Wye Tour, Part Three: Abbey, Bridges and Castles

The final chapter of my Wye tour is an ABC of picturesque, as I test William Gilpin's assertion that the correctly picturesque usually requires architectural intervention by taking in the delights of one ruined Cistercian abbey, a pair of contrasting bridges, and a couple of Norman-going-on-medieval castles.

Chepstow Castle above the Wye

A Picturesque Wye Tour, Part One: Symonds Yat and the Kymin

The Wye Valley holds as a particular status in the historical story of British tourism. 18th century priest and author William Gilpin kick-started the notion of Picturesque, feeding into the broader Romantic movement, with his 1772 treatise Observations on the River Wye and several parts of South Wales, etc. relative chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; made in the summer of the year 1770.

As the Napoleonic Wars raged across the continent, the Wye Tour become popular as a domestic replacement for the Grand Tour.

I am lucky enough to live in an age where Schengen has replaced Napoleon, but this borderland between Wales and England remains worth a visit. Camping with my parents, we undertook our own mini version of the Wye Tour.

Looking North from Symonds Yat Rock
Subscribe to RSS - wales