Day 7 – Walking heaven!

If yesterday was walking hell, today was definitely walking heaven!  Wide, well maintained, clearly way marked paths – God bless King Offa and his dyke say I. I do confess though that it was with some trepidation that I found myself back at Kington Museum.

What would today bring???

I think my last words to Mike were that today’s walk couldn’t be worse than yesterdays – and in fact it was a million times better.  Weather was overcast and cloudy, which was perfect for a day spent doing hills and a long distance.  I walked up through Kington, through the churchyard and up past Hergest Croft gardens to go out onto Hergest Ridge.  This is a walk we’ve done before so was on familiar territory to begin with. 

Now that’s what I call a path!

Went onward ever onward up to the top, overtaken by a man who does this everyday and described it as his gym and his church, which I found interesting.  This time round the wild ponies were out on the ridge with their beautiful foals.  Kept on keeping on to the part of the ridge I’d never explored, kept following the handily placed way marks, and eventually made it down into Gladestry, passing this magnificent vehicle on the descent.

Vintage car – MG??

Greeted as I entered the village by a cheery couple who told me the pub wasn’t yet open but that tea and coffee were freely available at the Church.  When I got to St Mary’s I found that not only do they leave out tea and coffee for walkers, in return for a donation, they also provide toilet facilities – and here it is dear reader……..

Bioloo, St Mary’s Gladestry

Its a loo which doesn’t use water and has been introduced to a Grade 1 listed Church – worth looking into for Hollybush I feel. 

Had a lovely sit for my break in the churchyard, then moved onward, ever onward over the rolling hills to Newchurch and another St Mary’s which once more offered tea and coffee to walkers, and had a particularly magnificent bench for my next break;

St Mary’s Newchurch

The lovely Offa’s Dyke path signposts occasionally told you how many miles to go and at Newchurch it was 6.5 miles still to go to Hay, so set off up another hill.  One of the many great things about today was that I’d left behind arable land and moved into a land of sheep and grass – so much easier to walk over.

Then it was along a green lane – counterintuitively marked as Red Lane on the map, up another hill, down some road, cutting across a field, more road walking and then a final bit of downhill through woodland which was lovely but by this stage, long.  Emerged out onto the main road all set to march on to Hay when rudely interrupted by a car horn – Mike had come to the original pick up point to give me the option of finishing the day there or carrying on into Hay.  Like an idiot I went for carrying onto Hay and so a final hours walking ensued – which on the minus side included the only cows of the day, but they were far more interested in munching than in stray walkers, and on the plus side had some lovely riverside walking.  As I emerged through the final gate, Mike was sat on a bench waiting for me, so we walked up through the town to the car together for the end of day photo;

Tired but very happy to be in Hay!

Total mileage walked was a whopping 16.3 miles, furthest I’ve ever walked, so was wonderful to be able to just nip over to Dorstone to our wonderful B & B at Breese Barns,, and then down to the Pandy Inn for tea – even managed to walk to the pub and back!














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