Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Harley’s Mountain From Lingen – approx 5.25 miles

Saturday 12th November 2011

Harley’s Mountain From Lingen – approx 5.25 miles


Ordnance Survey Explorer OL201 – Knighton & Presteigne

Route Summary:

Lingen – Herefordshire Trail – Mynde Farm – Mountain Buildings – Harley’s Mountain – The Ashes – Upper House – Lane – Lingen


Lingen: Pub


Overcast with occasional sunny patches.


Christmas – don’t you just love it? No, me neither. But every year there it is, staring you in the face as if daring you to dislike it. And every year, I do – dislike it, that is. As autumn fades and the days get shorter and shorter, it can signal only one thing – the annual ritual that is Buying Presents.

Nowadays, Buying Presents is somewhat easier than it used to be. Thanks to the Internet, it is possible to divorce the “experience” from the “shopping experience”, at least for some of the time, avoiding almost all human (?) contact and thus preserving dangerously depleted levels of sanity and/or patience. But even those who refuse to sacrifice an entire income on the altar of Christmas avarice have, sooner or later, to face the prospect of Going To The Shops.

I know, I know; you’re not the only one – my knees are trembling, too. Saturdays at the shopping centre is my idea of hell on Earth. And queuing to get into the shops: what’s that all about? Waiting in line for half an hour only to find that instead of an exciting visit to the Outdoor Mountain Discount Megastore, you are, in fact, about to enter New Look.

So it was that a couple of years ago we came up with a rather wizard wheeze. Pick a town – any town – with some nice shops (not just the type filled with the usual overpriced, gimmicky tat) that is, crucially, near to some good walking country.

Now I’ll hazard a guess that you know where this is going already but, if not, here’s the plan. Choose your town, book the Saturday night away, do your Christmas shopping first then reward yourself with a nice walk when it’s all done! Somewhere like Bakewell or Ambleside or Settle, for example, would do just nicely. Or, in this instance: Ludlow.

OK, so we didn’t have much time left on the Saturday after completing the shopping, but there was still a couple of hours daylight to work with as we pulled into a parking space in the small village of Lingen.

As this was a relatively unfamiliar area, I’d worked out a little circuit taking in part of the Herefordshire Trail – a 150+ mile waymarked circuit round the county – over the intriguingly named Harley’s Mountain (apparently named after a local family who also give their name to Harley Street) returning via quiet lanes.

Setting out we first crossed a couple of fields and a muddy track before starting to climb out of the valley, pausing briefly for a coffee stop whilst perched on the treads of a very new stile.

Continuing, we soon passed Mynde Farm where we were greeted by a quartet of noisy, excited dogs, one of which had one brown eye and one blue eye and proved quite friendly.

The somewhat taciturn farmer, however, neither spoke nor returned our wave, simply choosing to glare at us instead. Miserable bastard.

Still climbing, albeit gently, we crossed a couple of fields and passed a run-down farmstead marked on the map as Mountain Buildings. Further fields followed. Most were sparsely grassed with new growth, with little sign of human passage: this may be a well-marked trail but appears, at least in this part, lightly walked.

With a tall hedge to our left, we followed a clearer track along the field head and gradually reached the brow of the hill. To our right stood the trig point, off the path and not obviously on Access Land. So we bypassed it, choosing instead to look at the hills to the north and west illuminated by patchy sunlight and intermittent blue skies.

Before long, we reached a sunken track and followed it as it dropped gently towards a narrow lane. Here we left the Herefordshire Trail, and wandered slightly uphill to a crossroads where we turned left by a dilapidated chapel. The next farm held something of a surprise: even without the instruction to “Read” painted on the side of the building, the message was obvious.

With a thumbs-up, and an “Aye to that”, we carried on down the lane, bearing right at Upper House. A grassy stripe in the centre of the road clearly indicated how infrequently it was used.

A steady descent followed, and before long we were approaching Lingen once more. It’d been an easy walk but one that had proved a good introduction to an area that seems to hold much for those seeking a quieter walk. Bordering both Offa’s Dyke and Glyndwr’s Way country, this area appears to have as much to offer, but without the crowds.

A real antidote to the Christmas rush, if ever there was one.


  1. Himself (as in my other half) and you have a lot in common, particularly re Christmas and miserable farmers. You definitely put a smile on my face with this update. Merry Christmas ;-)

  2. Merry Christmas to you, too.

    Don't you think it's a bit early for all that yet? ;-)

  3. Excellent Jules....sorry I'm a bit late in reading your report though :-(

    I'll try harder next time lol !!