Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Black Hill~

2nd July 2019

Black Hill Summit

The Summit of Black Hill

This year our annual summer holiday destination was the "new" territory of Herefordshire's Golden Valley. With no pre-conceptions I brought the usual collection of maps and guidebooks and planned each day as it came. Would the weather be as kind to us as it was in The Lake District last year?

Cothill Barns

The Stable at Cothill Farm, Turnastone

Here is our accommodation for the week - The Stable. A beautiful location with stunning views and so remote! On Tuesday 2nd July I decided to set off early for a walk up a local hill - part of The Black Mountains which host Offa's Dyke Path and divide England from Wales. Black Hill is very much to the east of the boundary and rests entirely within Herefordshire.

Black Hill

Black Hill

The route from Cothill Farm is very slow along narrow roads with few passing spaces. The recommended start point found on the internet was on Little Black Hill at OS Grid Ref: SO 28850 32849. It is a 7 mile drive and took about 22 minutes for the start at 06:35hrs.

On a clear day like this, it would be very difficult to lose the path. It's straight up the centre of the ridge.

Olchon Valley

The Olchon Valley

Cat's Back

Cat's Back

The ridge walk is fantastic with huge and rewarding views on both sides. To the left it's the Black Mountains and to the right the valley of the River Monnow, then Escley Brook and The Golden Valley. The Cat's Back, Crib y Garth, very similar to mountain ridges in the Lake District, found here in humble Herefordshire.

Cat's Back Ridge


Molly The Collie

Molly on top of Black Hill 2,100ft asl

It's 07:15hrs and understandably we have the place to oursleves. The start point is about 1,300ft asl, so the climb is approximately 800ft, a little bit more than the simple ascent of Pendle Hill on our local doorstep and it took five more minutes to get to the top than the PH climb.

Descent Route

We took a feint path down the north-east flank, found about 1/2 mile beyond the top of Black Hill. Most folk might have enough time to go forward and complete a longer walk to Hay Bluff.


Monnow Valley

We followed paths and sheep tracks along the side of the fell on the Monnow side, passing a few fell ponies and enjoying the tranquility and warm sunshine.



What a great little walk to start the day.


Mother sheep's attempt to hide by virtue of camouflage has failed. Two hours and five minutes over a distance of about 4 miles; encountered nobody, saw no litter, great weather!

Llanveynoe Church

The Church of St.Peter and St.Beuno, Llanveynoe

Just one of a great number of attractive parish churches in these valleys. Later in the day, we all went to Hay-on-Wye and a few photos tell of our walk up to Mouse Castle Wood and Cusop.

Tiffin at The Granary

Tea n' Tiffin at The Granary, Hay.

Scudamore Dingle

Scudamore Dingle

The wooded "dell" as we might call it in the Pennines is a "dingle" in these parts. A famous jockey heralds from Herefordshire and shares his name with this feature. No, it's not Mr.Dingle!

VR postbox

Victoria Regina - Postbox

Mistletoe in Hawthorn

Mistletoe in Hawthorn

Rather poor photo of mistletoe growing in a hawthorn bush near Hay-on-Wye. Not one for this year's Countryfile Photo Competition, I fear.

Book reader in Hay

Bookreading in Hay

Well, grass to be more accurate. Hay-on-Wye is famous as a "book town"; it also has many cafes and ladies fashion shops.


Black Mountains and Peterchurch

The following morning, Molly 'n Me had a walk up Birch Hill and gained this view of Peterchurch and The Black Mountains.

Cothill Barns

Black Hill and The Olchon Valley

Tiffin Recipe

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2019 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....