Herefordshire Week 129: Tuesday 14 – Monday 20 June 2022

Herefordshire Walking Festival, part 1.

The Olchon Horseshoe - Twmpa Panorama
The Olchon Horseshoe – Twmpa Panorama

Usual work week. Additional highlights: picked up Phil from Hereford train station on Tuesday evening after his sojourn in Scotland, Ray mowed his hay fields on Wednesday and on Thursday Richard from ChipsAway came to look at the MX5 and we arranged he’d come back next Thursday to deal with the paint chips and scuffs. That’ll give me time to give it a wash…

Hay meadow mown
Hay meadow mown

Friday was the PR day before the start of the Herefordshire Walking Festival, and featured the epic “Home to Hay on Wye Hike” with the GVWC (aka just Dave in this instance), with our official route starting from Dore Abbey.  A hot, hot day, blue skies and sunshine. Glorious walking along the length of the Golden Valley. And a very welcome cold drink from the revamped Golden Valley Stores in Peterchurch at lunchtime. 18 miles all told.

Me in a meadow, Turnastone
Me in a meadow, Turnastone
Cusop Hill and the view out over the Wye Valley
Cusop Hill and the view out over the Wye Valley

Phil met us in Hay, with a restorative pint of bitter shandy in the beer garden at The Blue Boar before we headed home for a shower, pitta pockets and The Morning Show.

A very good night’s sleep.


I was booked to do the Herefordshire Trail section 1 Ledbury to Much Marcle on Saturday, but my hip / groin muscle was feeling it a bit after Friday’s 18 miles and the forecast was for rain so I decided to bail. A good decision as the “rain” featured heavy downpours. I spent the day relaxing, doing photos in the morning and on a Bridgerton Binge in the afternoon. Pizza for dinner.

Another easy day Sunday. I washed the car and hoovered inside, then P and I walked to Ewyas Harold for eggs and, because they were there, almond croissants. Back via Dore Abbey and the Abbey Dore Court footpath, finding a headless snake en route. It was quite big, an adder I think.

Dore Abbey from the Deer Farm
Dore Abbey from the Deer Farm

Late lunch then nipped down to Peterchurch to pick up an early finisher from Dave’s GV Walk. Pottered for the rest of the afternoon.


I was booked onto another HWF walk on Monday – The Olchon Horseshoe – but yesterday’s walk to EH hadn’t been good for my groin muscles and sleepless overnight I’d decided I wasn’t going to do any of the week’s walks for fear of putting Ladakh at risk.

However, once I was up and about, I didn’t feel so bad and The Olchon Horseshoe was one of the walks I’d really, really wanted to do – so I decided to give it a go. And I am SO glad I did. It was another glorious day, a bit cooler and breezier up in the Black Mountains and I now know another great route: Little Black Hill Car Park – Road down into the Olchon Valley – Footpaths across the valley & up onto Hatterrall Ridge – Straight across Offa’s Dyke Path at the stone signpost – Down to Capel-y-Ffin – Footpaths to Pen-y-Maes and up onto the ridge – Ridge to Twmpa / Lord Hereford’s Knob – Gospel Pass – Hay Bluff – Hatterrall Ridge & Ridge back towards Black Hill – Back down the Cat’s Back to the car park. 13 miles, 3000 foot ascent.

The Olchon Horseshoe - Me at Hay Bluff
The Olchon Horseshoe – Me at Hay Bluff

The only fly in the ointment was that my back up phone ran out of battery, so my Strava Map only shows the route as far as the return turn off from Offa’s Dyke Path for the Cat’s Back. Still, I know that bit blindfold.

(Partial) Strava Map: The Olchon Horseshoe
(Partial) Strava Map: The Olchon Horseshoe

Home for a pot of tea and a scone,  and a spot of bird watching sat out on the patio with Phil.


In the garden, the lilies are out on the large pond.

Lily
Lily

We have apples and pears growing on the fruit trees and cherries and blackcurrants in the orchard. No gooseberries though. In the herb bed, veg plot and coffin planter, we have lettuce galore and broad bean pods have appeared.

Green galore: Herb bed, veg plot and coffin planter
Green galore: Herb bed, veg plot and coffin planter

TV: The Morning Show, Bridgerton (season 2)

Podcasts: History Extra, The History of England.


Photos: Herefordshire week 129 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-06-19.