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Walk 3622 - printer friendly version

Llanthony Priory from Longtown Walk

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km

Ascent - 2100 feet / 636 metres

Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference SO322290
Lat 51.9553360 + Long -2.9880204
Postcode HR2 0LD (approx. location only)

This energetic walk starts from Longtown in Herefordshire and crosses the Hatterrall ridge before descending to Llanthony Priory in the Vale of Ewyas. The return route re-crosses the ridge before returning to the start. Despite its relatively short length, this is an energetic walk involving considerable ascent with the climb out of the Vale Ewyas being steep and unrelenting. Some parts of the route need careful navigation and a 1:25k OS map is essential. As recompense the views from the higher ground are superb covering the Black Mountains to the west and most of Herefordshire to the east.

A suitable place to park is the lay-by opposite the village hall in Longtown (grid ref. SO322290). After parking walk back to the village hall (on your left) and enter the car park. Cross the stile on the left. Walk through the field with the hedge on your right. Enter the next field and after a few metres go half right. Maintain direction across a small field and then head half right across another field to cross a footbridge (grid ref. SO320288) to reach an access track. Turn left along the access track and continue through Cayo Farm keeping the buildings on your left.

The onward path runs parallel to hedges on your right across several fields for 800 metres. The path then veers half left across the field to a track enclosed by hedges (grid ref. SO310280). Go straight over a cross track and then walk half left onto a clearer path heading uphill diagonally across the hillside. Just below the top of the ridge the track forks. Bear right to reach the Offa's Dyke Path, by a small marker stone, running along the ridge (grid ref. SO308269). You are now on the England Wales border.

Go straight over the ODP and follow path going downhill which slants across the hillside. You are now on the Beacons Way. The path is soon joined by a wall on the left. The wall is replaced by a fence and continue down the clear path to reach a fingerpost (grid ref. SO295279). Turn left and descend to a wood. The path continues half right through the wood. Exit the wood a follow the path across a field to a gate. Follow the path with wall and Llanthony Priory on your left. Turn left through a gate with three-way finger post adjacent and continue to the Priory and refreshments in season.

To start the return route, retrace your steps back to the gate and three-way fingerpost. Follow the clear track to Hatterrall Ridge North. At the next finger post by a tree stump go left signed All Routes. Go through a gate and continue uphill. Go through a gap in the fence by a fingerpost (grid ref. SO289282) into a field. Halfway across the field leave the main path and swing down to a building. Cross a stile and a stream and after the next stile bear left and head uphill aiming left of some trees to a stile (grid ref. SO291286). Using sheep-trods and feint paths make your way up the steep slope to a derelict wall using zigzags to ease the workload. Just beyond the wall a clearer path traverses across the hillside to reach a wide track along the ridge - the Offa's Dyke Path (grid ref. SO298285).

Because of the multitude of paths and sheep-trods on the uphill section, the precise point you reach the ridge maybe different. With careful navigation and the aid of a GPS you should be able to locate the descending path. However, if in doubt walk to the east side of the ridge and check your location against the OS map.

If you have reached the ridge at SO298285, take the narrow path heading east from the ODP. This leads on to a wider path descending north across the hillside. Maintain direction for 600 metres to reach a path junction (grid ref. SO299191). Turn sharp right and continue the descent to reach a track at grid ref. SO203287. Turn left along the track to a lane. Turn right along the lane and continue for 700 metres (ignoring signed paths on either side) to reach a wooden gate with two fingerposts on the right. Take the left-hand path heading straight across a field. The route crosses an old enclosed track and maintains direction across another field passing a small pond on your right (grid ref. SO312292).

Go half-right across the next field to a gate. For a brief section you walk alongside a small stream on your left. Then go straight across to a footbridge (grid ref. SO315292). Once across the bridge go half right across the field. Maintain direction across two more fields. Entering another field aim for the far-left hand hedge and follow the path alongside Longtown Castle to reach the road. Turn right back to the start.

Walk 3622 Route Map

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