started our weekend adventure by meeting at Attingham Hall Park near
Shrewsbury in pleasant sunshine. This is a 4,000 acre National Trust
property which was bequeathed to the nation by the late Lord Berwick.
Most of us chose to take a 4-5 mile walk, led by David Burke, through
lovely woodland, stopping for lunch at a clearing near a monument where
the ashes of the late Lord Berwick were buried. Afterwards we visited
the walled garden and some of us had a look around Attingham Hall
We then made our way to the Long
Mynd Hotel in Church Stretton. After booking into our rooms, our group
of 33 attended a welcome presentation by the manageress followed by a
drinks reception and the evening meal.
After breakfast, most of the party
set off from the hotel for a 5 mile walk led by Steve Reynolds. After
climbing a grassy slope and traversing a wood, we soon found ourselves
slowly ascending along a well-defined path in the Carding Mill Valley.
After about a mile, we entered Lightspout hollow. This was quite steep
and rocky in places and it led us up to the Lightspout waterfall. Here
we stopped for coffee.
This revived us sufficiently to
ascend a rocky “staircase” that took us above the
waterfall. Further ascending led us to the “Shropshire Way”
path at 1550 feet (near the summit of Long Mynd), from which we
descended back against a cold wind into Carding Mill Valley. We stopped
for lunch at the intersection with Lightspout Hollow and then continued
our descent. We decided to have a drink at the tearooms at the Chalet
Pavilion, which was a good thing as quite a heavy shower of rain went
through while we were inside. We then returned to the hotel to do our
own thing until meeting for dinner. After dinner, a table tennis mixed
doubles competition took place, having been arranged by Merlyn Young.
During the event, Steve Reynolds was given a thank you presentation for
organising the break, and also David Burke, who had given assistance.
Steve and Dave led us on a longer
but less gruelling walk on the other side of Church Stretton. We
started by descending into Church Stretton, crossing the A49, and
turning along the old Watling Street. As the early mist changed to warm
sun, we followed what appeared to be a sunken track, which had water
flowing through it, before climbing up the valley between Helmeth Hill
and Caer Caradoc Hill. Turning south through a wood we steadily
ascended along a bridle track to Hope Bowdler Hill. We stopped for
coffee half way along this track and were pleased to hear the first
cuckoo call of the year. We diverted to ascend to the summit of
Willstone Hill, and then backtracked to ascend two of the three peaks
of Hope Bowdler Hill (1388 feet).
We sheltered from the wind under a
rocky outcrop for lunch and then followed the steeply descending ridge.
We stopped for a group photograph near another rocky outcrop and at
that moment the heavens opened with a mighty downpour. Fortunately,
this was short lived and soon passed through, and we continued our
grassy descent, with a fine view of the Carding Valley ahead. Crossing
flat fields we then retraced our steps through Church Stretton, and
returned to the hotel to complete the 6 mile walk. After dinner Steve
and Dave organised a quiz to quietly tax our brains until bedtime.
After breakfast the following day,
we said our goodbyes and set off home, although some of us spent the
day exploring the many interesting venues in the area, with Powis
Castle favoured by several.
Report by Jeff
Photos by Brian Beardwood and Jeff Mortimer