Herefordshire Trail relaunches for summer
The Herefordshire Trail, the county’s 154 mile circular walking route, is relaunching in time for the summer and the Herefordshire Walking Festival (18 – 26 June 2022), with walkers guided along the route by a series of new golden way makers, with cleared pathways and a ‘walk the trail in a day’ event on 17th June which will see 100s of walks simultaneously walk all the 15 sections of the trail over the course of the day.
The relaunch has seen a collaboration between Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Ramblers and Visit Herefordshire, working together to ensure that each of the sections of the walk is in tip top condition to attract even more walkers to the county as well as launching an in-depth guide to the walk.
The trail was Herefordshire’s first walking route entirely dedicated to exploring the county and was developed in 2004 by the Herefordshire Ramblers linking all five of the county’s market towns and picturesque villages.
Over the years some stretches have become overgrown with bridges requiring attention as well as the need to update the signage to create a more distinctive identity as well as the creation of an online guide to assist visitors.
Walkers will now be guided along the route by over 2000 new golden way markers featuring the distinctive rosy Herefordshire cider apple and urged to #FollowTheApple over the 154 mile route and enjoy the vast views, time-worn hollow ways threading through deep forest and flower-rich meadows. Historic landmarks along the way include the ruins of some of England’s earliest castles, the iron age hillforts of Wapley and Bache, Arthur’s Stone neolithic chamber tomb and 12th century Dore Abbey. This has all now been completed with the design of a new logo and campaign from Visit Herefordshire to attract more walkers with the simple message #FollowTheApple.
Jo Hilditch, chair of the tourism steering group for Visit Herefordshire which has kickstarted a major destination marketing campaign for the county over the last 18 months said: “We recognised the trail as a key asset for the county which was not being used to its full potential due to poor signposting and visitor information. Working together with the council and the Ramblers we are delighted to breathe new life into this great trail and leave a lasting legacy for the new team at Herefordshire County Destination BID who will take over the county’s destination marketing from July.”
Mike Goodwin, Chair of Herefordshire Ramblers said: “This project has seen us mobilise our twenty-seven trail volunteers who are helping to replace all the way markers over the next few weeks as well as cutting back and clearing many overgrown sections to ensure we have the paths in the best possible condition by the 17th June for the launch event. Our team have also been busy erecting new stiles and kissing gates. It’s been a big project, but we are delighted to have a trail looking so good for the summer walking season ahead.”
John Harrington, Cabinet Minister for Instrastructure and Transport at Herefordshire Council said: “We have been thrilled to work together with Herefordshire Ramblers and Visit Herefordshire to ensure the trail is in the very best condition for both Herefordians and our visitors to enjoy. The walk’s route lends itself to car free travel making the most of the county’s public transport links with mainline stations as well as our bus network which we continue to offer free to everyone, regardless of age or county of residence, for weekend travel.”
Visit Herefordshire has launched a new 48-page guide which can be downloaded here. It breaks the walk down into 15 sections with overview directions, links to OS maps, each leg ranging in length between 7 to 15 miles, with the average distance being 9 miles.
Herefordshire Trail in a Day – 17th June 2022
Coinciding with the relaunch of the trail is the 20th anniversary of the Herefordshire Walking Festival, a week-long festival of walks. To celebrate the relaunch a ‘Trail in a Day’ event is taking place inviting walkers across the county to join a series of walks happening concurrently on Friday 17 June 2022 when event organisers hope to gather hundreds of walkers led by expert leaders to hike a section of the trail covering distances ranging from 8 to 19 miles. Choose from a challenging trail running experience, to orchard wanders with cider-tasting, or themed history, geology and wildlife walks. Participation is priced between £6 to £11 per person and places can be prebooked here https://www.visitherefordshire.co.uk/inspiration/herefordshire-trail-day
Two of the events start from Ross:
Departs Ross Market House
Join Jesse Norman MP plus Ruth Waycott and Nick Critchley from Wye Valley AONB for an energetic riverside walk which takes in two charming suspension bridges and the pretty hamlet of Hoarwithy.
8am – 2.15pm, 11.6 miles
Departs Wilton Road car park
The tourist board has also introduced a series of recommended ‘ways to enjoy’, the trail for those planning to visit breaking it down into shorter itineraries for a short break even a longer holiday including practical advice on recommended transport. There’s also a new six day ‘Hike and Paddle’ Challenge Trip for those looking to really push themselves exploring the south west section from Ross on Wye over a 50 mile hike staying at country pubs, returning to the walk start by means of a three day 43 mile paddle, camping along the way.
For more information on Herefordshire visit www.visitherefordshire.co.uk