I do like Herefordshire, the red exotic earth, the lanes that lead to many walks and the way it meanders with Wales along its borders and the city of Hereford is very pretty. John has family there too. We decided to spend a weekend at Dorstone, Herefordshire in January but due to John being ill we cancelled and changed the date to March the 2nd, day after my birthday. However, the Beast from the East and storm Emma came calling and we were snowed in with the claws of the above at our front door, conservatory and veranda. After many emails to Booking.Com (who I will never book with again) explaining why we could not make the said dates and Booking.com responded by not allowing us to change the date saying we still had to pay. Also Booking. com misled us by saying the Pandy Inn and Pandy B&B were the same building when they are separate and giving me the number of the landlady of the Pandy Inn (Lisa) who from the many messages I left thought, I was a mad woman). We eventually had contact from the lovely Magdalena the owner of the Pandy B&B and we rebooked.
Dorstone is a beautiful village and is situated between Hereford and Hay on Wye, surrounded in farm land, black mountains and shelter from the Brecon Beacons. The Pandy B&B was built 6 years ago, is made from solid wood and inside looked and felt like a very comfortable log cabin. The building was built by a local architect from Dorstone. The room where we stayed faced South and we had a balcony with stunning views. Photo of the sunset on Friday evening taken from the balcony.
Only yards away from the beautiful log type cabin building is the 12th century pub “The Pandy Inn. Which is well run by the lovely Lisa and her bar-staff Nicky and Megan. Photo of John, with the very tasty Pandy real ale brewed in Aberdare, which he had many of and the food at the pub was excellent too.
I awoke 5am on Saturday morning to snow, the view of Mill Hill from our balcony.
After a delicious breakfast that Magdalena cooked, we walked to Merbach hill & Arthur’s Stone. The north wind was in our face, snow flurries kept us company. We were in no rush and took our time.Came across a sunken lane, after we crossed over the bridge over the river Dore.
The red Herefordshire earth reminds me of the time I walked part of the Camino Northern Spain (I walked from St Jean to Pamplona)
We stopped and looked back the views were stunning.
Walking past lambs teating their mams.
At the top it was breathtaking and very cold but we were wrapped up and wore sensible clothes. You could see the Skirrid, Brecon Beacons, Clee Hill The Malvern Hills and Hay Bluff. (I love walking Hay Bluff, I first walked it when I did Offa’s Dyke and was where I saw my first red kite, that was many years ago now. I see the red kite most days) See photo below.
Because of the weather we walked the lane- way back.
Back at the cabin we watched Ireland beat England, Ireland deserved to win. Later we went over the Pandy Inn to watch Wales. John and I were the only ones in the pub who stood up and sang our national anthem. Chwarae teg all the others in the pub supported Wales. It was a tough game and the French played hard but after much nail-biting we won. Another delicious meal, washed down with fine wines and real ale.
Sunday March 18th, my grampy Jim’s birthday he would have been 104. I woke to silence and a white out. Photos from the balcony, surrounding area and the wonderful pub, the Pandy Inn.
I am an avid reader and I took the book “One woman walks Wales” by Ursula Martin (Thank you to Dan and Rhiannon Hill for buying me the book for my birthday) John had his suduku and one of his ‘die next week or die now’, thriller books. We were snowed in and would not be going home that morning. I sensibly booked Sunday lunch the day before and at breakfast (which was in a lovely mystical wooden cabin, with a wonderful woodburner) We booked with Magdalena to stay another day. I was restless and felt I needed to venture out. However, before I ventured out I put a bottle of white wine to cool on the balcony. (How the other half live) see photo below.
I walked towards Mill Wood hoping to capture photos of the black mountains and Hay Bluff. Half way it was not good. I was knee-deep and not wearing waterproof trousers. I turned around and walked back to our wooden Cabin.
I did not sleep well concerned about the roads and our work commitments. I watched the snow fall and my belly fell too. The the wind picked up, creating ghost shapes with the fine powdery snow. Monday 19th March, I can say the roads from Dorstone, to Peter Church and Pontrilas were well gritted and clear. Driving through Herefordshire we spotted three badly damaged cars, cordoned off with police tape. On the way home along the A465 and the Rhymney Valley, we saw another three damaged and abandoned cars. I was relieved we did not try to drive home on the Sunday. We will go back to Dorstone to the lovely Magdalena’s B&B and Lisa’s fab pub. A real community was found at Dorstone AND John finally had his life long wish to be snowed- in, in a real ale pub.
Remember life is for living.