Long Mynd

Bodbury Hill From The Burway on Long Mynd

Bodbury Hill from The Burway on Long Mynd

The Long Mynd is the back drop to Church Stretton, seven miles north of Craven Arms.

The Long Mynd is approximately 7 miles long by 3 miles wide. The highest point is Pole Bank at 516 metres (1,693 feet) above sea level. It is classed as a Marilyn.

Much of the Long Mynd is owned and managed by the National Trust and falls within the designation of the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

The National Trust have a Visitor Centre in Carding Mill Valley which has a an exhibition and a tearoom. Many activities are put on over the year.

There are many indications of ancient human activity on Long Mynd.

The Portway runs the length of the Long Mynd. It is a Drovers Route which is thought to have linked up with the Kerry Ridgeway.

There are twenty tumuli, of which one had a Shooting Box on it until 1992 and to this day is called the Shooting Box Barrow.

There are also three dykes, Bannister Plain Cross Ridge Dyke, High Park Cross Ridge Dyke and Devils Mouth Cross Ridge Dyke. They separated areas of moorland and are thought to be 1,500 years old, unfortunately in some places they have been damaged in more modern times.

Bodbury Ring is a small Hill Fort. It sits above Carding Mill Valley and looks over to Caer Carodoc and Lawley both of which have hill forts at the top of them.

As you can see there is lots of human activity to look at but also lots of wildlife to observe as well. There are lots of walks up to the plateau of Long Mynd and from the car parks up on the Mynd.

Dog Friendly Places to Eat

Hettie and Dillie

Hettie and Dillie

The places mentioned here I know to be dog friendly at the time of writing.

I have had good meals at these places but again this can change.

The Craven Arms Hotel, Craven Arms

The Rose and Crown, Ludlow

The Church Inn, Ludlow

The Swan Inn, Aston Munslow

The Green Dragon, Little Stretton

You don’t need a dog to go and eat at these places.

I am sure there are others as well.

Hill Forts near Craven Arms

Hopesay Village and The Burrow

Hopesay Village and The Burrow

There are over fifty hill forts in Shropshire and there is access to a lot of them.

From our door there is Norton Camp. It can’t be seen from our house but is well worth the walk up through Whettleton.

Although covered in trees and shrubs, the ramparts are impressive. The interior is a field but you can walk round it.

Bury Ditches a few miles to the west is on Forestry Commission. There is a walk up from the car park and at the top outstanding views of the surrounding hills.

There is a toposcope at the top which tells you what the names of the hills are.

Nearer to home at Hopesay is the Burrow. There is parking on the road through Hopesay. The Burrow is on Forestry Commission Land as well.

I can show you where they are on the maps.

There are many theories about hill forts and they are probably used for different things at different times. Some would have been defensive, some would have been homesteads, and some used for holding animals.

At Round Oak is Wart Hill a small hill fort easily accessible from the road, this one is thought to have been an over night holding for sheep.

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle is a fortifyed medieval house and is considered the best preserved example in England.

It forms a ‘comparatively complete ensemble’ of medieval buildings. The fact they remain largely unchanged is very unusual.

Previous owners have tried to repair what existed rather than rebuild and reconstruct.

It is Grade one listed and a scheduled Monument. It was largely build in the latter part of the 13th century by Laurence of Ludlow who was a wealthy wool merchant.

In the early part of the thirteenth century the land was owned by the de Say family who sold it to Laurence. The Stoke part of Stokesay is thought to have come from ‘stoches’ meaning cattle farm.

The Gatehouse is 17th century and is distinctively built in the Shropshire style.

The castle has been open to the public since 1908. It was left to English Heritage in 1992 by Jewell Magnus Allcroft.

There are events on through out the year, usually during school holidays, some of are Civil War Re-enactments.

It is open throughout the year but it is best to check opening hours and times. It is well worth visiting.

The image of Stokesay Castle above was taken by Penny Mayes and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Stokesay Castle Gatehouse

Stokesay Castle Gatehouse

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Entrance to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

The Secret Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms was opened in 2002 and run by the County Council.

It was set up to encourage tourism to the area.

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre changed its name in more recent times and is now run by a charitable organisation, Grow Cook Learn.

There is an interactive exhibition which has a replica mammoth skeleton on display. Much of the exhibition refers to the Iron Age.

At the entrance is a small furry mammoth, called Tusker, to welcome children to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

The cafe provides lunches using local produce. On Sundays there is a roast dinner, booking recommended. You may just want to pop in for coffee and cake.

There are benches outside where in good weather you can sit and enjoy your food and drink.

There is a shop which has maps and walking books about the local area or where you can pick up a special gift.

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre runs courses for adults and children. During the school holidays it is always worth checking if there is something going on that might interest you or your children.

Entrance to the Discovery Centre is free but there is a charge for the Exhibition. Car parking is free or you can give a small donation.

Don’t forget there are the 35 acres of the Onny Meadows to explore as well.



Tusker the Wooly Mammoth

Tusker, the mammoth outside the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms has a new coat.

Tusker had began to look a bit worn and dull, being out in all weathers and being stroked by all those children and adults.

He now looks bright and wooly again and is ready to be cuddled.

Tusker has been at the front of the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre since it opened.

Its good to see Tusker looking like he should.

