Wellington Heath - Coddington - Wellington Heath

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Wellington Heath - Coddington - Oyster Hill - Wellington Heath

The walk starts just outside the picturesque town of Ledbury, well worth a visit and noted for its Market House, Heritage Museum, Butchers' Row Museum and the 16th Century cobbled Church Lane, a location for many period films. Recently, a gem was discovered in the Council House in the lane. During refurbishment, a rare painted room of around 1560 was uncovered and it is thought that the room was used to house prisoners in Tudor times. The paintings were of verses from Psalm 15, no doubt designed to return the occupants to the straight and narrow:

"That in his heart regardeth not malicious, wicked men: but those that love and fear the Lord".

Lovers of literature may be interested in the Barrett Browning Institute, with its large clock tower. It has a collection of her works and some biographical material.

The starting point is in the hamlet of Wellington Heath. In his Chronicles, Edwin Russell, a labourer on the Executive Council of the National Agricultural Labourers' Union, described a meeting held in the hamlet on a 'blusterous and cold night' on November 12th, 1872:

"I then showed the needs for a National Agricultural Labourers' Union, and endeavoured to show the advantages to be derived therefrom. Hearty cheers were given for the speakers and the Union."

The walk follows the edge of a deciduous wood, down to fertile and peaceful pastures, hop-fields and orchards that are typical of Herefordshire. Before gaining a lane, the route cuts through Coddington Vineyard, one of the smallest commercial vineyards in the UK. Visitors may sample the fine wines that are produced from four varieties of grape, Bacchus, Kerner, Ortega and Pinot Gris.

A walk along a quiet lane takes one to the attractive village of Coddington and All Saints' Church, which dates from the early 13th Century, when three altars were dedicated in 1231 by Bishop Hugh Foliot. Although some of the walk follows lanes, they are quiet and two-fifths of these sections form part of the Herefordshire Trail.

The next highlight is a short climb to the triangulation point on the breezy summit of Oyster Hill. From here is a panoramic view from the distant Black Mountains to the Malvern Hills. A descent along the edge of a broad and peaceful valley takes you past Hope End House, widely known for being the childhood home of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Elizabeth's father, Edward Moulton-Barrett created gardens and parkland around the house. Little now remains of the original gardens but recent landscaping has created a five-acre haven for plants and wildlife and is open to visitors.

The lane to which you then descend takes you back to your starting point.

England - Central England - Herefordshire - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Museum, Pub, Stately Home, Wildlife, Woodland
17/09/2020 - David James

Thanks for the helpful comment, Rebekah. It's useful to have feedback about alterations to the original features, such as replacement gates and stiles. I'll check these when I am able to and update the description.

13/09/2020 - Rebekah C

This is a really lovely walk. A lovely mix of woodland, fields and country lanes. Some lovely spots for a picnic. Really lovely views. There are now gates where at some points where it says stiles in the instructions - so don't worry you are on the right route. I had 2 dogs with me (both around 18kg). There was only one stile I had to lift them over. All the others have either been replaced by gates or there is space for them to get under or over the stile. Also worth keeping in mind that there were cows in one field if you have a dog but obviously this probably changes regularly.

02/04/2016 - Paul and Tracy Dawson

No problems with the route guide for us, map, gps, although we sometimes still mess up! :-( Farmer had just muck spreaded the field at mark 4, not a good combination with the overnight rain and wearing shorts! Glorious views for our stop at the church in Coddington and up by the trig point. Boggy in places but mostly good paths/tracks/lanes. Lovely walk on a sunny day!

15/04/2012 - David James

Glad you enjoyed the walk, Peter, and thank you for your helpful comment. I'm not sure exactly what caused confusion but, at the point where the hedge veers left, you keep straight ahead, as instructed. I will check this point as soon as I can and add any clarification needed to the walk instructions.

14/04/2012 - Peter Holland

Whilst we enjoyed this walk, it was spoiled by the confusing description at point 4. At the point where the hedge turns left we stopped and discussed at length whether to go straight on to the end of the field as instructed, or to veer to the right to the obvious gap in the hedge opposite. The GPS didn't help because it pointed to a waypoint too far away at the end of this long description. This is a very good walk and, notwithstanding the frustration at point 4, we did enjoy it.

29/09/2011 - David James

Thanks for your helpful comment, Robert. We have incorporated your suggestion into the directions. Yes, there is some single track lane walking but, as stated in the introduction, these lanes are very quiet and two-fifths of these sections form part of the Herefordshire Trail. Glad you enjoyed the walk and the wonderful view.

29/09/2011 - Walkingworld Administrator

Our thanks to Robert Corden for his update for this walk. September 2011. Adrian (Admin)

28/09/2011 - Robert Corden

Did this walk yesterday with my mate, and would like to make the following comments: I agree with Caroline, some stiles were hard on my 60yr old knees, and involved a lot of road walking, especially as we walked from Ledbury Station. Between WPs 4 & 5 we could not see the corner that juts out, as a crop as tall as us was in front of us, and my GPS was pointing through that crop, so we carefully walked through it. An enjoyable walk though, with varied scenery, and a wonderful reward when we reached the summit of Oyster Hill and took in the view.

16/03/2011 - Caroline Johnson

Enjoyable walk through varied country including arable, orchard, hop fields and sheep. A fair bit of road but hardly any traffic around. Two stiles defeated our slim labrador but he managed the rest fairly easily - chunkier dogs would struggle!

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