to follow .... The ascent from the River Wye was a killer although my 15 year old son didn't seem to have any trouble. A really beautiful part of the country...

By mikelannon73 on 2016-03-06 15:56:01

Great walk, the bluebells are stunning, it's a beautiful setting and the old church is well worth a visit. The only issue we had was parking as the Inn was busy, perhaps suggest park at Pentwyn Barn, Gwent Nature Trust where there are facilities too! First walk we have done from iFootpath, thanks for a great day out!

By Scirocco on 2016-04-17 19:45:56

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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