Today Monday (08/09/14) has been spent around English, Welsh borders into Wales out of Wales signs have Welcomed us to England many times today, brilliant weather bright and sunny. Tintern Abbey was the first long stop this morning followed by Clearwell Mine/Caves and Goodrich Castle. Also passed through Symond’s Yat Country Park
Set in an truly outstanding location on the banks of the river Wye and although now a shell this magnificent ruin is on not to be missed and a good stopping off point after crossing the Severn into Wales. Open daily but you can get views from outside the site especially if you cross the old railway bridge over the river and walk along the foot path back opposite the Abbey.
On a wooded hill side in the Forest of Dean these caves were extended as a iron ore mine dating back over 4500 years and forward to a busy life in the industrial revolution. Some types of iron ore are in powder form reds browns yellow and purple ochre, these are highly valued as coloured pigments and are still mined at Clearwell today. Underground visit is £6.50 and self guided, for those not wanting to adventure underground there is quite a nice tea room once they turn the music down.
This Norman Castle initially built as an earth and wooden fortification. In the middle of the 12th century the original castle was replaced with a stone keep and extended to contain living quarters as well as defences. Its design is said to have influenced many other castles in England it fell out of favour as a residence in late Tudor Times. Managed by English Heritage and open daily. I asked how long the nice new visitors centre and cafe had been at Goodrich and was told 7 years – is it that long since I visited this castle.