A year ago, during a visit to the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Slimbridge, Andrew became fascinated by a distant hill,topped by a small copse of trees, which caused it to resemble a Mohawk hairstyle. We discovered that it was called May Hill.
A week later, as we drove north to Scotland, we spotted it again from the M50, just outside Ross-on-Wye. Subsequently, we have seen it from the Malvern Hills (which border Herefordshire and Worcestershire), the Lickey Hills of the Midlands, and also from different peaks in the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons.
So, when we decided to meet our good friend Tim, at a place roughly equidistant from our homes, it seemed Fate had decreed that now was the time to uncover May Hill’s mysteries!
The Hill, with the exception of the copse, is owned by the National Trust. We met Tim…eventually…at a parking area/layby, where a wild mare and her young foal were eating their lunch, completely unperturbed by the arrival and departure of the occasional vehicle. A short walk from the car park brought us to some more horse families grazing on this protected common land.
The distinctinve copse of pine trees was planted to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and additional trees planted for the current queen’s Silver Jubilee. The summit itself (296 m / 971 ft) is marked by a trig point and within the trees are two commemorative plaques. The Corsican and Scots’ Pine are planted in a square and a bench is placed on the outer edge of each side, so that you can enjoy the views with a degree of comfort. The panoramas are impressive.
To the south, the River Severn, meanders towards the Bristol Channel, overlooked by the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean.
To the west we could clearly see the Welsh mountains of Sugar Loaf, Ysgyryd Fawr (Skirrid), Blorenge, Waun Fach and Hay Bluff.
To the north the Malvern Hills and also the hills of Shropshire were visible.
The eastern view is now partially obscured by the mature forestry. However, at various points, you can see the Cotswolds.
We continued our stroll (along a route downloaded from the National Trust site) and were delighted to encounter the plantation of beautiful redwood trees, amongst the fruiting beech and rowans. To Lynne’s delight we met another friendly pony ambling along the forestry track, just before returning to the parking area. To our delight (Tim and Andrew), Lynne didn't try to bring it to the Penny Farthing Inn!
Learned and Affirmed
We are Lynne and Andrew from Single Steps Learning. Our love of learning and exploring has inspired us to take up 'hill-walking'. We hope to progress from novice to expert! This is our journey.