Before leaving home yesterday we checked the forecast for the week and it was for full sun and hot. They predicted that today would be the hottest day of the week, and probably of the year so far, and it is already very warm when I take the boys for their early morning wander. I then spend a couple of hours working in the awning whilst the temperature steadily rises and it eventually becomes impossible to concentrate.
We agree that a short walk is required and decide on a loop into Hereford that should cover around 5 miles. As we set off the temperature is climbing, above 30 degrees, before the day is out it will top 35, far too hot for us.
Our walk starts from Ashley Farm CL, turning right along the lane and then right again to walk up towards the railway line. After going under the railway bridge we turn right taking a cycle path towards Hereford. This is a path that was constructed with care a few years ago but now the brambles and weeds are beginning to encroach. Once again we are left to ponder why there is no plan to maintain such paths.
The route takes us towards Newton Farm, normally when I refer to a farm I mean a farm where there is agriculture of some sort. I am sure in the past, possibly now distant, there was agriculture at Newton Farm, but now it is a misleading place name because the “farm” is full of houses!
The sun is beating down as we pass a recreation ground, where the primary recreation appears to be throwing litter! I pick up as many cans as I can carry and hope that a litter bin soon appears. As the path links up with a disused railway line on the edge of Newton Farm Lynnie decides it is far too hot for her and Dexter and they turn around and head back to the Coachman whilst Crosby and I continue our stroll. The first real point of interest is crossing the River Wye.
Mistakenly I think it would be interesting to continue along the path rather than join the footpath besides the river. My route takes me on an interesting circular route around Sainsbury’s car par!. If I was looking to do the shopping this would be perfect but that is not on this afternoon’s itinerary.
Close to Sainsbury’s I see a sign for the Cider Museum. I am not an apple drinker; when living in Taunton I witnessed the affect that fermented apple juice had on some of the local population. Regular, excessive consumption appears to addle the brain. Lynnie is a Dorset girl and is partial to the odd drop of cider but I am not sure she would want to spend an afternoon in the museum.
I follow my sense of direction and find my way into the centre of Hereford, not the shopping centre, but the bit that was once the centre. The magnificent cathedral is located here along with other examples of fine architecture spoilt by more recent developments.
My favourite is the library. It is a fine building and most definitely worth looking at. As I continue on my amble I wonder how long before those elected members we trust to look after the well-being of our society will decide that libraries are a luxury rather than a necessity. I fear, in austerity Britain, it will not be too long.
My route out of Hereford is across the Wye Bridge, the original bridge on this site was built in 1490 and damaged in 1645 during a siege in the Civil War and rebuilt soon after. It was widened in 1826 and further maintenance work has been carried out since. It is still a good-looking old bridge.
I head along St Martin Street and this soon joins Ross Road which rises steadily out of the town. Walking a mile or so along this road I encounter more litter than I have ever seen on a stretch of road. I may be becoming obsessive about this issue but I am sure that something could be done to prevent this behaviour. I recently read about a chap somewhere in the south east who began picking up litter and since there has been a marked decline in the level of discarded rubbish in his neighbourhood. I have tried to do my bit today, but even if I spent fifteen minutes here and picked up a black bag full you honestly would fail to notice, there are just so many discarded cans, bottles and take away food packets.
After crossing the railway line I turn right to head down Grafton Lane back towards the Coachman. Crosby and I have covered just over five miles and in today’s heat that is plenty. I feel in need of some fluid to prevent dehydration. I hope Lynnie has remembered to stock the fridge with Guinness! Cheers!
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 189 – Hereford & Ross on Wye
19th July 2016
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2016)