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.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=340845&Y=290136&A=Y&Z=120

Priors Holt to Black Knoll

The day changed: it was bright and sunny when we left Priors Holt (or “Witchend” to Malcolm Saville “Lone Pine” afficionadoes), but the forecast was right. It was windy too – we’d planned a different route from Black Knoll, but the wind was strong and bitter on the exposed south-eastern flank of the Mynd – much more so than on the ridge path – so we retraced our steps to the forest. A red kite wheeling nearby was never close enough for the camera, and the three deer in the woods, just yards away, were gone in seconds. No photos of them either…

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=340535&Y=289336&A=Y&Z=120