In Mortimer Forest

We’re walking from Ludlow into the hilly forest to the south-west, a route which takes us into Herefordshire, via the delightfully-named Sunnydingle Cottage to a summit at High Vinnals. 375m (1230 feet) is no great height, but the view is tremendous. That is, it would be, if it wasn’t for the showers of light rain here and there (no, the weather isn’t being as friendly as we’d expected). We return past Mary Knoll House, slithering downwards on the slippery clay, back to very welcome tea and cake, just right for the journey home.

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A walk to Wenlock

A couple of weeks ago, we caught the bus to Much Wenlock and walked back (see A walk from Wenlock). Today, one of us will be spending some time in Wenlock – if I time it right, I can get a lift back. It’s more-or-less the same route, but in reverse the views are different – mostly. It’s a fine sunny day – not a cloud in the sky – too good to waste!

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Snailbeach and the Devil’s Chair

The fog has cleared and it’s a beautiful afternoon for a walk on the Stiperstones. We’ve started from Snailbeach, and gone up past Resting Hill chimney, skirting Crowsnest Dingle to reach the ridge. The Devil’s not in his chair today, fortunately. To the south, a hazy remnant of the fog fills the valley, glowing in the bright sunshine. Red kites wheel above the ridge (out of range of the camera). We return on lower paths, gazing wistfully on the Bog Centre, not yet open for tea and cakes… It’s been a great day, out on these hills.

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A walk from Wenlock

We’ll catch the bus and walk back… It should have been wall-to-wall sunshine, but clouds are blowing across from the north-east – we’ll have to be selective with the photos. We’re certainly not going to stand and wait until the sun shines – it’s much too cold, barely above freezing. Nevertheless, it’s pleasant when the sun’s out, and there are one or two reminders that spring isn’t too far away.

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Winter sun on Hope Bowdler

Not as much as we’d hoped for. We were anticipating snow too – there was a light cover at home, but hardly any here. Road closures delayed us, and by the time we’d reached the top of Hope Bowdler Hill, a bank of cloud from the west was stealing the sunshine. It’s good up here, especially when the sun is out, but now it’s gone – so has the light, and the wind’s cold. Let’s omit the Battlestones (just this once!) – we’ll cut our losses and head for home.

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Loamhole Dingle

A short walk from the “coke hearth” at the top of Coalbrookdale. Like several others in this area, the dingle is a steep-sided little valley whose stream feeds the Severn. Below the coke hearth, it’s mostly culverted – higher up, it’s a jungle waterway. The path – a board-walk for much of its length – follows the stream fairly closely – away from the path, much of the woodland looks impenetrable (we’re not going to try!).

Our return takes us through Sunniside – and just beyond, there on the skyline are the most unlikely creatures – alpacas, ostriches (emus?) and reindeer. Are we still in Shropshire?

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Perkley skyscapes

Weds. 9 January: a cold but bright afternoon. It’s far too good to stay indoors, and it’s been dry for a few days – we’ll head across the fields to Perkley and back. Shouldn’t be too bad underfoot. It’s wide open country here, at the northern end of the Wenlock Edge – with big skies…

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