Hergest Ridge - Thursday 25 December 2014
Hergest Croft - Hergest Ridge - Gladestry - Huntington - Chickward - Kington - Hergest Croft
Near Hergest Croft Gardens, Kington (Free) - Grid Ref SO275567
Grassy paths over Hergest Ridge with some boggy terrain when crossing field paths
Clear & sunny at first deteriorating to overcast later
OS 201 - Knighton & Presteigne
Kington is about 20 miles from home therefore we were up early and off out to walk up on the Hergest Ridge and come back via Huntington and Chickward. With a big flask of home made soup and the promise of good weather we headed out full of hope for a good days walking. With it being Christmas Day we were also hoping to have the route to ourselves and so it proved.
The walk starts from just outside Kington on the lane leading up to Hergest Ridge, just past Hergest Croft Gardens. Hergest Ridge is probably best known as the title of Mike Oldfield's second album and indeed Oldfield used to live at The Beacon on Bradnor Hill, which can be seen from Hergest Ridge. It is also said that he recorded his third album 'Ommadawn" at The Beacon.
The rise up to the summit of the Ridge was on a very good grassy path (Offa's Dyke) and soon the Monkey Puzzle trees at Whetstone were reached and from here it was a short walk over to the Trig Point on the summit. From the summit plateau the grassy path continued before a slate and stone path was reached which led us down to the sleepy village of Gladestry. Still on the Offa's Dyke path we headed off to join a lane to Huntington Castle and soon left Offa's Dyke to reach the sleepy hamlet of Huntington. It was from this point that the path deteriorated, mainly to Huntington Park due in most part to the farmer ploughing all the way up to the hedge line.
No matter - we were soon back on a proper path and soon reached the farm buildings at Chickward before heading up to Pound Farm and over fields and a short bit of road walking to reach Kington. Once in Kington it is simply a case of heading back up the lane to Hergest Croft Gardens and the car parking area.
We have been up on Hergest Ridge many times and keep coming back. It is never really that busy and on a good day provides you with superb views over to Twmpa (Lord Hereford's Knob), Hay Bluff and The Brecon Beacons.
There is a car parking area just to the west of Hergest Croft Gardens
Glorious crisp & sunny Christmas Day as we headed up the slope on the Offa's Dyke path to the top of Hergest Ridge
Looking back down the slope towards Kington
To the North lies Bradnor Hill & Herrock Hill
Whetstone - try as we might we could not repair the sign
The lovely Monkey Puzzle trees at Whetstone
It was very cold but you try keeping him out of water - impossible!
The summit Trig Point on Hergest Ridge
Heading for Gladestry
Why the long face?
Wild ponies enjoying the sun & free food
Heading down Offa's Dyke towards Gladestry - although the path splits they end up in the same place - we headed to the left
Strike a pose Fudge
The sun was starting to head somewhere else now
Lovely way marker on Hergest Ridge
The hill with no name above Gladestry
The Royal Oak, Gladestry - understandably shut on Christmas Day
St Mary's Church, Gladestry
The road junction in Gladestry - we headed up towards Huntington
Sunken lane path to Huntington
The route heads left here after passing through the churchyard
Thanks for churning the footpath up Mr Farmer!
St Mary's Church Kington
Just half a mile up to Hergest Croft then back home
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