Orcop HillHereford

Orcher one
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By a Slow Ways Volunteer on 07 Apr 2021







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This is a Slow Ways route connecting Orcop Hill and Hereford.

Know of a better route? Share it here.

This is a Slow Ways route connecting Orcop Hill and Hereford.

Know of a better route? Share it here.


This route has been reviewed by 1 person.

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Not verified

Route status - Live

Reviews - 1

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Is this route good enough? -  Yes (1)

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Downloads - 5


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Geography information system (GIS) data

Total length

Maximum elevation

Minimum elevation

Start and end points

Orcop Hill
Grid Ref SO4802727930
Lat / Lon 51.94744° / -2.75757°
Easting / Northing 348,028E / 227,931N
What3Words quilting.maps.plunger
Grid Ref SO5119339982
Lat / Lon 52.05607° / -2.71324°
Easting / Northing 351,193E / 239,982N
What3Words froze.prop.skinny

Orcher One's land is

Arable 68.7%
Pasture 5.8%
Urban 17.0%
Woods 8.6%

Data: Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018



14 Jun 2022 (edited 19 Jun 2022) Spring

I - Nic Howes - walked this route north-south on Sunday 12.6.22.

I gave a four star rating only because the route has rather too much tarmac walking for a 5 star Slow Way, albeit on quiet lanes. I tried hard to reduce amount of tarmac walking but the necessary alternative footpaths and bridleways don't exist.

Leaving aside the tarmac walking this is otherwise a cracking route, with a great deal to see and on which to reflect.

From Hereford to Dewsall this route follows an excellent Sustrans cycle route on surfaced cycle paths and minor roads. An alternative start from Hereford is to walk down Greyfriars Avenue from St. Nicholas' church, arrive at the Rowing Club and follow the left bank of the River Wye to Hunderton Bridge before ascending the steps up onto that to rejoin the mapped route south, along Great Western Way. It did not seem worth creating Orcher two just for the sake of this small detour, which reduces road walking a little, and does go past an old hedge line, currently under threat of removal.

From Dewsall to Much Dewchurch the route passes some luxurious properties that prompted me to reflect on the meaning of "levelling up", and how this oxymoron came to be assimilated into the formal name of a Government department. Photo 1 shows the drive up which the route approaches Dewsall Court and Photo 2 shows The Lawns; the correct line of the footpath between these two locations is a little difficult to follow, and careful use of the OS map app was necessary to stay on track. I decided to avoid the footpath option from Old Lowe Farm through Maypole Farm because it is slightly further and the surfaced lane is generally quiet, although HS Activities generates some extra traffic over that from farms and residents: https://hsactivities.co.uk

The Black Swan in Much Dewchurch is a long-established village pub (Photo 3) and the village church has a calm, secluded churchyard (Photo 4). Soon after leaving the churchyard the view opens up to include the prominent ridge connecting Lyston to Garway Hill (Photo 5). M. R. James was the author of renowned and much-adapted ghost stories; it is well-known that he was a visitor to this part of Herefordshire in the first half of the twentieth century and commentators seem to agree that this ridge is likely to have been in his mind as the vantage point referred to in one of his stories: "A View from a Hill".

The section from Much Dewchurch to Old Bryngwyn affords views of Bryngwyn Manor, a Victorian Gothic manor house built in 1868. The route also passes close to the remains of a moated house, where I saw a pair of swans and their cygnets (Photo 6, with Bryngwyn Manor in the background).

At Old Bryngwyn the route turns right along a former carriageway connecting Bryngwyn Manor with a neighbouring - much older - large house, The Mynde (carriageway Photo 7, lake, house and island "temple" Photos 8 and 9).

After The Mynde, the route passes among the attractive brick buildings of The Woodlands before beginning the climb straight up the aforementioned ridge; on the way I saw what I took to be the remains of a thrush's lunch, Photo 10. The route continues past Bettws Court Farm, nestling at the head of a small valley, and then climbs to Bettws Court Retreats https://bettwscourtretreats.co.uk from where there are sweeping views across south Herefordshire and the Forest of Dean.

The finishing point for this route lies close to The Fountain Inn, Photo 11.

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