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Ramble On

With an abundance of award-winning pubs and restaurants in the local area, we’re confident you’ll enjoy the opportunity to walk off some of the excesses of the night before. Fortunately, Herefordshire boasts nearly 2000 miles of public footpaths across some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery, And with the stunning Brecon Beacons close by, you’ll never need an excuse to pass on pudding throughout the course of your holiday! 

hiker iconGreat Walks

Local Circular Walk around Norton Canon

1. Turn right out of the gate at Midland Farm.
2. After ¼ mile turn first left up Kitty’s Lane which is a steep single track tarmac road.
3. At the top of Kitty’s Lane turn left through the green metal gate down the side of the Village Hall.
Great view out across the valley.
4. The footpath carries on down the side of two fields.. The path is well surfaced in the first field and becomes long grass in the second field.Keep the hedge on your rhs.
5. At the bottom of the second field turn left into a field, this time keeping the hedge on your left.
6. (If you get to the stream you have gone too far so retrace your steps back by approx. 100 m).
7. At the end of the hedge keep straight on, cross the next field by a well defined path.
8. At the end pf the field turn right keeping the hedge on your right.
9. Cross two styles and join back onto the road, turning left to get back to Midland Farm.

The Cat's Back Circular Walk

You can see the ridge of Crib-y-Garth – better known as the Cat’s Back – from Midland Farm, so no better place to take a stroll. If you don’t manage to walk anywhere else, try and fit this one in. It’s a real stunner.

This is a straightforward superbly scenic walk up the narrow ridge of Crib y Garth,then returning through a hidden valley. It’s a circular walk, taking about 2 to 3 hours. It is best to wear decent footwear as there are a couple of rocky sections on the descent, but nothing too testing.

The journey to the starting point is a great adventure in itself. By car from Midland Farm go over the river Wye at Bredwardine (see Swimming in the Wye) , then go to Dorstone, Peterchurch and head to towards Longtown. From Longtown, follow signs to Llanveynoe and then the “Picnic Place” signs to Black Hill. If you have a sat nav key in the postcode HR2 0NL to locate the starting point which is a small car park.

As you drive from LLanveynoe you will see this small turning on your right to the car park (see pic below):

Cat's Back car park

From the parking area, an obvious path heads straight up the steep slopes that mark the start of the Cats Back. The route is obvious throughout this section.

The path continues across a heathery plateau to reach the trig point which marks the top of the Black Hill. Continue along the path which skirts to the left of the dewponds, until you reach another path coming in from the large valley to the left.

Follow the path into the narrow valley, passing the ruins of a shepherd’s shelter on the right and starting to descend more steeply. You get a good view of your onward path along the left side of the valley. The path becomes rocky for a short section before easing onto the gentle slopes beyond.

Continue along the main track, eventually walking alongside a fence with a waterfall to your right. The track enters a wooded section, then ends at a lane. Turn left, and follow the lane through the Olchon Valley. After about 2 kms, you reach the lane leading back to the car parking area. Turn left, and follow this to reach your car. See the ordinance survey map on the next page. We also have the full-sized map available.

Map of Cat's Back

Hay Bluff

Hay Bluff

Hay Bluff is near Hay-on-Wye and offers easy access by car to some spectacular scenery. Good for kids as the car takes some of the strain,and of course Hay is on your doorstep for lunch.

Directions:
Turn left out of Midland Farm and follow the road up to Kinnersley church. At the T junction turn left onto the A 4112 and follow the signs to Hay on Wye (approx. 12 miles). As you approach Hay on the A438 you will go over the big bridge that crosses the river Wye. At the end of the bridge turn right.
Keep straight on and as you pass through the town you will see The Swan Hotel (see pic below) on your r/h side. Keep going straight past the Swan.

Just a few hundred yards past the Swan Hotel is a turning on your left signposted to Capel y Ffin. This takes you through an industrial Park, but keep the faith – it then becomes a single track road.
Keep to the right at the fork in the road, see pic below (sign posted to Capel y- Ffin again). This will take you up to the bottom of Hay Bluff where you can park.

Just so you know, if you were to take the left fork it takes you to The Bulls Head at Craswall, a gloriously bizarre pub to sit and recover, and enjoy a light lunch.

The Bulls Head
Craswall, Hereford HR2 0PN

Swimming in the Wye

Only 15 mins drive from Midland Farm, this is a lovely spot for some gentle wild swimming to cool off near the grand old Bredwardine brick bridge, with a gravel river beach on one side.

Usually the Wye here in summer is slow and cooling. There is a deeper part nearer the bridge on the beach side of the river. You can often walk across the river to the other side on the gravel. But watch out if it has been raining, even in the summer months.

