Wintour's LeapWintours Leap

Overlooking a large horseshoe bend in the river.

Along the top of the eastern bank of the River Wye are the former hunting grounds of the lords of Chepstow. About 4 miles north of the town of Chepstow are 1000 acres of land that were used by the lords for hunting deer. The river here is tidal and the waters often turn brown with the tide from the Bristol Channel.

High above the river a limestone table gives excellent pale grey vantage points to view the magnificent scenery. Wintour's Leap towers over 200 feet above the river which sweeps around a large horseshoe bend and the backwash has produced a hook of land that extends out into the river. The leap is named after Sir John Wintour a hero of the Civil war who is said to have galloped his horse over the cliff and swam across the river to escape the Roundheads.

Today these wonderful views are enjoyed by tourists and walkers on the Offa's Dyke footpath which passes nearby and the cliffs are popular with climbers. The climbs can however be difficult and dangerous and are not to be tackled by the novice, the local papers are often reporting dramatic rescues of climbers in difficulty. A few miles upstream lies a natural rock outcrop known as 'The devil's pulpit' that overlooks Tintern Abbey where according to legend the devil would stand and shout insults at the Cistercian monks.