Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Reconnaissance walking in South Shropshire

21st 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…

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