This is a stunning 6/7 day circular pilgrimage route along beautiful and ancient paths that begins and ends at Hereford Cathedral. The route links the Wye Valley with the Golden Valley and the flower meadows and foothills of the Black Mountains. Once you leave the city and the Cathedral behind, this is a rich and silent land, good for the body as well as the soul.
Approximately 59 miles long you will come across apple orchards, sacred sites, ruined castles, holy wells, and Arthurian legends as well as hidden farms that produce local ciders and ice cream. There is a real contrast between gentle wooded river valleys and stunning views of mountain landscapes with one or two spots for wild swimming.
Uniquely, along the way, and for a suggested donation of £15, you can sleep in the Night Sanctuaries [camping in a medieval church overnight with roll mat and sleeping bag]. A beautifully illustrated pilgrim credential or passport can be stamped in each church and we hope to continue to commission contemporary art work for each church on the path. All but one of these churches is situated in villages with fine country pubs where you can eat local produce at the end of a day of walking. High end B+B’s are also accessible. Village stores are available for each section of the walk to refuel and restock each day’s packed lunch.
The Golden Valley Pilgrim Trail project also offers a shorter 2/3 day path, also beginning and ending at the Cathedral, and an 82 mile cycling route.
Hereford can be accessed by public transport from anywhere in the country making this an environmentally sensitive pilgrimage option. With the route being circular if you do arrive by car you don’t have the hassle of having to find a way back to where you left the car.
For distances of each stage and more about the project, scroll to bottom.
Find out details of low-cost Sanctuary accommodation along the route
(only bookable by holders of the route’s credential (passport)
which can be done easily through one central administrator)
Recommended route sections, accommodation and amenities.
Hereford Cathedral to Madley 6.5 miles or Tyberton 10 miles
Accommodation – Hereford Cathedral?
Madley The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Madley Church or Stables with all facilities in the Stables
Tyberton St Mary’s Church with basic toilet facilities and washing up and hot drink making facilities
Food and drink:
Madley Village store and Post Office
Madley The Comet Pub; The Red Lion
Preston on Wye The Yew Tree 1.5miles from St Mary’s Tyberton
Hereford Cathedral has the pilgrims scallop shell symbol at the entrance to the North porch – engraved into the paving. There is also a small medieval carving of a pilgrim figure on the left hand side as you enter the porch.
The Thomas Traherne stainglass windows by Thomas Denny in the Audley Chapel depict the beautiful countryside of Herefordshire. Trahern’s poetry is in keeping with a celebration of nature which this pilgrimage seeks to capture.
Eaton Bishop St Michael and All Angels Church amazing stained glass
Madley Crypt is in the recently published book Britains best 500 sacred spaces. The large triptych of the seasons of the year is by Ed Kelly . The large contemporary paintings in the Nave also by Ed Kelly, depict the life of St Dyfrig.
Tyberton: just inside the front door is a print of Roy de Maistre’s painting ‘The supper at Emmaus’ where Christ eats with two pilgrims.
Madley to Dorstone: 12 miles or Tyberton to Dorstone 8.5 miles
Accommodation St Faiths, Dorstone with toilet and basic washing and cooking facilities
Food and drink
Fine Street ciders on path above and to the south west of Bredwardine
The Pandy Inn Dorstone
Bredwardine St Andrews Church with its monkey carving; ancient motte and fish pools. Wild swimming in the River Wye down from the church
Dorstone Hill: Arthurs stone on route and north of Dorstone
Dorstone to Michaelchurch 9.5 miles
Accommodation Michaelchurch: St Michael and All Angels Church with hot drink making facilities. For washing and toilets please use facilities at the Bridge Inn next door.
Food and drink
The Nags Head
The Hub at St Peters Café [open some week days only]
Casa Lupo Bistro and bar [weekends only]
Peterchurch Village store and Post Office
Food for thought restaurant [evenings only]
Poston Mill: Campsite, shop and pun ½ a mile detour from route south east of Peterchurch
Snodhill Castle ½ mile off path
Peterchurch St Peters Well on the path ½ a mile from St Peters church
Michaelchurch to Clodock 11.5 miles
Accommodation Clodock St Clydawg’s Church with all facilities
Craswall St Mary’s 4 metre bell tent to accommodate pilgrims available in the churchyard for the months June, July and August. Pilgrims will be able to access water, toilets and showers at Chapel House Farm. This breaks up Day 4 with Craswall being 4 miles from Michaelchurch and from 9 miles from Clodock. Staying at Craswall creates something of a rest day half way through the pilgrimage.