Entrance to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Clun Green Man Festival

Clun Green Man and May Queen

Clun Green Man and May Queen

The Clun Green Man Festival is on the 30th April and the 1st May 2017.

There is something for everyone, Morris Dancing, Mummer Plays, live music, craft fairs, duck races and lots more.

The Festival first took place in the thirteenth century and has been running in it present form since 2001. It is a community event run by the Clun community.

Sundays capers are free with a programme of events through out the day, and a Fair in the Square.

On Monday there is a £5 charge. The main events is at midday on the 500 year old Clun Bridge with the Green Man Battling the Ice Queen.

Go along a cheer on the Green Man. If the Ice Queen wins it is said Winter will stay on in the Clun Valley that Summer.

There is a Craft Fair on Castle Meadow with plenty of things to have a go at, food stalls and lots to spend your pennies on.

An enjoyable weekend for everyone.

The image of the Clun Green Man is taken from the Clun Green Man Festival Web site and is used with the kind permission of Jack Limond.

The Onny Meadows



In a few of my blogs I have talked about the Onny Meadows here in Craven Arms. I often walk there as I have two border terriers called Hettie and Dillie.

The Onny Meadows is thirty five acres of meadows and woodland, half a mile from Folly View Let. At the entrance to the meadows is The Discovery Centre, where you are able to get food and drink.

The woodland was planted when the Discovery Centre was built in Two Thousand, there are alders, hazel, ash, oaks, and poplars among others. There is an area planted with willows and a willow arch, now behind a fence.

There are two orchards which have apples and pears. One of these orchards has hedges that are planted with medlars and damsons.

The river Onny runs through the site and there are several ponds. Some of them are the remnants of former mill ponds.

Onny River

Onny River

There is a hard path around a small part of the site but this is presently being extended. This will make access for wheel chairs, pushchairs and people who have problems on uneven surfaces a lot better.

Part of the hard path is a circular Cycle Path, great for children to learn cycling skills in a safe environment.

There is a children’s play area near the Discovery Centre and there are still some other play _ around the Meadows. The logs are to be climbed over which you can see from the Sun Dial, it is accurate.

There are wonderful wild flowers and beautiful grasses. Damselflies, dragon flies, may flies are beautiful to observe flying over the ponds in Spring and Summer.

There are birds to be observed including the Red Kites. I have seen otters and stoats on the meadows, squirrels can be seen in the trees and I can often smell that a fox has been around.

The Onny Meadows are the starting point of several circular walks and the Shropshire Way passes through.

Onny Meadows Signpost

Onny Meadows Signpost

It is lovely to walk round, not sure about the barbed wire.

The Sun Inn Leintwardine

Sun Inn Leintwardine

Sun Inn Leintwardine

The Sun Inn was being run as a Parlour Pub until 2009 when Flossie Lane who ran it died. Florence Lane was born in the pub in 1914 and had lived there all that time.

She ruled the pub and expected customers to pay their respects to her on arrival. If you passed muster you were poured a pint from a jug.

After Flossie Lane had a fall you could pour your own pint and were expected to put money into a jam jar.

Flossie Lanes death in 2009 led to a campaign to keep the Sun Inn as a Parlour Pub and this was also the wish of her niece’s.

This has been done successfully, with a modern extension.

The Parlour has been kept as it was, the wallpaper and carpets are the same. The pictures are still on the wall. The red brick room still has trestle tables and benches, great for eating off.

From 2006 Hobsons Brewery at Cleobury Mortimer supplied the beer. Locals beers are still a feature.

There is a modern extension at the back of the Sun Inn. It is light, airy and looks out on the garden where you can sit and drink and eat. There are events organised regularly, open Mike Nights and Quiz Nights among them.

It is well worth a visit and the journey out there is beautiful too.

The photograph of the Sun Inn, Leintwardine used in this blog post was taken in 2004 (before the pub was extended) by Peter Evans and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Brown Clee Hill and Titterstone Clee Hill

Panorama from Brown Clee Hill

Panorama from Brown Clee Hill

Titterstone Clee Hill and Brown Clee Hill are in the south of Shropshire. They are both within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They are linked together by a ridge between them and are both interesting in their own right.

Brown Clee is the highest hill in Shropshire at 540 metres (1,770 feet) above sea level. Titterstone Clee Hill is the third highest hill in Shropshire. It rises to 533 metres(1,749 feet) above sea level. Both are classifyed as Marilyns (see blog on hillbagging).

Popular with walkers, and on clear days there are extensive, beautiful views over many other counties and from Titterstone Clee these extend into Wales.

Quarrying has had a huge effect on both hills and there is still an open quarry on Titterstone Clee.

Nordy Bank Hill Fort is the only intact hill fort on Brown Clee. Abdon Burf And Clee Burf and the Hill Fort on Titterstone Clee Hill have been largely damaged due to the quarrying activities.

Both hills now have radar arrays on their summits. Titterstone Clee Hills is refered to as the Golf Ball, (see below photograph) as that is what it looks like. There is also Met Office sensors as well.

There is lots to see  which gives a link to how humans have had their effect on Brown Clee and Titterstone Clee Hill.

Titterstone Clee Hill

Titterstone Clee Hill

The photograph Panorama from Brown Clee Hill above is taken from Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The photograph Titterstone Clee Hill above is taken from Pixabay.