Archive for the ‘Local Walks’ Category

Something a bit different   8 comments

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From our home the obvious direction for walks is westwards towards the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons and the rest of Wales. A couple of weekends back TJF had a dance event in Gloucester that lasted most of the day so me and TBF decided to try a walk in the fringes of the Cotswolds. Only a mile or so from where the dancing was happening was Robinswood Hill Country Park. It’s very prominent feature when driving up and down the M5, with its extensive dry ski slope. It’s always looked like a good viewpoint, so we parked at the base and started our trek from there

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And indeed the views from the top at 198m were excellent. It’s quite a lofty, elevated and isolated hill that the views seem disproportionately expansive

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I love views down over cityscapes and this one was excellent. The cathedral standing proud over the city

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A short walk along the summit ridge and we came to a fine view-point over the spread of the Severn estuary and down to both of the bridges, just visible in the haze

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We had the novel experience of walking over a motorway as part of a walk. I was about to say it was the first time I’d walked over a Motorway but then I remembered I used to walk over the M5 on my way to West Brom games when I was a kid and also to the Cinema in Quinton in Birmingham so not such a good fact really

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We were following the Wysis Way that thinks the Wye to the Thames. I’d been worried that paths would be overgrown and poorly signposted but apart from a couple of spots all was good

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We passed this odd-looking gate/tower affair in the middle of nowhere that just seemed to lead into a field. Clearly of some religious significance based on the inscription

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We were heading for Painswick Beacon, an obvious high point on the edge of the Cotswolds

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I think the Cotswolds are massively over-rated as scenic area. Most of the central area is huge arable farms with lots of villages named Tweeness-under-the-Water and such like, always thronged with tourists and a £5 car park. However along the edges that overlook the Severn Valley the views are impressive and elevated

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TBF found a bench to sit on (you can see here in the middle of the photo below) while I went to the top

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As I crested the summit I was surprised to find a Golf Course with a Tee right on the summit. I never expected that. It looked a very fine course

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I wandered back down to TBF and we had lunch and cup of tea before we t=retraced our steps back to the car and collected TJF

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The map below shows the route but the OS mapping software threw a fit halfway round so I can confirm we didn’t walk in a dead straight line from Painswick Beacon to Robinswod hill, but you get the idea. About 10 or 11 miles in total I reckon

Robinswood

Always nice to try something different

Sneaky Birthday Stroll   10 comments

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Last year on my Birthday we managed a brief walk on Ysgyryd Fawr in a Thunderstorm. This year the weather was much kinder (although no champagne) and I managed to skive a few hours away from my work e-mail for a quick skip up Bryn Arw. It started cloudy but quickly developed into a glorious warm summers day

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No finer way to spend your lunch hour on your birthday

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The colours of the trees and the wild flowers, especially the bluebells under a clear blue sky were mesmerising

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Over all too soon before back to work drudgery, but great memories nonetheless.

Happy Birthday to me! (from 2 weeks ago) 🙂

Posted May 26, 2017 by surfnslide in Black Mountains, Local Walks, Wales, Walking

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Solo traverse of Hergest Ridge North Face and Hanter Hill South Ridge   4 comments

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Well I had to do something to make these hills sound exciting.

Seriously a very fine stroll indeed when faced with a solo walk. TBF was in London watching the Piano Man himself, TJF was at a friends and TJS too lazy to come out, struggling as the was with his first week of early starts at college.

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It was early September (I think!) and the first flush of Autumn colours were out. The forecast was pretty ordinary but it turned out to be a rather splendid day of powerful sunny intervals and dark brooding clouds

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My target was Hanter Hill, a small subsidiary top to the north of the main Hergest Ridge massif. Thinking I was being clever, I thought I could traverse around to the col. Anyone who knows my local hills also knows that they are cloaked in the deepest bracken at this time of year. It was tedious wet and slippery and I cursed my way across the slopes for a good half hour on the faintest of paths

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Thankfully I survived the jungle and arrived at the col under blue skies and swiftly climbed to the top of Hanter Hill

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The views were impressive over the various ranges of heather cloaked hills and green valleys of this little known corner of mid-Wales

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I even got an aerial view of the huge Gore quarry that seems to be completely devouring Old Radnor Hill

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After a brief rest I headed down and back up over the main summit of Hergest Ridge, joining the many families enjoying some autumnal sunshine

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Only a couple of hours but a nice walk if you stay on paths on don’t head off-piste into the wastelands of bracken!