Food and drink
Chapel House Farm, Farm shop on route and down the lane from St Mary’s Church, Craswall. be able to access water, toilets and showers at chapel house and also their small shop with drinks etc.
The Bulls Head, Craswall
Longtown The Crown Longtown
Longtown Hopes of Longtown Village Store and Post Office
Clodock The Cornewall Arms [drinks only]
Craswall: A contemporary celtic cross made by Ken Watkins opposite the south facing porch of St Mary’s Church
Cats Back Take a short detour up the Cats back for amazing views. A path after the Cats back will take you to St Thomas’ well and crossing Offas Dyke you can walk to the Holy well and Church of St Issui Partrishow in Wales.
Llanveynoe St Peter and St Beuno’s Church with ancient cross inside church.
Between Llanveynoe and Longtown wild swimming away from it all and on the path
Longtown Longtown Castle on path
Clodock St Clydawg’s well follow road over the bridge just after the pub and turn right onto the path going alongside the eastern bank of the River Monnow. The well is 200 yards down this path.
Clodock to Ewyas Harold 8 miles
Accommodation Ewyas Harold St Michaels and All Angels Church with all facilities in the Parish Hall
Food and drink
Walterstone The Carpenters Arms 2.5 miles from Clodock
Rowlestone Rowlestone court Farm Ice Cream and Camping
Ty Gwyn Cider Bar and shop 1 mile from the path following road going east from Rowlstone Court Farm
The Temple Bar Inn
The Dog Inn
The Old Stables Fish and Chips
Village store and Post Office
Walterstone St Mary’s Church beautiful depictions of angel faces on memorial stones
Llancillo St Peter’s Church is isolated and wild
Rowlestone St Peter’s Church
Ewyas Harold to Kingstone 9 miles
Accommodation – Kingstone St Michael and All Angels with all facilities
Food and drink
The Bull Ring
Village store and Post Office
Ewyas Harold St Martins well on western border of Ewyas Harold Common
Abbey Dore Dore Abbey on path
Kingstone to Hereford Cathedral 7 miles
Hereford Cathedral ?
Food and Drink
Belmont: The Cantilupe Restaurant, Hedley Lodge, St Michaels Abbey 500 yards detour
Many options in Hereford
Clehonger All Saints church
Belmont St Michaels Abbey Benedictine Monastry
More about the project
Golden Valley Pilgrim Way is a project that seeks to enable people to experience pilgrimage using affordable and simple accommodation within churches along the route and those nearby. The trail itself is entirely within the Abbeydore Deanery in Herefordshire. The route officially starts and ends at Hereford Cathedral so that easy access via public transport is available.
The 5-7 day 60-mile route was put together to link up, not only churches, but places of historical and spiritual interest. Other forms of accommodation such as campsites are also part of the mix.
A 2-3 day 35-mile route also beginning and ending at the Cathedral is also possible with churches involved that are already able to receive pilgrims.
We are currently being supported by Discover Herefordshire Churches and a private benefactor in order that basic facilities such as running water and a tap can be financed and installed.
Though the aims of the project include support for rural business and the agricultural community, the vision is for a route that enables people to experience the spiritual and well-being aspects of pilgrimage.
2-3 day Way
Hereford – Eaton – Bishop – Madley GVPT 1: 6.5 miles
Madley – Moccas – Bredwardine – Dorstone GVPT 2: 10 miles
Dorstone – Peterchurch GVPT 3D 3: 4 miles
Peterchurch – Tyberton GVPT 3D 4: 5 miles
Tyberton – Madley GVPT 3D 5: 4 miles
Madley – Eaton – Bishop – Hereford GVPT 1: 6 miles
Total 35.5 miles
5-7 day Way
Hereford – Eaton – Bishop – Madley GVPT 1 6 miles
Madley – Moccas – Bredwardine – Dorstone GVPT 2 10 miles
Dorstone – Peterchurch – Michaelchurch Escley GVPT 3 9 miles
Michaelchurch Escley – Craswall GVPT 4 4 miles
Craswall – Llanveynoe GVPT 5 4 miles
Llanveynoe – Clodock GVPT 6 5 miles
Clodock – Walterstone – Rowlestone – Ewyas Harold GVPT 7 8 miles
Ewyas Harold – Abbey Dore – Kingstone GVPT 8 7 miles
Kingstone – Clehonger – Hereford: GVPT 9 7 miles
Total 60 miles