30th April - The Black & White Tour
Amanda & Craig from New Rock, Arkansas are researching the life of statistician Florence Nightingale David wanted to visit her birthplace, Ivington, Herefordshire. After a study of the village school and church, Rob took them on a tour of the beautiful villages of NW Herefordshire, famous for their black timbers and white daub exteriors. Our itinerary featured the impressive Priory church, Leominster, Eardisland, Pembridge and a section of the eighth century earthwork - Offa's Dyke near Lyonshall. The White Swan, Eardisland provided us with a splendid Sunday lunch and beer brewed on the premises went down very well with Craig. The New Strand Tea Rooms at Eardisley were up to their customary standard of excellence with a splendid cream tea.
Dennis Downey set up Walk Herefordshire 13 years ago and now leads walks throughout the county and beyond. He and Rob met up for a walk over Hergest Ridge this week and plan to work together to promote walking in this beautiful border country. Dennis is based at Leominster and is a leading light in promoting tourism in the north Herefordshire area.
22nd April Mortimer's Cross Part 2 Orleton - Mortimer's Cross
A beautiful spring day saw us out in the Herefordshire hills on the second part of our Mortimer's Trail quest. Climbing up through the National Trust's Croft Castle property we reached the outstanding British hillfort of Croft Ambrey where we were tyreated to 360 degree views of the border lands.
Following a welcome break at The Riverside Inn, Amestrey, we followed a fascinating series of valley floors that revealed their former location as glacial lake beds. Without roads, these valleys with flat floors and steep, wooded sides are really splendid! 12 miles left to Kington!
20th April - The Eastern Beacons
Newly retired Tony, from Ludlow, and Rob set out for the eastern Beacons. Seeking to avoid the customarily crowded central Beacons, we climed up onto the plateau from the upper waterfalls carpark, above Talybont reservoir. Following the scarp cliffs around the pleateau gave us marvellous views over the surrounding country. Culminating our walk on Fan Y Big, where Tony achieved his ambition of standing above the void beneath the "Diving Board", we then decided to extend by adding Cribyn to our "haul". Using a sporting route to climb via Bryn Teg, a veritable "Stairway to Heaven", we reached the pointy summit before descending via the Roman Road to reach the car at Torpantau. An excellent 7 hour hike!
19th April - Cycling alone in the Elan Valley
With beautiful blue skies I had to pop up to the Elan valley for a quick cycle round the lakes, a 17 mile loop that invloves a fair degree of hill work. Yet it was stunning and, starting early, i had thge area virtually all to myself!" The top lakes are still near to over-topping and look stunning. So if you fancy a cycle tour, a walk, a run or a lovely old drive, click here!
16th April - Brecon Beacons Tour
Rob took to a McCarthys Coach today as he guided a group from Macclesfield around the Brecon Beacons National Park. Despite poor weather for much of the day, the group enjoyed their day out in the Welsh countryside. They started off driving across the Park to Craig y Nos country park for elevenses and a tour of the park designed for the nineteenth century opera singer, Adelina Patti.
The next stage of our tour brought us around the "Heads of the Valleys" past the famous Waterfall Country and Penderyn distillery to re-cross the Beacons for lunch at the Brecon Beacons Visitor Centre near Libanus.
Finally we explored the Black Mountains area in the east of the park, driving down the Vale of Usk to near Crickhowell before heading up the beautiful Rhiangoll valley to the mountain pass at Pengenffordd. The tour concluded with tea at the Waterfront Cafe within Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon.
13th April - Mortimer's Trail part 1 Ludlow - Orleton
Sarah and Rob tackled their latest journey by starting on the 30 mile Mortimer's Trail. The route links Ludlow and Kington, highlighting the beautiful countryside of the border counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire.
10th April - Biking in the Begwns
A quick morning ride on the Radnorshire hills - Aberedw Rocks, Llandeilo Hill and the Begwns. With Mid Wales enjoying a dry and sunny April so far, it was great to just get out and stretch the legs! I saw in excess of a dozen red kites but only one other person - a fellow cyclist escaping from Birmingham!
7th April - Wye Valley Walk complete, Severn Way begins!
Today Rob completed his task of walking the Wye Valley Walk upstream of his Boughrood home. He also started the first few miles of the Severn Way, Britain's longest river walk that threads its way to Bristol, 160 miles distant.
April 5th - The Welsh Lake District ~ Elan Valley
Today was the first of the Heart of Wales Line tours which met the train at Llandrindod Wells. With just one guest we had a day in the incomparable Elan Valley. We looked at the history, particularly the railway history of the dams' constructions while enjoying the beautiful scenery amid one of the most tranquil places in the country. Next tour - May 3rd - The Three Castles Tour. For more information about the Elan valley, click here.
April 2nd - Spring Time in the Begwns
With warm weather reaching Mid Wales, it was a great time for a wander on the Begwns. Fantastic 360 degree views ensure that this National Trust owned land is a great place to view both the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Radnorshire hills. Photos to follow!