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]

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

View Edge and Burrow

Long post alert; it's been quite an eventful day!

The location of yesterday's night-stop was not somewhere we would ordinarily choose: a large car park on the edge of a town. Ordinarily, we would opt for somewhere up a little lane, but in the snowy weather conditions and with more snow forecast overnight, it seemed ill-advised to take Colin up steep, narrow lanes. Plumping for the near-urban car park, I did say "It's not like anyone's likely to be up to no good or causing a disturbance there on a snowy Tuesday in January, is it?" How wrong I was!

The boy-racers appeared before 9pm and stayed for over five hours. Quite how it's possible to be entertained for that length of time by revving your engine and tearing around a car park is beyond me; perhaps the skid-pan conditions caused by the snow helped? In any case, it was gone 2am when we finally had peace and quiet to sleep (and although he caused no real disturbance, I wasn't overly pleased when a dog walker pulled up nearby and slammed car doors at 4.15!).

On more positive side, we did get some sleep, no skidding car hit us during the night, we learnt lessons about large near-urban car parks on Tuesdays in January, and we were well-placed to continue our Marilyn quest this morning. Little did we know at the time that the night-time boy-racer shenanigans were not the end of the excitement of the day…

View Edge (SO422809; 321m)


First up today was an uneventful jaunt up View Edge – a deceptively named hill as it has no view and doesn't boast something that I would describe as an 'edge'. Happily for us, we didn't need to take Colin down any icy lanes for this one. He was neatly abandoned in a layby on the A49, just by the turn for Stokesay, and under clear skies we slip-slid our way down the lane on foot. Across farm land and into some woodland we went, where the snow cover was as pretty as it comes, with all of the trees well plastered, but the going underfoot was a bit arduous, not because of the snow, but because of the soft mud that lay beneath it.

There's no public right of way running to the top of this hill, but research on had told me that if we walked around the bottom of the hill, we could follow a trodden line up beside a fence on the other side, which would deposit us on the top, and that's what I had intended for us to do. However, when we missed a turn in the path at one point, we found ourselves over a stile and in the woodland, from where we could see no reason that we couldn't just trespass up the nearer side of the hill. So, that's what we did. It did give us a ridiculously steep route, but by some miracle we made it up and down without a single fall between us.

The fully-wooded summit would have been remarkable for its dullness on a different day, but the prettiness of the snowy trees detracted from the lack of views.

Burrow (SO381830; 358m)


Having retraced our steps to Colin, off we then headed to Kempton, where I came within a hair's breadth of committing a contender for the most embarrassing walking faux pas of my career, when I very nearly led Mick in completely the wrong direction and up the wrong hill! Two nearby hill forts had got me confused, and it was only the last-minute thought of programming the grid reference of the true summit into the mapping on my phone which alerted me to my error.

With the correct hill now firmly identified, off we went, up the Shropshire Way for a mile or so, before taking a footpath down a ridiculously steep hill. I didn't relish the thought of tackling it in the opposite direction, but that was a thought for later, and more of immediate concern was that from the bottom of that footpath, we needed to trespass for a not inconsiderable distance.

We didn't take the best possible route to the top (the final approach was a silly-steep undergrowth-bashing ascent), but we did take a much more sensible route back down (it turned out that if we had kept on the track when it appeared to start descending it would have taken us right to the top).

It was on our way back that the excitement started, when we heard gun shots pretty close by. We weren't initially concerned for our safety, but when, just a few yards from regaining the public right of way, we saw a woman and her gun dogs standing in the middle of our track, we knew that we had been caught red-handed in our trespass. Of further concern was the cluster of shiny 4x4s parked just beyond the woman, and the line of men with guns beyond that.

We were saved a telling-off by the fact that she was completely unaware that we weren't on a right of way, and she was happy for us to continue on our route, as it lay a few yards to the side of the area that was being driven for a pheasant shoot. There's nothing like a line of men with guns, and very loud bangs incredibly nearby, to focus the mind on getting up a very steep slope with above-average speed and I'm not sure I've ever powered up such a gradient faster.

Gasping at the top, it was then just an amble back down the track to Colin, where we declared that it had, all in, been quite an eventful day!

As for the stats, we covered 3.1 miles this morning with 600' of up, and 4 miles this afternoon, with 800' of up.  


  1. We are now getting the true appeal of Marilyning - often little hills with strange surprises, and taking you to the most unlikely spots. This is much better than trogging up some eroded path following the SMC guide.

    Just keep the adventures coming (but take care).

    1. I completely agree with you. Having now made it over a quarter through the English Marilyns, there's only been one hill that stands out in my mind as being a bit of a pointless walk (although if I hadn't been fog-bound the hill might just have had some redeeming features; perhaps I should go back, just to be sure!), and I've certainly been to some places over the last few weeks that would not have made it onto my radar without the Marilyns list.

      (As an aside, and something I'll hide in a comment so that not too many people see this sad confession: I'm already considering buying a second copy of RHoB as I'm fearing that my current copy will soon become so well thumbed that it won't survive my entire Marilyn journey!)