Church Stretton to Craven Arms

We’d thought of doing this by using the train, leaving the car at Craven Arms – then realised we could make the same journey free of charge using our bus passes… An interesting trip too – not entirely along the A49, the Minsterley Motors 435 service uses some very narrow lanes through Wistanstow and Bushmoor. Who’d be a bus driver in south-west Shropshire?

Starting out from the bus stop in Church Stretton, we aim for the top of Ragleth Hill for lunch. We’d have got there quicker if we’d spotted the waymark roundels at the foot of Poplar Drive. Later, after lunch, we find ourselves taking another little detour at Hatton Wood, where the correct path isn’t the obvious one. Soon mended. After the Apedale prairies, we’ve another short climb ahead of us, onto the Wenlock Edge beyond Wolverton. It’s a very enjoyable walk through the trees along here, before we drop down to Strefford and follow the Quinny brook, and later the Onny, back to Craven Arms. On the sound principle that these things come in threes, we take yet another wrong turning where, once again, the obvious route is the wrong one. By the time we arrive in Craven Arms, we’ve earned those ice creams. But what an enjoyable walk! Plenty of variety, and a perfect day for it.

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Norton Camp

It’s a hill fort, near Craven Arms. Today we’re walking up to Norton Camp from Stokesay Castle, where, on our return, there will be refreshments. It’s warmer than of late, which isn’t saying much. 21C feels warm this summer. Much of this walk is in woodland, but it’s mostly deciduous and quite varied, and contains some interesting things – and occasionally, there are unexpected views. The hill fort isn’t over-exciting (to a lay observer) – the earthworks appear to be substantial but they’re covered in trees and shrubs. We follow the ridge of the hill southwards, to descend by Rotting Lane, crossing the A49 (again, and it’s not easy) and the Onny, to follow tracks close by the railway line back to Stokesay.

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