The Forest of Dean

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This weekend was the August bank holiday, which is almost always anticipated as...the wettest weekend of the year. Guaranteed soggy barbecue, pac-a-mac at the beach kinda weather. And I was heading to my parents house in Wales. So let's just say I was not hopeful about our chances for a weekend of outdoorsyness. But, if there's one thing that can be said for British weather, it is consistent in it's...inconsistencies.

The sun shone ever so brightly for two out of three days of the long weekend and boy did we aim to make the most of it. Cue a post full of embarrassing family photos right about...NOW:

We started off the weekend driving up through the scenic welsh countryside to Ross-on-Wye, crossing back over the border into England. We went to check out the climbing tower at Forest of Dean Adventure which brought out all the deep seated competitiveness in my family. Despite her scrawny little arms though, my sister proved fearless and unbeatable on the wall...much to my angst.

After half an hour of flailing around abut 3 metres from the ground, watching my sister channel her inner Spiderwoman, my dad suggested it was high time we headed for a drink overlooking the nearby Tintern Abbey.

Tintern is only a 10 minute drive from our house, and is one of the most beautiful little villages, nestled in a lush forested valley. Though I was upset about my parents moving away from where I grew up, it really is a beautiful area and much better for exploring. Am I suggesting you go on holiday to Wales? Maybe not...but a weekend with views like these can't be all bad eh?

On a sunny day too, you could be forgiven for thinking you were thinking in the Loire Valley or Austria, or anywhere hilly and covered in snaking slow rivers and green forests.

We decided to bring a little chaos to these calm waters the next day, heading out in the afternoon to rent canoes and sing songs from Pochohontas (mainly my dad).

Kitted up, we set out on a three hour trip along the river Wye in two man canoes and some pretty trendy get ups.

The sun even put in an appearance as soon as we hit the water and raced our canoes against the ducks and each other.

Monday was spent relaxing and staring wistfully out the window at the downpour. I'd say think two days out of three ain't bad fact I'd call that a bank holiday miracle. 

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