Know before you go
Parking informationParking for one car is available by the roadside (grid ref: SO 525 069). Further parking is available beyond The Crown at Whitebrook, where the road is wider.
A footpath leads up the open slopes and into the woodland, past the ruin of a small 18th Century cottage.
Margaret’s Wood is accessed through a gate, leading on to a footpath that runs up through the reserve. The terrain is steep and uneven and a thick layer of leaf litter can make it slippery underfoot, especially in autumn and winter. It’s best to keep to the well-trodden paths.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year
About the reserve
Sitting within the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Beauty, these atmospheric woods feel old and weathered. Dense green mosses and lichens blanket the gnarled branches and ferns sprout from the thick leaf litter.
Spring is a great time to visit when a mass of native wild daffodils carpet the open slopes below the woodland. The Wye Valley is a stronghold for this species, absent from most other areas of Wales. As birds begin to breed, the wood reverberates with the loud drumming of great spotted woodpeckers. Enjoy the change of season in autumn with a walk through the woods to see the trees transforming from succulent greens to russets. The squelchy carpet of leaf litter provides the perfect substrate for a rich variety of fungi.
The 1844 tithe map of this once remote area reveals that the woodland would have looked quite different. Split into smaller plots, the reserve once housed arable land, orchards and a small stone cottage thought to date from the early-mid 18th Century. The remains of this derelict cottage still survive.
Heading south from Monmouth, follow the B4293 for approximately 1.5km before taking the left turning signposted ‘Penallt’, ‘Trellech’ and ‘Chepstow’. Continue on the B4293, winding uphill for approximately 5km, before taking a left turning signposted ‘The Narth’ and ‘Whitebrook’. Continue on this road and after 1km you’ll reach a crossroads – go straight over and continue for a further 1.5km. The reserve entrance is on the right (grid ref SO 525 069), a short distance before the Whitebrook restaurant.
Near the reserve
Gwent Wildlife Trust’s New Grove Meadows, Pentwyn Farm, Wyeswood Common and Prisk Wood reserves are all a short drive away.
The Michelin-starred restaurant ‘The Whitebrook’ is just a couple of minutes down the road, and the Wye Valley Walk passes 1km to the west of the reserve.