The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Hill-bagging in Herefordshire (and Gloucestershire): Part 2 - Wednesday 4 November

Cleeve Hill (SO996245; 330m)

The map suggests that a circular walk from the settlement of Cleeve Hill (to the north), making use of the Cotswold Way, would be a pleasing outing and everything we saw on the ground seemed to confirm that would be the case. We, however, suffered from an inexcusable level of laziness and parked in the car park nearest to this summit, giving us a stroll of about 3 minutes each way.

We did make the outing a little longer than that, looping around the common that was understandably proving popular on this cold but clear morning with wall-to-wall sunshine. I can only imagine it’s absolutely rammed with people on a warm summer’s day.

Gorgeous day for it!

Wandering across the common

Erica’s parked over by those masts. The car park was nearly full when we arrived and completely full by the time we left.

A fine view over Cheltenham

Bredon Hill (SO957402; 299m

The most contour lines of the seven hills on this trip

A journey on StreetView had identified a small pull-in alongside the road to the NW of this hill, so that’s where we abandoned Erica whilst we nipped up Bredon Hill. The estate clearly doesn’t want people wandering just anywhere and have thus installed plenty of waymarks across their fields, which is good. They have also, however, installed signs that suggest that some public footpaths are Estate Permissive Paths, which is not so good.

Having set out overdressed, the sunshine and lack of wind combined with the contour lines soon had us stripping off. This was the only hill on which either of us carried a bag; I’d picked up the bumbag just as we were leaving in case we overheated, and I’m glad I did. We just about managed to squeeze our jumpers and my windshirt in and I proceeded in just my baselayer, even though there were still pockets of frosty grass around us.

The modest effort of the climb was well rewarded as we reached the top of the escarpment from where (once we’d got out of the trees!) the views over the large plain below us were outstanding. It’s a summit with some interest too, with evidence of an old hill fort, plus a more modern tower.

The high point was within the fort, but a short distance from the tower, and I’m not sure why it’s listed a grassy rise rather than the boulder that is used as a reference point as to the location of the relevant grassy rise. Either way, I stood on both.

Atop the top, unless the top is really that boulder, but I stood there too

What a fine panorama there was before us

A friendly bunch at Woollas Hall Farm…

Despite having asked Mick to remind me to stop my watch from recording when we got back to Erica, we both forgot, and thus it was 68 miles later that I finally stopped it. Fortunately, the Garmin Connect App makes it easy to crop the route back down to its proper size, so I can report that on this hill we covered 3.2 miles with around 250m ascent.

What a fine bunch of hills that was, with the best weather window we’ve had in some while. I wonder when we’ll be able to get out again?


  1. Here I am climbing them all over again.

    "9th April 2013 - The footpath to Cleeve Hill, my first Marilyn of this trip, goes straight out of my caravan site. I set off at 2:20 and had a stiff climb up to the ridge where cropped turf makes for perfect walking initially on the Gustav Holst Trail, and later The Cotswold Way - unfortunately the eclectic bundle of music on my gadgets does not include anything by Gustav.Views of Cheltenham and its racecourse below were impressive. There is a circular stone construction on the highest point and a kilometre further the trig point and viewfinder. On the return journey I walked under a line of crumbling crags that Gimmer tells me he climbed on during his uni days - rather him than than me, they looked like piles of crumbling cinder toffee."

    Bredon Hill, 10th April 2013 - I applauded the fairly substantial hill fort in contrast with many archaeological sites shown on the map but not on the ground.

    Not sure which is the most offensive your written sign or the actual use of the real words shouted at me wen I had trespassed into his domain by about five yards. I'm sure you read about it at the time but after I put a dreadful review on Trip Advisor or similar that caused a lot of trouble I removed the blog post. I still have a copy on my hard disk.

    1. You can see on our map from Bredon Hill that we did trespass on the way down, although fortunately weren't caught in the act. It was a complete accident (hmmm, maybe those waymarks weren't as clear as I claimed, or perhaps we just weren't paying attention?) of which we were unaware until I downloaded the gpx file when we got home.

      Regarding Cleeve Hill, I hate to risk sending you into another tizzy, but your description doesn't match the summit that I visited, where there is no viewfinder (nor, in fact, the best view, being a point on such a large plateau). It seems that you may have been describing the lower north top, just over 2km away?