Covid Time Walks

As we can only walk locally during Covid Times I have explored a few different  walks to take the dogs on.

We all love walking Halford Meadows and Onny Meadows, with all their lovely sniffs(the dogs) and views of the hills (me). But we all like a change, and the dogs enjoy discovering different sniffs.

A map showing Halford Meadows and Onny Meadows

Most of the footpath walks have been very muddy and I have brought half a field back home a few times. So we have also explored a few of the local lanes.

To achieve these walks we sometimes have to start by walking down or up the A49. There is the odd one where we finish on the A49 as well.

I know most of the local footpaths but friends can still surprise me with paths I have never ventured down before. (This was back in the Summer).

In the first lockdown two older gentlemen sat on their scooters in their drive waving and saying hello in the afternoon. They still wave but from inside their warm home. We also wave to a woman who sits near her window reading, with a dog who barks to say hello. Dillie has a grumble, not that she has room to bark.

Most days we walk past one house where the man has his office upstairs. He usually has the window open and his feet stuck up on the window sill. Does he do this for comfort or does he have smelly feet.

Dillie has got used to the idea that if people are walking along the path towards you step into the road out of their way. I need to train her to go at a signal.

We wave to a lot people when we are walking, some I know well, some I know to wave to and some I actually have no idea who they are, I wave because they waved and so it carries on.

Well I hope you have enjoyed my over view of Covid Time Walks, look out for more Covid Time Blogs.

Winter Walk

It’s December 1st and for me we are now into Wintertime.

Here it is a bright, sunny, frosty morning, the cheeks are glowing now I am back in the warmth of home.

The colours glowed on Onny Meadows, I could find all the colours I love, browns, pinks, purples, greens, golds and greys.

As children we draw tree trunks as brown but  I am always struck by how little brown is visible. Greys predominate for me, with tones of Brown, green and purples.

The mole hills of Brown rich earth pepper the meadows and Dillie Dot sticks her nose in then digs frantically to try and catch the elusive mole, Long gone.

As we near the  Onny river there is a low misty haze rising from the water, the ducks bright greens look muted in the mist.

I notice catkins are beginning to form on Alder and hazel. The Alder catkins are a purply, brown, while the hazel catkins are presently grey with a tinge of pale green.

From a distance white berries pop brilliantly against grey stems of snow berry. Dulux brilliant white doesn’t do this justice.

The lichens on the rocks and tree trunks are a zingy greygreen.

There are still trees with leaves of green but they are few now and look faded but somehow still have that dark summer green.

The beech trees cling onto their leaves which are rich golden russet. The keys hang still from the ash trees looking golden against the grey of the trunks.

I notice more Alder catkins but this time a reddy purple, glowing in the sun light.

As we finish our walk we walk past spindles with crimson red berries, the next one has bright pink berries. The pinks and red vary from shrub to shrub.

 

Autumn

Autumn has arrived in Shropshire.

The trees are changing colour with hues of red, yellow and brown appearing in the green woodlands on the hill sides.

On dry days piles of leaves are gathering in corners ready to be collected in wheel barrows and allowed to break down in compost bins. Or you can run through them, kicking them in the air.

When I walk Hettie and Dillie in the mornings the tops of the hills are shrouded in  Autumn mists and the grass in the Meadows is heavy with dew.

The Long Tailed Tits and Their Hangers On flit from one tree to another tweeting their high pitched call as they go.

The apples are ripening, the cookers making apple crumbles to have with custard on cold Autumn evenings.

Autumn walks, on sunny days are the best, damp, still, grey days are not so good. These are Days for jobs in side.

So here I am doing a blog on Autumn, with a heavy drizzle outside, Hettie and Dillie curled up on the sofa after a quick walk before the rain arrived, looking forward to the next sunny Autumn day.

Flounders’ Folly Heritage Open Days

Over the August Bank Holiday Weekend Flounders’ Folly had 120 visitors.

September’s Heritage Open Days will be from the 11th to the 20th.

Flounders’ Folly will be open as part of the Heritage Open Days on the 20th September from 11am until 4pm. As it is run by volunteers they will not be open on the Saturday.

