Walk 243A (#54) [9.8 miles] - Norton, Harley's Mountain & Stapleton Wood

OS201 OS137 garmin

This was the recce for a walk in two days time. We’d done the walk four times before, but just to reassure myself we decided to check it out.

We made a really early start and parked in the lay-by opposite the church in Norton and Geri and I set off - full of optimism.

We eventually climbed almost to the top of Harley’s Mountain, pausing on the way for a coffee break, then continuing to join the Herefordshire Trail and to take note of the interesting information that had been strategically placed to catch the eye of the walker.
Did I really want to spend 30 minutes reading all of this
Of course we 'misplaced' ourselves a few times, but managed to get round most of it. One cause for concern was a rape field above Old Hall. where the footpath across it had not been cleared and the crop was shoulder high. We forced our way through and surprisingly Geri managed to fall twice but we emerged none the worse for wear.

We continued climbing up to Willey Oak, then the road took a long gentle descent to Stapleton wood and after a goodly while I realised we'd gone wrong (again). We retraced our steps to try to find the turn off point, but there was no obvious sign of the bridleway, so we turned around and continued on the wrong path hoping to force our way across to the bridleway. Once there, I left Geri having a rest after our exertions and retraced the bridleway, hoping to find a way back to the main path, but found it to be totally blocked and overgrown after about 150 metres.

Anyway, we ended up walking a distance well out of our comfort zone considering the difficult terrain, and the upshot was that the group didn’t do this walk on Monday
The 'missing' section of bridleway


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