Circular Walk from Vowchurch Common

A tough but gorgeous walk taking in views of the Golden and Wye Valleys, Herefordshire

Golden Valley

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.

Pig

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.

... and out at the bottom

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.

Wilsons Place

Select this photo to view the full gallery of my walk.

Hergest Ridge

A favourite place

As I am a self proclaimed dog walker and haven’t mentioned dogs or walking yet I thought I better had.  I have been walking over what I affectionately call ‘the hill’ since we moved back to Herefordshire , from Cardiff, some ten years ago.  Always with a minimum of one dog and sometimes with family and friends, I have covered most of the open land, bisected by the Offa’s Dyke Path and still never tire of the beautiful diverse scenery to be found here, on the English/Welsh border.

Please browse my photo album below which will take you on a little virtual tour of this wonderful place and which I will continue to add to.  So come back and visit again.

Walks to try

Here are a sample of some of the walks I have taken, click on the red marker for details or use the ‘view larger map link’. All the walks start from Ridgebourne Road, the Kington side of Hergest and were recorded using My Tracks on my Android phone.

Listen!

Walk to the top and back

This is probably the most popular walk which is up over the top of the hill and then back around one half of the Victorian country race track, I walked a little further here so that the dogs could have a drink at the hill top pool.


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Off the beaten track #1

This walk takes in the southern half of the race track, the ridge and then follows the lower ground past Hergest Farm.


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Off the beaten track #2

A variation of the above walk taking the northern branch of the race track. Also shows (blue marker) where the monkey puzzle trees are situated.


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Walk to Gladestry

This walk takes you right down the ridge and to The Royal Oak in Gladestry.  Good beer but I would suggest taking your own sandwiches rather than sampling their menu, although that was a while ago now and things may have improved.


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There are other equally beautiful walks to the north through wooded hills and lower lands but I have not, yet, recorded them.