- Common Hill Nature Reserve
- Lea and Paget Woods
This circular walk is a lovely way to end your day after dropping off your rucksac in Fownhope. And the beatiful SSSI's this circular walk passes through deserve to be taken slowly... take the camera.
To resume the the walk from Fownhope, retrace your steps up to Nupend and turn right to pick up the bridle path opposite the path where you turned off the route. The path leads up through woodland. Keep to the bridleway, ignoring cross paths and following the blue arrows. Views of Fownhope and the Wye can be seen on the right. The path then drops down to pass behind a house, then continues down to cross other tracks before rising up again alongside Common Hill Nature Reserve.
A little further up the hill, the Wye Valley Walk branches right, leaving this bridleway, crossing a stile into another section of the Common Hill Nature Reserve (designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest). Cross the field and go up some steps to a viewpoint before heading further along the ridge. The path sinks between banks (an indicator of a probably ancient route). Cross a stile and walk down to a driveway and out to a road.
Cross the road and go over a stile; follow the left hand edge of a field round to a gate and stile leading into Lea Woods. This section of the walk passes through Lea and Paget Woods, which is a haven of wild flowers (and another designated SSSI).
In the woods, at the junction of 5 paths, turn right following the yellow arrow. At the viewpoint at the end of the woods, cross a stile into a field. Keep to the right hand side of the field and walk down to where the next stile is hidden in the bottom right hand corner. Continue along the right hand edge of the next field and cross another stile. Continue down the right hand side of another field to an iron gate. Turn left and follow the field edge right round and up to a stile at the top.
At this point the route has been changed. The next signposted stile is diagonally left across the field, but the sign here points right, leading you to a new stile. In either case, they lead to a farm track, where you turn left and walk down to the B4224 road. Turn left onto the road and shortly turn right onto another farm track at Caplor Farm. Just before you reach the farm buildings turn left over a stile and pass behind the farm buildings.
Go through a gateway and on up to another gate and stile, from where the path leads steeply uphill through woodland. At the top of the steps, the footpath sign on the stile points right; in fact, the proper route is almost straight ahead, but walking half-right (to the right of a building) brings you into the middle of Caplor Camp Hill Fort. Cross the banked enclosure to a gap on the left, marked by a stump and a concrete emplacement. Pass through the gap and turn right to rejoin the main route - a broad track leading downhill. Look out for, and follow, a footpath on the left passing through a stand of conifers. The footpath rejoins the track, where you turn left and continue downhill to a road at a point just above the Capler Hill Viewpoint (a short way left along the road).
If you are doing this section as a loop-walk, turn right and walk down the road to Fownhope. Return by the same road to resume the route from Capler Hill Viewpoint.
This is a pleasant and easy walk to round off your day after dropping off your rucksac at a B&B in Fownhope. The walking is safe, but watch the road as you walk back into Fownhope.
Common Hill Nature Reserve is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and deserves its status. An area of grass and heath, it boasts a profustion of wildflowers.
Lea and Paget Woods (also designated SSSI) run into one another to provide a delightful woodland scene with a special atmosphere. Walk slowly and use all your senses... look, listen, smell and feel the beauty.