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|Backbury Hill and Mordiford|
|Author: Claire, Published: 05 Aug 2014||Walk Rating:|
|Herefordshire, Wye Valley|
|A 4 mile circular walk around the northern part of the Wye Valley taking in Backbury Hill, the pretty Pentaloe Brook and the village of Mordiford. A beautifully varied route with sections of woodland, pastures, village lanes, meadows and old tracks, you will be rewarded with glorious views throughout. Mordiford is best known for the legend of its dragon which was said to drink from the confluence of the Rivers Lugg and Wye and you will see a dragon symbol on many of the waymarks along the way. |
The route has several climbs and descents throughout including one fairly steep ascent. The paths can be very muddy after periods of rain and can be overgrown in summer so good boots and long trousers are a must. You will need to negotiate six stiles, some of which are fairly tall for humans but all of which have gaps underneath that medium dogs should be able to pass through. There are also several gates along the way and one flight of steps. Whilst the majority of the paths are through woodland or along enclosed tracks, you will need to pass through some pastures which may be holding sheep and/or cattle. You will also be sharing the paths with lots of game birds. Approximate time 2 hours.
The walk starts and finishes from the Swardon Quarry Picnic Site car park, a stone lay-by area close to Whitehall Road. Leave Mordiford heading north along Dormington Road. Turn right along the small side road (opposite Larport Lane) marked for Checkley and with a brown picnic place sign. Follow the lane as it bends hard left and then keep right at the fork, still on the main lane. Turn right at the T-junction and you will find the picnic area car park (marked with a small brown sign) some way along, on the right-hand side, just before a sharp left-hand bend. Nearest post code is HR1 4EJ, but this will only take you to one of the lanes nearby, not to the car park itself.
|Start to First Field Gate|
Start point: 52.0437 lat, -2.6167 long
From the picnic area car park, turn right along the road and follow this as it begins to swing hard left. After just a few paces turn right onto the wide stone track. A few yards along, just before the wide metal gate, turn left onto the narrow public footpath signed for Mordiford Loop. Follow this narrow rocky path through the trees and at the junction, keep ahead on the path signed to Checkley.
|First Field Gate to Stone Bridge|
Start point: 52.0459 lat, -2.5992 long
Walk straight ahead across this first field to reach the tree line at the far side. Go down the slope within the tree line, using the handrail for safety as this section is quite steep. Pass through the next field via the two gates, heading for the radio mast visible on the hillside ahead. Continue in the same direction through the third field, passing a large orchard across to the right. At the far end of the field you will pass to the right of a large cream half-timbered property before swinging right and crossing a stile to reach the road.
|Stone Bridge to Old Cottage|
Start point: 52.0403 lat, -2.5981 long
Immediately after this bridge, fork right onto the signed footpath into the trees. Follow the narrow path climbing steadily through the woodland. Keep right at the fork and follow the path winding through the pretty section of beech trees. You will emerge to a stile which leads you into a large open rough pasture.
|Old Cottage to Lower Rock Cottage|
Start point: 52.0335 lat, -2.6104 long
Pass through the single wooden gate ahead and bear right, following the fence on the right. As you reach the concrete bridge over the stream, turn left along the stone and grass vehicle track. Follow the track as it bends right with a field opening up on the right. A little further along you will see a waymark post on the right. Fork right here across the field to reach the treeline and follow the path (with the trees on the right). You will reach a kissing gate at the right-hand edge of the properties visible ahead.
|Lower Rock Cottage to End|
Start point: 52.0327 lat, -2.6229 long
Follow the track past Rock Cottage also on the right and, as you reach a wide gate ahead, turn left up the short flight of steps to join a narrow footpath in the trees. Take care on the first stretch of this path as it is fairly steep, uneven with rocks and can be slippery when wet. The narrow path begins to level off, crosses a small vehicle track and leads you to a small metal gate.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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