Three dales accompany the Wenlock Edge – Corve Dale, to the south-east, is named after its river; Ape Dale to the north-west has its brooks, but is more a natural gap between the edge and other hills than a valley as such. Hope Dale lies in the middle, between the twin escarpments of the edge. In Hope Dale, towards Wenlock, there’s the hamlet of Easthope. Westhope is further to the (south) west, oddly enough. And in the middle (of the middle) is Middlehope. It’s not very big, but surely it’s better to travel and to live in (Middle?) hope? (Enough!)

This was a pleasant walk on a pleasant afternoon. The farmers are getting their crops in, making the most of the dry weather. The colours are beginning to look autumnal, there are blackberries and fungi everywhere (and one sweet, juicy damson).  It’s almost a shame to arrive back at the car, to travel hopefully towards home.

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