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Another beautiful day on the Long Mynd

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Nature surving on Adstone Hill – Rowan

Finding new routes on the Long Mynd is not always easy – but on Sunday we did manage some new bits. The day dawned chilly and bright, I even had to scrape the windscreen before leaving home, just hard frozen dew, not frost. The mist was trailing about as we left The Oak and headed out to Bridges for our starting point.  We went via Montgomery, as the Chirbury/Church Stoke road was shut, the castle looked magnificent with its ghostly ‘fingers’ towering out of the mist. More wonderful atmospheric views on the way over to Bridges, arriving to find out from Graham the road is now only shut at night.

Our route was a sort of clockwise circle.  Up past the Youth Hostel and over the stile by the Darnford Brook, then not far into the trees took the bridge up into Ratlinghope.  It was then a bit of a drag up the road towards Belmore Ring and diving off to the left at the cattle grid and on up to the Long Mynd ridge by the Shooting Box. Here a group of ‘D of Eers’ were cooking, I think soup, in a very chilly breeze and wondering why nothing would boil: but hey ho, they were having fun. The views from up here were endless, a perfect cool blue sky, just bits of lingering mist in the valleys.

The first weekend of October is always Long Mynd Hike weekend and there was much evidence of check points being cleared at Pole Cottage.  As the going was good we worked out a bit of an extension to the route – going right along the ridge to the Gliding Station. We watched them doing launches and landings while we had our elevenses, they were not doing a lot of gliding about.

The route now turns sharp north westish down towards Stanbatch on Prolley Moor above Wentnor.  The view down into the valley was one of bucolic beauty: patchwork fields, sheep and cattle grazing, wisps of smoke gentling up into the bright cool air, hills into the misty distance – does the soul a power of good.  From Stanbatch we picked up the Shropshire Way and followed this across fields and lanes to Adstone and started up the long whale-back that heads north back to Bridges. We took a long lazy lunch lolling against the fence on the sunny bank.

From the lunch stop it is easy walking along the ridge top and down into Bridges where outside the pub stood gently wheezing was John Sankey’s beautiful traction engine: a grand end to grand day.  Thanks to all who came and all who drove.  minibootprint