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