In Mortimer Forest

We’re walking from Ludlow into the hilly forest to the south-west, a route which takes us into Herefordshire, via the delightfully-named Sunnydingle Cottage to a summit at High Vinnals. 375m (1230 feet) is no great height, but the view is tremendous. That is, it would be, if it wasn’t for the showers of light rain here and there (no, the weather isn’t being as friendly as we’d expected). We return past Mary Knoll House, slithering downwards on the slippery clay, back to very welcome tea and cake, just right for the journey home.

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Into the woods

A short walk from Ludlow. We’ve parked facing the well-known view of the town, with the castle and church prominent against the backdrop of Titterstone Clee. A cloud is casting deep shade over the castle, though the rest of the town is floodlit. Perhaps on our return?

Our walk takes us a short way along the old A49, then up to the woodland past Hucksbarn and Starvecrow. There are some fine views on this clear afternoon – until we enter the woods, by which time the cloud has thickened and the sunshine gone. There are thick plantations of conifers at first, but as we descend towards Ludlow the woodland becomes more varied and interesting.

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Mary Knoll – 40 years later

We’ve walked many times in the woodlands to the south-west of Ludlow – this walk was probably our first. Today we retraced our steps, visiting Mary Knoll Valley for the first time in 40 years. The valley, with its pleasant but well-hidden little stream, cuts deeply through the land. Near its head, there’s a herd of deer, and beyond Mary Knoll itself, there are woodpeckers hammering away in the trees. Earlier, as we drove towards Ludlow, we’d passed a pair of red kites, wheeling in the warming air. Oddly, this walk seemed shorter than it was in 1976, though the trees have grown, and Ludford weir has been tidied up. How will it all look in 2056? (Will we care?)

Photo note: it was a dull, slightly murky day in 1976, so I used a roll of FP4 (monochrome) film – which I reversal-processed for black-and-white slides. I was rather pleased with the results, though I never tried it again…


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