The view from Haughmond Hill

…is tremendous – a wide panorama taking in the Wrekin and Wenlock Edge, the Clee and Stretton hills, the Stiperstones and Breidden, the Berwyns and, in the far distance, mid-Wales peaks. Is that Cader Idris on the horizon? It’s far too good for a hill that needs no climbing – it must be very gently uphill from the car park, but we’re not going to have to stop to get our breath back…

There’s a little snack bar back at the car park, which closes about 5 minutes before we arrive back at the car. Next time perhaps?

Haughmond Hill (Forestry Commission)

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To Ironbridge

We’re walking down to Ironbridge this afternoon, past some of the sculptures which once stood at the power station (now closed). If we follow the paths through Workhouse Coppice we can then descend through the woods to the bridge. The busy Wharfage takes us to the antiques centre (one of us is looking for a gift – the purpose of this little outing), then we’ll head back to Broseley up the steep Bridge Road. We’ll have to shelter from the rain first – there are one or two showers about…

Shropshire was once noted for its damsons – they seem to grow everywhere. One of the saddest sights is the windfalls rotting in the gutters. Few people seem to want them today – what a shame!

Wenlock to Benthall…

…and home for tea. It was a last-minute decision – let’s go to Wenlock on the bus (the no. 18 double-decker – top deck, front seats) and walk back – via Benthall Hall for refreshments, of course. It’s not the most encouraging weather photographically – there’s some sunshine, but also some grey skies and a shower or two (which we weren’t expecting). It’s a pleasant outing anyway, calm before the storm perhaps (Aileen is coming tonight, apparently)

Benthall Hall NT

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Beside the Severn to Hampton Loade

An easy stroll this afternoon – Hampton Loade and back – out by the riverside path, back past Chelmarsh reservoir. It’s a fine, sunny and warm afternoon, with puffy little cumulus clouds putting some detail in the sky. We can sit at Hampton Loade station, where we can watch the trains go by and perhaps have an ice cream. Perhaps not – the shop’s shut, but the trains are running and there’s (a very small amount of) chocolate in the camera bag. That’s what they’re for, isn’t it?

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Murky Mynd

It didn’t actually rain, but the air did seem rather wet at times. The morning’s drizzle didn’t clear quite as soon as we’d hoped, and there was little point in using the toposcope on Pole Bank, even if we could see at least 10 yards in all directions. Minutes later, the air began to feel much drier. Did we feel a touch of warmth too? The tea and cakes / ice cream, back at the Cardingmill, were of course excellent, though our indulgence was punished by a last defiant little shower as we walked back to the car…

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Belswardyne blackberries

A walk from Sheinton to Harley and back – out by Homer and Wigwig, back past Belswardyne. The blackberries weren’t the object of the exercise, but when we saw them beside the hedge (well away from the roads) – big, juicy and ripe – we had to stop and pick a few (still had the bags with us from Tuesday’s abortive sortie). They seem to be ready early this year – as will be the bramble jelly!

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A short wander at the northern end of the Wenlock Edge, on a grey but warm and humid afternoon. The blackberries are ripening nicely at present – perhaps we’ll pick a few. That hedge near the end of the walk was well-covered last September… Yes, and it probably will be this September – today there are banks of very unripe berries. Earlier on the walk, we’d passed by some nicely ripe ones (checked, of course, by sampling), but we’d have to carry them with us, so we’ll keep going… It was inevitable, wasn’t it?

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