Recommendations for Gloucester area; England and Wales

I’m visiting the Gloucester area Sept 21-23 and am looking for any recommendations of peaks to activate within 1 to 2.5 hour drive oneway from Gloucester.

Ideally, one in England and one in Wales. Point value isn’t so important but an attractive hike with a vista is desirable. Anything less than 20-25 kilometers round trip and 1,200- 1,500 meters ascent should work. If its possible to do two peaks in a day that is fun too. Close proximity to a pub is also desirable.

Paul W6PNG

Paul, you’ll have to go a bit further north (GM) to meet your minimum ascent requirement! :wink:

Taking that as total ascent you’ll want to go west into the Brecon Beacons, but you’ll still need about 3 I guess?

May Hill; G/WB-019, very near Gloucester, short easy walk (unless wet when it is slippery); superb panorama of the Severn Estuary. Lots of room for aerials of all sorts.
Pubs near Longhope and elsewhere nearby (no recommendations as I have never been in any of them).

50km only gets you to two very unexciting Welsh Summits. 80 gets you nicely into the Black Mountains.

More shortly.
Hay Common, South of Hay-on-Wye is 50 miles and 1h37min according to Autoroute (but will depend on when you leave Gloucester and where you start from). Paved route up the Offas Dyke LD path to the Summit of Black Mountain GW/SW-041, or straight up the Hay Bluff escarpment. Right on the border of England and Wales (it was originally set as an English summit - WB-001 - and is still the highest point in southern England!). Extensive views depending on where you locate yourself.
Further edit; “Paved” - meaning large slabs set at varied angles and much of it fairly rough; much better than the knee deep bog that covers much of the route - not a proper smooth path like Worcester Beacon.

Others possible; mostly unexciting - use the SOTA mapping Range set to 80km from Gloucester and you will see what I mean.

Very best of luck with the weather; do ask if you would like more info.

Rod suggests May Hill, G/WB-019, this opens up the possibility of three summits. On leaving May Hill head west on the A4136 and just after Mitcheldean you will see the turn-off marked for Ruardean Hill, this is a drive on summit in the middle of a village, WB-021, you can set up in trees near the sports club. On leaving head back to Mitcheldean and take the B4224 then the A40 to Ross on Wye and join the M50 motorway leaving it at junction 1 for Malvern and WB-009 Worcestershire Beacon. There is a nice pub just up the hill to the car park but I must be getting old, I can’t remember its name! Heading back you can retrace your route to the M50 then join the M5 which will take you back to Gloucester. This is a lot of driving for three points but mostly in fine countryside and a little diversion before reaching the M50 would take you into the picturesque market town of Ross-on-Wye.


Recommended pub:
Glasshouse Inn
May Hill
GL17 0NN

N.B. Closed between 3 pm and 6 pm.

Walt (G3NYY)


Thanks for the suggestions and it turns out I’m staying in Longhope so May Hill looks very achievable. Black Mountain looks good too.


Brian (G8ADD)

Thanks and any sense how easy it is to deploy a wire end fed (13 m long) in and amongst the trees at RuardeanHill given it appears to be in the middle of the village and not sure what residents may make of aerials hanging from and within their trees.


Dead simple. There are no trees!
Loads of space by the Pan Tod Beacon.
This is a most uninteresting summit…

Loads of space on May hill too!

Personally, being from Gloucester, I’d take the 2 hour hit and drive to the Beacons for a proper hike…

My suggestion would be the following.
Drive to the parking space for Waun Rydd - GW/SW-004

That’s a 1:30 drive from Longhope.
There’s a lovely ridge walk to the summit.
From there hike to Pen y Fan - GW/SW-001 the highest summit in S Wales.

It’s a strenuous 6 mile walk each way, but a real classic with fantastic scenery (assuming you’re not in the rain or cloud).
If you want less walking there are plenty of other opportunities close by.
Myndd Troed and Myndd Llangorse are popular twin peaks to do from the same spot.


Pete (G4ISJ)

Thanks and I took a look earlier at some reports of activating Pen y Fan (GW/SW-001) and wondered about deploying my HF end fed given the peak is supposedly popular with day hikers etc. As I will only have my KX2 and no 2m capability curious on your perspective on an HF activation of Pen y Fan. Most likely would be a Wednesday or Thursday (Sept 21/22) which might yield less fellow hikers.


Paul, there is no shortage of space on Pen Y Fan for your antenna.
Mid week the crowds will be thinner, but it’s not somewhere you go for solitude :slight_smile:
The crowds tend congregate around the summit cairn and sit along the ridge, there’s loads of space off to the side.
There are ALWAYS crowds regardless of the day or the wx.
I wouldn’t even consider making the trip at the weekend however.
If you do Pen Y Fan from the Storey Inn Carpark, you can also do Fan Fawr across the road.

The contrast couldn’t be greater. You’ll be lucky to meet anyone else, there is no manicured path and it’s a far harder climb!
The double makes a nice day.
It’s a bit further to drive from Longhope.

Near the highest point there is a small green with a monument on it across the road to the sports club. Just past the sports club field entrance is a stand of trees beside the road. I set up a W3EDP antenna here, out of the way and mostly out of sight. Nobody even noticed!

The top of May Hill is crowned with a copse of conifers and there are wooden seats each side of the copse. I set up on one and ran the W3EDP along the side of the copse because there is a herd of very inquisitive ponies that will come and see if you have any spare sandwiches!

Some people (but not me) have had trouble with wardens on Worcestershire Beacon so I suggest that you set up on the north side away from the very popular summit area. This is a lovely summit that tries to kid you that it is a high mountain, but it is all bluff! If you are into their music, this was the favourite walking country of Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Holst.