Steam on a cold day: Tornado

Not that we felt the cold – we arrived at Cosford just minutes before Tornado. Hauling “The Red Rose” from London Victoria, it was stopping to drop off visitors to the RAF Museum. Soon it was away again, accelerating quickly with its 11-coach train, and making a fine sight despite the sleety rain.

Brown Clee skyscapes

The sky’s blue today, with photogenic clouds (best kind) – let’s have a walk on Brown Clee! We’ll walk up from the telephone box (it’s a free library these days) and take the terrace path around the hill to the far side. At first on the open hillside, it later skirts the forest, where there’s some attractive deciduous woodland beside the conifers. When we meet the path up the east side, from the picnic place, we make a gentle and cautious (it’s a bit sticky underfoot) ascent to the summit where, for a few minutes, we’re the highest people in Shropshire. It’s downhill from here, of course, but no-one has told the water – the moor is rather squelchy. But who cares? It’s great up here on a day like this.

Soon we’re back at the car – better change the library books before we head for home…


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Fog’s gone: the edge in January

The morning’s fog dispersed, as instructed by the Met Office, to leave a clear blue sky – perhaps the last we’ll get for a week or so? Better get out there and enjoy it – Aston Munslow and the Wenlock Edge could be good. It’s not especially elevated ground here, just over 1000′ at the highest point, but it feels like the top of the world. Must be the rarefied atmosphere!


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On Breidden Hill

A short walk to a landmark summit, just across the Welsh border. It’s no great height, nor the greatest height of this little clump of shapely hills which is a significant feature of views from further east. The top is marked by Rodney’s Pillar, memorial to the 18th century Admiral, and provides splendid views of the border hills – or would have done, that is, had it not been for the lingering mist. The sun tried hard, but only really succeeded, inevitably, when we’d come back down again.


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A cold afternoon

Murky too! Not a day for the hills, and it’s wet underfoot. The paths at Attingham Park are well-maintained – we can get a leg-stretch there. Many others have had a similar idea, though they’ve thinned out considerably by the time we reach the far perimeter. There are some attractive reflections in the Tern, and there’s some wonderful bracket fungus on a tree near the entrance. It’s still there when we return…

Attingham Park NT


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A walk from Wenlock

We’ve taken the no 18 to Much Wenlock – it’s a double decker, so we’re in the front seats at the top – and we’re walking home again. We’ve had a succession of dull, grey, cold and murky days, so today’s wall-to-wall sunshine is especially welcome. It’s wet underfoot in places, but it’s great to be out in the fresh air on a perfect January afternoon.


Windy afternoon…

…but bright and sunny – we’ll have a leg-stretch, but we’d better avoid the hill tops. We follow the lane down to the Severn valley, which is well-sheltered, but mostly in the shade…

Silver birches

Thursday 5 Jan: We have to be in Wolverhampton briefly, late morning. It’s a perfect January morning – quite the wrong kind for being in Wolverhampton, so we’ll continue on to Cannock Chase, for a snack lunch in the visitor centre, followed by a walk to make the most of the weather. To do that, we’ll need to drive away again (it’s fairly densely forested there), to a more open part of the Chase, where scattered silver birches predominate, their trunks really catching the light. It’s pleasant by the Sher Brook too – in places, the water is mirror-like, the reflections perfect. We could have walked further, but that would take us into the forest, so we’ll head back to the car as the shadows lengthen.


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The Mynd in January

Wednesday 4 Jan: “We’ll be out most of the day – you’ll have to amuse yourself…” No problem – it’s fine, bright and intermittently sunny. I’ll start from the Carding Mill Valley and work my round to Little Stretton, then up to the top beside Small Batch, and come back down Mott’s Road. There are one or two tricky bits on the path through the woods – soft and slippery – otherwise it’s a very pleasant route. The sun’s trying hard, and though it doesn’t always succeed, it provides me with some fine sunbeams to the south-west.


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Benthall and Wyke

Wandering under a clear blue sky – a perfect January day, though it didn’t quite go according to plan, and a full day’s walk further afield became an afternoon’s local walk. There’s colour in the sunshine, and a surprising amount of green.

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