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Ross-on-Wye, England

Ross-on-Wye Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
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Wandering around in Ross-on-Wye May 13, 2012
Ross on Wye is a very pretty little town on the Wye river near the Welsh Border, and it is well worth a wander if you’re in the area.

The riverside walk is designed to be accessible by buggy (stroller, my American friends), and is a short route along the river bank, with frequent park benches and large metal statues of swans. And, given that it is clearly targeted at families out for a stroll, no shortage of places to buy icecream. There are lots of ducks and swans, and on a sunny day it’s very pretty. Above the riverside walk is a garden built into the cliff, full of nice wildflowers, and above that is the Prospect.

The Prospect is one of those glorious bits of 18th/19th century philanthropism that Britain has benefitted from so much. Basically, hundreds of years ago, a local business man thought “you know what would really cheer the poor people of this town up? Fresh air, and a nice garden.” And then he bought some land and built a gorgeous park on it. There are dozens of them across the UK, built by business men who saw the value in making life a little nicer for people they would never meet (I will save my lengthy digression on social and environmental policy in 21st century Britain for another day). This particular one is on the top of the cliff next to the church, and has some stunning views over the Wye valley and a beacon that, given where it is, is almost certainly a 19th century fake rather than a real Tudor armada beacon. It’s a lovely garden.

Other things you can see for free as you wander around include some Victorian gothic walls – they look like medieval castle walls but aren’t, and the castle tower used to be a public view point but it is now someone’s holiday home – some Tudor Almshouses, and a covered market hall.
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photo by: sarahelaine