By Coundmoor Brook

It’s hardly a major watercourse, nevertheless it has carved itself a very attractive shallow but steep-sided valley, ideal for an amble on this bright but hazy afternoon. Heading back, our path overlooks the valley, with more extensive views the other way. Am I alone in thinking the Wrekin resembles Mount Fuji from up here?

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Clee Hill and the Three-forked Pole

Sounds like something from the Wild West, doesn’t it? This is England’s “Wild West”, not far from the Welsh border, and it’s quite a strange kind of place. The quarry on Clee Hill is still active, but there are many remains of old workings and their associated buildings and structures. There are more strange and tottering  structures at Magpie Hill – we make our way there via the remarkable three-forked pole, near a place called “Random”.
When we started out, it seemed like a perfect day for an outing, but the weather grew increasingly gloomy as we walked back from Magpie Hill. The first drops of rain fell as we unlocked the car – how’s that for timing?
Cleehill or Clee Hill? One’s the village, the other? Guess!

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To Willstone Hill

(Monday 29 October) That’s where the Battle Stones are – a perfect objective for a short walk on the hills, on a bright but bitterly cold afternoon. It’s a regular route for us, though we’re having to use a different departure point – this is half-term week, and there’s no space below the Gaer Stone. So we’re starting from Hope Bowdler village, walking a short way along the road, past the end of the inviting-looking footpath to the church, tucked away behind the houses. We’d better accept the invitation.

Curiosity assuaged (what an interesting spot!) we’re off up the lane onto the hill. It’s a more-or-less circular walk, with an out-and-back to the Battle Stones. Once we’re away from the road, it’s quiet – almost totally silent in places. And the views – wonderful! It’s not especially clear, but the light (unlike the air!) is warm, and there are autumnal shades everywhere in the landscape. It’s a shame to have to return to the car, but the light is fading – it’ll be dark soon.

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