Winter sun on Hope Bowdler

Not as much as we’d hoped for. We were anticipating snow too – there was a light cover at home, but hardly any here. Road closures delayed us, and by the time we’d reached the top of Hope Bowdler Hill, a bank of cloud from the west was stealing the sunshine. It’s good up here, especially when the sun is out, but now it’s gone – so has the light, and the wind’s cold. Let’s omit the Battlestones (just this once!) – we’ll cut our losses and head for home.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=347617&Y=293618&A=Y&Z=120

To Willstone Hill

(Monday 29 October) That’s where the Battle Stones are – a perfect objective for a short walk on the hills, on a bright but bitterly cold afternoon. It’s a regular route for us, though we’re having to use a different departure point – this is half-term week, and there’s no space below the Gaer Stone. So we’re starting from Hope Bowdler village, walking a short way along the road, past the end of the inviting-looking footpath to the church, tucked away behind the houses. We’d better accept the invitation.

Curiosity assuaged (what an interesting spot!) we’re off up the lane onto the hill. It’s a more-or-less circular walk, with an out-and-back to the Battle Stones. Once we’re away from the road, it’s quiet – almost totally silent in places. And the views – wonderful! It’s not especially clear, but the light (unlike the air!) is warm, and there are autumnal shades everywhere in the landscape. It’s a shame to have to return to the car, but the light is fading – it’ll be dark soon.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=348105&Y=293496&A=Y&Z=120

Foggy day

At home, we’re just on the edge of it; along the Wenlock Edge, we’re well above it. It’s pretty thick down in Apedale, but we can see the Hope Bowdler hills poking out through the fog. We’ll keep going! The forecast says the clear blue above the fog will be replaced by cloud later in the day, so we’ll set off in the morning (after scraping a very hard frost from the car) and find somewhere on the hill to eat our sandwiches (the Battlestones). As we head slowly back towards the car, the day is changing. We’ve had the best of it!

 

map

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=347860&Y=293626&A=Y&Z=120

Grandstand

The Hope Bowdler hills are not the highest  in Shropshire, but later in the afternoon, at this time of year, they provide one of the most spectacular viewpoints for the border country. Beyond the numerous ridges, picked out in the golden light, our south-western horizon is filled by the broad table of Radnor Forest. We have to feel sorry for all the others – those who weren’t up there. We only saw three people, and one of them, a runner, didn’t really seem to be paying much attention (What is this life if, full of care…). There are one or two showers about; happily, they pass us by. It’s not all good – there’s a biting breeze, and the temperature is dropping quickly as the sun nears the horizon. We’re almost glad to get back to the car.

opentopomap

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=347585&Y=293626&A=Y&Z=120

The mist came down

Blue sky by lunchtime, with lots of nice wispy cirrus – an ideal afternoon for the hills? We drove out to Hope Bowdler, but the clouds regrouped (despite the forecast) and, by the time we arrived at the Battlestones, the mist was coming down. No return along the ridge today – we’ll take the lower path and keep the views.

opentopomap.jpgView OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=347905&Y=293531&A=Y&Z=120