THIS is a moderate circular walk of just over 6km (four miles) across fields, woodland, and country lanes.

Start: Mounton Brook Lodge (formerly the New Inn) on the A48 in Pwllmeyric, near Chepstow.

Parking is available in the nearby village of Mathern and may incur a cost.

Cross the A48 and turn right towards Chepstow for about 150 metres.

Shortly after the hill starts, look for a stile which is partly hidden on the left down a wide driveway to Brook House, which was once an inn.

South Wales Argus:

On the left stood Box Tree Farm, which used to be the Parish Pound where stray cattle or sheep were “impounded” until reclaimed by their owner, who had to pay a fine for their release of their livestock.

Cross the stile, turn right and follow the path, with the hedge on your right and Mounton Brook meandering across the meadow below you to your left.

Keep straight on, ignoring a stile on your right and a bridge on your left, and cross a stile at the top right hand corner of the next field boundary. Then walk down the field and cross the footbridge adjacent to Mounton Cottage.

Turn right into the hamlet of Mounton passing Mounton Church with its ancient yew tree.

Originally known as Monkstown, Mounton was part of the Priory of Chepstow, located on the pilgrim trail from Chepstow to the Cistercian monastery at Tintern.

South Wales Argus: The countryside near Mounton, Chepstow

The countryside near Mounton, Chepstow

Continue on through this delightful gorge past several 16th and 17th century cottages.

At the traffic roundabout, turn left and take the road signposted to Shirenewton, passing the site of Linnet Mill, one of three paper mills once found in the Mounton Valley.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the population of Mounton ebbed and flowed according to the fortunes of the local paper industry. Linnet Mill was demolished in the 1970s; the other two were Lark Mill and Lady Mill, located further up the Mounton Brook. Water from the brook supplied power for all these mills and from 1773 to 1876, they manufactured mainly paper, including bank notes.

When paper manufacturing ceased in 1868, Linnet Mill was used to produce carpets and cloth. The mills closed in 1893.

After about 150 metres, cross a stile in the hedge on your right and walk across a small field to a footbridge over Mounton Brook. Two more stiles take you over the driveway to Valley Cottage, which is on your left and then, after about 50 metres, cross another stile on your left into Great Barnets Wood.

South Wales Argus: PERCHED: A dipper pauses on a rock in Mounton Brook, near Chepstow. Picture: South Wales Argus Camera Club member David Cole

A dipper pauses on a rock in Mounton Brook, near Chepstow. Picture: South Wales Argus Camera Club member David Cole

Continue straight along the valley and after about 400 metres, fork right and cross a stile into a field named ‘The Leighs’. This field is known locally as the Target Field because it was here that Chepstow Home Guard trained and carried out target practice.

Turn left and follow the edge of the field for about 150 metres before re-entering the wood over another stile. The path continues uphill, crossing a track after about 100 metres and then merging into a wider track after a further 200 metres.

Continue on this track until you reach the forestry car park which is just off the main B4243 Chepstow to Usk road.

Turn right in the car park and right again after about 100 metres, to follow the wide track through the wood.

Continue for about 300 metres and shortly after another wide path joins from the right, go down a short track on your right to a stile which will take you back into ‘The Leighs’.

South Wales Argus: A view looking out across several fields, towards the Second Severn Crossing, from the road to mounton.

A view looking out across several fields, towards the Second Severn Crossing, from the road to Mounton.

Turn left and keeping to the edge of the field cross over three more stiles, to find yourself on the road at the hamlet of Bayfield.

Bear left along the road for about 50 metres and then turn right along a single track lane for about 500 metres passing the driveway to two large houses, Brynderwen, built in 1874 and Bigwood, built in the early 1900s.

After a further 60 metres cross a stile on your right, turn left along the driveway to Mounton House, and then right after about 30 metres over a metal squeeze stile.

In 1910, Mounton House was renovated by Henry Avray Tipping, architectural editor of Country Life magazine and a leading authority on the history and furnishings of grand country houses.

Mounton House was his most ambitious project and he rebuilt it in the contemporary Arts and Crafts style for which he is best known. He added formal water and wilderness gardens and employed 12 full time gardeners to maintain them.

South Wales Argus: Being watched: Mounton, near Chepstow. Picture: Rhiannon Ferguson

Being watched at Mounton, near Chepstow. Picture: Rhiannon Ferguson.

Cross the stile and head diagonally left across the field to another stile. Until the 1930s, this field was the local cricket pitch and home ground to a cricket team founded by Henry Tipping himself.

Cross the stile and, after about 30 metres, turn half right down to a stile next to a metal gate and then carry on to the corner of the field to another stile and double gate.

Keeping in the same general direction, continue diagonally left across the next field looking out for a narrow path on your right going steeply down to the field boundary. Here you bear left and follow to the stile at the end.

Cross the stile and you should now recognise where you are. Turn left and continue on to the A48 where you turn right and soon find yourself back at the start point.

All of the footpaths should be signposted from tarmac roads and way-marked with yellow arrows at various stages along the footpath. If you follow the general direction of these you are unlikely to go wrong.

Although the description may indicate a stile, ongoing improvements to the Public Rights of Way System may mean that these have been replaced by gates or kissing gates.

This walk was from .