The Two Valleys by Jesse Norman MP

Ride level Regular cyclist
Distance 35 mi / 56 km
Type of bicycle Road bike
Traffic free
Circular route
Hardwicke church with its distinctive bellcote with two bells. Photo: Susie Macleod

MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, and Cycling Minister, Jesse Norman shares one of his favourite routes which is a good challenge for the regular cyclist (or a time trial route for the experienced), but also has something for those looking for tasty local produce and a bit of history.

A great 35 mile route which takes in both the Wye Valley and the Golden Valley through glorious Herefordshire countryside and villages.  Bordered to the South by the foothills of the Black Mountains with a few hills along the way just to test your inner Chris Froome, the route is dotted with pubs, cafes, and shops where you can fill up on local produce and drinks and take a well-earned break while enjoying the fabulous scenery.

For the historians amongst you, why not take a detour to visit Snodhill Castle, first built in c 1130, with its recently-renovated motte and earthworks and stone ruins dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you could venture up Dorstone Hill (25% so not for the faint-hearted!) to visit Arthur’s Stone, a Neolithic chambered tomb, or Dolmen, dating from 3,700 BC – 2,700 BC.  Some tales suggest the tomb was built to mark the location of one of King Arthur's battles, while others tell that the stones were already present when Arthur slew a giant on the spot, who fell onto the stones and left indentations in one of them, which remain to this day. 

If food and drink appeal rather than mountaineering, local breads, sandwiches, cakes, jams and honey are available from Poston Mill shop, while cheeses and yoghurts from the famous Neals Yard Creamery in Dorstone can be bought from Peterchurch shop or Locks Garage, Allensmore, a well-known food destination, which also sells locally-sourced meats, fresh fruit and vegetables and a wide variety of Herefordshire ciders and beers, and incredible ice-creams.

What better way to explore Herefordshire!

Tips of what to bring:  Water, camera, energy and enthusiasm

Places to stop on the route:  The Red Lion, Bredwardine/Bredwardine bridge and beach (at 13.25 miles),  The Pandy Inn, Dorstone (at 22 miles); Snodhill Castle (Dorstone +1.5 miles); Arthur’s Stone (Dorstone +1.25 miles); Peterchurch (at 25.5 miles); Poston Mill Café (at 27 miles); Lock’s Garage (at 33.5 miles)