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May Hill is an extremely prominent landmark which is easily visible most directions, for many miles. From Ross-on-Wye it is located 6.21 miles to the east, south east. To get there by road however is an 8.5 drive miles followed by a gentle climb of a little over half a mile. From the top of the hill, the views of several counties are spectacular in all directions. Ross, Garway Hill, the Black Mountains, and the north facing butress, Hay Bluff, can be seen to the west, the City of Gloucester and the River Severn to the east, the Malvern Hills to the north and the Forest of Dean to the south.

At sunrise, on May Day, which takes place at around 5.38 am, Morris Troupes from Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, along with other people from Gloucestershire and Herefordshire with an interest in English folk traditions gather at the summit to greet the Mayday sun.

Some of the photographs below were taken just prior to a late November sunset in 2003, hence the pale blue of the sky and the mist. The 'cloud' shot was taken at the end of May 2009, the aerial shots in April 2008 and the sunrise shots, on 1st May 2007.

Continued . . .

May Hill as seen from the air.

This first and second films above show some of the magical / spiritual places in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Beginning with a visit to Arthur's Stone, a Neolithic burial mound in Dorstone, Herefordshire (not far from Hay-on-Wye) it then moves on to Trellech to show Harold's Stones, Tump Turret and the Virtuous Well before moving on again to the Queen Stone, the Staunton Longstone and finally May Hill. (If you just want to see May Hill, watch Part 2 of the film.)

The third and forth films show the traditional English 'sunrise' festivities which take place at the summit of May Hill. This particular event was filmed on on Mayday 2009.

It was foggy on the hill on Mayday 2009 and the sun was not visible, however the fog kind of added to the atmosphere, which is always good. Although the camera lens fogged over and picked up a couple of dew drops towards the end, the ending sequence - everybody dancing round the trees is my favourite part of this film. It is so atmospheric. Thank you to my teenage daughter, Sarah for getting out of bed at an unearthly hour so that she could follow the musicians for me with a radio microphone.

Photos from the event can be seen here, and both photographs and film from other years can be found in the back issues of 'Wyenot News'.

See also Hay Bluff and Garway Hill.

May Hill from near the summit.
May Hill, Gloucestershire May Hill, Gloucestershire
The view west from May Hill. A slightly closer view than the one to the left looking at Ross-on-Wye.
May Hill, Gloucestershire May Hill, Gloucestershire
The trees on top of May Hill. A view of the autumn sun through the trees on top of May Hill.
May Hill, Gloucestershire May Hill, Gloucestershire
Silver Jubilee plaque on May Hill, which reads: '1952 - 1977 E ii R - This plaque was erected by the parishes of Longhope & Newent as a tribute to a gracious and beloved monarch. God save the Queen.' Plaque for the new trees planted for the Silver Jubilee in 1977.
May Hill, Gloucestershire May Hill, Gloucestershire
The May Hill Trig. Point located at NGR: SO 69573 / 21268. Looking East from May Hill.
May Hill, Gloucestershire May Hill, Gloucestershire
May Hill Pony. May Hill Pony.
[May Hill View - Self Catering or B&B - Upton Bishop]

May Hill as seen from the air.

A closer look at the copse of trees at the summit.

Sunrise on May Hill on Mayday 2007.

Sunrise on May Hill on Mayday 2007.


Photography, video and web design copyright © Alan J. Wood, All rights reserved.