South of Goodrich, the Wye twists and turns in a series of extravagant meanders, almost enclosing Coppet Hill and Huntsham Hill. We’d finished our exploration of the castle just as a heavy shower began. We waited it out in the visitor centre before picnicking in the sunshine. From the car park at the castle, a short stroll into Goodrich village brings you to the lane which climbs up Coppet Hill.
A bee spotted on a road-verge flower – could it be a honey bee? It isn’t very yellow.
It’s clear from the map that there are several options for walks on Coppet Hill, one of which would traverse the ridge before returning along the banks of the Wye. On this occasion, we needed a shorter route. We climbed steeply up to the trig point, the views and the weather improving as we did.
The kids all had several turns at climbing onto the trig pillar.
The Shandy Sherpa gave an expert commentary on what we could see – the Forest of Dean, and the Malverns, amongst them, as well as the more immediate wooded hills of the Wye valley.
We watched a kestrel hover over the tangle of bracken and foxgloves on the hillside.
Speckled yellow, a day-flying moth. It’s food plant is wood sage, of which we had seen plenty.
We continued a little further along the ridge, past ‘the folly’, which is little more than a wall.
Looking down on the Wye.
Common vetch, with an ant! Confusingly, common vetch isn’t actually all that common and isn’t the most common British vetch. It’s not something I would expect to see near home for example.
The west side of Coppet Hill is a common, and seems to be criss-crossed by many paths. The one we took, which cut diagonally down across the hillside and back towards Goodrich, was at a delightful angle.
A cracking little walk that. Both Offa’s dyke and the Wye Valley Walk pass nearby. The latter really appeals to me. It also occurs to me that a detour over Coppet Hill would make for an interesting variation in this part of the route.