The beginning of April marks an eagerly-awaited turning point in the South Shropshire calendar – the Bog Centre opens up for the season. That fact (with its implied prospect of excellent cakes, scones etc.) was the clincher when I asked my friend where he thought we might go for today’s walk.
Before we can enjoy those refreshments, of course, we have to earn them, and we haven’t even had lunch yet. Black Rhadley, overlooking the river West Onny as it winds through the Linley Hall estates, should be a suitable spot. It was, too – extensive views in all directions, and wonderfully quiet – just the birds, and there’s that curlew again. Lunch over, we head northwards along the Stiperstones ridge, as far as the head of Perkins Beach, where we turn back toward The Bog for tea and Stiperscones.
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Posted by geoffspages on 19 Apr 2017
Cool, too, in the wind. The east side of the hill is in the lee, and the walk is very pleasant through the parkland, warm in the sunshine with views improving as we gain height. Boyne Water is twinkling as the breeze lifts wavelets; a little further on, we’re out on the ridge. Now we have extensive views to the west, but we’re in the wind, and we need to keep going. It buffets the camera as we stand at the highest point. Moments later, as we begin to descend, we’re sheltered and it’s a warm spring afternoon once more.
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Posted by geoffspages on 15 Apr 2017
Friday afternoon: a walk on the Wenlock edge. Starting from the car park by the Hughley turn, we’ll walk towards Wenlock along the very pleasant woodland path, below the edge, and return along the crest, above the woods and the old quarry workings. The weather’s getting warmer, and the butterflies are sunning themselves.
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Posted by geoffspages on 08 Apr 2017
We’ve walked to Ironbridge (easy – downhill!) for lunch. Now we have to pay for it – with a most enjoyable walk back up through the woods and across the fields. It was supposed to be overcast today, but the weather wasn’t paying attention to any forecasts.
Posted by geoffspages on 05 Apr 2017
It’s bright and sunny, and though the wind’s cold, it’s far too good to stay in. We’ll wander – see where we get to – perhaps check how the bluebell wood is developing? Spring is really moving along now, with the blackthorn blossom taking centre stage.
Posted by geoffspages on 04 Apr 2017
…and Ashes Hollow. It’s another fine sunny day (though the sunshine will become hazy later), so we’re stretching our legs on the Long Mynd. We haven’t been up Minton Batch for some time, so we walk down the very quiet lane from Little Stretton to Minton and just beyond, then up the valley to the top of the Mynd, just along from the gliding field. The road along the top isn’t quite so quiet, but it’s a pleasant stroll and it’s easy enough to dodge the odd car (youngish men taking women old enough to be their mothers out for a drive. Odd, that). Reaching Pole Cottage, we remember there’s chocolate in the camera bag (it’s what they’re for) – perfect for a brief halt before heading off down Ashes Hollow and back to the car.
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Posted by geoffspages on 26 Mar 2017
They must have thought as we did – that it was a perfect day for the hills, almost too good for mid-March. A cloudless sky, warm sunshine, cool air and the lightest of breezes – much better than mid-summer. Fewer people about, but at least four red kites. First there was one on his (or her) own, then another, then a pair, hurrying away to the north – and moments later, another pair circling to our south. The alpacas and llamas were enjoying the sun too. This is south Shropshire, isn’t it? It’s hard to be sure sometimes.
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Posted by geoffspages on 16 Mar 2017
It’s become a good standby – bus to Much Wenlock, walk back. We might have gone further afield, but the weather forecast wasn’t great (so, inevitably, the weather was better than we expected). Spring flowers are beginning to appear in the hedgerows, there are spring lambs in the fields, and it’s warmer than it’s been for a while. There’s only one downside – the tea room at Benthall Hall isn’t open on Mondays…
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Posted by geoffspages on 13 Mar 2017
It’s not one of Shropshire bigger hills – just 320m (1067 feet) – and it stands alone, not easy to incorporate into a longer walk. But it’s an obvious landmark from the north, on the winding Bishop’s Castle road from Shrewsbury. “Must walk up there one day”. Today was that day! A most enjoyable little walk it was, too – barely 3 miles, and a fair pull up through the muddy woods of Pontesford Hill, but well worth it for the extensive views. It would be even better on a clear day…
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Posted by geoffspages on 06 Mar 2017
There’s a spring in our step today: meteorological spring began on Wednesday, apparently, and there’s spring in the mild air of this mostly-pleasant afternoon (there are a few raindrops too, but who’s counting?). We’ve parked beside the very quiet Colemore Green road, and we’ll walk back along the road towards the houses, where a footpath descends to the old railway line, just across the Severn from Apley Hall. Now we’re walking along the railway trackbed (the riverside path will be very muddy) – sadly, it’s more than 50 years since trains ran here, and they (almost certainly) will never again run here. We can only walk so far along the track – nearer Bridgnorth, it’s disappeared altogether beneath the carefully-mown grass of the golf course – so we’ll return to the lane and walk back to the car.
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Posted by geoffspages on 04 Mar 2017