Ley Lines in the Landscape

A centenary celebration of Alfred Watkins' discovery, 19 June to 3 July 

On June 30 1921 Alfred Watkins had an extraordinary revelation. As he stood on a Herefordshire hillside, it came to him that straight lines of sight criss-crossed the landscape, connecting ancient and spiritual sites.

Christening them ley lines, he believed they enabled our ancestors to navigate...much like a Neolithic Sat Nav.

Celebrate the discovery of ley lines this summer!

  • Visit magical ley line locations, including lost castles, sacred stones, remote churches & early hillforts
  • Walk, cycle & drive our ancient landscapes
  • Explore Watkins'  legacy via poetry & exhibitions

 

 

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Portrait of Alfred Watkins

 

An antiquarian, inventor and pioneer photographer, Alfred Watkins was a born and bred Herefordian who knew the county’s roads and byways like the back of his hand. Visitors are invited to follow in Watkins' footsteps to celebrate his intriguing discovery. Meander along quiet country lanes and through wild green landscapes, uncovering remote ley line landmarks, from a spellbinding Neolithic burial mound and crumbling castles to exquisite churches and hilltops with dramatic views.

We're celebrating with the launch of a brand new driving route - The Watkins Way - and a new long-distance walking route, called The Twin Valley Ley Line Trail. Download the guides to find out more.

 

New Routes

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View through old gate of longtown castle

The Watkins Way: A new scenic route

Visit Herefordshire is proud to launch a brand new driving and cycling route - The Watkins Way -  to commemorate the centenary of the discovery of ley lines. It tours Herefordshire's principal ley line locations, winding through the untouched Golden Valley and the county's black and white villages. The route is also peppered with outstanding pubs, craft cider makers and open gardens.

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Download PDF

 

 

 

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Model T Ford Car illustration

 

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Scenic shot of rolling hills with Snodhill castle ruins in foreground

The Twin Valley Ley Line Trail

A panoramic 47 mile/ 76km walking route through Herefordshire’s wild landscapes exploring ancient ley line landmarks and uncovering the opposing natures of two rivers, perhaps the oldest paths of all. Born near each other in the county's highlands, the rivers meet again 20 miles away. Whilst the golden Dore Valley is bathed in light, the Monnow Valley is a more mysterious, darker borderland. With overnight stays in country pubs, B&Bs, self-catering retreats and atmospheric churches..

Read More

Download PDF

 

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walking boots illustration

 

 

Imagine a fairy chain stretched from mountain peak to mountain peak, so far as the eye could reach ...

Alfred Watkins' description of Ley Lines, 1921

 

 

Events

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Ledbury poetry festival

The Line is a Circle - Online Writing Workshop, 14 & 21 May, 7pm

Ledbury Poetry Festival is hosting a two-part online workshop where poet Rhys Trimble will set the scene and explain the poetics of some inspirational writers along with Alfred Watkins' techniques and the more esoteric ideas that his work inspired later. Participants will conduct their own fieldwork and writing that will be refined with help from the Tutor.

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Alfred Watkins tending to some bees

Alfred Watkins Exhibition, 19 June - 11 September

Hereford Museum & Art Gallery's new exhibition will celebrate Watkins' life, achievements and inventions and explore his influential involvement in local history and archaeology.

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Market Towns

Around Ledbury with Alfred Watkins, 21 June, 10am

A 2.5 mile guided walk around Ledbury, with copies of Alfred Watkins' photos, from the period between the 1880s and 1930s, to look at and talk about along the way.

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Sunlight hitting Almeley Church

Walking With Watkins, 24 June, 2pm

In May 1904 an intrepid band of walkers alighted at Lyonshall station. They were members of the Woolhope Club, led by Alfred Watkins. This guided walk retraces their steps across fields and down lanes to Almeley and Eardisley, calling at three churches, two chapels, the sites of three castles and a range of historical houses. Includes afternoon tea.

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Walker looks over Hergest Ridge

Alfred Watkins' Magical Border, 27 June, 10am

An 8-mile guided walk around Kington's border landscape which fascinated Watkins, including a mark stone, prehistoric burial mounds and medieval mottes by way of Hergest Ridge and Hanter Hill.

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Sunny view of Wilton Bridge over river provided by Ross Photographic Society

In the Steps of Alfred Watkins, 27 June, 2pm

A 3 mile guided walk along the ancient trackway from Wilton to Ross, taking in standing crosses and photographs.

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ruins at dore abbey

Ley Lines 100th, Special Guided Pilgrimage, 30 June

On the very centenary date of Watkins' discovery, take an 11 mile guided walk with Guy Hayward, co-founder of British Pilgrimage Trust and author of Britain's Pilgrim Places, exploring a section of Herefordshire's new long-distance Twin Valley Ley Line Trail. Hike through wild, untouched landscapes to ancient ley line landmarks, accompanied by folkloric tales and pilgrim songs. 

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Sunny view of Eastnor Castle over the lake

Ley Hunt: Walking & Writing Workshop, 3 July, 2pm

Track Ley Lines. Seek inspiration in the landscape. Take frequent stops to read and write poems. This Walking Writing Workshop led by poet Rhys Trimble offers a unique way to experience the countryside around Ledbury and to mark the centenary of Alfred Watkins’ vision of ancient tracks that criss-cross the British Isles.

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Poet Rhys Trimble

Ley Hunt! Poetry Open Call

Inspired by the centenary, Ledbury Poetry Festival has commissioned poet Rhys Trimble to write the opening poem, Ley Hunt and invites all writers to submit their own poems on the subject. Lines, tracks, ancient locations, spiritual sites – there is much to inspire and many directions your poems could wander in.

 

 

Quote

First and foremost he was a Herefordshire Man, as native to the county as the hop and the apple.

Alfred Watkins' Obituary, The Hereford Times, 1935

 

 

 

Photographs provided courtesy of Herefordshire Museum, Library and Archive.