Kimbolton Circular Walk | 5.5 Miles | 2.5hrs +
Andy Stevenson shares an easy but longish circular walk through a particularly lovely area in north Herefordshire, across open sheep pastures and along old Holloways. And. you’ll head in and out of a long strip of woodland once used as a covered boundary ride out for the gentry at nearby National Trust’s Berrington Hall.
The lane at St James the Great Church’s little layby car park at HR6 0HG.
The walk step by step
The first part of the walk drops down through open horse and then sheep pastures below St James the Great church.
As a side note this church has a potentially fascinating link to Welsh rebel prince Owain Glyndwr. Glyndwr’s burial place is much disputed but according to a 2017 paper by historian Gruffydd Aled Williams, the legendary Welsh prince is buried at Kimbolton’s St James the Great church. Here (below) is an artist’s impression of the remains of his wax seal showing him charging into battle sword raised.
You continue along the side of a quiet stream, then up and around over further fields past firstly Upper Kimbolton Farm and then up an ancient holloway in part and over fields past Hollybush Fam. Be aware that (as with all walks in the region) these paths and tracks can get quite muddy in autumn and winter.
The route continues across open sheep pasture to a narrow rural lane which then takes you up to ‘the Hundred’ hamlet. En route you cross a small junction of lanes with a triangular piece of grass in it’s centre.
Children’s scarecrow character ‘Wurzel Gummage’ refers to these little curios in the latest TV series as they’re known in Coventry and Warwickshire: ‘Godcakes’. The reference being that a ‘Godcake’ is a traditional three-sided pastry and mincemeat cake (the three sides representing the holy trinity) given out at new year in the city.
The walk carries on through ‘The Hundred’ (an ancient reference to land division or shire) and then bears off over fields again to the edge of the long boundary strip of woods on the edge of the land owned originally by nearby Berrington Hall.
You can still see the remains of the estate’s old cast iron boundary railings that run for hundreds of yards alongside you as you walk down the side of this wood. The woodside walk eventually turns into what appears to be the remains of another old holloway before reaching the village of Kimbolton in front of the Stockton Cross Inn (see links below for possible refreshments at this point).
Carry on through the village and then back across open fields that run roughly in parallel with the main road. You’ll come to a narrow lane that goes over the main road and carries on past the local primary school, finally cutting back across sheep pasture to the back of the church and your starting point.
An excellent time to look in the church’s porch to learn more about it’s reputed links to Welsh rebel prince Owain Glyndwr.
There are a couple of options for grabbing a bite to eat, and both are near the walk’s end. The Stockton Cross pub in Kimbolton provides good quality food and drinks all year around.
Or when it reopens try the nearby café/restaurant at Stockton Bury Gardens in Kimbolton (café open April 1st 2022 onwards) which provides further excellent locally-sourced food and drinks at reasonable prices. There’s an entrance fee to the gardens but entry to the café on site is free as it sits just outside the walls of the gardens.