Founder’s Folly is eighty feet above the top of Callow Hill giving stunning views over the Shropshire countryside into other counties and over to Wales.

A photograph of Flounders' Folly at sunrise on 26th June 2020

Flounders’ Folly at Sunrise

The best place to park if you don’t walk from Craven Arms (a lovely walk) is the foot of Callow Hill on the road from Lower Dinchope, map reference SO457854. Please park respectfully.

The walk up is along a well trodden footpath.

At the present only one group of up to six people are allowed up Flounders’ Folly at a time.

There are lovely views to enjoy from ground level as well if you have to wait for other visitors.

Hand sanitizer is available on entrance and exit.

Entry is free but donations for the up keep of Flounders’ Folly are appreciated.

Flounders’ Folly is open on the 27th September as well from 11a.m. until 4pm.

Walking Festivals and Challenges 2019

Shropshire is a great area for walking in and for those of you who enjoy organised events I have put together a list of some of our local walking festivals. I will give a quick summary and let you research further.

A photograph of the Kemp Valley, near Bishop's Castle, South Shropshire

Kemp Valley, near Bishop’s Castle, South Shropshire

Bishops Castle Ramble, Scramble, Amble, May 11th 2019. Three walks from Bishops Castle or to bishop castle for the amble. Raising money for Bloodwise.

Bishops Castle Walking Festival 15th May until 19th May 2019 . This is the 21st Walking Festival in Bishops Castle.

The 17th Clun Valley Challenge is on 18th May 2019. There is a 26 mile or 16mile walk with a 4300 ft ascent. Entry is £22.

Church Stretton Walking Festival is from the 20th June until June 23rd 2019. Lots if different walks including a Stars in Your Skies Walk, a Photography Walk and a Nordic Walking event. The Mynd Drover is the long walk.

Bishops Castle Challenge Walk is in Saturday 3rd August 2019. This is a 24 mile walk with a 4000 ft ascent. There are 13 mile and 11mile options available. £20 entry fee which includes refreshments and certificate.

The Tusker Colour Run at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms is on the 17th August 2019. Book via the Centres Website www.shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk. There is a 3.5km route which you can jog, run or walk along which are paint stations from where the participants get covered  in paint. Entrances fees are from £15 per adult.

Cardio Carlos 5km Fun Run is on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August 2019.  The race starts at 9.30am from the Aston on Clun Village Hall where there is also parking and is organised by the Kangeroo Inn. Entry fee is £15 pre 15th August, £20 after. All proceeds will go to CRY (Cardio Risk in the Young). Visit their Facebook page (Cardio Carlos 5k).

Tour des Marches formally the Wistanstow Challenge is on 14th September 2019. It is 26miles long with a mass start at 8.30am. Fee from £10 which include a light breakfast from 7.15, hit food at the finish and Beer.

Much Wenlock Walking Weekend is on August 30th until September 2nd 2019. There are walks for different abilities. Keep checking their Web site.

I hope there is something to inspire you. I like the look of a couple of the Church Stretton walks, so I may see you out there.

The image used in this blog post is with kind permission of Bishop’s Castle Walking Festival.

Dark Skies Discovery Sites Church Stretton

A Dark Skies Discovery Site is a place where the Milky Way (not the chocolate bar) is visible in the night sky with the naked eye. There are four Dark Skies Discovery Sites across the Long Mynd, Church Stretton.

The Milky Way over the Swiss Alps

These locations need to be accessible to the public and have a good clear view of the sky to be accepted as a Dark Skies Discovery Site.

There are degrees of classification, Milky Way Class being the highest. The degree of darkness determines the classification.

The four sites at Church Stretton are at Carding Mill Valley, Cross Dyke Car Park at Boiling Well, Pole Cottage and Shooting Box Car Parks, and are shown on the map below.

An OpenStreetMap of Dark Skies Discovery Sites, Long Mynd, Church Stretton

OpenStreetMap of Dark Skies Discovery Sites

Star in Your Skies organises events on Long Mynd supported by Shropshire Astronomical Society.

