View of Hopesay beneath The Burrow

Walk 226 [8¾ miles] - Hopesay Hill & Burrow Hill

OS201 OS137 garmin

Eleven of us set out from Aston on Clun village hall on what had been a misty morning but the sun soon came out and shone all the way.
Walkers rendezvous
Bob negotiates a tight kissing gate
Soon we warmed up as we followed a series of green lanes to Hopesay. We then climbed slowly onto Hopesay Common along a footpath, frequently stopping to admire the view behind us! We had a leisurely 'apple stop' along the ridge. Burrow Hill, our next stop seemed very high from here.
View of Hopesay below Burrow Hill
Coffee stop

The view from our coffee stop
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To houses built from monastery ruins

where monks practised aquaculture

Following a short stretch along the lane through Round Oak we came to a footpath which took us in a south westerly direction across fields to Cabin. Another stretch along the lane brought us to the track to Barlow Home Farm from where we began our long, gentle climb up onto Burrow. Time for our long, civilised lunch break. Colin and Duncan walked the perimeter of the hill fort while the rest of us drank in the spectacular views towards the Stretton Hills and a surprisingly diminutive Hopesay Hill.

The view from Burrow Hill
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It was all down hill from there along a forest track until we eventually picked up the green lane along which we had headed out almost four hours earlier. The interesting series of cattle handling gates had obviously been used in the interim. I wondered how our walk would have been affected if our timings had been different!
Sleepy cows

all photos courtesy Colin

[Blog entry: Catherine]


Walk 225 [9¾ miles] - Wilderhope Manor and Millichope Park

OS201 OS137 garmin

There were 6 of us on the walk which started at Wilderhope Manor. The first part of the walk was straightforward, going along the Shropshire Way and then on a section of the Jack Mytton way, before branching off into Millichope Park
This part was uncharted territory, as I wanted to avoid the steep muddy climb I encountered on the recce. Instead, we turned off down through a delightful deciduous wood as far as a T-junction, and probably should have gone straight on, but turned left instead. No matter, as we hit the road that dropped down into upper Millichope, before taking a footpath into Millichope.
A few waymarks would have been helpful, as I discovered afterwards we missed the correct Right of Way and followed one of the estate roads instead. Here we passed some magnificent yew trees with their strange root systems, as shown on the photo.
Strange root system (and Ros)
Bob posing in the garden
The gardens were well tended and a track down through a rock cutting and past a temple saw us back on route. On leaving the park we crossed the Much Wenlock road and gave Ruth some exercise with a couple of difficult styles.

Lunch was taken in a field on the regained Shropshire Way, which took us gently back up to Wilderhope Manor.
Back to Wilderhope Manor

all photos courtesy Colin

An overcast day that warmed up in the afternoon. All in all just about 9¾ relatively gentle miles.

[Blog entry: Mike]


Walk 224 [6 miles] - Much Wenlock circular walk

OS242 OS137 garmin

Six of us left the car park by Wenlock Priory and followed the lane past the sewage works. On reaching the entrance to the houses at Downsmill we turned right onto a footpath across fields.
Today's happy walkers
Attractive cottage in a pastoral setting
Crossing a stile, we were thankful to see that someone had placed boards to help us negotiate the boggy mud! The path through woodland was very pleasant and we sighted a buzzard flying low among the trees quite near to us.
Priory Road
Catherine caught in the act
Back in the fields again we passed Arlescott Farm, to the right of which some mounds showed the site of a medieval village. We turned onto Jack Mytton Way, where we stopped for coffee, and sampled a few blackberries! A lane led us to the village of Wyke, where there are some beautiful old houses.
Passing a fine house
Duncan and Catherine admiring an old barn
More lane walking and then we turned onto the Shropshire Way through some more woods. Back on the fields we headed for Bradley Farm which has some amazing ancient barns. After crossing a lane we found a good spot for lunch.
Lunch stop
On reaching the houses at Downsmill we admired the beautiful gardens which also featured wooden sculptures of three deer. We were then on the same lane of our outward journey but, on reaching the corner, we diverted to walk along the track of the disused railway. Then we climbed the steps and walked back to the car park.
Attractive garden outside of Much Wenlock
Walking along the dismantled railway line
Found on the railway path

all photos courtesy Colin

[Blog entry: Ruth]


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Walk 223 [7½ miles] – Hopesgate, Meadowtown, Bromlow Callow, Bentlawnt and Hope

OS201 OS137 garmin

During a number of our walks, we have marvelled at a tree-topped hill in the distance. This walk explores the area around Bromlow Callow, a significant feature of Shropshire’s lovely landscape, which Drovers are thought to have used as a landmark on their way to market.

