On a cold but sunny morning I set out with husband and dog for a leisurely walk down by the River Wye. A walk I hadn’t done for some time and was greatly looking forward to. We started from Cleeve Lane in Archenfield Road, walking past the entrance to Cleeve Farm, where the metalled road ends and becomes a track. Continuing down the lane, in the dappled sunlight, we past by an ancient orchard before going through a metal gate. At this point the path goes through a gap in the red sandstone cliff that the town of Ross-on-Wye sits upon.
Soon we were out in the open fields of the Wilton Sports Ground, avoiding the pitches, and heading straight for the river bank in front of us. When we reached the river we turned right and walked along the bank until we came to Wilton Bridge. On the opposite side of the river at this point you can see The White Lion PH and Wilton Court Restaurant with Rooms. Both offer a warm welcome and good food. To reach them you would have to take the steps up to the road and cross the ancient stone bridge.
We took the unofficial route, only possible when the river level is low enough and not for the fainthearted, under the bridge by the waters edge to continue along the bank. Alternatively you can cross over the road and take the steps down the other side to rejoin the river.
This area is called Long Meadow and from it you have views of the remains of Wilton Castle on the opposite bank and, in the other direction, the town of Ross-on-Wye. We walked on towards Ross enjoying the cold fresh air and sunshine. There was a single rower out on the river and a solitary fisherman casting his line into the water. The willows were already showing signs of spring with fat buds covered in frost.
We walked along the bank until we reached The Hope & Anchor PH and then through The Blake Memorial Garden behind it, and up into the town and then home. If you have more time you could stop at The Hope and Anchor for a coffee, or something stronger, and lunch. In the summer the landlady Debbie opens up Hope Treasures Cafe & Gallery next door.
If you are driving to Ross to walk you can park in Wilton Road car park for £1 all day and explore the riverside at your leisure. #DeanWye