Balmacquien – stacks and caves

Tuesday: Port Gobhlaig. We’ve walked many times from here, following the shoreline northwards to Rubha na h-Aiseig. Today we’re starting from the same parking place, around the other side of the bay and up onto the cliffs, above a wonderful selection of stacks and the odd cave or two, to end at the old RAF radar station high above Bagh nan Gunnaichean. Returning, we follow the main (single track) road as far as the Balmacquien lane, which takes us back to that little white house out on the point, from where we retrace our steps to the start. What a spectacular stretch of coastline!

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Jam tomorrow

…or perhaps in a week or two. Wednesday 11 September – a walk near Much Wenlock, armed with bags for the blackberries we hope to find on our way. It’s a breezy big-sky day, good to be out, and there’s no shortage of fruit, even if we have to brave the scratches and the nettle-stings. The jam will be worth it, perhaps not just yet – the berries (just under 4lb) are in the freezer, waiting for a couple of days when we’ve time for boiling, sieving and boiling again. It needs to be soon though – we’ve just finished the last jar from 2018.


Early Autumn on Brown Clee

The Met Office’s autumn starts on 1 September – summer’s over! It certainly feels like it today – there’s warm sunshine in-between the clouds, and the lightest of breezes, which is just as well, as the air’s cold. Perfect walking weather, of course, and once we’ve left behind the dog-walkers, there’s hardly anyone else up here. The views to the east are extensive, but unexciting,  as we ascend gently. The views to the west, once we’re on the summit ridge, are also extensive – and much more interesting. Line after line of hills stretching out to the limit of visibility, perhaps 40-50 miles – yes, it could be clearer, but we’re not complaining…

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Woodland creatures

It’s too warm for anything energetic, and it will be wise to keep out of the sunshine. A walk from Benthall Hall could be just the thing – we can find shady ways to the dense woodland of Benthall Edge. Who knows what there might be lurking in the shadows? Oh look, there’s a little old man of the woods!  Someone has made this tiny chap, and left him on a tree stump to enjoy the passing scene. A little further along the path, another tiny local resident scurries across the path, freezing in the leafy undergrowth for long enough to have a camera pointed at him. There must be thousands of little rodents in these woods, but how rarely we see them.

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Friday 26 July: We’ve travelled on the steam railway as far as Castletown, for a day’s exploration (and lunch, of course). Firstly, Castle Rushen – what a great place to explore! It’s not a ruin – it’s intact. When a castle was no longer needed locally, it was used as a jail, and now it’s preserved by Manx Heritage.

After the castle, we need to scuttle back to the station to record passing trains, before heading back into town, to find the aforementioned refreshments, and then walking out along the shore to Scarlett Point. Wonderful great slabs of rocks – tilted and folded, and eroded by the sea.

Castle Rushen (Manx Heritage)

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The Honeypot and Willey

A delightful name – it’s no more than a few houses and a farm, a mile or so out of Broseley. By comparison, the hamlet of Willey is a positive metropolis – it’s even got a village hall. Other than a couple of cars on the two short stretches of road, I’ve got this quiet corner of Shropshire to myself this afternoon.

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