Despite threats of rain and road closures, nine of us met up at the The Stables Inn car park at Hopesgate. We then crossed the first of many stiles into a field containing lots of cows.
Smiles of relief from the brave walkers

after negotiating a large herd of friendly cows.

Traveling north we entered a woodland for a breakfast of blackberries and raspberries and then after walking a couple of miles we came across the first sight or our objective.
Throughout the walk we were never far from a view
Making our way through bracken along a hidden path
Back in the fields again we passed Arlescott Farm, to the right of which some mounds showed the site of a medieval village. We turned onto Jack Mytton Way, where we stopped for coffee, and sampled a few blackberries! A lane led us to the village of Wyke, where there are some beautiful old houses.
Onward ever onward up one of the many undulations
A welcome coffee break…

A welcome coffee break…

Chirbury Brockton and Worthen
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More lane walking and then we turned onto the Shropshire Way through some more woods. Back on the fields we headed for Bradley Farm which has some amazing ancient barns. After crossing a lane we found a good spot for lunch.
Ruth leads from the front up a steep lane towards Lyde
A view of our lunch stop
A welcome rest to admire the view
Striding out towards the lunch stop ahead.
We then tackled a steep climb that led up to Castle Ring Hill Fort.
Corndon Hill in the background – a walk for another day

Our Lunch stop view included the Stiperstones
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Making our way down after lunch

along a narrow path through gorse bushes

Lunch is just a distant memory
Negotiating a bridge just after walking the crest of

the Oakedge through the Hope Valley Nature Reserve

Despite a changeable weather forecast, the weather was kind to us throughout the walk with none of the predicted fog or mist to spoil the lovely views and only a slight drizzle threatening at the end of the walk as we left Hope Church. We then made our way back to the start.
Crossing the bridge that leads to Hope’s Holy Trinity Church

all photos courtesy Colin

My thanks to Anne for keeping me on the right track and my fellow walkers for their support and company.

[Blog entry: Colin]



Walk 222 [9½ miles] - Elan Valley - Garreg-ddu Reservoir, Llanerchi Wood, Claerwen Dam & Afon Claerwen

OS200 OS147 garmin

7 of us set off from the car park below the Panygarreg dam after the usual car shuffle. I have to confess that my heart sank as we drove along the road approaching Rhayader when the heavens opened and the rain came down. This was not on the forecast! But I needn't have worried as the rain held off for most of the day, and the few light sprinkles we felt in the early part of the walk were not a cause for concern.
Setting off
The amazing rock structures along this part of the path
... in places the bracken was really tall
We set off to walk down the western side of the Garreg-ddu Reservoir. The track initially was a made up road, clearly for access to the house at Tynllidart, then it became grassy. Clearly this side of the reservoir doesn't get as much attention as the east side as in places the bracken was really tall with little visible signs of activity. The variety of terrain as well as the beautiful woodland was a real treat, but I had forgotten how tortuous the track was in places.
The pretty Nant Methan brook
At the sunken dam at Garreg-ddu we stopped for a coffee break, choosing to use the picnic table at the car park which was very convenient.

We set off again to do the one and only climb of the day which took us up alongside the pretty church at Nantgwyllt - built during the construction of the reservoirs by the Birmingham Corporation to replace the small Nantgwyllt church which was swallowed up by the flooding of the Claerwen and Elan valleys. We went up through the Llanerchi Wood where we eventually emerged into the sunlight on Rhos y Gelynnen passing the masts at Cefn Llanerchi and continued up and over the top of Rhos y Gelynnen making the long descent to the picnic area below the Claerwen dam where we had our lunch.
Heading down towards the Claerwen dam
Lunch below the Claerwen dam
Having learned a lesson from the recce we chose to avail ourselves of the option to use the footbridge below the farmhouse at Carrigcwplau (having previously spoken to, and obtained permission from the helpful farmer).
The Afon Arban
the Claerwen dam from the Afon Arban
The final stretch was quite rocky and ran parallel to the River Claerwen. Here it was essential to keep a lookout to prevent turning an ankle. The map is clearly marked with the words 'Fords' in several places.
The River Claerwen alongside our path
One for Ruth who couldn't make it today
Some of these fords were quite deep, necessitating a small diversion using a series of stepping stone, others were less demanding. Eventually we arrived back at the cars near Llanerch Cawr, but not before we we overtaken by a small flock of sheep which pelted past us up on to the main road. Where they went, nobody knew! Just a fraction under 9½ miles and in really great walking conditions.


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