LINGEN, BIRTLEY CROSS, HARLEY’S MOUNTAIN
8 miles (13 km), 350m ascent. Allow 4 – 4.5 hrs. Some ascents – easy going
A walk that gives sweeping views – through woods, farmland, riverside and streams utilizing bridleways, footpaths and traffic free country lanes. Not suitable for push trolleys but a photographers dream.
Park on St. Michael’s and All Angels Church lay-by – OS Grid Ref. SO365673.
(1) From lay-by walk through Churchyard and out through Wych-gate where turn (L) through village turning (R) to Royal George P.H. and take F.P. on (L) at Brook House. Through gate bear (R) and follow the brook to cross stream by bridge onto (RH) bank and crossing three more footbridges in succession over the stream. Follow path ahead for 100m to turn sharp (L) onto uphill track through Old Castle Woods to reach stile, ignoring well used path on right.
(2) Aim diagonally uphill to (L) for Oak Tree and through gap of field gate. Go downhill and at its foot bear slightly (L) for corner of trees ahead to fieldgate. (Pause for a moment and look behind to appreciate the magnificent panoramic views). Join a metalled lane and go (L) uphill to cross diagonally to the (R) the Lingen/Wigmore road, to join the firm farm track branching off to the (L) and through through 4 gates in quick succession.
(3) Within a few yards turn (L) just before the facing fieldgate, onto a green bridleway track for 2.5km which follows the hill escarpment contour. Pass the derelict farm and go through three further gates at which point the hedge will change from (LH) to (RH). On the (L), in the field a further derelict building will be passed and approach the white Cottage – Deerfold. Continue on track past this, shortly after this turn right up a bank, through a gate and go straight across the field into a wood. Cross a stile, turn (L) and go through a gate down bridleway track (over-grown at times), to Birtley Cross and Lingen/Leintwardine road.
(4) Cross road and proceed up lane to (R) uphill and round to the (R) for 800m to join another lane coming in from the (R). Continue round to (L) and follow for 200m. until opposite a fire hydrant turn (L) down a farm track at the side of Brick Kiln Farm.
(5) Leaving Brick Kiln Farm, go down this rather muddy track, through another gate continue down to pass over bridge to take (LH) track that goes uphill for 400m. Continue along the track through Birtley Knoll Wood to another gate and F.B. and ford across the stream. Take path ahead uphill for 400m passing solitary house (in spring this is richly endowed with primroses). After track bears (R), turn further (R) at facing F.P. stile and continue up a grassy track between fence and trees. Go through stile ahead until a metalled lane is reached at a cattle grid gate.
(6) Turn (R) and continue uphill left of Mountain Buildings Farm (the farmhouse itself now derelict, but farm still in operation) to the farmgate the other side of the buildings keeping to the same direction. Go through a gate and continue with hedge on (R), pass hedge end on (L) and in the middle of the field turn left across the field to align with a hedge corner . 200m ahead. Keep this hedge to the (L) and go through two further gates. Here take a (R) diagonal line to the OS Trig. Point (386 m) on Harley’s Mountain. (The village of Leintwardine can be seen 6 miles to the North East and Radnor Forest and the Whimble – to the South West).
(7) Return to fieldgate visible 100m across field and turn sharply (L) onto green lane/bridleway (you are now joining the Herefordshire Trail on which you should continue to the end of the walk). On reaching the road go straight across.
(8) Take the path to the (RH) side of the garage of the house between two bushes and drops down to a small gate. Follow HT sign straight ahead near top of bank (not bridleway going downhill). Turn L to follow along edge of field keeping wood on R. After 2nd field enter wood and descend through wood to plank bridge. Continue across field and through a gate, follow path down valley, turning L into wood where waymarked to follow track with kissing gates to lane and turn L.
(9) After two ‘S’ bends and 800m of road walking, turn (R) and 100m ahead can be seen the Church and starting point.
N.B. Lingen Church is well worth a visit as also the impressive Motte and Bailey that lies just behind it, reached by the SP stile from the churchyard. The Royal George PH provides food and drink, and camping.
Submitted by Raymond & Betty Lloyd, revised by Chris Ruby and Kevin Jones, and Emlyn & Shirley Williams 2018