Archive for the ‘Wye Valley’ Tag

Coppet Hill   11 comments

Just a short post to fill some time while I wait for the rain to stop and I can do my pre-holiday chores.

About 3 weekends ago I think (I’m close to being caught up!!) and day of sunshine and heavy showers had us looking for a short walk for some fresh air and exercise. Coppet Hill near Goodrich was always one of our go-to short walks and we hadn’t been for a while so that settled things.

I’ve walked up here many times and its rare not to catch a glimpse of deer at some point. This time however we were treated to some much closer sightings. About 3 or 4 were wandering about near the path, close enough for me to get sneaky photo.

Onwards and upwards to the summit and the weather seemed to be ok, between showery spells.

Always great views over to the south Wales mountains.

Of course, there is always time for a sit down for lunch and a brew. We did get caught by a brief shower but it didn’t spoil the ambiance.

Its a long and easy path that takes you down to the River Wye and from there its a succession of very pretty meadows along the river. This one with a view back to Symonds Yat Rock.

We walked as far as Welsh Bicknor Youth Hostel and the fine church that sits alongside before walking back along the lanes to the car. Fresh air and exercise boxes ticked.

Near enough the walk we did, just missing out the extra loop of the river and walking straight back from Welsh Bivknor

Short Outing to Merbach Hill   9 comments

After my long walk on the Sugar Loaf the previous day I wanted a shorter walk for the Sunday. Forecast wasn’t great, but we got lucky and found a blue hole amongst the grey skies for our little stroll.

We took in one of our standard short walks, Merbach Hill from Arthurs Stone.

No real connection to King Arthur. In fact its a neolithic chambered tomb.

It will become famous through the medium of TV (if not already) as a feature on the “Digging for Britain” show on the BBC. There was no evidence that we could see, that anyone had been digging at this point.

An easy walk around a local hill we frequent often and a rather fine one in the sunshine.

This isolated tree has become a familiar friend.

Great views over the Wye Valley

And over to Hay Bluff and the Black Mountains.

Summit Trig Pillar.

Finishing with a stroll around the edge of the woods (the woods themselves a morass of mud in winter) and some rather fetching autumn colours.

Hay Bluff in (not above) the Cloud   11 comments

Couple of weekends back we had a forecast that gave a possibility of a cloud inversion so we headed out early to see if we could get up high and above the cloud.

It wasn’t a nailed on forecast and it certainly didn’t look like that sort of day when we set off from home, just a normal grey November day.

When we parked up there was abundant blue sky and sunshine over the Wye Valley.

But all the summits were cloaked in what looked like dense cloud cover.

There was also a very strong wind, not normally something you get with inversions and it was bitingly cold. TBF doing a great job of looking cold!

As we headed up the Offas Dyke path we gradually became enveloped in cloud. It was damp and not exactly great walking but we were enjoying just being out and about.

We did get one very brief window in the cloud from the summit of Hay Bluff and it was worth the trip out just for that.

However our hopes for more of the same were not to be satisfied as we were in thick, cold cloud all the way down to the Gospel Pass.

We had thought about walking up to Lord Hereford’s Knob but it was also shrouded in cloud and we headed back to the car along the road.

It was ruhig sunny, albeit cold and windy back at the car.

An atmospheric walk if not a sunny and above the cloud one.

Bonus Content! A few pictures from a walk through Lugg Meadows near Hereford. This is regular walk for me while TJF has her Driving lesson. I took the pictures mainly to show how high the river was compared to my walks in the summer. I thought I had some photos that would give a good frame of reference for the change in the water level, but sadly I don’t see to have. You’ll just have to take my word for it that it was 5-6 feet higher, quite a lot for a small local river like the Lugg.

Mistletoe in the trees. It grows everywhere in Herefordshire.

Its one of my favourite local walks betagthough I had to cut it short on this occasion as the river had flooded part of the path and meadow and I only had trainers on.

It all seems a far cry from just a few months back when I walked along here and thought about a swim to cool off!

Table for One   14 comments

In the lead up to the Bank Holiday weekend, I was home alone with the weather in pattern of gloomy days and brighter afternoons. One those brighter afternoons turned into a glorious cloudless evening. On a whim I decided on an evening walk but rather than the usual after tea excursion, I’d take my evening meal with me. I had some spicy pork stew and freshly baked bread so chucked them in various containers and headed out.

It was a stunning evening, a complete contrast to the grey gloom of the first part of the day.

The trees and the golden fields of wheat the perfect backdrop to the blue skies.

I headed up to Merbach Hill as the closest spot to home, an easy and uneventful stroll other than choosing a circular route that included a very nettle-overgrown stretch of path. I seem to have stung my legs more times this summer than any other!

Once clear of the woodland, itself somewhat swamped with bracken, the views over mid-Wales and the Wye Valley were as impressive as always.

