On 1st August 2020 Ross-on-Wye Walkers are Welcome (WaW) are launching their Summer of Self-Guided Walking.
It is a great sadness that this year’s very popular annual Walking Festival had to be cancelled. However, visitors and locals can still explore this beautiful and peaceful area – but in safety and with their own family, friends or …. “bubble”. From 1st August the Walking in Ross website, www.walkinginross.co.uk , will be offering a collection of walks for all abilities and differing lengths in and around locality. These can be easily downloaded to a pc, tablet or phone; and will link with mapping apps to make them easy to follow.
Ross-on-Wye was the birthplace of British Tourism 250 years ago, with acclaimed visitors such as William Wordsworth and JMW Turner; and it is still very dependent economically on visitor spend. The WaW group are keen to encourage day and staying visitors to return.
The Summer of Self-Guided Walking collection has a really interesting set of routes – some which local people may be well familiar with; some that may be new and offer a different perspective. They range from under 4 miles fully accessible (which can be easily shortened and varied); to 8 miles – and are graded according to the national Ramblers ratings from Easy, through Leisurely to Moderate. The joy of self-guided is that they can be done in one’s own pace, and one’s own time…
The walks include exploring the backstreets and history of Ross, heading out to the neighbouring villages with amazing views back to capture St Mary’s spire and the River Wye frontage; which can be combined with exploring the range of independent shops – modern and vintage – cafes and restaurants which are starting to buzz again.
Or take a more rural route and find out how much variety there is in this part of Herefordshire, and how the villages and hamlets link up away from the main roads; places with beautiful names, like Dancing Green, Hope Mansell and Ashe Green. There are churches, bridges, old railway routes, iron age forts, hidden castles, memorials and follies to come across; and a wealth of history behind them. And, especially at this time, there is the beauty and diversity of the countryside and wildlife – from meadows of wild flowers, busy farms, panoramas, peaceful forests and nature reserves. Just this week walking these routes, we have seen muntjack deer, delicious wild cherries dropping from the trees, Red Kites and masses of smaller birds and butterflies, and even a little boy with a huge bag (and his mum) picking up litter!! Good on him…
Hopefully Ross-on-Wye will bounce back and benefit in some way from the challenges of this year, with a greater appreciation of what we have and the wonderful people around us. Keep safe, keep happy and keep active.