The Gaer Stone and the Battle Stones

After lunch in Church Stretton, there’s time for a short wander on the Hope Bowdler hills, visiting the remarkable outcrop of the Gaer Stone, then walking to the other end of the ridge at the Battle Stones. It’s windy and it’s cold, but when the sun shines the light is lovely. We head back toward the car in the lee of the wind, and the sun’s gone behind some thicker clouds. Time for home.

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On Linley Hill

Another day of clear blue skies! We’d better make the most of this fine weather – tomorrow, and the next few days, will be dull, apparently. So we’re off to Linley Hill, for a circular walk via Norbury, ending with a stroll down the avenue of beech trees. They’re a notable local landmark, and for many years their shapes have enhanced this grassy ridge. Sadly, those that remain are near the end of their lives, having been planted in 1740, and have reached that stage where they’re no longer very graceful. Only a few years ago (see our last visit, “Linley Beeches” in January 2012, when the weather was rather more dramatic too), their wind-blown shapes spoke of the weather in these parts. Today, it’s the fallen branches and broken trunks which speak more loudly. Replacements have already been planted, but it will be many years before they take on the appearance of their predecessors.

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Magpie Hill and Hoar Edge

A walk from Cleehill village (again), across the empty grassland to the dereliction (“it’s creepy!”) on Magpie Hill, then back via the three-forked pole and Hoar Edge, down to Rouse-Boughton Terrace and along the old railway track. It’s hazy – there’s been fog further east, I think, but not here. The sky is blue and clear – not a single cloud, perfect for the display provided by three red kites, high above the quarry as we near the end of our wander.

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Langley Chapel and Church Preen

The ecclesiastical link is pure coincidence. Langley Chapel seemed a good (and interesting) place to start, and the hamlet of Church Preen (whose church cannot be seen from the through roads) marked the half-way point. It’s a circular walk, entirely on very quiet roads (six miles, five cars, two horses), as last night’s heavy rain will have made the fields and paths really soggy. It’s very pleasant out too – clear air, just a light breeze, sunshine – what more could one want?

We’ve been to Langley Chapel before – for more photos, visit Langley Chapel

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