Now here’s a rare treat. A blog post write up within a day of the actual event itself. Can I keep this up? Unlikely as I’m off to the Pyrenees next week for some walking so no doubt I’ll be way behind again for the rest of the summer. I’ll enjoy this moment of freshness of memory while I can.
Despite a promising forecast it was chucking it down when we met up with Uncle Fester and surprisingly (as they said they couldn’t make it) The Hard Man and his apprentice LAC. As luck would have it we’d planned a hearty breakfast at the excellent Lazy Trout cafe on the A49. We spent a happy hour looking at the rain outside while scoffing and it had stopped when we finally arrived in Cardington to begin the walk. Our route was to take in the splendid isolated ridge of The Lawley and finishing over Caer Caradoc and Hope Bowdler Hill
The first part of the walk required linking together several footpaths across the local fields
As you can imagine this involved fields of long wet grass, overgrown stiles and herds of aggressive cows. What fun!
The views made up for it as the weather began to brighten and we could see our three target hills in the distance
The walk through Birch Coppice Wood in the dappled sunlight was particularly fine
We emerged at the far end of the wood to some fine views of The Lawley
Its a splendid grassy ridge. Not especially high but as it sits on its own, rising from the southern end of the Cheshire Plain its very dramatic. After another bout of field bashing including some electric fence malarky we were on our way to the summit
Not for long though. We’d been walking non-stop for 3 hours so it was time for rest. A nice cuppa was well deserved and would have been thoroughly enjoyed if I’d managed to remember the stove😦
Still the grass was comfortable and a chill out was enjoyed by all
On to the summit where we enjoyed a lively debate about the pending EU Referendum
Alas the EU regulations that have blighted our country also seem to have dictated that hills in Shropshire must conform to a minimum steepness of “bloody steep”. Those unelected bureaucrats from Brussels! (This is my attempt at political irony – I’m voting “Remain”)🙂
Poor Uncle Fester was struggling with this steepness rating and we needed a stop halfway up Caer Caradoc.
At the top the weather was exceedingly fine so we sat again. Its a real mountain in miniature as are many of the Shropshire Hills. Possessing rock tors, crags and brutally steep slopes on all sides. Diminutive in altitude it may be but everything else says “mountain”
The way down was as you’d expect from a Shropshire Hill – steep. My knees were suffering with the long bouts of flat walking so having climbed back up to the col on Hope Bowdler Hill I decided to leave the out and back to its highest point for another day. The view from the top of Willstone Hill across to the Brown Clee and Titterstone Clee his (Shropshires highest points) was excellent.
We had thought of extending the walk but time was pressing and the pub in Cardington had a beer with my name on it
A very respectable 11 miles with an even more respectable 3000 feet of ascent. Not bad for these small hills in rural Shropshire. Very fine walking indeed