Reconnaissance walking in South Shropshire21st December 2007
Engineering works induced some timetable changes that presented the prospect of a Sunday visit to Knighton to explore some of the scenery around there. After all, the Offa’s Dyke Path passes nearby so it can’t be bad. A bus journey from Macclesfield to Crewe set me up for an onward train journey. Everything was going well until tardiness by Arriva Trains Wales meant that I missed the train to Knighton. It’s on the Heart of Wales railway and so the level of service isn’t so frequent. Couple that with its not having a Sunday bus service and plans soon change.
As ever, I had a back up plan in mind: this time, it was to be the Long Mynd near Church Stretton. I had passed by this striking hill country a number of times while destined for such places as Abergavenny, Crickhowell and Brecon so it was about time that I paid the area a visit, even as short as my first one proved to be.
I pottered up the Carding Mill Valley to the heights where Pole Bank tempted until I saw the faintness of the path through the heather from Shooting Box. That still left me with a good bimble before I came back down again, by way of Haddon Hill and Bodbury Hill. These hills may not be high but the gradients are nothing to be mocked; they certainly gave my legs and lungs a decent workout. The day remained resolutely overcast but that doesn’t bother me since the idea of a return is a tempting prospect. I still hope to get to Knighton…