Munslows and the Edge

Monday 1 April: another old favourite – walking from Aston Munslow, up onto the crest of the Wenlock Edge, and back via Munslow and the path across the fields. There’s no-one else about today – it’s very quiet up here. More signs of spring’s advance – the first bluebells are starting to appear, amongst the primroses, violets and celandines.

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The Folly

It’s a landmark for miles around, marking the highest point of the Wenlock Edge. At the top of Flounders’ Folly. we’re 80 feet higher! Benjamin Flounders, a Yorkshireman, had it built in 1838. After falling into disrepair, the tower was renovated by a local trust in the early years of the millennium, with a new metal staircase. It is open to all who wish to take in the magnificent view from the top (and who are prepared to make the 500 ft ascent from the parking area) once a month – usually the last Sunday, also on certain high days (appropriately) and holidays. Today being the last Sunday in March, we’ll pay it a visit…

Flounders’ Folly

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Up the Ashes!

…to Pole Bank. Thursday 28 March – the sky is cloudless, we need an outing to enjoy this weather. Haven’t been to the Long Mynd for a little while, so we’ll go for the old favourite – up the Ashes Hollow, to its stream’s source in the Boiling Well (which is neither), on to the highest point of the Mynd at Pole Bank, then back along the ridge which eventually brings us back to Little Stretton by Small Batch (which is aptly named, a batch being a valley). Despite the weather, we have the hills almost to ourselves – I think we saw more wild ponies than people.

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High Vinnals and Richard’s Castle

It’s a beautiful spring day, perfect for a picnic lunch on Climbing Jack Common… We’re walking from the Black Pool car park near Ludlow, up to the top of High Vinnals. The air is cold but clear – those are the Brecon Beacons, more than 40 miles distant on the southern horizon. Heading downhill now,  we cross the top of Hanway Common and look down on the Goggin (who wouldn’t?) before descending to what’s left of Richard’s Castle. It’s defended, or tended, by a pair of goats, currently basking atop the highest remaining wall. The church nearby has a separate bell tower,  The village of the same name is perhaps 3/4 of a mile way. A curious settlement – mostly in Herefordshire, its village hall is in Shropshire.

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Walking on a windy day

Willey and Linley: we walked this way before Christmas (see “The depth of December“) – a route which was good underfoot when the fields were soggy. After last night’s heavy rain, the field paths will again be worth avoiding. It’s cold, and with a strong westerly wind, a bit of shelter would be good too. So we’re returning to the quiet roads linking these hamlets, stretching our legs and making most of the (fitful) sunny intervals – the sun is pleasantly warm when it’s allowed to shine. (Just for variety, we’re doing it clockwise – last time, we walked widdershins)

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A Tale of Four Bridges

There’s a cold wind, but it should stay dry. Maybe there’s a chance of some sunshine? Not really – certainly none of the deep blue that we had between the morning’s sharp showers. Down in the valley, walking between Ironbridge and the Coalport bridge, it’s sheltered and pleasant enough. To avoid what would have been a very muddy path, we’re crossing the Severn twice more – using the Jackfield memorial footbridge and lastly, the new “Free Bridge” – that’s four metal bridges in a row, all significant in their own way.

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