Herefordshire Week 183: Tuesday 27 June – Monday 03 July 2023

Oxford, Highnam, Aconbury Camp & Athelstan’s Wood, and Pembrokeshire.

Drinks on the Decking
Drinks on the Decking

Monday’s flat tyre meant I needed to rejig my Tuesday plans a bit, so that I could take the car to Bernie Jones’ for some new front tyres. I had already bought an entrance ticket and train tickets to Oxford to visit the Labyrinth exhibition at The Ashmolean Museum, and luckily the exhibition ticket was for the early afternoon so I had time to get a later train.

GWR’s new timetable appears to have given up on most of the direct Hereford-Paddington services, so instead the journey requires a change in Worcester from WMR to GWR which makes for a much longer journey, and carries the inherent risks of dealing with two separate TOCs. On the plus side, the last minute advance First Class ticket was cheaper than the Standard so at least I got some complimentary refreshments on the Worcester to Oxford leg, which put me into a better mood.

I didn’t think much of the exhibition though. Bit of a waste of a day.

Another outing on Wednesday, this time on a group trip with dad and Jean to visit Highnam Court gardens and Highnam church. VWW once I got home.

Highnam Court
Highnam Court

Thursday was a rare day at home, although it did feature tea and catch up with A in the morning. Mowed in the afternoon (getting a stack of insect bites in the process – and they itched for days) and then got the garden railway track and other dad railway related stuff down out of the loft and cleaned it up. Too much and too tired to inventory it, so I’ll need to reschedule my visit to Hereford Model Centre. Caught up with RG over Zoom, with beer and Bombay mix, then dinner and telly.

I had my first class at GV gym on Friday morning – Stretch with Caz – then home for a quick tidy up my office ahead of H using the guest room elements tomorrow (she and C arriving for our Pembs minibreak) before heading out into Hereford again – tip, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and B&Q for Pembs Purchases, plus fresh cheese supplies for J&J’s party tomorrow.

In the evening, we wrapped up Ted Lasso series 3. Just right. And pizza too.

I decided not to do the Elan Valley walk on Saturday – 90 mins each way would have made the evening plans a bit too much of a rush. So I pottered until lunchtime when Hazel and Catherine arrived. We lunched out on the patio, sat and chatted, checked out the newts and the fish, strolled around the grounds.

In the evening we all walked to Kerrys Gate for J&J’s party. A lovely sociable evening. We returned under an almost full moon, clear skies. No need for torches.

Sunday breakfast then to Little Birch for the GVWC Aconbury Camp and Athelstan’s Wood Figure of Eight walk.

Strava Map & Graph: GVWC Aconbury Camp and Athelstan's Wood Figure of Eight
Strava Map & Graph: GVWC Aconbury Camp and Athelstan’s Wood Figure of Eight

Distance: 7 miles
Walking Time: 2h 34 mins
Elapsed Time: 3h 30 mins
Elevation Gain: 944 ft

Nice route and we managed to follow the path through the broad bean field. Over 20 there and 5 dogs made for quite a slow pace so it was 2pm before we were home for a late lunch.

GVWC: Aconbury Camp and Athelstan's Wood Figure of Eight - Through the Bean Field
GVWC: Aconbury Camp and Athelstan’s Wood Figure of Eight – Through the Bean Field

Lovely drive to Pembs via Hay and Brecon, once we had Tetris-ed everything into C’s car. Gorgeous sunny evening – perfect for a glass of wine on the deck before dinner.

Monday was cool and cloudy after heavy rain overnight, and very windy, so we settled for a long stroll on the beach south to explore the rock pools. Out in St Brides Bay a kite surfer was making the most of the surf and the wind and a few folks were heading out with surf boards.

Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire
Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire

With the tide on the way out we walked north to Pen-y-Cwm Beach and back over the headland for views of Newgale Beach …. and a couple of pints at the Duke of Ed. Thatput paid to our plans to do the Southwood Estate walk in the afternoon.

Super sunset.

Newgale sunset
Newgale sunset

In garden news – I have a pea pod!

A Pea!
A Pea!

… and a cucumber big enough to pick!


TV: Ted Lasso (finished season 3 – a bit baggy in places but still lovely).

Podcasts:  History Extra, The Forum, Empire, The Essay.

Photos: Herefordshire week 183 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-07-02.