A lazy day of exploring the hilly country west of Hereford today, around the Golden Valley. I headed down the railtrail south from the town and struck west into the uplands, overlooked dramatically by Hay Bluff. (On the other side is the awesome Gospel Pass, which I rode on my Welsh End to End in 2020.)
On a lovely sunny spring morning this was delightful, all empty back lanes, farms, billowing green hills, streams and blue skies. With virtually no traffic save the occasional tractor there was not a sound to be heard except birdsong and my squeaking back brake.
I was particularly taken by the castle at Longtown. Locals tending gardens offered to look after my bike as I looked round – people really are friendly round here, by the way – though I suspect casual theft is not too much of a problem here in any case.
At Clodock’s ancient church I resisted the temptation to have a skinny dip in the stream behind it, no doubt to the relief of locals. I’ve been lucky with the weather; it’s been warm and sunny all this trip. While packing for it last Tuesday, I took about half an hour to excavate my sunhat and suncream from the back of my bike bits cupboard.
It’s been a wonderful three days, roaming a part of the world I somehow had never done before. Herefordshire’s a cycling delight.
My journey’s end was at Abergavenny, a very likeable place I found almost impossible to leave. Though that mainly because of Transport for Wales’s lavish train cancellations.