A tough but gorgeous walk taking in views of the Golden and Wye Valleys, Herefordshire
A colleague suggested this walk although I am not sure I went the way he intended. Turning off the B4348 I followed the sign to Vowchurch Common and parked about halfway up the hill on a wide grass verge at the start of a footpath by a sign for Wilsons Place. This walk is quite tough in places and wearing only light walking trousers and a t-shirt I was dismayed to find myself chest high in stinging nettles and brambles quite early on. A sturdy stick would have been useful at points to clear the path and hidden holes and ruts in the undergrowth meant I stumbled a number of times. However looking at my route on the map below I think I could probably have avoided this difficult start by not turning off the wide bridle way onto the, obviously rarely used, footpath.
View Circular Walk From Vowchurch Common in a larger map
Eventually, after about a mile, the the path cleared and I found myself at the top of a hill overlooking the Golden Valley. Here we also met some pot bellied pigs who came running to greet us which freaked Bandit out somewhat and his barking brought the owner and his dogs out to investigate. He was a pleasant chap and gave me directions that would take me down to Monnington Court and up through some woodlands from the top of which I could view the Wye Valley.
I really enjoyed this walk and apart from the pig owner and a milkman on the lane I didn’t see a soul. In fact a number of times I almost jumped out of my skin when the MyTracks application on my phone announced the distance I had travelled.
Making my way down to Monnington, I cut across a field and into Guys Estate which is a beautiful managed woodland. Following the path brings you out onto open land from where you get spectacular views of the Wye Valley. A camera really doesn’t do justice to the views as they are truly panoramic. After about a mile, walking along the ridge, I cut back down through the woods and into a valley looking back towards Monnington.
Leaving the woods I began the steepest climb of the walk and on reaching the top sat in the sunshine for a breather and to give Bandit a drink. From this point we crossed another field, passed through a small coppice and eventually onto the road about a mile or so above where I had parked the car.
The total distance for the walk was a little under seven miles according to MyTracks although I would say it is probably closer to five. There are numerous stiles, none of which are dog friendly so Bandit once again found himself being hoicked unceremoniously over. The footpaths are clearly signposted and the area seems riddled with them giving plenty of opportunity for further exploration.