- Ross on Wye
- Kerne Bridge
- Goodrich Castle
Ross-on-Wye publicity boasts about Chase Hill, and you can sample its beauty for yourself in the early stages of this walk.
From the river bank near Wilton Bridge, a short walk left up Wye Road takes you to the town centre, but the Wye Valley Walk continues by crossing the road and walking diagonally right across the grass. Go under one of the low arches of the Wilton Bridge, turn right, then follow the path left parallel to a ditch/pond. Cross a small footbridge behind a Wye Valley Walk information board and head up a footpath through the trees. At the top of some steps, the route doglegs left then right and comes out onto a road beside a school.
Walk straight down the road (ignoring the right-pointing sign with a walker icon - a remnant of a previous route). At the end of Redhill Road, turn left into Archenfield Road. Walk along this road to a junction (beside the Tennis Club and the Prince of Wales pub) and turn half-left into Copse Cross Street, continuing to the 2nd on the right, Alton Street, which passes in front of the Community Hospital.
Walk down the hill to the end of Alton Street and, at the bend where it runs into Alton Road, turn right into Penyard Lane, following the signs to the Town and Country Trail. At the end of the road, opposite Alton Court (a PHL Adventure Holidays centre) go through a kissing gate to join a footpath. The footpath soon joins a broader track leading uphill. Go through a kissing gate and turn right to follow the field edge up to a stile, then walk a few paces across to another stile. You are now entering Merrivale Wood. Turn left opposite a fence and walk across to another stile (there is a good view back down into Ross from this point).
Continue straight ahead through the woods to a gate, cross an unmade road and continue up the path opposite. Pass a bar-gate and veer left along a stony track. You are now walking round Chase Wood and the ancient hill fort that tops it. After you have been walking on a level track for a while you will come to a large fir tree in the middle of an open area, where you should turn half-left and join a narrow footpath heading down through conifer woodland.
The path shortly turns left to head steeply down into mixed woodland. The route continues along the edge of the wood and reaches a stile, where you continue through a field, following a permissive path. Cross a stile at the other side of the field and walk across to a gate, down a lane and through another gate, leading across a farmyard. Turn left onto a road.
The Ordnance Survey map and the official Wye Valley Walk Guide both show the route as continuing round the road at this point. In fact, it has been changed and, just a short way up the road, before a bend, the route turns right over a stile behind a hedge. Walk up to another stile, then to a third, then cross a track to a fourth stile, which leads into woodland. Go steeply up the narrow path (ignore the wider parallel track) then head across small field to another stile.
Turn right onto an unmade road in front of a house. Continue to a junction, just after another house, and turn right (don't be misled by an extra blue arrow pointing left at this point). Walk down the hill, cross a road and go over another stile onto a footpath. Follow the path round to another stile and turn right. Walk down the field edge to cross a stream and go over another stile. Veer slightly left as you walk up the next field to reach a stile in front of some houses. Go up some steps, over a stile and through the yard of a house to a private road. Walk across a triangle at the junction with a small public road; cross to another footpath (signposted to Walford).
Follow the footpath round the side of the hill (ignoring an alternative path to the right). The path works its way round to the end of a narrow road, which you cross, then continue on the footpath round the hill (ignoring cross routes). The path joins a part-metalled track and descends to a narrow road, where you turn left. Walk up this narrow lane with occasional views of the River Wye on the right.
Ignore the bridle path to the right, but continue up the lane as it deteriorates into two concrete vehicle tracks leading up to a footpath. The footpath comes up to a road beside some houses, where you turn right and walk down to another road. Turn right (NB there are no official Wye Valley Walk signs at this point). Walk down the road to join the B4234 road opposite a lay-by (with a bus shelter and a telephone box). Go behind the bus shelter to join the footpath leading right to the Kerne Bridge. Cross the bridge and notice Goodrich Castle on the hill ahead.
[You can break the walk at this point to stop overnight in Goodrich. You then have the options of leaving kit at your accommodation and picking up the Welsh Bicknor and Symonds Yat stage as a circular walk, or continuing the linear walk next day.]
Again, the walk is rather up-and-down and sometimes muddy. But there are no particularly difficult sections.
Goodrich is not on the Wye Valley Walk route but is recommended as an overnight stop. The village has an ancient, though somehat damaged, castle on the hill above the River Wye (Kerne Bridge).
Ross-on-Wye - The classic view of this popular tourist town is of the town on its hillside leading down to the river and dominated by its parish church. Ross makes the most of its riverside location and provides extensive and well-kept lawns alongside the Wye. Boat trips are run from beside the Hope & Anchor pub. Wilton Bridge is a picturesque traditional arched bridge, leading to the Wilton district (where many of the B&B establishments are located).