The Severn bridge in the distance
Did you see Rachel's new blogging challenge over at My Life in Knitwear? It's called See it, Blog it, an invitation to go out and visit somewhere local you've never been before but have always meant to. Well, I was game, as I have a list as long as my arm of places in and around the Wye Valley on the to-see list. So this Sunday, several hours after we had planned to set out, we eventually made our way over to Black Rock for an amble along the Severn estuary.
The route forms part of the Wales Coast Path - I find it truly amazing that you can now walk the whole 870 miles around the coast of this little country. Black Rock, our destination on the weekend, is just a few miles from the beginning of the path in our home town of Chepstow and is famous for the tradition of lave net fishing, which is still practised and demonstrated here. This spot has always been a crossing point across the estuary, with archaeological finds of coins showing its importance as far back as Roman times
Standing in Black Rock, you have lovely views of the Severn bridge in the distance. It really is awe-inspiring, what a feat of engineering! In spite of the fact that, living as we do in Chepstow, we cross the bridge to England fairly regularly, the children still get genuinely excited at the prospect. What started out as a regular request from my eldest that we put the radio on so that 'the crossing' could be accompanied by music, became, this Summer a firmly entrenched family ritual of queuing up 'Chariots of Fire' on the ipod as our personal family bridge-crossing soundtrack; suitably rousing, I think!
Having walked along the path, through the village of Sudbrook, which grew primarily to house the workers on the Severn tunnel in the nineteenth century, we ended up near the second Severn crossing. You are always conscious of living in a border town in Chepstow, with no fewer than 4 bridges and 1 tunnel in the environs where you cross from one country to another. My
Still on the to-do list is to travel further upstream to see the Severn bore (the tidal range of the Severn is the second largest in the world). We also have designs on some more chunks of the Wales Coast Path, though progress will be at a three-year old's pace, so I doubt we'll get the full 870 miles covered any time soon.