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An April evening bike ride PDF Print E-mail
Written by A. Cyclist   
Sunday, 18 April 2021 22:41

If foreign holidays are out this year, leaving staycations as the only alternative, there are fewer places to beat Herefordshire.  An evening bike ride on a sunny April evening just to the west of Ledbury reveals how beautiful our county is.

Leave Ledbury via the Town Trail as far as Little Marcle Road, or via Bridge Street.  Cross the bypass at the bottom of Lower Road and carry on past UBL.  After about a mile, bear left and then right.

After about 2 miles out of town, you will find this interesting tree house (left).

After another mile or so, turn right on the A4172 and take the next left.  Carry on towards Putley.  Just before you get to Aylton, there is a sharp turn to the right:

I call this Wilf’s Pond because my mate Wilf just escaped ending up in the drink by nearly failing to turn right in time.

The Reed Maces are often erroneously called ‘Bulrushes’, as a result of the infamously misnamed painting Moses in the Bulrushes.

The fluffy flowers are going over, which will leave behind the distinctive cylindrical brown maces.

Carry on, bear left and then left again at the T-junction.  At Rushall, carry straight on at the crossroads by Graham Baker’s yard and up the lung-busting hill to the top of Marcle Ridge.  Turn right at the top and then next left down the other side to Sapness.  No photos from here because the light wasn’t good, but there are sometimes some smashing views resembling Japanese watercolour hill scenes.

Turn right at the next T towards Woolhope.

← Looking back to what would have been a marvellous switchback - but for the appalling road surface.

The road carries on into Woolhope, where I turned left for a pint in the garden of the Crown.  (Now allowed to be open, but only outdoors...)

Church lychgate from the garden of the Crown.

Back towards Ledbury now - past the Butchers Arms (currently only doing take-aways), through the rest of Woolhope and turn left up the hill to the Cockshoot.
A brace of pheasants (left) among the gone-over daffodils and 5 miles to Ledbury...

Note my odometer reading....

Down the hill towards Ledbury (the Wonder - site of a landslip in 1575, of which some evidence is still visible today - is on the right where a road turns off to the left).

Turn left at the bottom back towards Aylton.

Turn right at the next junction.  Errm - is Ledbury still 5 miles away? (note my second odometer reading)

Council must have had a job lot of these signs...

Now retrace: back across the A4172 and onto Little Marcle Road.

Since it was such a smashing evening, I extended the ride via Lilly Hall Lane (turn right instead of left after about 2 miles, at next T).  Good views back to Ledbury (left) from the top of the hill, and of May Hill straight ahead.

Primroses and cowslips near the Ross road junction.

The sun was beginning to set, but there was still enough daylight to get home via the top of Leadington.  Turn right onto the Ross Road and then first left.  This is not the most pleasant bit - take care and get off the A449 ASAP!

You’re on the boundary with Gloucestershire (to your right) until the next junction.  Turn left here - the road leaves the county boundary to the right.

Mistletoe across the county boundary.

Carry on past Siddington strawberry farm and follow the road back to the A449.  Turn right here and down the hill to the Full Pitcher roundabout.

Total distance: a bit over 20 miles.