Chelmsford and District Welsh Society holiday May 2022


Twenty seven members and friends set off on their annual jaunt to Wales on the 1st May, bright and early. Luckily for us we were in the capable driving hands of Trevor who has often accompanied us on our travels. Traffic was light and we got to Ross-on-Wye for our lunch stop and to look at the sights. At ‘The Prospect’ we viewed the River Wye, had a look at the majestic St Mary’s Church and visited the gallery in the Market House. We then made our way through the Herefordshire countryside to our hotel in Hereford. We were made very welcome and, after a delicious dinner, our members were superbly entertained by the Monmouth Male Voice Choir. Their repertoire included a range of songs, both familiar and new. Their compere Martin was very entertaining and the passion and joy was reflected not only in his words, but the music too. Several of our group joined in with the last song, Calon Lan. Then we all retired to the bar for a very convivial ‘afterglow’, singing songs from all four corners of the British Isles!

Monday included a visit to Hereford Cathedral and a brief look around the town centre and cathedral close. Inside the magnificent cathedral we had a guided tour which really made the building come alive for us and our guides, Ruth and Graham, were accomplished and informative. We also saw the famous Mappa Mundi (an ancient map of the world) and the Chained Library. The refectory offered a good lunch and some of us enjoyed the fresh air and had our lunch al fresco!

After our tours, we travelled onto Hay-on-Wye over the border in Wales. A scenic run in the hills brought us to the ‘Town of Books’ quite bustling on a May Bank Holiday Monday. Several of our group purchased books and we enjoyed an afternoon cuppa in some interesting tea places!  Back at the hotel, we enjoyed another good dinner and had time to relax afterwards and see the last few minutes of the World Snooker Final!

Tuesday was an early start to travel down to the further reaches of the Wye Valley. First stop was Chepstow with its great Norman castle. The town offered a few shops and tea rooms, one of which was name the Ugly Mug Café! We then went on to the peaceful village of Tintern with its magnificent ruined abbey. It was a good place for lunch with the abbey in view and the wooded hillsides around us and with the River Wye running by. Our group enjoyed a stroll and some visited the abbey. After Tintern we travelled on to the market town of Monmouth.. There was plenty of opportunity to shop, the cheese shop proved popular! The Shire Hall, with its exhibitions of local history (Geoffrey of Monmouth and Henry V), along with the court room where John Frost the famous Chartist rebel was tried, were some of the interesting displays we looked at. Some of us even ventured deep under the building into the gloomy cells. A few members also went to the military museum and enjoyed a good look at the artefacts on display and found out about the history of the Monmouthshire regiment. We then made our way back to Hereford, had dinner which was followed by the lovey Allison and Steve Allan who entertained us with songs from the musicals, again some familiar and some new to us. Allison is a friend of Diane and it was lovely to see their reunion after several years.

The last morning dawned bright and Trevor loaded the coach and we said our goodbyes to the hotel and make our way into cider country. The fields around Hereford are, in places, full of fruit trees. We visited the Westons Cider Mill at Mach Marcle where we had time for a morning coffee (al fresco and some of us sat inside an improvised cider barrel!) and an opportunity to purchase some Herefordshire cider. The bottles certainly clinked on the way home!

The final stop on our tour was the Cotswold town of Bourton-on –the –water. It proved to be an ideal lunch stop as well as a good place to just stroll along the River Windrush and browse the quaint shops. Some of the group visited the Motor Museum with its vintage vehicles and toys.


Then it was homeward bound and we arrived (after the inevitable hold-ups on the M25) back at Radley Farm at 7pm.

                                             Kay Bright May '22