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Presteigne: The Norton Walk

Distance: 4 Miles

 

Park, with due respect for residents, in Mynd lane, which runs off the main 84355 road opposite the Iych-gate to St Andrew's church. The road becomes a bridle track, at the top of the initial rise go right, via the hand-gate to enter the Timber Growers Association Taylor's Wood estate. Follow the steadily rising straight track (1), which latterly curves leftward to emerge at a gate leading on above a beautiful cwm with fine views over a distinctive landscape of hill-pastures and wind-break woods. Keeping the fence right contour around a bracken slope, after a gate it becomes a fenced lane then merges with the metalled road rising from Elvine's Farm. Just 20 yards short of the 84355 road, (2) take a left turn through the gate an open bridle-track running through the pasture, initially in the shallow hollow. Make a point of Visiting the obelisk commemorating the nineteenth century Radnorshire politician Sir Richard Price-Green of Norton, active in bringing railways to the county. Pass on to join Offa's Dyke Path National Trail at the stile, sandwiched between separate belts of conifers With a fence right and conifers left, the path runs south upon the shallow evidence of the frontier earthwork. After the next stile, the path has the fence with the visible Dyke bank to the right. At the next stile, where fences converge, the path runs directly on top of the bank, The Dyke winds on via further stiles across Hawthorn Hill, its serpentine course somewhat curious, as if linking the work of various construction gangs. After the next stile, the bank is as good as lost, continue with the fence right, sensing surviving traces of Dyke to a junction of fences. The National Trail promptly departs right, but go straight on down the pasture (3) to a bridle-gate/gate (with 'Offa's Dyke short-cut' daubed on the reverse side of the gate) A green track wends downhill within the open oakwood, exiting at a bridie-gate/gate. Take a moment to take in the view down the cwm, beautifully backed by Impton Wood. The track descends to join an open farm track. Advancing to a gate, bear half-left down the pasture (not down the track to the farm buildings) picking up blue bridleway waymarks, guiding via a mid-course track, pass between trees to a gate at the corner of a wood. Bear right down onto the open drive left of the cattle-grid to Old Impton Farm. The metalled drive passes over a cattle-grid, advancing to the complete the circuit at the point of entry to Taylor's Wood (4). Retrace steps down the Mynd Lane bridle-track to Norton. Before you leave Norton. Inspect both the parish church opposite and, as a piece of Intriguing detail look at the top of the Victorian letter-box up to the left beside the lay-by.