The river and the dale

Summer’s gone and the schools are back – it’s quiet along the Wharfage in Ironbridge, and the view upriver has changed since the last time we walked this way. Coalbrookdale is quiet too – the ironworks is closed, so is the museum (on Mondays and Tuesdays). No danger of getting run over as we shelter under the railway arch, its entrance, during a brief shower of rain.

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Wenlock’s Highlands

A circular from the centre of Much Wenlock. In the field opposite the school are highland cattle, and there are more by Newtown Farm. At the other end of the scale, there are numerous butterflies flitting about and occasionally resting conveniently on vegetation beside our path. They’re all speckled woods. Brown cattle and brown butterflies – it must be the time of year.

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Abdon and Clee – the Burfs

They’re the two summits of Brown Clee – Abdon Burf and Clee Burf. It’s a beautiful day – bright and sunny, cool clear air – perfect for the hills. We’ll take a picnic lunch and aim for that bench above the Five Springs. Sadly, someone else has got there first – that never happens! So our dining chairs will be dining rocks, just beyond the top of Clee Burf, facing an extensive panorama of hills through an arc from the south east, through Titterstone Clee, to the south west. Pen y Fan, the highest point of the Brecon Beacons, is just visible on the far horizon, some 55 miles distant.

The views from our return route, east of the ridge, are not to the same standard – but the blue of Boyne Water, where dragonflies flit. provides a pleasant backdrop for a second (very small!) lunch…

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Familiar places

We’re walking around some of the local paths and tracks – mostly familiar ground – and then we’re asking ourselves “have we ever been along here?”. An old chapel. converted into a house, on Carter’s Jitty. We’ve often walked just a few yards away, along Pugh’s Jitty (where the wall is made of old saggars), and along Quarry Road, again just yards in the other direction. Does familiarity breed contempt?