Gogbatch and the pond

It’s cold on the Mynd this afternoon – the wind’s in the north-east, biting after a few spots of rain. We’re walking from Gogbatch up to the pond on the Portway, a very pleasant and easy ascent. The forecast had suggested brighter conditions, which we begin to enjoy after the first mile or so. The sun’s low in the sky now – the clocks will soon be going back – and it’s dropping noticeably as the afternoon progresses. The light is everything it wasn’t during the summer months – warm in colour and directional, picking out the detail in the landscape like a spotlight. Weather permitting – and today it did – this is a great time to be out on the hills.

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Last gasp of the Long Mynd, before it fades into the fields and pastures of the plain to the north, is Gogbatch. It’s a pleasant – and quiet – spot for a picnic, despite having a (very minor) road running its entire (very short) length. It’s a good spot to begin a walk, too, on this comfortably warm August afternoon. There’s just enough breeze to maintain the comfort as we ascend gradually past Jinlye and Jonathan’s Rock to the main plateau. Our return route skirts the golf course, before descending through deep bracken into the Batch Valley. There’s an inviting but evidently little-used path from All Stretton back towards the slopes of the Mynd. The Himalayan Balsam is invading, but brambles and more deep bracken nearly force us to retrace our steps (note to self – bring secateurs next time. And a billhook? And a flame-thrower? Perhaps not).


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