Shirlett: a Christmas leg-stretch

25 December: a day when we get out, weather permitting, for a walk and a breath of fresh air. On this Christmas Day, there’s no shortage of the latter – quite a stiff breeze, though the route we’re following will be sheltered. It’s certainly not cold – 13C according to the Met Office. It’ll soon be dark though – better get back to the car, and head for home and Christmas tea (featuring, among other things, a rather fine locally hand-built pork pie). Merry Christmas everyone!

We were here (Streetmap):


Around the estate: Barrow, Willey and Shirlett

They sound like a firm of solicitors, don’t they? Wednesday afternoon: we’re walking around the Willey estate. Sadly, there are few public footpaths through this pleasant patch, and a significant part of the route is on roads – very quiet ones, apart from the B-road from Barrow. There’s a fine crop of blackberries along the field edges, though of course the devil’s in them now. The clouds begin to thicken as we make our way through Willey, and though we weren’t expecting rain, we have to shelter for a while (still plenty of leaves on the trees). It soon clears, and we head on up through the forest to Shirlett, where one or two more extensive views open up.

View OS map on Streetmap

Following a new path

Rights of way are not, it would appear, set in concrete (far from it – it was distinctly wet underfoot today) – this one has only recently appeared on the Ordnance Survey map. On the ground, the signs describe it as a “Restricted Byway”. It’s fairly obvious that the route has existed for a long time – through the woodlands, and the wonderful green road as we descend.  It makes possible a very pleasant circular walk, between Shirlett and Muckley Cross (I’ve added a lead-in to the circle in order to park the car somewhere sensible). It’s fine, dry, bright but cold afternoon, and there are one or two early signs of spring – the trees are full of twittering birds (blue tits, great tits – teacher, teacher, teacher – and robins galore). There are one or two daffodils out, and in places the hawthorn is greening rapidly – much too soon, I suspect. Is there a chance of snow later in the week?

View OS map on Streetmap (not yet shown on 1:50,000 map)

Shirlett in December

Done this one several times, usually in winter. Today the wind is rising, though there are some well-sheltered spots along the way on this mild afternoon, and apart from the wind, it’s quiet – no-one else around, apart from an angler or two at the pools.

The map is borrowed from an earlier visit – today I’m going anti-clockwise.

View OS map on Streetmap

Barrow, Willey and Shirlett

It’s dry and bright, a good afternoon for exploring. It would have been sunnier too, if we’d not been tied up earlier in the day. There are three stretches of road walking en route – the first, the Wenlock to Broseley road, is fairly busy, but there’s ample verge to hop onto when needs must, and it’s downhill… The other roads are very quiet, and quieter still, respectively. And away from the lanes, there’s just the birds, twittering and rustling in the undergrowth. It may be half-term, but there’s no-one else about.

MapView OS map on Streetmap