Events are often arranged at short notice by local enthusiasts and of course weather-dependent.

Stars In Your Skies Walk 20th June 2019, starting at 10pm in Carding Mill Valley. It is a two hour stroll around Carding Mill Valley and the foothills of the Long Mynd. Lots of facts figures and stories to keep you entertained. £6 guided walk. www.churchstrettonwalkingfestival.co.uk

Solstice Sleepout organised by the National Trust , look at events for Carding Mill Valley, on the 20th and 21st June 2019. See Sunset and Sunrise under the stars. Booking is essential £20. Bring warm clothing and a small tent. Meeting at 10p.m. place to be arranged.

I am certainly thinking of doing the walk.

The image at the top of this post shows the night sky during the lunar eclipse over the Swiss Alps. Along with the eclipsed moon, visible in the photo are Mars below the moon, Saturn in the middle, and Jupiter to the right. The Milky Way arises above them all, shining through wispy high clouds. Numerous satellites and aircraft make it a happening Friday evening in the sky. The image is from Wikimedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Wikimedia article on Church Stretton notes that the town was once nicknamed “Little Switzerland”.

Things to Do in Clun

Clun used to be a thriving commercial centre but is now a town of tranquillity. This does not mean nothing happens there. It has the Clun Green Man Festival and the Clun Valley Beer Festival. The Scamble, Ramble Amble stops in Clun for lunch and the Arts Alive Sportive starts from there.

Things to Do in Clun included walks along the River Clun. Going up the bank to the Church and turning left just before the Church will take you to Waterloo Ford.

Waterloo Ford in Clun

Waterloo Ford in Clun

Clun is divided in two by the River Clun. The older part is to the South of the river around the Church and up the bank. The more modern Norman part is to the north of the river around the Castle.

The Norman Castle ruin is built on the site of a motte and Bailey.

Clun Castle can be reached from the car park by the river as well as through the town. With lovely views down the Clun Valley towards Newcastle on Clun.

Clun Information Board

Clun Information Board

The Mill known as The Malevolent Mill is not open to the public but is somewhere interesting to stay. It is occasionally open on Heritage Days. It still has all its milling equipment.

St George’s Church at the top of Church Street is a Norman Church. There are some lovely views from here over the newer part of the town of Clun. Look for John Osbornes grave stone in the graveyard.

Clun Museum is in the old Town Hall. It holds local artefacts including details of a proposed railway from Craven Arms to Newcastle on Clun. Entrance fee is 50pence, this has got to be good value. Open Tuesday from 2pm and Saturdays from 11a.m., closed for lunch.

Packhorse Bridge dates from 1450. It is largely unchanged. This is the site of the annual battle between the Clun Green Man and the May Frost Queen.

Clun Packhorse Bridge

Clun Packhorse Bridge

Trinity Hospital and Almshouses provide accommodation for older members of the community. Built in 1614 round two quadrangles the grounds and gardens are open to the public.

Local beers can be sampled at the White Horse and the Sun Inn. The Sun Inn was built in the 15th Century of cruck construction and is grade two listed.

Clun is well worth an explore. Look at the information board in the river side car park for other things to do in Clun.

Ramble, Scramble, or Amble 2019

Ramble, Scramble, Amble is on Saturday 11th May 2019  starting from Bishops Castle with all proceeds going to Bloodwise.

With the start in Bishops Castle the Ramble Scramble Amble takes the walkers through some beautiful South Shropshire countryside.

View From Bury Ditches Hill Fort

View From Bury Ditches Hill Fort

The Ramble is a 22.5 mile circular walk.

The Scramble is 13 miles and the Amble is 9.5 miles.

The Ramble, Scramble, Amble  entry fee is £19 until April 1st when it will be £20. It includes instructions, refreshments, lunch (hot and vegetarian), transport as needed and a certificate. Closing date is 6th May.

The Ramble and Scramble start in Bishops Castle, lunch is provided in Clun where the Amblers are transported to to start their walk, with everyone finishing back in Bishops Castle.

The Scramble and Amble follow a shortened route of the Ramble. Some of the paths used are not usually open to the public.

