This had to be the one. No. Maybe that one over there? Wrong again. Each time I decided a towering hill was the one guarding the head of the glen, signifying I was nearly home, my hopes were dashed. Eventually, I stopped torturing myself and just let the climbs come. The glen would appear in its own time, it couldn’t be rushed.
After settling into our little white cottage, we rode the path from the village down to the visitors’ centre. Off-road riding almost from the door. This was how things should be, this was going to be a good holiday.
It had been six months since we’d been to Mortimer Forest and it felt good to be back. For family rides, forest tracks offer us the sort of traffic-free exploration that’s hard to come by where we live. Whenever we roll out of a car park and into the trees, we feel free.
Every now and then, a tell-tale line of undergrowth cuts across my path. It marks the route of the old railway line. Of the hop pickers who once rode trains into Herefordshire in search of seasonal work, there remains only the slightest trace.