You can also swim upriver from the beach to the wide concrete shelf at the foot of the central bridge support and dive back in. Park just east of the bridge opposite Brobury House Gardens and walk over the bridge.

Pen Y Fan Circular Walk

Pen Y Fan circular walk

Pen y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales, situated in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

At 886 metres (2,907 ft) above sea-level it wouldn’t be out of place in Snowdonia and despite the relatively gentle angle of ascent and descent it’s a proper mountain day.  In winter, in particular, it makes a fine escape to true wild country.

From the summit on a clear day the Bristol Channel, Carmarthen Bay, Swansea Bay, the Gower Peninsula, Exmoor, the town of Brecon and much of Mid Wales and the South Wales Valleys can be seen. The start point is the Pont arDaf car park is on the left and about 500 meters after the Storey Arms Outdoor Education Centre, post code is LD3 8NL on the A470 from Brecon.

Take the footpath at the southern end of the car park, pass through the kissing gate and cross the wooden footbridge over the river. From here, follow the footpath uphill.

Four Waterfalls Walk

4 Waterfall map

Further afield, this is a spectacular walk visiting four beautiful waterfalls near Ystradfellte in the Brecon Beacons. It is one of the best waterfall walks in Britain with delightful woodland gorges, riverside trails along the Afon Mellte and a series of roaring waterfalls.

The trail starts at the woodland parking area south of Ystradfellte and visits Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, SgwdIsaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd-yr-Eira waterfalls.

Food and Drink

So, you’ve worked up a serious appetite? To sate the rumbliest of tummies, we’ve put together a selection of our favourite places to eat in the area. Click here to see more.

After all that frantic activity we recommend taking the weight off your aching feet at The Tram in Eardisley, which is about a 10 minutes drive from the yurt.

It is excellent value with great food and a friendly welcome. It has excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, and we agree!

Best to call and book up ahead of your visit as the locals tend to get in first. The Tram is closed on Mondays, and Sunday evening is drinks only. Enjoy the Butty Bach, which is a local brew. They keep it well, no doubt helped by the high turnover.

The Stagg Inn at Titley was the first pub in England to gain a Michelin star. It provides a relaxed and uplifting dining experience that you would not think the Marches can muster. It is a 15 mins drive from Midland Farm, and is a great evening destination. Sat nav can come in handy to ensure a stress free arrival.

A real treat if you are celebrating or simply pushing the boat out.

Cath Urquhart, Travel Editor of The Times said “You know there’s something special about the place the minute you crest the hill.” Cath is right, its one of our favourite venues. A bit further to travel. Worth it though.

Tel: 01874 620 111
About 35 mins drive.

Old Radnor, Presteigne, Powys, LD8 2RH. Just the other side of Kington.

The Harp is a lovely old Welsh longhouse inn perched on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful Radnor Valley, close to the border. Amazing views.

A traditional pub with big fire, a proper bar and a pub style menu to go with it.

Tel: 01544 350655

Around Hereford

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

An imposing building dating back to Saxon times, home to the medieval ‘Mappa Mundi‘ (map of the world) and the Chained Library.

Shopping

Hereford City Centre

Hereford City Centre boasts a host of shops, the most exclusive of which can be found in Church Lane ,which leads to the Cathedral.

Hereford’s centre for The Arts. Film, plays, panto, exhibitions – and a good place for a coffee. Check out their website to see what’s going on. http://www.courtyard.org.uk/

The Courtyard
Penhaligon Way,
Hereford HR4 9YJ
Tel 01432 340555

Welsh Market Towns

Hay on Wye

Hay-on-Wye

A firm favourite. About 20 min drive. Famous for its book shops and of course the Hay Festival, and a good launch pad for a trek up the Black Mountains onto Hay Bluff. Or just wander gently and have a coffee.

Famously, there is not one ghastly chain shop in the high street.

Brecon

Brecon

Glassblowers, museums, a cathedral – plus there’s all that countryside stuff to tramp about in. About a 40 min drive from Midland Farm, Brecon hosts the 24th Regiment of Foot’s museum, recounting the 48 hours of its cataclysmic defeat at Isandlwana and the subsequent miraculous ‘victory’ at Rorke’s Drift.

Abergavenny

Abergavenny

Home to Wales’ largest food festival, and surrounded by the breathtaking Brecon Beacons, as a maket town Abergavenny punches well above its weight.

Whilst in ‘Aber’, head over to Crickhowell. This quaint town lies just over 10 miles south-east of Abergavenny. With beautiful views of the Usk Valley, a castle and charming shops and cafes, it’s a lovely spot for an afternoon meander.

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Pig Street,
Norton Wood,
Norton Canon,
HR4 7BP