Take the Cat's Back Challenge

An endurance 5 mile run in wild landscapes

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Cat's back
22nd December, 2021

Throw yourself into 2022 and make good on your New Year's fitness resolutions by taking the Cat's Back Challenge. Can you run up this 2100ft high peak in the Black Mountains with its rocky, knife-edge ridge?

Spectacularly scenic, the views are exhilarating: look out to England on one side and over Wales on the other. You'll feel a world away from everyday life. If you prefer to walk, then this route still offers plenty of challenge as well as rewards.

 

The top of Black Hill is an incredible place to watch the sun rise.
The initial climb from the car park to the trig point gets your legs burning but once up there you can see for miles in all directions - taking in almost the whole of Herefordshire.

Farmer Ben Andrews, local organic farmer and fitness fan

 

 

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The route starts in Black Hill’s small car park where you'll start to ascent the the steep slope towards the rocky area ahead. Along the ridge, there's amazing views all around and after about 1.5 miles you will reach the trig point. From here, continue to follow the track and then turn left and start your descent, looking out across the glorious Olchon Valley. Passing through a wood, you'll return to the car park. Afterwards, pay a well-earned visit to The Bulls Head, a lovely country pub in nearby Craswell.

En route, spot wild Welsh mountain ponies, red kites, buzzards and kestrels.

Take care: The ridge is very exposed, so it can be windy. Sturdy footwear is advisable as there are a couple of rough, rocky sections, particularly on the descent. Also bring along plenty to drink.

 

 

Even though you’re only a short drive from civilisation, at quiet times you can feel like the only person in the world.

Farmer Ben Andrews