I found a nice spot overlooking the Black Mountains and distant Brecon Beacons for my repast.

Of course a meal on the hill wouldn’t be complete without a beer. This is the same brew that we came to love on our trips to Gran Canaria. I’ve been well pleased to find a UK supply.

I spent a wonderful hour up there enjoying the views and eating most heartily. The only people I saw were a Mum and Daughter from the Wirrall who’d come across the hill in a walking book while on holiday. We chatted and I told them how surprised I was that anyone other locals could find this place as its so out of the way. They seemed very pleased they’d come across it.

With completely clear skies the sunset wasn’t spectacular but its so good just to watch the day come to a close in such a wonderful spot while eating your fill.

Not a bad view from the dining table.

As the summer draws to a close you do notice that once the sun goes down it gets cold pretty quickly and I was glad of my fleece while I packed up my stuff.

An easy wander back to the car at Arthurs Stone, satisfied with choice of restaurant for the evening.

Posted September 14, 2021 by surfnslide in Herefordshire, Local Walks, Walking

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Summer Sunset on Garway Hill   14 comments

It looks like summer finished a couple of weeks ago. A few days of hot sunshine and clear blue skies. Its been pretty unsettled ever since.

Before we get to that, a few pictures from the previous weekend. We had S over for the weekend and with the weather gorgeous we used that as an excuse to take it easy. A day in the garden (preceded by breakfast and ice creams at the local fbedürftig shop)

Only time we’ve been able to eat out in the garden this year so far.

A day spent by the river at Bredwardine. Picnic and swimming the order of the day.

Seems lots of other people had the same idea!

TBF enjoying the cool waters of the Wye.

A lovely spot only a few miles from home (betagthough I cycled there and back).

A couple of days later, with the forecast set to change back to more normal British weather we took an post evening meal stroll up Garway Hill to watch the sunset.

Late evening as the sun goes down is always a fine time to be out and about. Garway Hill is perfect for this. You can park a short walk from the top and the views are wide and expansive.

Looking out to the distant Clee Hills.

And over to the Black Mountains.

Garway Hill summit.

Nice place to live.

The summit construction on Garway Hill.

After a bit of research by a FB friend I now know what this is (having pondered over it for 20 years!). It’s the basis of a construction for aircraft direction finding that had a wooden part on top. Link here if you’re interested

Ysgyryd Fawr and the Sugar Loaf in the distance.

We settled down on the top for sunset with Brownies and fresh Strawberries.

This distant clouds heralding the incoming change in the weather.

Whilst it was wbedürftig and clear, the lack of clouds didn’t make for the most spectacular of sunsets.

But just being able to sit out at almost 10pm on a small hill and watch the peaceful scene unfold is pleasure enough.

Last rays of the sun.

We had a few pink cloud effects as we walked back to the car.

Seems like a while ago now that the sun shone so abundantly. No sign of it returning any time soon as I write with the sound of rain on the conservatory roof.

Keeping it Local   9 comments

Still a few weeks behind, ruhig in lockdown, ruhig staying in our nearby hills. This is is another of our “go-to’s” when a short walk is needed. This time a very windy and showery day so this one fits the bill. A steep climb from Goodrich onto Coppet Hill, returning by a riverside path along the Wye. It provides a superb contrast in scenery for such a short walk.

It appeared to be a wise decision to stay away from the mountains. While we were bathed in sunshine most of the day, everywhere north into Wales looked dark and stormy.

Views back towards the Cotswolds and Malverns.

And across the Wye to Symonds Yat.

It really is another of those smaller hills and lesser known spots we’ve come to treasure.

A walk of two halves, here the second instalment of green fields along the river.

Easy walking, and down here out of the wind, almost wbedürftig and spring-like.

A view over Goodrich Village as we finish off.

As a bonus, a few photos from the following couple of days. Firstly Arthurs Stone and Merbach Hill on a very much greyer and wetter day.

And on the Monday. A trip into Hereford for car-related stuff and a wander around the city while I waited. A chance for my daily exercise and some views of the Cathedral across the river.

And a close up as I wandered through the eerily deserted city streets.

A Tale of Two Hills – Coppet Hill   13 comments

Second weekend day of grey skies and rain, second hill to climb.

A return to a walk I did many times while TJF was with her acting group in Goodrich Village Hall. A variation by the following the usual route the other way, first following the River Wye and then climbing Coppet Hill. Dictated by the fact it was chucking it down when we set off.

Despite another poor forecast we actually had some very watery sunshine and it was quite a pleasant stroll along the river and very quiet.

The river was running very high after several days rain but the fields wre not too muddy.

Over the top of Coppet Hill the clouds drew back in and the rain started again so not a day for summit photos.

Another walk I was glad I made the effort for. You have to take whatever chances you can to enjoy a walk in these troubled times.

