Much Wenlock to Ironbridge

Sunday 5 November 2017. There were 12 of us and our leader, Andy, on today’s 10 mile walk with 1,200ft of ascent and 1,800ft of descent. It was a truly underwhelming walk not helped by the steady rain which only relented in the last hour or so. HF had revised today’s walk programme which had previously ended in Much Wenlock but which now walked through this small town to end in Ironbridge as it has a little more to offer.

The bus dropped us off at Presthope so that we could walk 3 miles of the Wenlock Edge before stopping for coffee in Much Wenlock itself. 3 miles was more than enough of Wenlock Edge and I wouldn’t want to walk its whole length or to walk today’s section again. The second part of the walk followed the route of the Jack Myton Way rather than the Shropshire Way which would have been a little shorter but still ended in the same place. The detour to walk past Benthall Hall was fairly pointless as we only had a distant view and meant that we had to descend down 470 steps to get to banks of the River Severn. Much of the second part of the walk was around muddy field edges which might be okay in summer but was far from pleasant today.

The weather was so grim and the scenery so uninspiring that I didn’t take a single picture today. A walk best forgotten.

Aerial View

Much Wenlock – walk route



Caer Caradoc

Saturday 4 November 2017. I’m at HF Church Stretton with Jacqui for a week’s walking in the Shropshire hills. I stopped off in Ironbridge on the way here yesterday but was disappointed to find that the famous structure was shrouded in scaffolding.

There were no single rooms available when I made a late booking for this holiday and I therefore had to pay a supplement for a double room (on my own!). Still not bad value at £422. The bathroom seems to have been added as an afterthought with the smallest shower that I’ve ever encountered. I have to breath-in to turn around in it!

I had thought that I might do the harder walk today which took in 4 major hills; being 11 miles with 2,750ft of ascent. Jacqui favoured the slightly easier 2 hill medium walk at 9.5 miles with 2,000ft of ascent. I didn’t take much persuading to join her along with 14 other walkers and our Canadian leader Brent who was excellent.

Starting from the house we walked to the south of Hope Bowdler Hill to make the climb to the summit at 1,400ft. From here it was downhill only to climb steeply to the top of Caer Caradoc at 1,505ft. I hadn’t been up Caer Caradoc from the south-east before so it made for an interesting and challenging way up. We descended in the general direction of The Lawley before stopping for lunch. Our way home took a contouring route on the north-eastern side of Caer Caradoc to walk through All Stretton and back into Church Stretton.

Aerial View

Caer Caradoc – walk route


Bradgate Country Park

Sunday 15 October 2017. Just Linda and I made the journey for this walk on which we were joined by Mark & Rachael from Leicester. There were just 3 members on Karen’s walk last week and this must now bring into question where it is worthwhile putting on out-of-area walks if they continue to be so poorly attended. Perhaps we need to stick to shorter and more local walks? I’ll raise the issue at the AGM to try to gauge members feeling on the subject.

Back to yesterday’s walk. Linda and I went for a pre-walk coffee and on returning to the car I found that I had missed a call on my mobile from Mark & Rachael who were trying to find us. A quick call back and we agreed to rendezvous at the tea room as neither of us knew what the other looked like and we were in a very large car park. United, we set off for a circuit of the Country Park. Although we had walked here before some of our route was new to us all. We walked out towards Cropston Reservoir and then uphill towards Old John Tower, stopping on the way for lunch.

Old John Tower isn’t really that high at just 700ft but still gave distant views through the steadily clearing early morning mist. From the tower we gradually descended back to the car park before heading off on the second part of this figure of eight walk. A short walk through the village of Newton Linford saw us heading north through woods to pick up the Leicestershire Round which eventually brought us back into the village for post-walk refreshments: ice cream for me and tea for Linda. The walk turned out to be a little longer than planned at 8.9 miles with a total ascent of 960ft.

Aerial View

Bradgate Park -walk route



Ings to Bowness

Thursday 12 October 2017. For once, the weather forecast for yesterday proved to be correct. It started to rain through the night and didn’t stop until 3pm leaving great lakes of water across my caravan site. Fortunately the pitch that I’m on is slightly elevated and wasn’t waterlogged. The same can’t be said for the caravan site at Keswick which had to be evacuated because of the risk of flooding. That was my first choice site for this holiday but I couldn’t get on as it was full.

Back to today, I parked the car at Ings with the idea of walking to Bowness and back. I hadn’t measured the route so I was a little surprised to find that I’d walked 5.25 miles with 650ft of ascent by the time that I got to Bowness. It had been a pleasant enough walk on narrow traffic-free country roads before picking up the final 3 miles of the Dales way. At Borthwick Fold I came across what appeared to be two very contented cats sat on a bench outside the farmhouse.

Bowness was its usual busy self packed with Japanese tourists taking in the sights. I decided that I’d done enough walking for today and paid £3.90 for the bus ride back to Ings where I called in to The Watermill Inn for lunch. The Met Office has already issued a weather warning for more rain tomorrow so it looks like another day in the caravan before driving home on Saturday.

Aerial View

Ings to Bowness – walk route




Gummer’s How

Tuesday 10 October 2017. I wasn’t feeling very motivated today but still set out for a walk up Gummer’s How. The car park is almost at the top of the hill so this was an easy out and back 1.6 mile walk with just over 500ft of ascent. It was cool and breezy at the top so I stayed just long enough to take a few pictures of Windermere, Lakeside and Newby Bridge some 900ft below.

I was soon back at the car and had to decide whether to extend my walk through the nearby woods or to visit Kendal. The latter won out followed by lunch at Wilf’s cafe in Staveley.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is dire with rain all day so I’ve prepared for a day in the caravan and might even do the Ramblers annual financial return.

Aerial View

Gummer’s How – walk route




Monday 9 October 2017. I had a Facebook message yesterday from Bev Spriggs. She was a regular walker with our group until about 3 years ago when she was bitten by a Tick, since when her health has steadily declined. I’ve added a couple of links below so that you can read up on the subject.

Bev asked me to raise awareness as someone was recently bitten by a Tick whilst walking at Sandringham and has contracted Lyme disease with serious health consequences. Thankfully, I’ve never been bitten by a Tick but at least I know how to recognise this and when to seek medical help.