Merbach Hill

Merbach Hill

Route: Merbach Hill

Area: Herefordshire

Date of walk: 26th July 2022

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 4.3 miles

Ascent: 400 feet

Weather: Mixed cloud and sunshine

Merbach Hill is the culmination of a long ridge which separates the Golden Valley from the Wye Valley, and is one of the best viewpoints in the region. We started today’s walk from a car park adjacent to Arthur’s Stone, which is the remains of a burial chamber dating back to the neolithic era over 5,000 years ago. The site was a hive of activity today. A new excavation by a large team of archaeologists was in progress, and a BBC film crew were in attendance, filming the works for the TV series ‘Digging for Britain’. This meant that we couldn’t inspect the site closely but no matter, we’d have a chance to do so at the end of the walk

We set off on the walk following a long undulating lane, part of the long distance Herefordshire Trail. The crowds were soon behind us and from this point we only saw two other walkers during the entire route

Eventually the lane swung left and we continued ahead to reach the top of Merbach Hill. The views were superb and we were fortunate that the light, which had been indifferent up to this point, gradually improved. We spent 30 minutes or so here. Vast areas of the countryside may be seen from the hill: Hergest Ridge and Radnor Forest to the north, the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons south west, the Vale of Usk, the line of the Cotswolds and Monmouthshire south east – and more besides. Reluctantly we left the viewpoint and visited the nearby OS trig point. The view from here is slightly obscured by vegetation. We descended through thick bracken and emerged from it above Woolla Farm. There were more wonderful views from here, especially those over the meanders in the River Wye below 

We continued through a mixture of pasture, apple orchards, cornfields and quiet country lanes and eventually arrived back at Arthur’s Stone Lane. From here we retraced our steps back to the start of a five star walk

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