Staying dry

It could be tricky… There’s a short sharp shower just as we’re getting into the car, but we could be lucky after it’s passed… With bright sunshine (at first) and puffy white clouds, it’s a technicolour day, perfect for this wander around quiet lanes near Kenley and Harnage Grange. The most extensive view, to the border hills, sadly is hidden by a tall hedge – but the camera, held high, can see over it… Lastly, there’s cake to be had, to round off an enjoyable afternoon (and we were lucky – stayed dry!)

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The lane and the dingle

How different the world outdoors is, compared with a couple of months ago! Spring greenery is taking over; spring flowers are everywhere in profusion. We’re enjoying a morning walk down Caughley Road, along the old railway track and back up Corbett’s Dingle, where the wild garlic now forms a deep green shag pile carpet.

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Another evening

Once again, there are showers about during the day, so we’ve decided to take a stroll in the evening, down the other Shirlett lane to Hawthorn Bank and back. There are some wonderful views to the south Shropshire hills, blue (as they’ll be remembered) on the horizon. There are still some showers about, too – like yesterday evening, not everyone will be enjoying the sunshine…

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Ironbridge: roads less travelled

We’re across the river today for a wander around Ironbridge and Coalbrookdale. The former can be busy, and there are major road works along the Wharfage – we’ll avoid them both by following just some of the minor roads, lanes, ginnels and snickets in this fascinating area.
Near the top of Church Hill, we find ourselves at the place where we stood in December 2019 to watch the power station cooling towers being demolished – see Bang! and the ‘before and after’ photos below.
Remarkably, in a walk a little under 5 miles, we’ve done nearly 1,000ft of ascent. Truly, a walk in the Shropshire hills!

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Barrow and Willey – a Shirlett circular

We’ve walked this route several times – today we’ll vary it slightly at the start, taking the direct(ish) path to Barrow from Shirlett Farm. There’s a dark smudge of smoke on the horizon – later we find that a Telford recycling depot has gone up in flames. No smoke here – the air seems especially fresh today, and Shropshire is turning noticeably green. It’ll soon be summer!

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Caer Caradoc

A Shropshire hill with a Welsh name, on St George’s day. England’s patron saint was born in Turkey to Greek parents, a former Roman soldier who never came to Britain (and certainly never slew any dragons!) It’s a popular outing – several others around (we can hear them!) but we can enjoy an al fresco lunch just below the summit and watch the trains go by, 300m below. Above us are red kites, but they’re camera shy today. Perhaps I can get a shot of one of these big noisy dragonflies…

We leave Caractacus’s fort and head back towards Cardington via the Battle Stones and Hill End – an altogether quieter conclusion to another great day out.

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Benthall: it’s almost bluebell time

After yesterday’s unbroken blue, today the skies are cloudier – white fluffy cumulus, big enough eventually for (happily, on our short journey home) a few spots of rain. Let’s park at Benthall Hall, and check out the bluebell woods. It’s a bit early for them, but there should be a few in flower.
Moving on from the bluebells, we stop for a moment to watch something scurrying in the undergrowth – some rustling, some twitching vegetation and two or three very brief glimpses of a small furry body. A mouse? A vole? Hard to say – it’s not keen on being studied. We continue via Workhouse Coppice to Benthall Edge, which we follow as far as Wyke, returning to the hall by the quiet lane and the fields.

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