Day 13 – Homecoming Queen…..

It all started so well………Mum and Dad came down to Bishopswood to see me off, which was lovely;

Family support!

Then I set off, crossing the road by the bus stop and heading up between 2 houses.  As I drew level with  the door of one, it opened and a somewhat startled householder emerged!  He couldn’t have been nicer, checked I had enough water with me and advised that the path to Ross was not well marked.  Clearly he’d never experienced the Three Choirs Way!!!  In fact, I found the waymarking of this stage of the Wye Valley Walk to be pretty good.  After an uphill stretch, the path levelled out and went along the contours of the hill, giving a good view down towards Walford Church;

View of Walford Church

Then it was into some wondrously shady woodland, and as I realised I hadn’t many photos of woodland paths, I took this one;

Tranquil woodland path

It was excellent walking, from Leys Hill to Bulls Hill and onto Howell Hill – where I was not expecting to find this as I heaved my carcass over a stile;

Unexpected vineyard!

Eventually emerged onto the road next to Coughton Mill and after a short walk found the next clearly signposted route up through fields to my next wooded hill.  As I approached the woodland, I saw a very tempting bench just off the path, and when I saw it was Bob’s bench, I felt it was a sign to stop – hopefully Bob James would approve!

So I sat myself down on Bob’s bench;

Bob’s Bench

and looked out at the view.

View from Bob’s Bench

A walker coming the other way told me this had been where the farmer of this land had liked to sit and his family had put the bench there in his memory after his death.  His son now farms the land.

Rested and refreshed I headed uphill and soon found the path in familiar state;

Verdant summer undergrowth

although not too bad this time as you could still see the path.  Huffed and puffed my way to the top of the hill and was rewarded by a lovely followable track which took me pretty much all the rest of the way to Ross.  Did have to do a bit of wood and field walking to get to the town itself, which gave me this view over the metropolis…

At last – Ross!

In my excitement, got myself slightly off track, but able to backtrack and correct and walked up through the town to the Hope and Anchor where the next stage of the walk began.  Headed out of town, past very impressive swan sculptures;

Swans in flight

Kept the river to my left, pausing under the A40 bridge to refold the map and get a classic view of the town and St Mary’s Church spire;

Ross from the river

From the known to the unknown and out into farmland again, following a disused railway track once more.  Then turned across fields, getting a bit lost at a point where some boundaries had been removed, but managed to sort myself out and head off in the right direction.  Finally hit road again and walked on up to Hole in the Wall, passing the footbridge across the river to Foy Church – no time to explore.

Hole-in-the-Wall – it exists!

It was here that the wheels really did start to come off as I missed the footpath signs to the footpath I needed – ironically under the branches of the tree to the right of the noticeboard in the photo above!  Tried to follow another signed path but couldn’t get it to agree with my paper or phone maps.  Wasted a lot of time and effort and then eventually retraced my steps to the noticeboard and bumped into a couple and their dog who had clearly just emerged from a path – and lo, I saw the signs!  Feeling both foolish and tired, I headed onto the Herefordshire trail and the last leg of my walk for the day.  All went well for the first bit, made it to the road, crossed over and walked along this lovely poppy studded field margin;

Poppies in harvest field

But then the way markers disappeared, and I stuck to the field boundaries as per the map, heading for the green lane which was to take me to Wobage Farm and the road to the end of the walk.  Unfortunately, it was not in peak walkable condition…

There’s a path here somewhere!

Struggled along it, through the farm buildings and out onto the road to arrive at the Moody Cow and find Mike and the Morgan waiting.  By this time, I was feeling like a bit of a moody cow myself, so this is a very appropriate photo!

A moody cow outside the Moody Cow!

147 miles done, 13 to do so it looks like it will be 160 when we’re done.  Tomorrow to Dymock and beyond!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.