There are so many wonderful walks in and around Ross-on-Wye and across Herefordshire, taking in the River Wye, woodland walks, mountainous terrain and wildlife of all description. The Herefordshire Trail is a prime example of this and with its relaunch on Friday 17 June coinciding with the 20 year anniversary of the Herefordshire Walking Festival, why not join in with the celebrations and sample the spectacular scenery our county has to offer this summer?
There are fifteen walks in total which encompass the whole of the county, from Leintwardine in the very north, right down to Ross-on-Wye in the south. If you’re up for a challenge, this 154 mile walk might take you a week to complete – or longer if you want to build it into a longer break taking in the five market towns – but it would be an experience you’d never forget.
Starting in the market town of Ledbury for the first section of the trail, a gentle 7.5 miles, you will find yourself in Marcle Ridge after a delightful hike through apple orchards, villages and historic buildings including a thatched barn at Court Farm dating back to 1503. If you fancy a short break or stopover, walkers can head down to Much Marcle, where there are some lovely accommodation options including Cwtch Cabins for a real countryside experience or you could head to the infamous Weston’s Cider Mill to sample the local cider, book one of the tours or dine at The Scrumpy House.
The second section of the trail from Marcle Ridge is 11.65 miles due south towards Ross-on-Wye and en route, takes in the 13th century St Bartholomew’s Church with its 1500 year old yew tree and hollowed out seating, Yatton Wood, Wobage Farm Pottery and the Norman Brampton Abbotts Church. If you set out on this leg of the trail first thing in the morning you’ll be in Ross-on-Wye by lunchtime, where you will no doubt be more than ready to eat at one of the town centre cafés or restaurants – try Victoria’s Coffee Shop on Broad Street, Caffe Eleganza, Truffles Deli or Avellino for amazing pizzas. Or, if you want to take in even more scenery, head up to The Royal and enjoy spectacular views over the River Wye from the outdoor terrace or head down to the riverside and enjoy a light lunch at the recently refurbished Hope & Anchor.
After lunch, browse around the Vintage Trail, Heritage (or blue plaque) Trail or the innovative Museum Without Walls. If, however, you’ve enjoyed plenty of walking for one day, why not book yourself into a spa or a massage treatment and take care of your muscles before you embark on the third section of the Herefordshire Trail? Try The Beauty Bar (Hill Street), Wye Valley Massage Therapies (High Street), the Ross Health & Beauty Centre tucked away just off Church Street, Heavenly Health and Beauty on Broad Street, or the highly recommended Darlisa Thai Massage which should sort out any aching limbs!
The third section of the Herefordshire Trail, leaving Ross-on-Wye, will take you 10 miles up river to Little Dewchurch, crossing the red sandstone Wilton Bridge, through Sellack (stop off at The Loughpool if you have time), Hoarwithy and the stunning Italian style Church of St Catherine. Passing the modern Prothither Solar Farm, an extensive hilltop array of solar panels, you will find yourself at the 14th century tower of St David’s in Little Dewchurch where you can rest up before heading on (or head back to Ross to complete your break).
As part of the relaunch of the Herefordshire Trail on the 17 June, the team at Visit Herefordshire have created a downloadable guide to all fifteen sections in the trail which you can view here.