Lyth Hill

As a hill, it’s barely there – the highest point is only about 170m (less than 600ft) above sea level. As a viewpoint for the south Shropshire hills, especially those around Church Stretton, it’s a grandstand! The grassy and almost level top is popular with dog-walkers, but down past the venison farm and along the unsurfaced track through Exfords Green, it’s much quieter. Returning by the pine-topped hill towards Lyth Bank, the views are opening out a little towards the west, to the Breidden hills and the Berwyns beyond.

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Cavemen (and women)…

Not so many years ago, people lived in caves along this part of the Severn Valley. There’s at least one house in Bridgnorth that has a quite significant cave behind a more conventional exterior. These cave dwellings, between the old railway track and the river, haven’t been used for many years – except by the sheep, who probably find them quite cosy on cold wet days.

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Long Mynd landscapes

A fine, sunny day – perfect for a walk on high ground, with extensive views in all directions… In other words, the Long Mynd’s Portway (approximately), from Robin Hood’s Butts to the Pole Cottage pools. Many others have similar ideas – I’ve never seen the top so crowded (“crowded” is a relative term up here…). Some people are trying to place their small dog on the trig point, so that he can appreciate the view. On the path, some walkers pretend we’re not there as they pass by, carefully avoiding any eye contact. Just smile and say “Hello”, folks! Only yards from Pole Bank, no-one else is interested in those reedy pools behind Pole Cottage, where there’s some welcome peace and quiet. Retracing our steps, a grouse calls out as he flies low over the moor – “go back, go back, go back”. Yes, that’s what we’re doing!

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October in the valley

Monday: we’re walking down through Chestnut Coppice to the riverbank and the old railway track. There may be some attractive autumn colours – and maybe an interesting toadstool or two? Yes to both – though the most colourful leaves are on the highly-invasive knotweed which is rapidly colonising the riverbank.

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The Fourth Bridge

We’re walking from Bedlam to cross the Severn at Ironbridge, then down the old GWR railway track to Coalport. After crossing the bridge there, we’ll follow the old LNWR railway track as far as Coalport youth hostel. Success! The café is open…
Suitably refreshed, we’ll cross the river twice more – over the footbridge towards the Boat Inn, then back through Jackfield to cross the river one more time…

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