Day 4 – Phoar

The temperature soared, so that it even felt hot when we were just starting out.  Here’s the group for the day, posing at Pudleston;   

Me, Ruth and Dave all ready for the off

Dave heroically signed on for another day of attempting to improve my woeful navigational skills, and we welcomed Ruth, who proved to be an invaluable asset of which more later.

So, once Dave had prevented me leading us all off in the wrong direction at the very start of the day, we were up and running heading off once more into the truly magnificent Herefordshire countryside.  Ruth proved to be truly eagle eyed at spotting stiles way off on the other side of huge fields, which was a massive help, so, working as a team we made good steady progress.  Even the field margins were co-operating with us until we found one which was slightly congested.  We powered on through and decided that then was the time to take our break, in the shade, by the side of a country lane.  The peace and quiet was wonderful, all you could hear was the sound of insects and birds – and Dave’s mobile phone as he did a bit of tent pole repair business…..

Up and off and at em once more we headed across more fields – oil seed rape and maize were the crops of the day with a bit of wheat thrown in.  We also spotted some amazing patches of orange hawkweed which Dave expertly identified.

Orange hawkweed aka Fox and cubs

On through a lovely cooling patch of woodland, then through a field of maize, across a stream, up another couple of fields and suddenly we were alongside the A44 on the outskirts of Leominster.  Luckily the path soon took us along the banks of the River Lugg which again was much cooler, along an impressively strimmed path.  A couple of horses popped over to say hello to Ruth.  Through some Woodland Trust land, under the road, past some truly beautiful underpass art;

Magnificent mosaics just outside Leominster

Then it was just over the river and over the railway and suddenly there we were – the White Lion at Leominster, an oasis on a baking hot day.  Never has a pint of lemonade and lime tasted so good, nor a seat in the shade of a beer garden been so welcome.

Reluctantly we tore ourselves away to complete our journey in the heat of the day.  The long walk out of Leominster was hot and sticky so we turned off down a lane in anticipation of a cooling time in the countryside on the Black and White Villages trail.  Sadly the first track we were supposed to go down was so overgrown as to be impassable so we did a Dave detour and were soon back on track. 

Whether it was the heat, the company or the fact that he had a train to catch back to Shrewsbury, but Dave was suddenly a man possessed, striding ahead, route finding for us all – Ruth and I by this stage were nothing but grateful.  Particularly as he walked calmly through a field of stampeding heifers as if nothing was happening!  This was our view of him as we approached Monkland Church – you can see the spire behind his head; 

Dave leads the way!

Once over the exceedingly bendy boardwalk at that stile, we finally made it out of the farmyard to find our faithful Skoda driver waiting our arrival.  He’d brought along some sweet peas I’d picked from the garden that morning, and I left them on the grave of my Gran and Grandad, as he was an expert sweet pea grower;

Gran and Grandad

Grandad was a great gardener, Gran was a great walker – in fact her walking pace was the equivalent of running for most people.  We miss them very much and I think they would have equally bemused and amused by the Amble!

And so the end of day 4 photos – one of me resting on the magnificent lych gate, sweaty and unkempt in my ridiculous (but effective) hat;

Made it to Monkland!

and finally, the team, at last able to sit down in the cool of the All Saints Monkland porch at the end of a hot but happy day.

Happy to be at All Saints, Monkland!

Huge thanks to Dave and Ruth for being such good company throughout the day and to Dave in particular, partly for enduring 2 whole days, but mainly for all the help, support and education – I owe you several pints of Butty Bach!









One thought on “Day 4 – Phoar”

  1. Well done Anthea – and in the heat of the day too. At least the churches should be cool. But do they have loos?…..

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