A romantic stroll on Garway Hill   18 comments

Black Mountains, Forest of Dean, garway hill, sugar loaf

Garway is a local hill for local people. Looking at these photos again I don’t remember why we hadn’t gone out for the day. Possibly this was just an interlude between two spells of poor weather on the day – in true fickle style it was raining within an hour of us getting home after this walk. Maybe it was because TJS was feeling poorly.

Black Mountains, Forest of Dean, garway hill, sugar loaf

Black Mountains, Forest of Dean, garway hill, sugar loaf

Black Mountains, Forest of Dean, garway hill, sugar loaf

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Posted February 22, 2015 by surfnslide in Local Walks, Walking

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Another local post for local people   4 comments

A few nice photos from a couple of walks on Coppet Hill by the river Wye and Garway Hill in South Herefordshire:

 

TJS does drama classes on Saturday mornings at Goodrich so with 2 hours to kill you can just about take in a 5 mile walk down by the river and along the fine high level ridge that is Coppet Hill. Photos from a couple of days, one on a warm hazy day and one with a glorious clear spell after a vicious shower. Previous visit can be found here

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Coppet Hill, Goodrich, River Wye, Wye Valley

Garway Hill a fine spot for a short stroll as you can park on it’s upper slopes. This day was incredibly windy and after poor weekend of rain we stole out in a brief spell of sunshine for some fresh air. Previous walk from last year is here

Garway Hill

Garway Hill

Garway Hill

Garway Hill

Garway Hill

Garway Hill

Garway Hill

Garway Hill

Somewhere New? The Begwyns   4 comments

More rain over New Year but another day of morning rain followed by a promising afternoon. I needed another quick jaunt close by. I recalled mention by James over at Backpackingbongos that The Begwyns were rather fine although I had no idea where they were. A quick look at the map revealed they were close by (just north of Hay on Wye), low in height and high in car parking – perfect!

I parked at the eastern end and planned an easy out and back to the high point. By the time I set off the morning deluge had been replaced with glorious clear sky and stunning low angled winter sunshine. The way it lights up the bracken and grass is mesmerising, more than making up for the lack of flowering colour at this time of year

The Begwyns, black mountains

The views north to the mysterious Gladestry and Llanbedr and Glascwm hills and south to the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons were stupendous

The Begwyns, llanbedr hill, glascwm hill, gladestry hill

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

The ground underfoot was completely sodden but I fair glided across the grass. There is something just smugly satisfying about a dramatic change in weather and the good fortune to be able to take advantage of it.

The Begwyns, llanbedr hill, glascwm hill, gladestry hill

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

There are numerous small humps and bumps and I wandered with no particular direction taking in whatever I felt like, figuring I could vary the route on the way back by taking in some slightly different humps and bumps. The close cropped grass is excellent for such a stroll and the whole area would make a wonderful warm place for a laze on the grass (in fact we did just that last weekend up here – post to follow – well, whenever!)

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

The Begwyns, black mountains

The crowning point of the Begwyns is a patch of pine trees completely surrounded by a stone wall. Called The Roundabout it’s not clear what it’s for or why it’s there. There was a information board but no mention of it. If anyone out there knows it’s history I’d appreciate some insight

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

The Begwyns, black mountains

I wandered about snapping photos but the clouds were rolling in again and light was fading. I pushed on back to the car taking in the fantastic light and some lovely reflections of the ponds to the south.

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

The Begwyns, Mynydd Troed

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

The Begwyns, black mountains

It was pretty much dark as I reached the car.

The Begwyns, The Roundabout

The continuing theme of short afternoons over New Year continued and I was quite enjoying it. Nice to have a long lazy lie in and still get out for a walk – sometimes I wonder if I’m cut out for the big mountain days 🙂

Ewyas Harold Common   10 comments

A few photos from early December last year of our local common. Just a short stroll between the increasingly wet weather and another chance to play with my camera, trying out a few things. A few words about the place from a previous visit back in 2011.

Ewyas Harold Common

Ewyas Harold Common

Ewyas Harold Common

Ewyas Harold Common

Ewyas Harold Common

Ewyas Harold Common

Ewyas Harold Common

Ewyas Harold Common

Ewyas Harold Common

In the warmer climes of summer we often sit under here this group of trees for a picnic, especially for TJFs birthday. It’s a far, far cry from that at the moment. The common is pretty much a no go area with every path and footstep a complete muddy quagmire and almost completely unwalkable. We need to look for alternatives for short family outings until the place dries out, 2015 perhaps…..

Ewyas Harold Common

Posted February 17, 2014 by surfnslide in Local Walks, Uncategorized, Walking

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