- views to the Black Hills and Hay Bluff
- riverside walk towards hereford
- Hereford city and cathedral
Hereford city is the worthy goal of today's walk but the journey is attractive in itself. The walk rarely leaves the river and the approaching views of Hereford Cathedral constantly spur you on.
(Depending where you stayed overnight, retrace your steps to Sugwas Pool or pick up the walk from where you left off)
From Sugwas Pool, walk along the road towards Hereford and, just after the Kites Nest Inn pub, take the footpath on the opposite side of the road. [NB the OS Map disagrees with the Wye Valley Walk guide at this point and takes you down the Breinton road, a few yards further on. The footpath is preferable.]
Follow the left hand field edge (notice Black Hill ahead in the distance and Hay Bluff to the right). Continue along the path all the way down to a line of trees, where you go over a stile. At this point you can just see the River Wye. Head diagonally across the field, heading for a post, which marks the stile through the opposite hedge (on the way, cross a narrow ditch that may be flooded in some seasons). Walk straight across the next field in the direction of a large house (up on the opposite bank of the river).
Cross a stile and walk diagonally left across a field, more-or-less in the direction of the river. The next stile is hidden among the trees and takes you out onto a road. Turn right onto the road and follow it round towards the village of Breinton Common, but don't go into the village.
Turn left as you get to the tope of the hill and take the road beside Garfield House; this road soon becomes a bridleway. Follow the bridle path to a stile next to a gate. The path turns right and takes you to a metal gate. The direction sign on this gate is misleading - it points straight ahead, but the next gate is actually diagonally left across the field.
Go through the gate and walk down a track between hedges and then continue, following a line of trees. Go past Manor House; the track then comes out to a road, where the Wye Valley Walk turns right (passing in front of a Tudor-style house).
At the road junction turn right in the direction of Breinton Common. Just before the next bend turn left, following the footpath sign and go up steps and over a stile. Head diagonally across a field. Cross another stile and continue along the footpath; go through a rusty, ramshackle kissing gate [NB this may be replaced with a new stile by the time you read these directions]. Go up a short track to come out onto a road beside Breinton Court and Breinton Court Lodge. Turn left onto the road and walk a short way through the village.
At the road junction turn right, following the sign to Breinton House [NB there is no Wye Valley Walk sign at this junction, though they correct this omission about 25 yards further on]. Go through a gate into the National Trust area of Breinton Spring. The path leads down to a gate and through to a riverside meadow. From here, the path remains close to the river all the way into Hereford.
The path crosses in turn - a kissing gate, 2 gated footbridges, a metal gate, another gated footbridge - then the tower of the museum comes into view on the left and the tope of Hereford Cathedral appears through the trees. Next go through a metal gate and an opening in a fence. Walk beside playing fields and over another footbridge as far as the old railway bridge, where you cross the River Wye to join the footpath on the other bank. The railway bridge offers good views of the cathedral.
Go under the concrete road bridge and up onto the ancient stone-arched Wye Bridge. The path continues on the other side of the bridge, but this is a good point to divert into Hereford City.
Hereford - The "ford" element of the name gives away that the river crossing was the original impetus to creating this settlement (actually meaning "ford of the army"; but it has had a long history since then. The cathedral is its most noticeable feature today and it is worth a visit to see its impressive architecture and the famous "Mappa Mundi" (part of a chained library). Nearby Wye Bridge gives a good view of the cathedral and is an ancient structure itself. The park beside the bridge (opposite the cathedral) leads to an iron suspension bridge (Victoria Bridge) from where you can cross back over the river to a mound that marks the site of the former Castle. On your way out of Hereford (in the Ross-on-Wye direction) you pass a house called "Plas Gwyn", which was the home of Elgar, the composer.