WIGMORE, BARNETT WOOD, LOWER LYE
5.5 miles (9 km), 250m ascent. Allow 3 hrs. Some ascents easy going.
A walk of interest through woodlands and hill farming that is peaceful and gives extensive views of hills and valleys.
Park in village hall car park (for castle).
Accommodation and refreshment facilities are readily available in Wigmore.
(1) Walk back to cross-roads on A4110. Go straight across, pass ‘The Forge’ on the (L) and go up to ‘The Old School’ where turn (R), with the church on the (R); continue uphill passing last bungalow onto track and through a kissing-gate in (LH) corner, then another kissing-gate until a double kissing-gate is reached at the castle entrance. (The castle, the Mortimer’s stronghold, is maintained by English Heritage as a romantic ruin and is well worth a visit). Take (LH) kissing-gate to join track by another kissing-gate. Ignore next gate but go through next facing gate ahead and uphill passing through the trees to a stile in the top far corner. Keep on the same line through next field to a gate and stile to reach lane.
(2) Turn (L) on metalled lane and continue on this for nearly 1km in the direction of Wigmore. Just after the passing place on the lane, turn sharp (R) to stile and gate next to SP. Follow the indicated SP direction bearing diagonally (R) and over and down the hill contour to cross FB at bottom right corner of field. After 50m turn right to cross a stile and continue uphill on same line to field gate and stiles. Follow WM route to stile and gate in bottom left corner of field before wood. Aim diagonally downhill (R) to stile and SP onto Wigmore-Lingen road and turn (R).
(3) At the point where this road bottoms then starts to climb, turn into field at second metal gate on the (L). Contour round valley to stile just below wood. Straight ahead to a field gate behind a few trees and then onto a track. Follow track down to a junction with a metalled road at Lower Lye. (Before continuing the walk, take the time to go round the corner to (R) to admire a fine specimen of a ‘black and white’ farm building.)
(4) Return to the farm track. 10m back at SP go through gate and aim downhill with farmhouse as a target to reach a stile at the bottom. Taking care, clamber down and cross FB across stream and up to stile on the other side. Turn immediately (R) to a stile, then cross field diagonally (L) to gate in front of sheds to join track. Bear (L) then pass farmhouse to (L) and then uphill to gate to join an uphill farm track. Follow track to its brow, bear (L) to Barnetts Barn. (Part of the NT Croft Ambrey Woods can be seen across the Lugg Valley) Turn (R) to pass the rear of the barn and continue uphill on a farm track to where it meets hedge at an angle. Bear (L) diagonally uphill across field towards edge of wood to a stile in a hedge just over the brow to join a farm track. Turning (R), follow track downhill to reach the Wigmore-Lingen road again and turn (R).
(5) After 50m take SP stile in bank on (L) and aim across diagonally (R) over a slight brow of field and then make ahead for a hollow to a FB to cross a stream, and up the bank past power line poles to a stile. Cross the metalled lane and over the opposite stile. (Wigmore and its church stand out attractively.) Keep to hedge on (R) to shortly turn (R) onto a footpath by stile, which follow steeply down and then turn (R) at bottom. Cross the small stream then immediately turn (L) onto SP bridleway up to a metalled lane. Turn (R) and rejoin lane at ‘The Old School’, back to crossroads and lay-by starting point.
Submitted by Raymond & Betty Lloyd, revised by Clive Payne