To Ratlinghope

Friday 25 November: Just over ten miles – an easy and pleasant day’s walk. Starting from Carding Mill Valley, we head for the Batch Valley, up to Jinlye, past Jonathan’s Rock and over to Betchcott Hill. Here, the weather forecast catches us out. Despite ‘sunny day’ symbols, and ‘<5%’ chance of rain, the clouds gather and an unexpectedly-heavy shower sweeps across. It’s enough to cause my companion to struggle into his waterproof overtrousers; inevitably by the time we’re moving again the rain is nearly past. We follow the path down Golden Valley (it wasn’t!) to the pleasant (if rather damp underfoot) path above Darnford Brook.

There’s nowhere dry to sit down for lunch – or is there? These knobbly (and very uncomfortable!) tree roots near Ratlinghope will do. Soon we’re heading uphill again, at first on the beech-lined road, then over Wild Moor to the Long Mynd ridge. That little froggy pool is full again! Lastly, down Mott’s Road (can we cross the brook without getting wet feet? Yes! We’ve made it!) to return to the Carding Mill Valley – where the cafe has just closed…

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Déjà Vu

A morning walk, around and in Much Wenlock. It’s a fine start to the day, but there’s showery rain coming this afternoon, so we’re walking in the morning. At first a clear blue sky, then (just like yesterday) high cloud is spreading from the west, and the sunshine’s gone. An hour later, when we’re home and eating our lunch, the rain is pouring down…

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Skyscapes from The Lye

A sunny afternoon? Well, it was sunny for the first half-hour or so, but by the time we’d made our way up the steep lane to Meadowley, a veil of high cloud was beginning to hide the sun. No bright directional light now, though much of the sky remained blue with lots of lovely wispy cloud. No, not a sunny afternoon but a very pleasant one in this quiet countryside.

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Rowe Lane and Holdgate

A bright autumn afternoon, on the very quiet lanes in this attractive part of the county. It’s warm in the infrequent sunshine, but the air’s cold so we’ll keep moving. There’s plenty to see – a couple of red kites, two herons (one doing aerobatics!), an escaped heifer making off down the road at Holdgate (did it really enter the field behind the church, closing the gate behind it?), the usual uninterested sheep and a smattering of assorted mushrooms and toadstools. And cakes from Tigger’s Ickle Shop too! What more could one want?

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