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Black Hill Walk & the Olchon Valley, Herefordshire
26 views · Feb 16, 2022
Visit Channel:roamingspices.com
Trail Review: https://roamingspices.com/black-hill-walk/

Black Hill Walk - Step by Step

From the car park, cross over the wooden stile to the left of the metal gate and commence the fairly steep but short climb up the grassy ridge directly ahead of you. 

Once this is behind you, the ascent is gentle as you progress along the narrow ridge dotted with rocky sandstone outcrops. For those of you who have also walked the Skirrid, you will certainly spot some similarities between these two mountains!    

It is along this section that you will be grateful that you visited on a good weather day! Off to your left (west) is the lush Olchon Valley, interspersed with trees and woodland, rising to the imposing ridge of the Black Mountains along the Welsh border. 

To your right (east), you will enjoy wide-ranging views across the countryside of Herefordshire. 

As you continue, the narrow ridge broadens and the rocky crest is replaced by a carpet of beautiful dense purple heather (well, it was in August!). 

Black Hill Summit     

After walking for approximately 2.5 km you will reach the trig point indicating the 640 metre summit of Black Hill. Owing to the general flatness of the location, you would have little idea that you had reached the summit were it not for the trig point.

You now get to enjoy northerly views towards the Wye Valley as well as the Malvern Hills off to the northeast.

Olchon Valley

Upon leaving the summit, take the obvious path that runs to the left of the small pond and continue in a northwesterly direction along this flat section of the trail. 

In around 1.3 km, you will reach a stone marker at which point you turn sharply to the left and commence the return portion of the Black Hill Walk via the Olchon Valley. 

The marker indicating this point is little more than a handful of stones that can easily be missed. Therefore, my advice would be to have a hiking App, such as Outdooractive on your phone as this clearly shows the point at which the trail turns.

Initially, the trail descends gently amongst the heather to the head of the valley. At this point, you will find yourself immediately to the left of the Olchon Brook, enjoying commanding views down the full length of the valley. 

A rocky path leads you steeply into the valley, soon returning to grass underfoot as the trail’s descent becomes more sedate.

Now, just enjoy the beauty of the idyllic Olchon Valley, blanketed by a myriad of colourful ferns and heather, flanked by the soaring valley sides.

You do not deviate from this trail which firstly runs alongside a fence to your right and then through a wooden gate/stile. Shortly, the bridleway meets a small country road where you continue straight ahead. 

In approximately 1.8 km, take a left turn and follow this road uphill, soon arriving back at the car park where you commenced the Black Hill walk.
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