Walk 2179 - printer friendly version
Merbach Hill Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km
Ascent - 1000 feet / 303 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SO313417
Lat 52.0693900 + Long -3.0036668
Postcode HR3 6AN (approx. location only)
This Herefordshire walk from Dorstone explores the hilly landscape on the south side of the Wye Valley. The first objective is Merbach Hill (318 m) from where there are views north to the River Wye as it meanders down a broad valley. The route then turns east towards Bredwardine before striking south to pass Arthur's Stone, an ancient burial chamber, to return to Dorstone.
Limited on street parking is available near the village green in Dorstone (grid ref. SO313417). There is also a small car park a short distance southeast from the village green. After parking turn north from the village green and follow Church Road past the phone box to enter the churchyard. Keep to the right of the church (worth visiting if you have time) and exit onto the B4348. Turn left and take the first footpath on the right by a fingerpost. Pass through the kissing gate and initially follow the path shortly crossing the River Dore and the old railway line. Cross the next field half left, go straight across a byway (Spoon Lane) and continue in the same direction across another field to reach a clear access drive (grid ref.SO314426).
Bear left along the track, to reach Llan Farm. Follow the waymarked route around the farm to join a track which is followed towards Scar Lane. When the track bends left continue ahead up to a stile in the hedge. Cross the lane and continue with hedge on your right to a track. Turn left and shortly after right to follow path to Arthur's Stone Lane (grid ref. SO311438). Turn left and continue to where the lane bends right. Continue straight ahead through a metal gate with adjacent finger post and continue to the OS trig column on Merbach Hill (grid ref. SO3144770).
To start the descent walk right through bracken for 140 metres to reach a Wye Valley Walk marker post. Follow the waymarked WVW downhill passing Woolla Farm on your left. After 2.5 kilometres of downhill walking the WVW turns right (grid ref. SO325445) and drops down to a road (Bredwardine Hill). Turn right uphill. At the next junction fork left up the no through road. Follow the lane for 400 metres and then take the signed bridleway on the right.
The route follows the valley floor beside a stream. After 700 metres your reach the rear of a house on your right and an enclosed green lane between hedges. Turn left and join the rising path that veers diagonally up the hillside to a gap in a hedge (grid ref. SO319439). Pass through the gap into a field and keep the hedge on your right and continue up to a junction with the Three Rivers Ride. Continue ahead on the bridleway for 500 metres to reach Arthur's Stone Lane. Continue along the lane to reach Arthur's Stone on your right (grid ref. SO319431). Turn right off the lane as indicated by the fingerpost and descend across pastures to reach the B4348 (grid ref. SO318421).
Bear right along the B4348. Care is needed for 300 metres until the main road bends right. Continue ahead at this point signed to Dorstone. After 300 metres turn right into Chapel Lane and continue back to the village green in Dorstone.