Harley and Homer

Nothing to do with motorcycles or poets… Between the two, we’ll pass through the farm hamlet of Wigwig – where did that name come from? It’s a short walk (just over 4 miles) in mostly quiet* country below the Wenlock Edge, and very pleasant it is too!
* except the very last short stretch approaching the busy main road

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To Sheinton, Harley, Wigwig and Homer

A walk from the centre of Much Wenlock, down into the quiet countryside and curiously-named hamlets below the Edge. There are wild deer roaming the fields near Belswardine, and outside Harley church, there’s a comfortable wooden bench, warmed by the sunshine – a perfect place for lunch! The part-time ford at Wigwig is in water today, and the field above Homer is a bit slippery, but we’re soon past the worst as we enter the woods for the remaining stroll back to Wenlock. It’s been a perfect early spring day.

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Mid-May in Bannister’s Coppice

We’re following what has become a favourite route – from Much Wenlock, down through Homer to Bannister’s Coppice, and back along the old waggonway route. There may be some deer about, and perhaps some early purple orchids? Down beside the brook, there was a group of perhaps a dozen deer, well-camouflaged amongst the trees, and only visible when they moved (away, of course). There were a few more in the field when we left the coppice – they didn’t hang around either.

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Belswardyne blackberries

A walk from Sheinton to Harley and back – out by Homer and Wigwig, back past Belswardyne. The blackberries weren’t the object of the exercise, but when we saw them beside the hedge (well away from the roads) – big, juicy and ripe – we had to stop and pick a few (still had the bags with us from Tuesday’s abortive sortie). They seem to be ready early this year – as will be the bramble jelly!

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Bannister’s Coppice and the waggonway

When we walked in Bannister’s Coppice in late October, there were deer everywhere (see “Oh deer“). Will there be any today? More accurately, will we see any today? Yes, if we’re quiet and careful, though they’re shy at present – there’s a mother with a very young-looking fawn, which sneaks through the bracken and across our path, while we stand still and silent. We return by the track up from Seven Springs Farm, which I’ve realised is the route taken by a pre-railway age (1824) waggonway, from Gleedon Hill quarry to the Severn. Once again, there’s no-one else around.

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Back to Homer, and Wigwig, and Harley

We walked this route earlier in the year – anticlockwise. Today we’ll walk it clockwise – the views will be different… The path through the deciduous woodland of Bannister’s Coppice is a most pleasant, descending to the former mill, whose race can still be traced beside the path. Alongside the lane from Homer to Harley there are distracting blackberries (and the odd damson). Returning past Belswardyne Hall the views are extensive on this fine last afternoon of September.


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