Goodrich and the River Wye
Another beautiful day, starting in Goodrich we passed the church and headed uphill via Coppett Hill common, a nature reserve to Coppett Hill. The views were clear for miles across a relatively flat landscape and the church and the ruins of Goodrich castle stood out. We walked south catching occasional glimpses of the meandering River Wye in the distance.
Near Baynhams, a modern folly has been built together with a ha-ha – very impressive. Following a path around the edge of a wood we had our first close view of the Wye with canoeists paddling in the sun. We needed to cross the river via a rusty old railway bridge with a sign ‘Bridge Closed’, the footpath on its right-hand side was sturdy and we gained the other side with no problem. (To cross at the next nearest bridge involved a 5 mile detour)
We emerged into sunshine passing Stowfield Business Park, a police notice appealed for ‘witnesses to an incident on 22nd June’ and we could see a police car positioned there. We approached Lower Lydbrook, crossing Offa’s Dyke path. At Stowfield farm we spotted a sign ‘Please shut the gate after dark to prevent entry of wild boar’. After crossing a field where a large flock of sheep sheltered under trees from the heat, we joined the Heritage trail – a good path with the Wye below. At a clearing we stopped for lunch, the River Wye spread below us and in the distance we had views of the vertiginous Symonds Yat Rock; in the sky above us birds of prey made their high pitched calls.
Descending to the river we followed its southern bank and passed a sign for ‘tunnel beat’, one of the numerous stretches of water used by anglers. At the foot of Symonds Yat rocks were steep steps up to the rock and we joked about ‘popping up for an ice-cream’. Still following the river we were now on its west bank, emerging from woodland we walked along an open stretch of the river until we reached a road. Here we took a road bridge across the river and made our way back to Goodrich on paths across fields and through the churchyard.
A most enjoyable walk of 8miles and 1000ft, rounded off with a refreshing cup of tea. (Map OL14 for both walks)