Re-picturing the picturesque is a website that documents Darryl Baird’s three-day retracing of Gilpin’s famous 1770 tour up the River Wye valley, on the western borders of the West Midlands…

“On a sunny day in the summer of 1770 a vicar and a few traveling companions departed Ross-On-Wye (Wales) towards Monmouth in a covered boat, directed by three hired men. […] The trip would take three days total, travelling from Ross to Chepstow and back. The journey required overnight stays in local inns, meals, maps, and some knowledge of the arts to fully understand and appreciate the sights along the river. [ Gilpin’s aquatint-illustrated ] account, published in 1782 became a primary source for early Romantic period excursions into the countryside of England and Wales in search of the landscape”

One man’s eye for the landscape thus found a potent way of selling the region (triggering the first big British tourism boom)…


GWR Railways Poster: The Wye Valley (1946), by Frank Newbould.

…which has so-far proven servicable for more than 220 years, and has since been applied to all other attractive parts of the British Isles.


Related recent postings on D’log: Down the Trent on a punt.