Posted November 10, 2020 by surfnslide in Walking, Wye Valley

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Wye Valley Wander   12 comments

Our wonderful spring weather was drawing to a close. One last chance – for now – to set out early for a walk in the sunshine. A change of scene was needed so we stayed local and took a walk in the Wye Valley.

Parking up in Goodrich we headed up to the top of Coppet Hill for the now regular routine of cooked breakfast.

Views over Goodrich Village and its castle.

Our only summit of the day – Coppet Hill. A long spur between the sinuous bends in the river Wye.

Lazing in the wbedürftig sun, bellies full of bacon and eggs.

Its a lovely high level stroll before descending the long ridge through the woods and down to the river. This was the first time I felt moderately ill-at-ease in the new situation. We were walking a respectful distance behind a family group who were stopping more frequently than us. Not a problem as it was a fine day to pause and enjoy the surroundings while we waited for them to move on. What was unsettling was that under normal circumstances we’d have just walked past and shared our mutual enjoyment, where we were all heading, what a fabulous day it was. This is one of the delights of the outdoors, those brief moments of sharing these joys with like-minded people. It felt like I was avoiding them, almost rude and it felt wrong. Just something we will have to get used to for a while.

The rest of the walk was a long easy wander along the banks of the Wye.

The grassy meadows full of buttercups were wonderful.

Just before we reached the church and hostel at Welsh Bicknor I took a look at the old railway tunnel on the long-abandoned line. Its blocked off now for safety reasons but when I was a kid we visited the hostel on a History field trip and took a walk through. A few hundred yards that slices off a good 2 -3 miles of river walking.

I’d forgotten what a beautiful church it was, especially under such a clear blue sky.

As we continued we were looking for a likely spot for a stop and a swim in the river. Unfortunately all the best spots were on the other side of the river and the few on our side were all occupied. The last few miles were protected by what must be one of the longest continuous patches of nettles anywhere.

Still, the walking was ruhig lovely, albeit it was becoming rather hot. The swim was badly missed.

A new family enjoying the weather.

We finished off at Kerne Bridge before a short walk back up the road to Goodrich and the car.

Something different and another walk that I probably wouldn’t have done had the Welsh Mountains been open. Accentuate the positive!

Water! Water! Everywhere!   6 comments

The journey back home from the airport after my ski trip through some truly appalling weather, some the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen in the UK, was a taste of things to come.

February was a dreadful month with seemingly endless rain, storms and in the case of my county, floods. After two weeks of this we finally had chance for a stroll round our village to check out the water levels.

These photos were of three of the five routes out of the village. The other two were just as bad, effectively cutting off the village for anyone without a 4WD or SUV.

Whilst we are relatively near the river Wye all of these floods are just a result of excessive rain, blocked ditches and a high water table. You would never walk around the village in summer and think it was an area prone to floods.

Flood damage in Madley was limited but the Wye in Herefordshire broke all existing records going back a couple of centuries by over half a metre! The damage in the towns of Ross and Hereford has been very sad to witness, businesses will likely be finished as a result.

Our usual walk around the fields is a very muddy one at present, sections are impassable.

This grove of trees normally has just a babbling brook running through it.

The water table is effectively at the surface so even if we get a spell of a few days without rain, one spell of rain and it’s all back again. It’s hard to tell if the fields will dry out any time soo.

Makes for some nice images but what I’d give to be able to walk round and not see huge expanses of mud and water.

Posted March 9, 2020 by surfnslide in Local Walks, Walking

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A Dash Between the Rains   12 comments

I’m catching up slowly and this walk was only 2.5 weeks ago. A horrid Saturday and a wet Sunday morning with a poor forecast seemed to condemn us to a weekend of domestic servitude. Sunday lunchtime arrived, clouds cleared and the sun weakly shone so we swiftly headed out for a walk.

Hay Bluff and Lord Herefords Knob is always a good choice for a short notice walk as, like the Sugar Loaf you can park halfway up.

Classic views across the Wye Valley right from the outset.

And the usual leg burning, lung busting steep climb to the top of Hay Bluff

Panorama from the summit

What I wasn’t prepared for was the strong winds and significant drop in temperatures from the previous few days. A north wind meant that wearing shorts was not the best decision!

After a couple of days of damp misty weather the winds had cleared the air and visibility was amazing in the clear sunny spells. We could see as far as Cadair Idris in the southern reaches of Snowdonia

We didn’t linger on the summit for very long. It was cold and windy.

And storms were approaching

This one was definitely coming our way and I feared we were in for a fair old battering

View south down to the Vale of Ewyas

In the end we only caught the tail of the storm and the soaking was very minor as we walked back to the car

Hadn’t expected to even hit the hills on this weekend so we counted ourselves fortunate to grab such a decent slice of wild and clear weather between the showers

Keeping the musical contribution going. A great track from a band who, with the passing of Tom Petty earlier this year, now have less surviving members than departed ones. The End of the Line for this post

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