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Marcle Ridge and Woolhope Dome

roasts & rambles
Map Marker Illustration
Wellies Illustration
5.6 miles

The unique local geology has created a soft rolling countryside around Marcle Ridge, but as you gradually ascend the ridge you will see way beyond this to the dramatic Black Mountains in one direction and to the Malvern Hills in the opposite direction. 

Don't Miss

Created about 250 million years ago, the Woolhope Dome has a unique geological background and for the most part, its eroded hills and valleys have not been intensively farmed.  As a consequence, the Dome is a rich mosaic of ancient oak and mixed woodlands, species-rich hedgerows, wildflower meadows, traditional orchards and streams, all supporting a wealth of wildlife.  Look for the fossils formed in the coral seas 400 million years ago.


A thank you to 'Walkers are Welcome Ross' for sharing this route with Visit Herefordshire.

Total elevation gain: 252m

Route Guide

Starting at the Butchers Arms car park, go right for 250m and turn right up the driveway of Lenacre Ford and through the gate into the large field beyond.  Keep right, passing Poplar Cottage and turn left on reaching a track.  Follow the steep track up, past Beans Butts Wood and into a rolling field with views behind you to Woolhope village.  Go directly up the field passing close to the lime kilns (producing lime  circa 1800 to sweeten the land, in building and to remove the hair from skins before leather tanning).  For a rest and a view, detour slightly right to the two benches.  Otherwise continue straight up to leave the field at a stile on the sharp ridge and then down through the edge of Busland Wood (an ancient woodland).  Leaving the wood keep left to cross a perfectly formed U-shaped valley and up to the road running along the Marcle Ridge at Hoopers Oak.

Follow the road to the right, with views soon opening up to the Malvern Hills, the Cotswolds and May Hill.  After 0.5 ml leave the road and climb the steps into a field.  Keep left with Johns Wood on your right for another 0.5 ml, gently ascending to the summit of the ridge and then right through a steel field gate to a rough wooden bench with the most wonderful views.  Continue along the footpath between the two hedgerows for 0.6 ml passing the 540ft high TV transmitting mast and then leave the path down some wooden steps to a track (if the path between the two hedgerows is overgrown it is easier to step back through the field gate outside the hedgerows and follow the field edge).     

Turn right and go steeply down hill on a stony track and at the bottom turn right onto a track through a field.  Follow the track to Sapness House, going right and then sharp left onto another track.  Go through the wooden field gate on the right and follow the pretty avenue of trees to Hyde Farm, turn sharp left around a barn to continue on another track.  After 0.5 ml cross a stile on the right, going half left across the field and over a stile into an apple orchard.  Note the waymarker on the stile to guide you through the orchard and continue in the same direction through fields to join the road just east of Woolhope.  Go right along the road to the car park and then relax in the Butchers Arms.

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