The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Callow Hill and Brown Clee Hill (Again)

Here’s a snap I took as we headed off up View Edge yesterday morning:


There was still a full blanket of snow, albeit clearly thawing, when we arrived at last night’s campsite, but by the time we awoke this morning not a bit was left, even on the higher ground. Significant amounts of rain in the night, combined with the quick thaw, meant that the theme of today was mud.

Callow Hill (SO460850; 336m)


Conveniently, last night’s campsite was located such that we could tackle this morning’s hill without having to take the trouble to drive anywhere. Up the adjacent lane we headed where we soon found ourselves faced with a ‘footpath legally diverted’ sign, from where we duly followed the new waymarks. That was fine until the clear marking of the new route disappeared and the direction we chose proved not to be the correct one. Or, at least, it proved not to be the legal route. It did, however, place us on a track which gave us a (trespassing) route to the summit which was definitely superior to the intended route, as it avoided both the tarmac and descent-to-reascend which would otherwise have featured.

Callow Hill is a notable and interesting hill for the presence of Flounders’ Folly on the top, which was built in 1838, fell into disrepair about 100 years later and which was bought by a local group in 2001 (for the princely sum of £1), who subsequently raised funds and restored it. I imagine it makes the hill a popular one, and apparently the folly is open to the public at least one Sunday a month, but on this windy Thursday morning we saw not a single person.


Blue skies had accompanied the first part of our walk, but by the time we approached the summit it was clear to see that we weren’t going to stay dry for long. Sure enough, just before the top the first of the sleet hit us, robbing us of views which, I’m sure, would have been excellent and far reaching an hour earlier. 

We were back at the campsite by 10am (the trespassing route had cut the distance down to 3.5 miles and the ascent down to 750’), where I pondered the map over a cup of tea.

Brown Clee Hill (for the second time this week! SO593867; 540m)


The final hill of this trip, per my plan, was to be Caer Caradoc Hill, but that one can easily be picked up when we return to Shropshire for the final hills in this area, so I used that (plus the strength and direction of the wind) to justify a change of plan.

I was annoyed that I’d (very carelessly) missed the true summit of Brown Clee Hill on Monday and returning to it today would put that right. Moreover (to further justify the revisit), we would approach Brown Clee Hill from the east (giving us shelter from the keen wind for most of the outing) whereas my planned route up Caer Caradoc Hill would have been exposed.

Disappointingly, there was no discernable difference in height between where I stood three days ago and where I stood today (a photo I took on Monday suggested there was; it was obviously just the camera angle). However it was a perfectly pleasant walk, even if the wind was positively throwing snow at us on the top (it had been sunny on the way up and was sunny as we got back down, but for the second time today we were robbed of complete views from the top).


We didn’t repeat the full circuit of Monday; it was just an out-and-back of 3.1 miles with 700’ of up.

And then we came home, where (hopefully) a nice man is going to fix our oven tomorrow so we can bake some goodies for our next trip :-)

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