Highest in the county

We stood  above everyone else in the county at about 2.45 this afternoon, when we gazed out from Abdon Burf on Brown Clee, Shropshire’s highest point (1772 feet, or 540m). It’s a good place to be on an afternoon like this – positively springlike, it would be a crime to stay indoors. It’s quiet too – despite being school half-term week, we saw just four other people while we walked. Wonderful!

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=360130&Y=285861&A=Y&Z=120

Midwinter on Brown Clee

Carpe diem: this kind of midwinter weather is great – dry, bright, mild (with a cool breeze, it has to be said) – a day that must be seized. It’s quiet on the eastern side, as we ascend slowly towards Boyne Water; the breeze is stiffer to the west, but the views are much better and we’re well warmed-up. From time to time the sun shines strongly through gaps in the cloud – these are truly “photoflood days”. It’s too good to come down again, but the cloud’s building and the day is fading – we’d better head back.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=359760&Y=285676&A=Y&Z=120

Cool and clear on Clee Burf

It didn’t seem to be especially clear (the Met Office had said “excellent” visibility), but we could make out Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons – and, faintly, the mountains to its west – that’s about 60 miles. It’s good up here when the air is cool and clear. There are interesting things close at hand too – fungi in profusion!

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=358350&Y=284861&A=Y&Z=120

Blue Clee

The bluebells are out with a vengeance on the lower slopes. The sky’s blue (with puffy white clouds, and the distant hills are blue (remembered…). And there’s hardly anyone else out (were there a couple of matches going on today?). A cuckoo makes its presence felt, and just off the north end of the hill, there’s a pair of red kites wheeling and diving. It’s good up here – shame to have to come down again.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=360190&Y=285771&A=Y&Z=120

Brown Clee in May

…via the Burwarton estate road and Boyne Water. On a day like this, it’s against the law to stay in, apparently. Everywhere will be busy; Brown Clee might be quieter than places with ice cream vans and tea rooms? It probably was, though there were lots of cars parked where usually there might be one or two others. We didn’t see many of their occupants – perhaps ten in total. It’s quiet here – just the odd lark (ascending), hardly a breach of the peace. It’s warm too (jackets and jumpers not required – at last!), with a pleasant light breeze, and though the sky is clear the air isn’t – this is not a day for extensive views. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to be on such an afternoon.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=360215&Y=285696&A=Y&Z=120

Cold Clee

Friday 24 November: It’s cold up here today – the frost is lingering in the hollows – but the sunshine (wall-to-wall!) is warm, and a picnic lunch on the rocks near the summit of Clee Burf will be just the thing. We’ve got to get there first, and we’re trying a new route, up the edge of the access land near Stoke Enclosure. It’s a good route too – until we reach the summit plateau. We have to cross deeply tussocky grassland, and there’s no path – and the gaps between the tussocks are very wet… Lunch over, we’re not going to hang around – it’s too cold, but not too cold for a chocolate stop at the well-placed wooden seat. It’s downhill from here…

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Parasols and sombreros on Brown Clee

Not just parasols (one of which looks more like a sombrero), though their size makes them rather obvious – there are all kinds of fungi up on Brown Clee at this time of year, from the mundane to the weird and wonderful. It’s a very pleasant afternoon to be out on the hill – barely a breeze at first, with a blue sky and white fluffy clouds. Later, the sunshine becomes rather watery, but it stays dry, and the light’s just right for those monster mushrooms as we return to the car.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=358940&Y=285446&A=Y&Z=120