Walk 186 [6.8 miles] - Downton circular

OS201 OS137 garmin

11 of us set off from Stonebrook Coppice on a gin clear morning; bright sunshine and clear blue sky with a sharp frost making an iced topping to the shaded areas.

Getting ready

The sun slanting through the trees on the Downton Estate

Frosty underfoot as we headed away from the Teme

Then there was the long and steady climb up Weston Hill where Geri was reunited with yet another lost glove!

A herd of deer seemingly unconcerned by our presence

A mistletoe smothered tree at Snead Vallets Farm

We headed along the road for a short distance and clambered over our first slippery stile at The Brakes, and headed across the field to Forge Cottage. Then briefly along the road near Bringewood House after which we followed the Teme for a while until we turned north and crossed the A4113 at Decoy Cottage. At Wetmore Cottage we encountered our first and only muddy/boggy area and shortly afterwards we stopped in a convenient field for a coffee.

Upper Pool near Decoy Cottage

Coffee time!

A pheasant quite unbothered by us at Stubbs Coppice

We continued along Wetmore Lane and after a brief excursion along the (slippery) road turned right and headed up the Herefordshiere Trail at Stubbs Coppice. At the top we turned left passing Mocktree Farm and then into a field where we had our lunch.

We made a gentle descent and entered the wilderness at Fiddler's Elbow - having no idea where the path was we followed the clearest and least overgrown path which took us generally in the right direction, emerging onto the A4113 and then throught a hedge where we headed downhill to Gravel Farm.

Heading down towards Gravel Farm

It was then just a short walk back to the cars. Many thanks to Ruth and the ever alert Mary for finding this delightful walk and for leading us today.



Walk 185 [8 miles] - Knighton, Panpunton Hill, Five Turnings, Holloway Rocks & Kinsley Wood

OS201 OS137 garmin

Seven of us set out from the Offa's Dyke Centre in Knighton and took Offa's Dyke north up Panpunton Hill.

Crossing the 'border' at Knighton

Crossing the Teme then the Heart of Wales line

The climb up Panpunton Hill

Looking west along the Teme valley

After a couple of miles we took the Bridle Path down to Five Turnings observing a near miss car accident. We then continued up a muddy lane to the top of Stow Hill and then turned back down past Holloway Rocks to Stow Church where we had lunch.

A very muddy bridlepath from Five Turnings

Down through Holloway Rocks
all photos courtesy Colin

Up until now the weather had been quite good but it started to rain on the last leg which took us across the fields to the outskirts of Knighton. We finished up walking through Kinsley Wood into the town itself.

About 8 miles and it took us about 4 hours.

[Blog entry: Duncan]


Walk 184 [8.6 miles] - Church Stretton, Willstone Hill & Cardington

OS201 OS137 garmin

7 of us gathered on a foggy morning at the Gaerstone layby where we set off and up towards Willstone Hill. On our left we could see that Caer Caradoc, the high point of today's walk was covered in thick fog.
Our route took us up to a high point where we climbed a series of summits ending at Willstone Hill. We passed Battle Stones, Motts Plantation and dropped down as we passed North Hill Farm where we joined the road for a short stretch.

Just rounding Hill End

Then we rounded Hill End - almost reaching Cardington where we turned west to Moor Farm then to Lower Farm and and climbed a long muddy track. We had now reached the Wilderness which seemed an appropriate time to stop for lunch.

Looking back at Hill End

The fog started to thin a little and a few patches of blue sky overhead left us with a hope that the weather might improve. I indeed, the sun made a watery appearance briefly before the visibility started to drop again.

We resumed and continued down along the Wilderness then round Gulley Green. We turned sharp left below Little Caradoc and then went slightly off piste going around Robin's Tump and back onto the track near Cwm's Cottage.

On the final stretch back to the cars

We crossed Cwm's Plantation and turned right heading back to the cars via Gaerstones Farm. Just over 8.5 miles and many thanks to Mike for organising this walk for us today.


Walk Cancelled

Heavy rain forecast for today caused us to cancel. Apologies to Val who was raring to go!



Walk 183 [6.1 miles] - Nordy Bank and Brown Clee

OS201 OS137 garmin

This was Judy's first time as leader of the walk, and we met up at a car parking area near Nordy Bank. The bright warm sunshine was a bit of a shock as we got ready, and very quickly we were taking layers off (and quite soon afterwards putting them back on again).

Looking across to Wenlock Edge from near Nordy Bank
use + or - key to zoom

We set off climbing up into the sun alongside Nordy Bank then turned right to Green Shutters. En route a large brown ball shaped mushroom/fungus was admired.
A sharp left took us up past The Sands, then it was a right turn onto the Jack Mytton Way where we eventually stopped for a coffee enjoying fantastic views across to Wenlock Edge and beyond.

Coffee break and a view to die for

The view after that long climb
use + or - key to zoom

We emerged to take in the breathtaking views before continuing to CLee Burf, passing the Navigational Relay Station and making a short descent beforeturning sharp right and stopping for lunch above Clee Liberty. It's probably best to skip the part about the ankle deep boggy bits.

Coming down off the top of Brown Clee

Boggy bits

By the time we finished lunch it was getting decidedly chilly, and we resumed with gloves and hats on as we skirted round Nordy Bank and made the final descent to the cars. Many thanks to JUdy for taking us round today.

Nordy Bank

Looking back up the way we came

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