Archive for the ‘marylins’ Tag

New Places – Wapley Hill and Shobdon Hill   10 comments

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Another day and another Marylin bagging session. Solo this time while the Funsters went to play on a climbing wall. Weather looked rather poor as I drive across and parked up in a deluge. Boots on and the rain had stopped. As I set off the sky was a deep blue and the autumn colours magnificent.

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My first target was Wapley Hill, another Iron Age Hill Fort. The forest was dark in places but in others the clearings gave some spectacular views across the patchwork of fields and the changing colours of the forest. The yellows seem especially vivid this year (or I’ve just never noticed them before).

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The colours were staggering, absolutely stunning.

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The summit of the hill had extensive earthworks and pillow mounds where they apparently reared rabbits (I didn’t think rabbits needed any help to breed).

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I think this is taken from the highest point although the top is very wide and its hard to tell where the exact summit was.

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I wandered along the ramparts but it was overgrown and my feet were getting wet so I reverted to the paths.

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The top is very flat and pretty soggy but it was a nice place to wander and I had it to myself.

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Through the trees I could glimpse more bright coloured trees and views across the Lugg valley.

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A rainbow to remind me the threat of rain was ever present.

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More stunning colours.

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The paths here are numerous and wandering around in my own little private world I neglected to check the map and went down the wrong path! A bit of bashing though the bracken and brambles in the forest and I was back on track.

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The path along the edge was wonderful and peaceful with gorgeous glimpses of pastoral countryside that typifies the Marches.

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On reaching the bottom of the hill the skies were still blue and sunshine abundant so I decided to bag another Marylin across the valley.

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I had a short sharp shower and then long but equally sharp climb back up another hill and along another path that gave superb views.

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A careful eye on the stormy conditions all around.

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And finally reaching the top of Shobdon Hill for my second summit of the day. Just a track through the trees and not terribly inspiring except for the views to the north through a clearance of trees.

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Not bad for hill I didn’t even know was there!

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And a picture of yours truly to mark the event.

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This is the highest point on the hill. Clearly not many people make the pilgrimage to this summit.

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I managed to go wrong again on the way down and had to to do small amount of off piste round these fields to get back on track. I fell over in the nettles for my trouble.

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Emerging from the trees the views were once again magnificent.

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Looking across to Wapley Hill.

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And back up to Shobdon Hill where I’d come from.

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All that was left was a longish walk back up the road to the car. 9 miles in the end and a pretty damn fine walk.

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From a weekend that promised some pretty rank bad weather I extracted two of the finest walks of the year. Shows what pleasures the UK has to offer if you make the effort to seek them out.

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Posted November 23, 2018 by surfnslide in Local Walks, Walking

Tagged with , , , ,

New Places – Aconbury Hill   14 comments

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I’m always on the look out for new places for a walk especially in weather where a day in the mountains is less appealing. I use the OS Mapping software on my various devices and noticed that they can mark a range of hill lists on the map. Mostly the usual Scottish ones, Munros and  Corbetts, but they also mark Marylins, the Relative hills of Britain. As they have strict criteria of 150 feet of ascent regardless of other factors they are both numerous and in many places pretty obscure. Looking at my maps I have several local ones I’ve never done, mostly smaller wooded hills. This seems a perfect excuse to for some new walks and avoid the wild winter weather. As most of these local ones are forested I was hoping my first couple of forays would deliver some autumnal colour.

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First on the list was Aconbury Hill, just outside Hereford and a mere 15 minute drive away. The hill was littered with paths and we parked up and set off into the very damp woods after a few heavy squalls of rain hoping not to get too wet.

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The colours in the trees was wonderful and its a really pleasant walk up to the top of the hill, an old iron age hill fort

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There are a myriad of paths around the earthworks on the top and we wandered a bit aimlessly as my OS maps seemed to struggle with the GPS signal.

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Finding a view from the top was a bit of challenge due to all the trees but we did find a spot with a view over Hereford.

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We forged a route down to head back to the car as we had only intended to be out for an hour or so. Showers looked like they were in the ascendency when we left home and we didn’t want to push our luck. When we emerged into the fields the weather looked ok so we decided to extend the walk.

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I’m always reticent to go walking across the fields in Herefordshire. Paths are generally not well walked and you often end up semi-lost with poor signage and overgrown or blocked routes. However the succession of paths we followed were no problem if a little muddy and slick.

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We dropped down to Aconbury Court and the back up through Wallbrook Wood to Merrivale Farm. This storm cloud was impressive and luckily didn’t dump a heavy shower on us.

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Glorious sunlight in the green lane past the farm.

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The community of Little Birch and Kings Thorn is spread over a wide area. A collection green lanes, field paths and cottages that was a delight to pick our way through.

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There was plenty of late afternoon sunlight to dress the autumn leaves with bright colours.

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I liked these three perfectly spaced trees along the field boundary

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Smoke rising from cosy cottages

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From a morning of heavy showers and low expectations sprang a really stunning and enjoyable walk full of interest and charm.

 

The first foray into the world of Marylins had been a resounding success.

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I’ve lived in the area for 15 years now – almost exactly 15 years in fact. In all that time I’ve never given Aconbury Hill a second thought. We walked five miles in the end and were out most of the afternoon. One of the delights of the UK is that hidden gems and rewarding walks seem to be endless.

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