The Long Mynd’s eastern valleys are several and varied – some are valleys, some (most) are batches. There’s a dale and a gutter too – and a couple of hollows. If we count the side valleys off those main valleys… Perhaps not. I’ve been exploring the Mynd for many years, but until very recently, I had not quite digested one rather odd fact born out by the 1:25,000 map: many (perhaps most) of those side valleys have names – except for Ashes Hollow, whose side valleys are nameless. (I’m sure they’re not, but there are no names on the map).
Ashes Hollow runs down to Little Stretton. Next, joining Ashes at its foot, is Small Batch (aptly named), then there’s Callow Hollow. Ashes Hollow is perhaps the next-best known after Cardingmill (Valley), not least due to the camp site occupying its last few yards. Callow is one of the least known, despite being of comparable scenic value, largely because, until relatively recently, there was no easy access to its foot. We met no-one else on foot throughout the walk (just one cyclist, and a farmer in his pickup). And, like so many of these valleys (batches, hollows etc….), once we’re just a few yards in, there’s nothing man-made in sight, until we reach the plateau and the road.