Wall to wall

That’s what the forecast said about the sunshine – we had to go… Stiperstones in April – warm sunshine, cool air and a pleasant breeze, perfect conditions for a walk on this rocky ridge. We started at the Bog car park – so that we could end at the Bog Centre (tea and cakes again). If we walked to Snailbeach, along the hill-edge paths, we could come back up through the Hollies and follow the ridge. The now-obligatory red kite wheeled over the far hillside, and a little later, a rarer bird, so to speak: a red grouse stalked carefully along just yards from the path. We’ll sometimes hear them up here, gurgling comically and telling us to go back, but this one remained silent. Minutes earlier, we’d noted how quiet it was. He must have heard us…

The Bog Visitor Centre

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=337095&Y=299856&A=Y&Z=120

Autumn on the Stiperstones

It didn’t feel too autumnal – warm sunshine from a mostly-clear blue sky. The air was fairly cool, but with little wind, it was a great afternoon for these hills. I would say “lonely hills”, but they weren’t lonely today. There were two coaches in the Bog car park. There were quite a few people about on the main Stiperstones ridge, past the Devil’s Chair, but far fewer on the lower lane, and the southern ridge by Nipstone and The Rock. In the woods there are toadstools galore! – including a huge colony (at least 50 specimens) of “Flying Eric” (the psychoactive mushroom more commonly, but perhaps not more appropriately, known as fly agaric – which they were until my then-young nephew misheard or misremembered…).

Sadly, the Bog Centre was packed – the coaches were still there – no tea and cake after this walk.

(We’ve done this walk before – last time we did it anticlockwise, as shown on the map. Today we walked clockwise, for the views to the south-west from the ridge)


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Stiperstones – foxgloves, bilberries and kites

July on the Stiperstones: we were up here around this time last year, and nearly melted. Today the sky was blue, with some white fluffy cloud – and it was pleasantly cool, a great afternoon for a walk. The bilberries need a little longer, though they’re ripening nicely. The foxgloves – great clumps of them in places – are in their prime. A red kite crossed the sky, high up, with never a flap – and returned a few minutes later, performing one large circle and then away. Too far away for the camera, but good to see.


View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=336400&Y=297876&A=Y&Z=120

A Stiperstones Stroll

There’s quite a breeze, and the clouds never quite clear  – a few rays of sunshine would improve the outing photographically, but otherwise, it’s a good day to be out on the Stiperstones. It’s a Sunday afternoon, so there are quite a few other people about, but there’s plenty of space up here. And though the clocks may have gone back, the Bog Centre is open (for a few more days only, before the winter shutdown) for tea and cake. What more could one ask?

The Bog Centre

Mucklewick in May

Sounds charming, doesn’t it? We started out from The Bog… It was warm, clear, sunny – beautiful! Gone are the pastel shades of the winter months – it’s all in technicolor today.

We leave the Bog car park by the new path beside the road, heading north-east on a walk that would be south-west of our starting point. There’s method in our madness – we’re avoiding a short stretch of path that can be seriously muddy. Later, as we descend from the ridge, a fairly comfortable rock beneath The Rock provides us with table and chairs (I exaggerate) for lunch – a near-perfect spot, away from the wind (a light breeze, very welcome later in the afternoon) and the gunfire. It’s not the quietest part of the county…

Quiet tracks (on the opposite side of the ridge to the shooting range) and a very minor road take us down to the West Onny valley, then via Nind back up onto the hills. Mucklewick Hill is another pleasant spot (enjoying that breeze now) for the last of the day’s provisions before, after a short descent, the long gentle rise to tea and cakes at the Bog Centre (highly recommended!).

The Bog Visitor Centre