THREE PERFECT DAYS
Get inspired with Ali's 3 day itinerary based in Kington
DAY 1 - Discover Kington on foot
Pick up your copy of The Six Great Walks from The Walking Hub shop and take a leisurely wander along Route 6. As you walk up Church street, stop in at ‘The Kat and Fiddle’ and ‘Made in the Marches’ gallery to see what our amazing local artists are up to. St Mary’s Church spire will be visible at the top of the hill and dating back to the 12th century this iconic landmark is certainly worth a visit. In the south aisle of the church lay Black Vaughan and Ellen the Terrible, entombed in magnificent alabaster effigies and giving rise to many a legend in Kington. Continue along the route and you’ll follow the old tramway that runs along the Back Brook and past many of Kington’s historic mills, weirs and intriguing back alley ways.
Stroll back along High Street taking in the ancient architecture and original store fronts until you reach the Border Bean cafe. At the heart of Kington’s community, the Border Bean serves up a world-class hot chocolate, delicious lattes and is a perfect stop for a light lunch.
Head back up Church Street, but this time walk through the church yard and up Ridgebourne Road following the signs to Hergest Croft gardens. For £7 you can easily spend all afternoon wandering around this 70-acre garden with an old-fashioned kitchen garden, rare plants, ancient ‘champion’ trees and best of all Park wood with its gigantic Rhododendrons. At certain times of year there are plant sales, a gift shop and a tearoom.
Drive out of Kington on A44 towards Old Radnor and visit The Harp, a lovely old Welsh long house Inn, perched on top of a hill. Have a drink and evening meal, sitting outside watching the sunset over the beautiful Vale of Radnor. Look to your left and you’ll see Hergest ridge where you’ll be walking tomorrow.
DAY 2 - Offa's Dyke and Border Country
Get your walking boots on because it's time to go exploring. You are going to walk along what could arguably be called the best stretch of Offa’s Dyke, a National Trail that runs the length of the Welsh border from Chepstow to Prestatyn (177 miles). This particular section walks right out of Kington (past Hergest Croft Gardens) and over Hergest Ridge, crossing the Welsh border into Gladestry, about 8 miles round trip (approximately 4 hours of walking). A map is recommended but it does follow a well-defined trail and is waymarked with the National Trail acorn. You’ll be rewarded with breath-taking views in all directions, from the Shropshire Hills and the Malverns to the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons.
Arrive in the pretty village of Gladestry just in time to enjoy lunch at The Royal Oak. Don’t eat too much though because you have to walk back and you need to save the calories for dinner tonight!
Return to Kington along the same route, or choose a different path along the ridge. Calories aside, you might want to reward your return to Kington with an Uncle G’s homemade ice-cream from Bees Knees cook shop on Church Street.
Drive out north along the B4355 towards Titley, home of The Stagg Inn. Over the years this pub has achieved many awards for their food and drink and it’s rustic, yet contemporary atmosphere is not to be missed. You’ve deserved it after your walk today. For an option closer to home, visit one of Kington’s many pubs and an opportunity to mix with some of our friendly locals
DAY 3 - The Black Mountain and a visit to the world famous book town
Heading further afield today, but it’s worth it, not only for the destination but the journey too. And to be honest a visit to Kington is not complete without a visit to its erudite, book loving neighbour Hay-on-Wye. Walking boots and outdoor kit required again, as first off, you will be visiting the Black Mountains and summiting Lord Herefords knob (yes the name of a hill). Grab some snacks for a picnic lunch before leaving Kington on Hergest Road and drive along this lovely country lane as it winds its way down to the Wye Valley through Brilley. After you cross the bridge into Hay-on-Wye, turn right along the Brecon road and then left on Forest Road and head up towards Capel-y-Ffin. Park at the parking spot for Hay Bluff. Follow the steep path up the Bluff and then turn right and follow a foot path along the top of the ridge down to Gospel pass, cross the road and ascend a well-defined path up to the summit of Lord Herefords Knob (also known as Tympa – but the former name is much more fun). Return the way you came and you will have walked about 5 miles with stunning views all the way of the Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons and the Wye Valley.
Drive back down into Hay-on-Wye for an afternoon of guilt- free retail therapy or just enjoy window browsing Hay’s unique independent shops, visit the castle or sit quietly by the River Wye reading the book you most certainly will have purchased.
If you have another evening to spare then stay in Hay for dinner and a movie. The Blue Boar has a good traditional pub menu, or Tomatito’s Tapas bar for a more Spanish flare. Then head to Richard Booth’s Bookshop Cinema for a unique movie experience. From their fully licensed bar feel free to further indulge in a coffee and a little paper bag of treats from the big jar on the counter full of assorted sweets (yum!). These should keep you awake during the movie as you sink into the super comfy chairs in this very small but extremely stylish movie theatre.