Soudley Ponds and Blaize Bailey
Yesterday's after-lunch walk was at Soudley Ponds. We found a great new route that took us firstly to the viewpoint at Blaize Bailey, offering scenic views of the River Severn, and then returned us to the car park via all four of the ponds.
Soudley Ponds is about a 25 minute drive from the cottage. It's a quiet little spot, and there's a free Forestry Commission car park that's never had more than about half a dozen cars when we've visited. From the car park, we headed up the hill. It's a reasonably steep climb (for the Forest of Dean!), but well worth it when you get to the top, head right, and reach the stone structure of Blaize Bailey viewpoint.
We continued along the track in a southerly direction, and then nipped through a small path in the bracken onto a track that would take us down to Soudley Ponds. A map or good instinct is very much recommended! We eventually reached the ponds, and enjoyed the peaceful path alongside them, crossing the bridge at the spillway between each pond. The whole walk was about 5 km, and took us 1hr30mins. A nice little walk and worth doing again.