I’m back from a lovely 3 day stay at Forty Acres with Catherine and Hazel, two large bags of Herefordshire apples heavier.
Highlights included Friday’s lunch at the transformed Temple Bar Inn in Ewyas Harold (highly recommended), and yesterday’s blustery views under blue skies from Hay Bluff – the wonderful green farmland of the Wye valley. Llanthony Abbey (more properly Priory) looked splendid too, although the drive through the narrow lanes down from the Gospel Pass provided a few tense moments….
On Friday we walked from the cottage down to Abbeydore, and up the Cwm Road to and along the ridge on the other side of the valley of the Dore. Dropping down steeply into the vale of Dulas, we passed the former Trout pub (scene of many a happy childhood glass bottle of Coke) and walked between fields and forests into Ewyas Harold. Excellent bar food lunch at The Temple Bar Inn, accompanied with a pint (or two) of local brew, then back along the road to Abbeydore and a visit to the Abbey before the final stretch back to base.
Saturday featured the papers over a full English brunch, which we attempted to walk off by doing the Kerrys Gate-Bacton-Abbeydore square. We completed that rather quicker than anticipated, and so with much of the afternoon still left to play with, we went for a spin along the country roads to Monmouth, and back via the main roads, stopping off for photos at Raglan Castle. Dinner of fish and chips from The Old Stables was abandoned in favour of dining in on Waitrose roast potato, peppers & halloumi – well, we had a lot of olives to indulge in by way of an aperitif.
Yesterday, Sunday, we made the most of having Catherine’s car and sunnier weather and drove along the Golden Valley to Hay on Wye. After a shady riverside stroll along the river to The Warren as the skies cleared and the Wye sparkled, we pottered around the shops before our epic drive up over the Gospel Pass and down into and along the vale of Ewyas, the successful completion of which we celebrated with lunch at the pub at Llanthony. Rejoining the A465 at Llanvihangel Crucorney, faster roads got us to Ross in next to no time, and we spent half an hour strolling around the town before starting the drive back towards London….