The Ramble Scramble Amble take in Bury Ditches, The Walcott Estate, part of the Shropshire Way and some stunning views of the Shropshire Hills.

The routes are well signed and there are helpful marshalls and the route instructions are clear.

Bloodwise supports people with leukaemia, which is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. It also helps providing ground breaking research into leukaemia.

The photograph used in this post shows the view from Bury Ditches Hill Fort, South Shropshire. This image is taken from Wikimedia Commons and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Things to Do in Ludlow

This post is about Things to Do in Ludlow, and in this series of blogs I hope I am giving you ideas of things to do which are going to cost you pennies but also some that are free.

Ludlow

Ludlow Castle. Did you know it used to be the capital of Wales? There is lots for you to explore and learn and a lovely tearoom. There is also a gift shop which can be visited without having to enter the Castle. You will have to pay to look round the Castle.

Ludlow Museum is only a pound to visit it is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 4pm. There are a variety of platforms where you can learn about Ludlows social history and architecture. There are views from the Museum, which on the upper floor of the Buttermarket, down Broad Street, this alone makes that £1 worth it.

Ludlow Brewing Company is open daily from 10am until 5pm. There are tours at 3pm Monday to Friday and at 2pm on Saturday. Enjoy sample of six beers and a pint of another for £7.

Laurences Church Tower is visible at the top of the town. Churches are always worth a visit as they have so much social history to tell you. It is open from 10 a.m. daily and closes its doors at 5pm.

Mortimer Forest on the outskirts of Ludlow has signed walks from the car parks at High Vinnalls or Black Pool(out at Richards Castle). There is an Easy Access walk for pushchair and wheel chairs. Great place for picnics, playing and exploring.

Whitcliffe Common is a small remnant of a much larger Common. It is opposite the Castle. There are superb views of Ludlow and plenty more walking and exploring to be done.

There are lots of walking opportunities in Ludlow. Go to Castle Street car park and look over Ludlow Town Walls, there is a viewing platform, with a Toposcope telling all the hills you are looking at.

The Broad Gate, Broad Street, Ludlow

The Broad Gate in Ludlow

Walk down Broad Street and go through the gate a little way then turn back and look at the Gatehouse.

Walk round Ludlow Castle past Dinham House down the Hill to Dinham Bridge and the Millennium Green.

Dinham House is the home of Clearview Stoves but is well worth visiting to look inside the house. There is also some display panels telling you a bit about the house as well.

Explore all those back alleys and streets to get different perspectives of the town and find bits of old wall and views into courtyards and gardens.

Ludlow has lots of fabulous Markets throughout the year. There are the usual fruit and veg ones, Farmers Markets, craft markets, antique and flea and book markets.

Ludlow has lots of lovely shopping opportunities as well. The charity shops are always worth a visit. There are specialist food shops, there are still independent gift, artisan, and clothing shops.

There are lots of old pubs and cafes and restaurants to satisfy your thirst or hunger.

Enjoy exploring and finding Things to Do in Ludlow.

The image of Ludlow the top of this blog post which shows Ludlow Castle and St Laurence church is from Wikipedia and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The photograph of The Broad Gate taken by Pauline Eccles is from Wikipedia and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

 

Magnalonga

The 2018 Ludlow Magnalonga Sunday 12th August 2018
Magnalonga will be on the 12th August 2018 starting and finishing at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

Starting times are from 10am till 11.50 am, for which you can express a preference.

Finish time is between 4pm and 6pm.

It is a walk where you also get to sample local food and drink.

The walk is 8 to 10 miles long and is done at a leisurely pace, it is not a race.

The walk will include some stiles, steep gradients and rough ground, so please make sure you are suitably dressed.

Children are welcome but the walk is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Dogs are welcome but must be kept on the lead.

Parking will be in a nearby field.

Anyone can accompany the walk but you cannot sample the food and drink unless you have paid.

What a great way to spend your day, walking through the beautiful Shropshire countryside, eating lovely locally produced food and drink.

Tickets for this event will be available at the end of June 2018.

For more information look at www.magnalonga.co.uk

The image at the top of this blog post is copyright Magnalonga.