white horse logo

The Gloucestershire Way between Speech House Hotel and the railway path
The Gloucestershire Way between Speech House Hotel and the railway path

Menu:

National Parks

| 2001 walks | 2002 walks | 2003 walks | 2004 walks |
| 2005 walks | 2006 walks | 2007 walks | 2008 walks |
| 2009 walks | 2010 walks | 2011 walks | 2012 walks |
| 2013 walks | 2014 walks | 2015 walks | 2016 walks |
| 2017 walks | 1993-2000 library | Find a Route |
| A few Routes to print out | Request a Route... |

Route No 236 - Wednesday 20 February 2008
Cannop Ponds, Gloucestershire Way
via Speech House Hotel,
& disused railway path circuit - 11km
Forest of Dean
Gloucestershire . . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base
View the route in Google Earth

Map: OS Explorer OL14 Wye Valley & Forest of Dean


One of the Cannop Ponds in the Forest of Dean
One of the Cannop Ponds

From the car park we crossed the road to the dam at the end of the higher pond and followed the path across the dam to the path along a disused railway at the other side of the pond.

This morning we drove from our hotel in Ross-on-Wye to a little car park at Cannop Ponds, map ref. SO607108 in the Forest of Dean.

Pair of Mandarin Ducks at Cannop Ponds
Pair of Mandarin Ducks at Cannop Ponds

Path up from Cannop Ponds to the Gloucestershire Way
Path up from Cannop Ponds to the Gloucestershire Way

Here we turned left to walk along the Gloucestershire Way for about 1.5km to the B4226 at the Speech House Hotel.

From there a good path led off to the south east following a small stream up the hillside for about 250m to a wide forest track used by the Gloucestershire Way.

Forest Operations
Forest Operations

The Gloucestershire Way heading toward the Speech House Hotel
The Gloucestershire Way heading toward Speech House Hotel
Sheep with young lambs resting in the forest
Sheep with young lambs resting in the forest

Sheep track - too rounded and short to be a deer
Sheep track - too rounded and short to be a deer

Bracket fungus on the Verderers Oak
Bracket fungus on the Verderers Oak

About 200m from the hotel is the "Verderers Oak", over 7.5m around its girth so maybe as much as 500 years old.

The Mahony Beech
The Mahony Beech

At the hotel we crossed the road and continued along the Gloucestershire Way.

A little nearer the hotel is a large beech tree named after Brian Mahony, a former Deputy Surveyor of the Forest of Dean.

Some of the lovely open woodland of the Forest of Dean
Some of the lovely open woodland of the Forest of Dean
The Gloucestershire Way between Speech House Hotel and the railway path
The Gloucestershire Way between Speech House Hotel and the railway path
The Gloucestershire Way between Speech House Hotel and the railway path
The Gloucestershire Way between Speech House Hotel and the railway path
At last we reached the railway path
At last we reached the railway path
Pine cones eaten by squirrels
Pine cones eaten by squirrels

Two of a group of deer crossing the path ahead of us
Two of a group of deer crossing the path ahead of us

At the railway we turned left to return around 5.5km along the railway path to Cannop Ponds and our starting point.

After about another 3km we came to the path along the disused railway at map ref. SO633145.

Part of the railway path
Part of the railway path

A series of carved sleepers set in the old railway bed
A series of carved sleepers set in the old railway bed
One of a series of carved sleepers set in the old railway bed
One of a series of carved sleepers set in the old railway bed
One of a series of carved sleepers set in the old railway bed
One of a series of carved sleepers set in the old railway bed
One of a series of carved sleepers set in the old railway bed
One of a series of carved sleepers set in the old railway bed
Back at Cannop Ponds
Back at Cannop Ponds
Path around the edge of Cannop Ponds
Path around the edge of Cannop Ponds

Muscovy duck at the edge of Cannop Ponds
Muscovy duck at the edge of Cannop Ponds

Just at the edge of the car park we noticed two deer watching us from the woods. We stopped and put the window down just as a large bird of prey flew over us to land on a tree near the deer. I managed to take a photo before the deer ran off and the bird flew deeper into the woods. Had we seen a perigrine? It would be nice to think so.

After our walk we drove to Simmonds Yat Rock to look at the view. There were several people with large telescopes hoping for a sighting of the perigrine falcons that live there. After a good look around , and a coffee just before the kiosk closed, we got into the car to leave.

Deer and bird of prey sighted as we left the car park
Deer and bird of prey sighted as we left the car park

Deer sighted as we left the car park
Deer sighted as we left the car park
Bird of prey sighted as we left the car park
Bird of prey sighted as we left the car park