And so on we go, we are not in the forest yet but crossing grassland and the occasional tramp on tarmac, there are cattle but no sheep as yet and occasionally away to the right there is a glitter of sun on water, which denotes the River Severn, pretty broad as it nears the Bristol Channel. Beyond it is the rising of the Cotswold scarp, turned blurry-blue in the heat-haze.
This is pleasant walking and easy navigation up to Boughspring and then the first patch of woodland (Parson's Allotment on the OS), which was cool and pleasant. Here, on the right, you will see rising suddenly about 100 yards off the path a standing stone, which is a marker celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond jubilee in 1897 - altogether a very pleasant spot.
This whole section through to Alvington and beyond is actually very lovely, particularly just beyond Woolaston Slade, where the path jackknifes back on itself and then follows a gentle downhill, partly on tarmac, to Alvington. To the right, the view of the river is at its best and a constant companion, with some nice photo-opportunities.
It was here, in the lazy August heat, we saw a dragonfly flitting amidst the vegetation and we were sufficiently interesting to warrant a few repeat flypasts, which was magical. Perhaps it is the proximity of water but there was an odd feeling of coastal walking on this section, the narrow lane was flanked by tall ferns and with the sun beating down, it could almost have been Dorset.
But enough of the whimsies, our stomachs were now calling and we pressed on to our preferred lunch spot, a point just beyond Alvington where the path passes between two ponds just before Kear's Grove.
It is a good spot, there are a couple of low stone bridge parapets where sandwiches can be placed and legs rested, whilst behind you, about 20 feet down, water rushes. We chose the nearer one, which was in shade and we needed respite from the strong sun.
The guidebook recommends exploring the area for other, better eating spots and I am sure that would reward you but we took the easy option with one eye on the clock and still some five-odd miles to do.
You are likely to see people here, we gave way to a straggling line of ponies bearing young riders under tuition and further on, two more experienced riders were cantering along the ride through Kear's Grove, a steady climb uphill immediately after lunch.
We were back in woodland now, after crossing the road at Clanna Lodge and the first section was easy to follow through to Rodmore Grove. However, towards the end of the latter came the first of the navigational challenges, the area leading up to Willsbury Farm.
The path was very indistinct and there are other footpaths intersecting, which made it tricky. It was here that I was grateful to GPS for keeping me right and giving me the confidence to push through a rare overgrown section of the path. Immediately following was another section needing some thought, around a small pond but we made it with a certain amount of wandering and cursing and then the path is clear again, especially when you hit the road, where a fingerpost directs you across fields. The first was cereal crop and the farmer had kindly left a good gap to show the way.
Two fields later and we were on the road to Bream, which was a welcome sight but thus begins the biggest navigational challenge of all - through the woods at Parkend.
Bream is a real hotspot for poor signal and you are likely to lose the support of GPS here, which is a shame because this is when you need it most. However, take your readings whenever you can and it is actually not far from Bream to Parkend at all, providing you can keep on the right path, the actual route dropping you nicely into the RSPB reserve of Nag's Head.
A good stopping point would be the car park here, where there is a little wooden building with some information on the area. To reach your accommodation in Parkend, follow the graded track down to the road then turn left and the village is only a short way. There are two pubs, The Woodman and The Fountain, and also Whitemead caravan and camping site, which has a restaurant and bar plus small shop.
But the main thing is to put your feet up - that is a good day's walking from Chepstow and tomorrow there is more to do before you stand in the shadow of May Hill, one of the loveliest spots in Gloucestershire.