May Hill Gloucester
National Trust
Near Longhope
Gloucestershire GL17 0NN
 

 

May Hill, with its clump of trees at the summit, is a distinctive landmark well known to anyone living near the Gloucestershire/Herefordshire border.
 
For eighteen years this writer lived in a village overlooked by May Hill. It was within easy cycling distance so we often climbed the hill to enjoy the superb views from the top.
 
There are three public footpaths to the summit, two of which are part of the Gloucestershire and Wysis Ways. The hill is quite steep and the paths can be muddy after rain. It is about a half mile (800 metres) walk to get to the top of the hill.
 
The terrain is grassland and heath, with a small amount of heather and gorse until you reach the top, 971 feet (296 metres) above sea level. The summit is crowned with a clump of trees, mainly Corsican pines and one lonely old Scots Pine.
 
There are several seats on the top from which weary walkers can enjoy magnificent views of the River Severn’s horseshoe bends, the Malvern Hills and the Welsh Borders.
 
Bluebells
The top of May Hill, (grid reference SO695214), is an 831-acre (32.6-hectare) Site of Scientific Grasslands Interest because of its acidic grasslands and heathland habitats. Birds that may be sighted on the hill include meadow pipit, tree pipit, redstart and raven. The bluebells are spectacular in spring.
 
The trees on top of the hill have been replenished to mark special occasions. In 1887 Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee was celebrated in this way; and in 1977 for Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee new trees were also planted. A commemorative plaque records the event with a rather touching message. It reads: “This plaque was erected by the parishes of Longhope & Newent as a tribute to a gracious and beloved monarch. God Save the Queen".
 
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Fears for May Hill
Residents have recently been alarmed by the news that the Corsican pines are suffering from a virus and will have to be cut down. It has been decided that the Corsican pines should be thinned to promote better ventilation which will slow down the spread of the virus. It is also proposed to replace the trees with Scots Pine, a more resistant conifer.
 
Special Events
For centuries May Hill has been a landmark and a focus of traditional May Day Celebrations. See this website’s article on ‘Traditions’.
 
Disabled Access:  No

Open:  All year

Admission:   Free

Facilities:  None. Nearest public toilets at Newent. Light refreshments served at local pubs.

Contact & Further Information
National Trust
Telephone   +44 (0)1452 814213
Mail   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Getting There
May Hill is signposted off A40 Gloucester to Ross-on-Wye road, 1 mile (0.5km) west of Huntley, 3 miles (5km) from Junction 3 of M50.
 
From Newent (B4215 ) and Huntley (A40) approach via Clifford’s Mesne village. Head up the hill past the Yew Tree Inn and continue over the cattle grid onto the common. National Trust parking area 110yd (100m) on right. Car park, grid ref: SO691223.  
 
Google Maps - May Hill