The main route to the north of the Trothy is 10.5km (6 1/2miles) long and passes through land belonging to the country estate of Treowen and through King’s Wood. There are also several short cut options. It is difficult to say which King the wood was named after, but given that Monmouth became a Royal lordship in the middle of the 13th Century it is possible that it was named after Edward III.
Directions From Monmouth
Leave Monmouth on the A40 Dual carriageway heading towards Raglan and turn left before the road tunnels. Alternatively leave via Drybridge Street, bearing right at Esso Garage, signed Abergavenny A40: Newport/Cardiff A449. After two miles pass through Mitchel Troy village and after another half-mile turn left onto the road signed Dingestow. DO NOT join the Dual carriageway at this point! In another half mile turn right on the unsigned minor road to reach the parking lay-by over the bridge on the right.
Lay-by parking is available for vehicles and trailers on the minor road south of Jingle Street at Grid Ref. SO 475105, best approached from the old Monmouth to Raglan road. There is no access to this site from the dual carriageway. Make sure your trailer is safely, securely and considerately parked before starting your ride.Please see below for more detailed directions to the parking area.
Using the Bridleways
Follow the blue arrow markers or the bridleway fingerposts with horse and rider symbols. Keep to the line of the bridleway as described, especially when crossing farmland. Take care not to damage land, fences or gates. Remember that in bad weather your horse’s hooves can damage surfaces. Take care when you meet other bridleway users, including horse riders, cyclists or walkers. Some parts of the route are permissive, by courtesy of Forest Enterprise.
Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work. Guard against all risk of fire. Fasten all gates. Keep your dogs under close control. Take your litter home. Help to keep all water clean. Protect wildlife, plants and trees. Make no unnecessary noise. Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone.
For peace of mind it is essential to wear a hard hat, secured with a chinstrap, to British Safety Standards. It is recommended that you have at least third party (public liability) insurance. Further information on safety and insurance is available from the British Horse Society.
All routes start and finish at the lay-by parking area on the lane south of Jingle Street.
Leaving the dual carriageway behind you ride down the lane, cross the River Trothy to reach the driveway to Treowen House. Turn right and follow the track.
As you reach the farm buildings on your right the short spur from Digestow Village joins the main circuit through the first of two gates on your left. Continue on past Treowen House on to your right, and on to stocking sheds on your left. At the far end of the sheds is a choice of routes. Both meet in the middle of Kings Wood. The main route is 5.2 km or the short cut is 4.2 km. Both are described below.
The short cut continues straight on along the track passing cottages on your right and left before reaching a lane. Cross diagonally right, go through a gate to follow the track. At the end of the track go through another gate and continue uphill passing a barn on your left. Pass through two bridlegates and enter the wood. Follow waymark posts along a grassy track up through the wood. Cross over one forest track and continue on until you join the main forest road, where you turn right to join the main circuit.
From the main circuit turn left at the end of the sheds and go through a gateway. Follow the track through the wood for 350m and enter a field via a gate. Bear slightly right, keeping just to the left of the prominent cone of the sugar Loaf mountain in the distance (if visibility is good!!), to reach a gate in the corner of the field near to a prominent tree. Head straight down the field keeping a line of trees on your right to reach a field gate and a concrete bridge.
Go through and follow a partly sunken track that curves up to the right. Follow the waymarking to a gateway. Carry straight on, keeping the hedge on your left, through three more field gates; the first of which is a boundary between farms. Please ensure this gate is firmly closed after use. A forth gate then brings you out onto a lane.
Carry straight on between buildings and after a few meters the bridleway track go straight on as the lane turns right. You are now on Offa’s Dyke Path. After 700m pass through a bridle gate next to a forest barrier into Kings Wood. This is Forestry Commission woodland that is managed on behalf of the nation by Forest Enterprise. Continue for anothe r 350m ignoring the two tracks off to your right to reach the main track crossing. At this point Offa’s Dyke Path continues straight on. Turn right and immediately on your right you will see where the short cut from Treowen rejoins the main circuit.
After 100m fork right at a junction of tracks and follow the track which curves upwards before levelling. Pass a track off to your right, and continue for another 200m where you reach a junction of bridleways. The spur to your right is an alternative route which leads via Whitehall Farm and lanes back to the start (Make sure if you take this route to bear right at this point and not turn right down a wide forest ride, and use your maps for directions).
For the main circuit carry straight on for 100m to a junction of bridleways. Fork left to follow the main narrow section, which descends for over 850m crossing over one main forest track. On reaching a second track turn right. Follow this around passing a track that goes down to your left and shortly afterwards turn right onto a small bridleway through the trees. When this reaches a forest road turn right. Follow the road to a broad road junction. Turn left then immediately right onto a narrow bridleway up through the trees. This eventually brings you up over the top of the rise and down again to rejoin the forest track, and the latest short cut. Turn left and after 200m fork right keeping to the wood edge to reach a bridle gate into a small enclosure. Continue straight on through a second gate into a large field. The reason for two gates at this point is to prevent stock entering the wood. The gate on your right is another bridleway link to Whitehall Farm.
Using the finger posts as a pointer, head diagonally down through the scattered trees to a dense copse where a waymark post points you down the line of a sunken lane. Continue down passing through a bridle gate to reach the open field. Carry on keeping the hedge on your left, but eventually bear right to reach a field gate in a fence line. Carry on following the obvious tractor route to the road. Riders should be aware they are entering a road on a bend, and drivers approaching from both directions are unsighted. Turn right and follow the road around to pass the entrance to Talocher Farm and a fork in the road leading to Whitehall Farm on your right. At this point you are 1km from the car park. Continue along the lane, turn left at the telephone kiosk at Jingle Street before returning to the start.