Golden Valley to Dyrham Loop

Starting from the Rose and Crown in Wick we ventured on up the road towards the Carpenters Arms where we took a right turn from the busy streets into Golden Valley. The site was originally an Iron & Ochre works. There is little of it left now though some structure can still be seen through the trees. We followed the river up until we got to the sluice gate or weir.

We then headed up hill to the viewing point that looked over at the quarry below. Mark used to work at the quarry so he knew the site well. He got a few photos as it looked a lot different now. Part of the quarry had been filled with water, maybe someday it will once again be apart of the Golden Valley trail. We carried on up the steep hill to the top and took the path to the right which lead us around the perimeter of the quarry.

Golden Valley Quarry

We climbed down a ridge that opened up into a sort of clearing. A strange structure stood in the middle. It had no signage so we were quite puzzled as to its history. It was a large structure and well built using lots of individual stones very much like a drystone wall. Having done a bit of research into it we found out that it is just an arch/folly. I beg to differ, I think it was part of a larger building given the apex shape for some sort of roof.

Leaving the wonders of Golden valley behind us we ventured out on to the road, Rock Road to be precise. This lead us to a T-Junction where we turned right heading towards a footpath taking us to Cleeve Bridge. I knew it was on the map but I did not expect it to be quite so pretty. Even though it was February and the weather was bleak to say the least this little bridge looked like something straight out of a fairytale. I can imagine in the height of summer it being quite a beauty spot.

From the bridge the path got quite muddy. This became an ongoing joke between Nigel and Mark who think that I have some sort of sexual addiction to mud. Just for the record I don't it just happens to be everywhere we go even during the summer months we always come across a patch of it and over my shoulder I hear "Look Nigel, he has found some, he has got problems" As we walked along the path I was having issues with my walking stick. It would not hold and kept folding inside itself.

We arrived at the village of Doynton, a small yet pretty place with a church and local pub that had unfortunately served its last pint by the look of it. I found a skip to throw my walking stick into and we headed on out the other side along Doynton Lane past some very big houses. We were heading towards Monarchs Way a cross country route towards Back Lane. Supposedly an escape route for King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the in the battle of Worcester. It began to drizzle and I remember the lens on my camera kept steaming up, that being said it gave my photos a nice blurry effect.

Monarchs Way

From Brick Lane we headed into the village of Dyrham and it happened again. It always happens at least once. We never know when its going to happen but it does. We go the wrong way! Our original route took us past the telephone box turning right onto a foot path that lead us down to Dyrham wood but I was too hasty in my directions and took the foot path before it. Having said that we shaved perhaps a mile maybe two off the route which we were glad of. We saved that walk for another day.

As we walked through Dryham we saw that the road ahead was flooded. As we got closer we could hear the gushing of water. If you did not know any better you would think that a pipe had burst. Instead a waterfall that ran from some ones back garden, spilled out on to the road. We had to time our crossing well as we would be targets for a dam good soaking should any knob head decide to drive through at speed.

From Dyrham we headed back along Doynton Lane, passing the entrance to Monochs way that we had ventured down an hour or two before. This lead us back into Doynton where we headed out along Bury Lane towards London Road. We walked past the back (or front) of the quarry. Mark told us how different it looked when he worked there and which rows of houses were not there previously, and the main site entrance. It was evident that the quarry is receding and winding down its operations. The pub finally come into view, we got to the car and changed our footwear. It was nice to sit down and take that first sip. It has to be said once we get settled we don't want to move, we could sit in there all afternoon. Another walk in the bag time to plan the next.

Stewart Scott Photography

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