May Hill and Ruardean Hill,
12 February 2005
Lucy, Henry and George on the way to the top of May Hill, a hill between
Gloucester and Ross-on-Wye, whose summit is on the western edge of
Gloucestershire, though its northern slopes are in Herefordshire. It forms part
of a low range of hills separating the River Severn from the River Wye. The hill
is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and forms part of an Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Much of the hill is owned by the National Trust, though the very top is
under separate ownership (though with no fences). It was recently included among
the seven wonders of the West Country.
The summit is 296 metres (971 feet) above sea level, and located there among the
trees are several benches from which allow study in comfort of the views, which
are extensive in all directions. They include views to the Welsh borders, seen
Prominent in the views to the south-east are the lower reaches of the River
Severn, bypassed for shipping by the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.
Stephen with the dogs at the trig point.
Each May Day (the first of May), morris dancers dance in the new dawn on the top
of May Hill, a ceremony believed to have been carried out for several centuries.
The covered reservoir and trig point on Highview Road at the top of Ruardean
Hill, another hill in Gloucestershire, 20 km west of Gloucester. The southern
slopes are wooded and are part of the northern edge of the Forest of Dean.