Soon you draw close to the A4136, one of the key roads through the forest, and you have a curious little section to navigate to avoid the road intersections - a scraggly bit of woodland and then some back gardens and around properties but in a short while you arrive at the A4136 again as it snakes up towards Plump Hill.
Cross carefully and then head uphill for a loop avoiding the road through pleasant woodland - I stopped for lunch here having made good time. Then you hit the road again but immediately cross it and head steeply downhill passing a community of houses in the shadow of Plump Hill. There is a puzzler near the bottom which took me a while to unravel until I saw a path in the undergrowth but hopefully you will be more observant than I was!
Downhill again and suddenly all thoughts of the Forest of Dean are behind you and you reach farmland. Very pleasant it was too in the sunshine with not a soul in sight.
I reached the pretty hamlet of Abenhall, with a very nice church to admire, and was thinking that I was going at a terrific rate but perhaps I was lulled into a false sense of security because I came unstuck in the fields past Whitemoor. Round and round in circles again, watched with contempt by a flock of sheep, until I picked up the path again.
I was tired now and thoughts were turning to a pint at the Farmer's Boy in Longhope but there was still a decent section to go because I wanted a stopping point at the now-closed Nag's Head to set me up nicely for the next stage.
So onwards I went, through fields with Longhope away on my right and suddenly the end was in sight. Hitting a small lane, I could see Longhope Church 100 yards or so on my right and with it the road up to my destination.
However, the path required a sharp left and then climb up through a field for a few hundred yards extra and I must admit it was a pointless detour too far. Silently cursing the route-planners for nit-picking, I plumped for the shorter option and I can't honestly believe anyone would blame me, not when a cold pint of cider on a hot day was so close at hand.
Up the roadway and there is the former Nag's Head and the sign which points you right up towards May Hill, of which more in the next blog. Instead, let us trail up the road a little bit longer and there is the Farmer's Boy, where there is beer, food and a bed for the night - you will have earned it!