Golden Valley Herefordshire
This walk takes you through the beautiful Golden Valley in western Herefordshire. It's a very scenic area with the rolling countryside of the valley of the River Dore and a number of pretty villages to enjoy.
The valley stretches from Ewyas Harold in the south to Dorstone in the north. There are several interesting historical sites to visit on the way including a former mediaeval Cistercian monastery and a chamber tomb from the Neolithic Period.
This walk starts from the village of Ewyas Harold which lies on the site of Ewyas Harold Castle, of which only the motte remains. From here you can pick up the Herefordshire Trail and follow it north through Ewyas Harold Common. The common contains an ancient greenway, meadow saffron (left over from cultivation by the monks at Dore Abbey), and lots of interesting wildlife.
Soon after leaving the common you will come to Abbey Dore and the remains of Dore Abbey. This former mediaeval Cistercian monastery was built between 1175 and 1220 and restored in the 1630s.
After exploring the atmospheric ruins the route continues past Abbey Dore Court which includes lovely gardens which are open to the public on certain days. At this point you pick up a nice footpath running along the River Dore to Blackbush Farm. Here you cross the river on Moorhampton Bridge and follow another path toward Turnastone, Vowchurch and Peterchurch.
The final section of the walk follows a quiet country lane north west to the finish point at Dorstone. You can extend the walk slightly by continuing through the village north east to Arthur's Stone. The Neolithic chambered tomb, or Dolmen, dates from 3,700 BC – 2,700 BC. It is situated on the ridge line of a hill overlooking both the Golden Valley and the Wye Valley.
Golden Valley Herefordshire Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Golden Valley Herefordshire Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Golden Valley Herefordshire OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Golden Valley Herefordshire Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The valley featured in the 1993 film Shadowlands in both a painting and as an actual location. C.S. Lewis, the film's protagonist, owned a painting of a valley which to him, as a child, appeared to be heaven. Anthony Hopkins (as CS. Lewis) visits the valley in an emotive scene towards the end of the film.