Walk 160 [10.8 miles] - Knighton to Bucknell via Brampton Bryan

OS201 OS137 garmin

Eight of us lined up on the pavement and caught the 9:16am bus to Knighton where we met up with Di.

All set at Knighton
photo courtesy Ian H-C

We set off up past the hospital and shortly after turned left onto Offa's Dyke path and the climb up and out of Knighton via the golf course. Not as shatteringly vicious as our last walk, and Ian was heard to be chatting most of the time (no shaky hands today).

Nearing the top of the climb out of Knighton

We emerged onto the road and later crossed the B4355 heading towards the Spaceguard Centre via Llan-wen Hill, pausing for coffee en route.

Coming down from the Spaceguard Centre

The sun made a bit of a brave attempt to come out, but we were content to walk along with the gentle breeze cooling us all the while. We then walked along the road to Hill House Farm - stopping briefly to make our number with a friendly horse much to Ruth's delight.

Sue makes her number with the horse

As we entered the farmyard our attention was taken by the rustic iron sculpture on the wall of a barn.
It was then time to negotiate the downhill gutter. Fortunately an escape into a field saved us the hassle of fighting the long nettles and thistles. We managed to get rather spread,out, mostly due to certain members 'gleaning' the copious bounty of blackberries from the hedgerow. After the long and easy descent we started to climb up through Pedwardine Wood where we stopped at a very convenient picnic table for our lunch.

A perfect lunch venue
photo courtesy Ian H-C

Ruth gives Val a push

The gentle climb through Pedwardine Wood along the Herefordshire Trail was most pleasant and eventually we dropped down through Brampton Bryan Park on the Harley Estate and crossed the A4113.

Through Pedwardine Wood

Looking across the Teme valley
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Interesting tree root formation

Some remarkable fungi seen today

Coming down into Brampton Bryan Park

A short walk by the cuddly yew hedge took us to Parson's Bridge where, after a few grumbles, we negotiated the only stile of the day, crossing afield and emerging onto Oil Mill Lane and thence into Bucknell.

Park Cottage

10.8 miles to the level crossing and a really enjoyable walk. Certainly one that would stand repetition and almost as good as the Cwm walk! Many thanks to Sue for leading us for the first time.


Walk 159 [9.3 miles] - 'The Cwm walk' - Bucknell Wood, Ragged Kingdom and Weston

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Nine of us gathered at St Mary's church lychgate for one of Diana Meanley's favourite local walks. No car journeys involved - refreshingly, it was walking from the word go. We struck off into Bucknell Wood and soon found ourselves staggering up a short but vicious incline (the photographer had difficulty in holding the camera steady under the stress of it all).

A vicious incline

Easier walking brought us out on to open land with a view of Chapel Lawn down the valley for our first stop. Although dry, there continued to be a fair bit of mist around. Scarcely were we chomping through our sandwiches when it was time to go (Di runs a tight ship!).

A much needed break

A mist enshrouded walk along the top

It was as well we followed her quickly as we encountered more mist at the top of the hill and might well have lost her. Her skilful navigation took us to Ragged Kingdom and then back along the hill for a fine view overlooking Weston for our second, more major stop.

Lunch break overlooking Weston and the Teme Valley

It was soon after that that we encountered our first 'orange' sheep. In the end we saw several. A suggestion by one of our number that it was a rare Venezuelan hill breed was dismissed with the contempt it deserved. But how they got to be so orange wasn't entirely clear.

The orange sheep
all above photos courtesy Ian H-C

Over more fields to Cwm Cottage and the bat sanctuary and so through the woods back to Bucknell. An excellent walk and we were all most grateful to Di. Just a pity that the murk didn't allow us to enjoy the views more.



Walk 158 [11 miles] - Knighton and Knucklas

OS201 OS137 garmin

9 of us met up at the lych gate - it was mizzling but the forecasters had all said "it will get better". So we drove to the Offa's Dyke Centre in Knighton and met up with the waiting Di and set off down the hill. We were pleased to have Judy Andrews join us for her first walk, and look forward to seeing more of her.

Still a bit dull but getting better
above Little Cwm-gilla

We passed through the back streets of Knighton then after crossing Penn y Bont Road we started to climb up out of the town. We skirted the southern flank of Garth Hill and at Little Cwm-gilla started a long climb on Glwyndwr's (no vowels) Way, the weather improving all the while. The higher we got the better the weather and there were stops to discard layers and admire the unfolding panoramas.

