The Watkins Way

A 106-mile scenic tour of Herefordshire’s wild, ancient landscapes

  • Brand new heritage road trip and cycling route
  • Celebrates the centenary of Alfred Watkins’ discovery of ley lines on a Herefordshire hillside
  • Tours ley line landmarks, from lost castles and remote churches to early hillforts and pre-historic stones
  • Travels along quiet country lanes and through wild green landscapes
  • With country pubs, craft cider makers & open gardens en route

 

 

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Model T Ford Car illustration

An antiquarian, inventor and pioneer photographer, Alfred Watkins was a born and bred Herefordian who knew the county's byways like the back of his hand. On June 30 1921 he had an extraordinary revelation. Standing on a Herefordshire hillside, it came to him that straight lines of sight criss-crossed the landscape, connecting ancient and spiritual sites. 

He christened them ley lines and regarded them as we might imagine a Neolithic Sat Nav – straight tracks enabling our ancestors to situate themselves in the landscape and navigate through it. The Watkins Way commemorates the centenary of his discovery. It visits the county’s ley line highlights, meandering along country lanes and through river valleys before climbing to hilltops with awe-inspiring views.

 

 

 

The Watkins Way

Follow this scenic route as a leisurely drive taking three to four days, depending on how long you linger at each stop, or whizz around the back lanes and climb the inclines on two wheels.

The trail tours the county that sparked Watkins’ revelation one hundred years ago, winding through the untouched Golden Valley, into the shadow of the Black Mountains and on to the picture-perfect black and white villages. 

There’s recommendations for the best places to eat and drink on the way, as well as other interesting stops, from artisan cideries to gardens. Explore our interactive map to find accommodation options en route, including gastropubs and farm stays, or base yourself in Hereford which sits at the heart of the county.

Highlights include:

  • Surveying the Wye Valley & Golden Valley from Moccas Hill Wood
  • Falling under the spell of Kilpeck Church & the ‘wedding cake church’
  • Roaming the romantic ruins of Wigmore, Longtown & Snodill Castles
  • Wandering along to the Wye to medieval fish ponds
  • Contemplating the tranquility of Dore Abbey
  • Dipping your feet in the magical Monnow at Clodock
  • Exploring the early hillforts at Dinedor & Croft Ambrey

 

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Illustrated map Watkins Way driving route

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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

 

 

 

 

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An Old Fashioned Bike