Walk 164 - [5.26 miles] - Aymestrey

OS201 OS137 garmin

This was to be almost a repeat of Walk 10 but with a different ending.

13 of us set off from the layby near Aymestry heading north eastwards towards Yatton where we crossed the A4110 and headed up the muddy fields reaching Ballsgate Common where we did a sharp left and headed back and re-crossed the A4110; crossing the fields near Yatton Court and up through Pokehouse Wood on Yatton Hill where we stopped for a coffee break.

Heading across the fields near Yatton Court

Amazing how these trees hang on to the rocky ground

We then walked along the forestry path through School Wood and eventually took a left turn emerging into the fields below Ladyacre Plantation and descended to the lane near to Yatton and finally back to our cars. A pleasant muddy walk of about 5¼ miles, and our thanks to Margaret for getting us round - we hope Ian H-C soon gets his muscles sorted out and gets back to us - we miss him!


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Walk 163 [6.92 miles] - Bishop's Castle, Bankshead, Bishop's Moat, Upper Woodbatch and Wood House

OS201 OS137 garmin

It was a rather dull morning but it didn't put off 7 of us from setting off up the High Street in Bishop's Castle. We'd hardly gone more than a couple of hundred yards when we became aware of a 'knitting thing' going on in the town. First there was a street sign which appeared to have a knitted jacket, and then a little further up the High Street an amazing set of railings covered in what can only be described as a work of art.

A work of art outside a shop in Bishop's Castle

We left BC via Castlegreen and The Wintles (still under construction and seems to have been an ongoing building site for several years). We climbed up out of the town to Bankshead and took the permissive path north west eventually turning left and climbing past what might be described as a farm vehicle graveyard at Shepherdswhim and eventually crossing the Kerry Ridgeway and dropping down to Upper Woodbatch.

Heading up out of Bishop's Castle

Looking across towards Church Stoke from near Shepherdswhim

It was here that our leader Ruth confessed that she's had a bit of a problem finding a way through the farm. However this was quickly remedied by 2 of us who took Ruth on a journey of exploration through the farm and down to join the Shropshire Way at Wood House where we eventually stopped for lunch.

We were treated to an interesting spectacle of Di, who had forgotten her fork, eating her lunch with an improvised tool. You can't ever say that our group lacks imagination!

The ever resourceful Di pressing her compass into service

We continued along the Shropshire Way eventually arriving back at the start point having completed just shy of 7 miles. Thanks for Ruth who took as round and thanks to the lack of footbridges, didn't miss any turnings.


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Walk 162 [10.03miles] - Bucknell Hill, Stowe and Weston

OS201 OS137 garmin

A late change of plan found 8 of us (and we welcomed Robin who joined us for the first time) gathering at the lych gate hoping not to get too wet in view of the rather pessimistic forecast.

Through Bucknell Wood

We set off across the fields behind the church to Daffodil Lane and then climbed up through Bucknell Wood to the green gate where we paused for a coffee.

So far we had kept relatively dry, but the mist at the top of Bucknell Wood soon had us putting on hats and gloves. We continued along the farm track to Stowe Hill and eventually found ourselves above Ragged Kingdom where we made a wide circle and dropped down into Stowe village where we prudently stopped in the church porch for our lunch.

Beryl & Geri in the mist on Stowe Hill

Looking across to Stowe Hill & Holloway Rocks

Looking down into the Teme Valley above Stowe

The rain started to fall with a persistence that didn't bode too well for the final 4 miles of the walk. We headed off through Jutland Plantation where we kept quite dry, and as we emerged into the open above Weston the rain had stopped and the view down the Teme valley became visible.

Above Weston looking east along the Teme Valley

The birch trees making a fine showing in Bucknell Wood

We spent a few minutes at the steps in Weston to allow Mike to 'play' with the walker's counter. It was disconcerting to discover that Colin and Anne were not counted at all as they passed through the beam, whereas I was counted once and others were counted twice - so much for the technology!

We continued to the bat sanctuary and then back along the forest track to Bucknell. Just over 10 miles and with the weather improving it was hardly a surprise that when we all arrived home the sun came out!


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Walk 161 [10.95] - Brampton Bryan, Lingen and Harley's Mountain

OS201 OS137 garmin

Ten happy campers set off from the cuddly hedge at Brampton Bryan heading south along the minor road for a couple of miles (unusual for Mike) before we headed off into the undergrowth and our first stile.

Our first rather overgrown stile

We skirted round Birtley and Birtley Cross before heading across the fields where we stopped for coffee by a pond near to the Motte and Bailey at Lingen.

Looking across towards Harley's Mountain

The low sunlight catching the furrowed hillside

The Motte & Bailey at Lingen

The perfect spot for coffee

We joined the Herefordshre Trail and headed towards Harley's Mountain getting thoroughly muddy in the process as we climbed. The view from the footpath looking across to Lingen were quite delightful, and with the sun on our backs and blue sky all around it was the prefect weather for the walk.

Then we arrived at the summit and the north wind hit us. It was really quite chilly, and when we stopped for lunch a little while later, just about all of us were diving into our rucksacks for our hats and gloves. Meanwhile, Sue changed her wet socks!

Looking back towards Lingen


Lingen valley from Harley's Mountain
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A Chinook pilot entertained us with his low flying

The view from a chilly lunch stop

We continued our descent and turned right onto a minor road which took us past Hick"s Farm where we joined the track from 4 weeks previously as we started the gentle climb up through Pedwardine Wood and thence down through Brampton Bryan Park to our cars.

Tree felling on the Harley Estate

Coming down in to Brampton Bryan Park

Looking across towards Leintwardine from Brampton Bryan Park

Just a little under 11 miles (or as Mike termed it: 'a long 6'). Many thanks Mike for not getting us lost.


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