Along Gwyndwr's Way

A bit of a struggle getting over a rusty gate

Eventually we stopped by a pond in Downe's Dingle for a coffee break where we made plans for the remainder of the walk. There was a shorter option which, had the weather remained grim, seemed a favourite choice. But with the waming sun on our backs and a sort of gung-ho attitude we opted for the 2 mile extension. We turned left keeping on Glwyndwr's Way and did a zig-zag approach to the hill above Knucklas near Fountain Head.

Panorama across the Teme valley
looking east from above Knucklas
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It was as well we followed her quickly as we encountered more mist at the top of the hill and might well have lost her. Her skilful navigation took us to Ragged Kingdom and then back along the hill for a fine view overlooking Weston for our second, more major stop.

Above Cwm Jenkin
above 2 photos courtesy Ian H-C

Another coffee stop

Approaching the viaduct at Knucklas

A long descent took us to a further coffee stop in Cwm Jenkin where Sue took the opportunity to exchange her sodden socks for dry ones. We then negotiated an extraordinarily unfriendly stile and arrived at the road through Knucklas. Then at Monaughty Poeth we turned right to Skyborry Green and set about a conversation-stopping climb up on to Offa's Dyke where we stopped for a well deserved lunch (9 miles).

A spot of lunch with a view
above 2 photos courtesy Ian H-C

Glorious view across the Teme valley to Knucklas

Approaching dark clouds from the north soon had us scurrying along the Dyke to Knighton although it never did rain; a steep descent on Panpunton Hill brought us to the railway crossing and a walk alongside the Teme and back to the cars. Just about 11 miles in really great weather, and enjoyed by all.

L-R Mike Judy Sue Duncan Mary Graham Geri Ian Beryl Di



Walk 157 [6¾ miles] - Shobdon Loop (another way)

OS201 OS137 garmin

Eight of us gathered at Shobdon for the 'Ruth Shobdon Mystery Walk'.

We set off in high spirits headed (we thought) for the golf course. As time went on it became clear that Ruth was having a slight issue with the terrain and so we took the optional route which eventually saw us back on course and Ruth was happy once we'd found Downwood Farm.

Near Shobdon Court

Getting back on track near Downwood Farm

"What do you lot want?"

Just before Belgate Lawn Coppice we stopped for a coffee break then joined the Mortimer Trail and the long climb above Byton Common arriving rather warm at Shobdon Hill Wood. A long gentle descent (pausing en route to pick blackberries) to Uphampton and thence to Shobdon Arches. Our attention was drawn as we headed back to Shobdon by a very large oak tree which turned out to measure 6½ hugs - the half hug being Colin!

Shobdon Arches

Gis a hug you lot - the group oblige
a 6½ 'hugger'

Canal Pool - peaceful in the sun

A short stop to view the inside of St John the Evangelist church which, on our last visit, was just about to undergo a restoration. The interior colours are much more muted than before and provide a restful interior.

Interior or Shobdon church
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We returned to the cars having covered slightly more than advertised, and it was good to revisit this walk. Many thanks Ruth for the walk and entertainment.


Walk 156 [6.02 miles] - Luston and Eyton

OS201 OS137 garmin

11 of us set off today from Luston for a short circuit of the countryside.

Our walk took us across a number of fields passing Croase Farm, The Riddle and Fairfield to Eyton where we diverted from our route to explore the charming little church of All Saints.

One of a number of crop fields we crossed
photo courtesy Ian H-C

Eyton church of All Saints

We continued on our way passing Eyton Court and later Eyton Hall. A little further on at Scatterbrain (the name of which stems from the slaughter of several thousand Lancastrians during the period) Colin gave us a summary of the Battle of Mortimer Cross in 1461 - a major War of the Roses won by the Yorkists - cheered by Sue!

Through the maize crop

We then crossed a field of maize which pretty much obscured everything but the person in front. In fact at one stage we lost our leader in the greenery, but Sue soon got us back on track. We rejoined the road and started a gentle ascent with a diversion into a convenient field for a coffee break.

Coffee time
above 2 photos courtesy Ian H-C

We crossed a number of crop fields and arrived back at Luston having completed just a fraction over 6 miles. Many thanks to Colin and Anne for leading today.

Distant view of the Clees


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