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September 2016 Coach Walk

Wednesday 7th September saw the last in the Summer series of excursions by Stratford Ramblers Group. At 8.30am a coachload of 47 members set off from Bearley heading for Herefordshire. The first drop off was at Fownhope where 30 people left the coach to find the Wye Valley River Trail and follow this line into the city of Hereford. It was disconcerting to find that the valley trail was at the top of the hill but once this had been resolved it led to a delightful walk through woodland gently dropping down to the road. There was then a section of walking through fields and gentle countryside before getting a first glimpse of a river at Mordiford. It was a pity that it was not the River Wye but the River Lugg coming in from the north of the county.

In the event the lunch time pub stop at Hampton Bishop came into view before the group climbed the bank behind the pub to get a first glimpse of the Wye. The afternoon was uneventful apart from the long stretch through a field of corn towering over the group and certainly as high as an elephant`s eye. The route now followed the route along the river and into the city. As the group entered the cathedral grounds, the pupils from the cathedral school were emerging in smart new school uniforms at the beginning of the new school year.

A smaller group of walkers had already trodden this route and many members had been keen to reach Hereford early to explore the city and gain access to the cathedral. The Mappa Mundi exhibition was a popular attraction. There was plenty to keep people occupied with an art exhibition and café in one of the central churches and a lively street scene with plenty of pubs and coffee shops.

The programme will continue for another year and  Marlborough, Ross-on-Wye and Stamford have already been identified as possible locations at which to end each walk.

Alan Cumming