Lunch at the Packetstone

Tuesday 29 September: another day that’s too good to waste! We’re ready early, so we’ll take a mini-picnic and find somewhere suitable to eat it. Perhaps Pole Bank? Perhaps not – it’s crowded! (That’s a relative term. There were perhaps 20 other people, plus bikes, dogs etc) We’ll keep going! Our original intention was to walk to the Packetstone, out on the ridge between Callow Hollow and Minton Batch, and it was there that we found dry, if not especially comfortable rocks to sit on. A picnic place with a wonderful view!

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Somewhere in Mynd?

Arranging a day’s walking: “where shall we go?” “I’ve got somewhere in mind…” Yes, a day on the Long Mynd. Haven’t been up there for ages.

Carding Mill Valley is horribly busy, but five minutes later we’ve left it all behind, and we’re enjoying a mostly-quiet and easy, if somewhat indirect ascent to the ridge. Predictably, from the top of Mott’s Road to the highest point at Pole Bank, there are others about (but only a very small proportion of those in the valley make it this far). Leaving Pole bank is to leave the crowds (I exaggerate. There were three others there), and our descent, by the Yearlet / Ashlet ridge, is comfortably quiet. A very enjoyable outing (but we won’t be hurrying back to Carding Mill Valley just yet…)

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Bears and the Mynd

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…

That may be true, for the unsuspecting, but I must admit that I’d hoped we might find them… They’re in the trees beside the Long Mynd Hotel, and rather fine they are too. We’re taking a walk on the Mynd, from a different starting point – the little car park at the top of Cunnery Road, and making a small ursine detour before tackling the steep path up the Ashlet hillside. We’ll walk towards the Boiling Well, before cutting across to the top of the Light Spout valley, to return to the start past the waterfall, down the Carding Mill valley and through Rectory Woods. A very pleasant outing, perfect for this cold (is this really June?), windy but dry afternoon.

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Up the Ashes!

…to Pole Bank. Thursday 28 March – the sky is cloudless, we need an outing to enjoy this weather. Haven’t been to the Long Mynd for a little while, so we’ll go for the old favourite – up the Ashes Hollow, to its stream’s source in the Boiling Well (which is neither), on to the highest point of the Mynd at Pole Bank, then back along the ridge which eventually brings us back to Little Stretton by Small Batch (which is aptly named, a batch being a valley). Despite the weather, we have the hills almost to ourselves – I think we saw more wild ponies than people.

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Quiet days

They’re welcome, after Christmas and New Year – it feels like we’re getting back to normal (whatever that may be). It’s very quiet up here, at the southern end of the Long Mynd. We’ve only seen two other people (but lots of sheep), and the weather is quiet too – not a breath of wind (nor any sunshine, contrary to the forecast). It’s also very cold, nevertheless it’s good to be out on these hills – an enjoyable start to the year.

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Just a breeze…

It’s too warm for energetic activities, but we need some fresh air and a leg stretch. Woodland might be cool, but the tops could be breezy. How about the Long Mynd? We can park at the northern end of the plateau, near Robin Hood’s Butts, and walk to Pole Bank and back. It’s not a long walk, but it’s sufficient, and yes, there’s a pleasant breeze for much of the way. Hang on to that hat!

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A cold day in Callow Hollow

Monday 12 Feb: The wind felt stronger (and colder) and there was more cloud than the forecast had suggested, but it was still a good day (sandwiched between some pretty awful days) for an outing. We thought there might have been some shelter in Callow Hollow – and there was, beside the little Oakleymill waterfall, sufficient for a lunch break. The flurry of snowflakes waited until we were moving again – then, as we reached the summit plateau, the sky cleared, and suddenly the world was colourful once more. Given good weather, the top of the Mynd is a great place to be.

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A Witchend Walk

The Ordnance Survey – and almost everyone else, I suspect – calls it Priors Holt. It’s barely a hamlet, just a couple of houses nestled at the foot of Nut Batch, one of the lesser valleys on the eastern side of the Long Mynd. However, Malcolm Saville seems to have had the place in mind when he wrote his “Witchend” children’s series, so that’s how we’ll think of it. Whatever the name, it’s a quiet spot, despite its popularity with muddy cyclists (we must have seen at least six of them), and the gentle slopes of the forestry roads (ideal for the bikers) make for an easy walk to the Mynd’s summit plateau. The trees are also good shelter from the wind… The forecast said “dry, bright and windy” – it was accurate, though we arrived a little early for its first two elements. By the time we were on the Port Way, walking south along the western edge of the Mynd, the “dry and bright” had arrived, providing us with some dramatic lighting for the extensive views of the border hill country.

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A stroll on the Mynd

It’s not all “stroll” – there’s a steep pull up Mott’s Road to the Long Mynd plateau, and our legs haven’t had enough exercise during the past few weeks. But once we’re up, it’s a very pleasant amble. The sunshine is bright, the sky is (mostly) blue, the breeze is light – no need to hurry. It’s one of those afternoons whose only downside is the need to come down…

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