Walk 138 [7.2 miles] - Mortimer Forest Not 8, not 9 but 10 pools walk!

OS201 OS137 garmin

10 of us arrived at a rather damp High Vinalls car park to find 9 pools in Mortimer Forest.

So off we went - in the rain - down Mary Knoll valley to Tad Pool and then Kingfisher Pool (no Kingfisher!).

Fence pool quickly followed then School Pool and along the road to Black Pool.

As we started the climb back up into Mortimer Forest the drizzle became more persistent and by the time we arrived at Dry Pool for our coffee break it was raining steadily. By this time Mike was totally confused as to how many pools we'd viewed.

A damp walking group taking coffee at Dry Pool
photo courtesy Ian H-C

Coffee over we climbed to Buzzard Pool bravely fighting off the Hay-Campbells wanting to call it Green Pool.

Eventually we reached the top of the walk where I mistakenly took the wrong path trying to find another pool to add to our overall total. My effort seemed to have failed and yet somehow we were on the right track all the time and suddenly came across yet another unknown pool - Bonus Pool.

Deep Pool

We followed the forest track to the new pool and then had a bit of a debate before we came to the conclusion it ought to be Deep Pool. And so on to Peeler Pond - our last and 10th pool of the day.

A quick walk through the forest and back to the car took our total distance to 7.2 miles, in the wet. 10 pools and 10 walkers! Great company and on a sunny day it would have been even better.


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Walk 137A (#42) [10.7 miles] - Carding Mill Valley, Little Stretton, Pole Bank & All Stretton

OS217 OS137 garmin

This was to be a re-walk of walk 132 which got somewhat rained off halfway through. As before, we parked in Carding Mill Valley and climbed up onto the southen side of the valley and made our way to Little Stretton where once again we made the long ascent to the summit where we stopped for a coffee.

Ready to go - Carding Mill Valley

Carding Mill Valley

Interesting fungus on this stump

Cobwebs on the grass

The weather at this stage apeared to be improving, with the fog/mist rising above us. Sadly, we counted our chickens too early as the weather stayed overcast for most of the day with the sun making the occasional brave attempt at coming out.

Pole Bank

The Lawley from the Long Mynd

We turned north along the Shropshire Way passing numerous other walkers going in the other direction until eventually we headed east and started a long descent - stopping for lunch on Crosse Dyke (thought to date from the Bronze Age and marked a boundary) for lunch.

Mike looks down on Jonathan's Hollow

Looking back up Jonathan's Hollow

The final climb up from All Stretton to the golf course

We then took the descent in Jonathan's Hollow - diverting in an attempt to cut a corner (and failing) and eventually wandering across the golf course to return to Carding Mill Valley. 10.7 miles including diversion and thanks to Mike for giving this one another go.


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Walk 137 [6.2 miles] - Burfa, Evenjobb, Offa's Dyke & Discoed

OS201 OS137 garmin

Today turned out to be a "Anne and Colin day". There was a time when poor Anne and Colin managed to be our leaders on days when it was dank, wet and raining. Today was one of those days but it didn't put 7 of us off from the prospect of a walk along Offa's Dyke.

We parked at the Burfa Forestry Commission car park and set off in the "mizzle' and soon climbed up onto the Dyke. At times it was quite slippery so we were all minding our step. Every once in a while Colin or Anne would exclaim on the views that might have been seen on a good day - sadly with about 100 metres viz the views were unseen.

We stopped for a coffee somewhere but under shelter and then continued; eventually leaving Offa's Dyke and heading to Discoed where Colin proudly showed us the wall he had a hand in renovating recently.

Don't mention the wall!!

Discoed church

We walked through the churchyard and then followed a road which seemed to climb for ever but eventually started to go downhill where Colin advised that it was now 'downhill all the way" - right!

We rejoined the Dyke and immediately stopped for a lunch break under the shelter of some trees after which we returned via our outbound track to the cars. Many thanks to Anne and Colin for taking on this 6.2 mile walk.


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Walk 136A (#41) [7 miles] - Mortimer Forest 8 pools walk

OS201 OS137 garmin

A year ago we did the Mortimer Forest 7 pools walk which was rather unsuccessful thanks to the dry weather.

I thought it would be quite a good idea to revisit that walk and see if this year's weather had made any changes to the landscape.

We parked in High Vinalls car park and Geri and I set off for the 1st pool. As we went along today we had to name the pools as apart from two of them, they are all anonymous. So our 1st pool is called Tad Pool - so called because last year every time we went to this pool is was heaving with tadpoles - though not today! (1 down).

Tad Pool

We followed our track until we came to a pool that we hadn't seen last year. As we checked this one out we were delighted to catch a brief glance of a Kingfisher on the far side of the pool, and so we named this one Kingfisher Pool (2 down).

Kingfisher Pool

Our next 2 pools were less easy to find but the first was adjacent to the high fence alongside the path which we named Fence Pool (3 down).

Fence Pool (through the fence of course)

And so on to the road to Richards Castle where our next pool, almost opposite the entrance to Moor Park School, we called School Pool (4 down).

A barely visibly School Pool

Old mile post on the Richards Castle road

We then followed the road for a while, passing the entrance to the Mortimer Forest Black Pool Car Park and arrived at our next pool - Black Pool - looking much better than on previous visits (5 down).

Black Pool

We left the road and headed back into Mortimer Forest and looking forward to our coffee break. We eventually reach what was last year, a dried out scrape. This year Dry Pool was full of water and small fish. We sat on the convenient bench and enjoyed the view (6 down).

Dry Pool

We carried on, now climbing in the direction of High Vinalls and came across another pool that failed us last year. We were treated to the sight of a buzzard that launched itself from the trees above our head and so we named this one Buzzard Pool (7 down).

Buzzard Pool

It was now time to find the path back to our car, and we made the long descent to Peeler Pond and finally back to the car (8 down).

Peeler Pond

It was well worth re-visiting this walk - maybe we'll take the Group round soon. Thanks as always to Geri for her company.


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