Colin is in need of a bath when he gets home. He’s had an adventurous (and dirty) day today, frolicking up some very little lanes of such poor quality that I struggled to convince Mick that we were, in fact, on a public road and not just a farm track. The first hill of the day was:
Heath Mynd (SO336941)
Parking in a layby on the main road gave a longer approach to this hill, but meant that Mick could join me, which was a fine plan until, about three minutes in, we found the right of way overgrown to the point of being impassable. Plan B was brought into action which saw Mick steer Colin up the worst excuse for a road and reverse him (on the third attempt, after spinning wheels had liberally spattered mud up Colin’s flanks) into the entrance of a track so he was just about off the narrow road. Leaving Mick there, for the unlikely event that someone should come along and need access to the track, off I strode up the hill.
I think this is the first hill since my Marilynning campaign began where I don’t have a photo of myself on the top. I’d just taken photos of the rain in one direction and the fine skies in the other when the rain hit me and that, combined with being mindful of not wanting to leave Mick sitting there too long, led me to trot off back down the hill. I was out of sight of the top when it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken a selfie and whilst on a fine day with Mick parked in a sensible spot I would have re-ascended, today I didn’t.
I was soon back at Colin, having completed a circular outing of just 1.25 miles with 500’ of up.
Corndon Hill (SO306969)
There’s plentiful parking within easy reach of this hill, allowing Mick to join me as I huffed, puffed and laboured my way up. I’m not sure Mick bought my excuse that I’d already trotted up one hill; perhaps the reality is that I’ve lost a chunk of fitness over the last quarter.
Other than the steepness, the ascent was simplicity itself and after being blown around on the summit for a few minutes (the wind had picked up again; it had been absent for Heath Mynd) our steps were retraced. Funnily enough, it was a steep descent too.
Mitchell’s Fold Stone Circle lay not far beyond where we’d parked Colin, so we strode right by him on our return and visited the English Heritage site (that surprised me. Corndon Hill is in Wales, but it turned out that we’d parked Colin right on the border and thus had re-entered England in visiting the Stone Circle). I’m never too excited by stone circles themselves, but the information sign there gave enough history to make it interesting.
Back at Colin (with 2.25 miles walked and a whole 600’ of ascent) our time was bided, as I didn’t want to hit the final hill of the day until as close to 3.30pm as we could manage.
Caeliber Isaf (SO212934)
This is one of those Marilyns that I was tempted to omit from my list ticking. The summit is the middle of a field, which is accessed by way of crossing other fields. That gives the ‘hill’ a bit of a pointless air but, in itself, wouldn’t put me off. The off-putting feature, for me, is that there’s not a right of way running over it, which meant that my entire walk would be an act of trespass. Hence, I wanted to arrive as the light was fading out of the day.
Unfortunately, we arrived a bit early and the parking situation was such that Mick opted to let me trespass alone. It was at a trot that I attacked the first field. Now, usually when I say that I trotted or ‘almost ran’ up a hill what I mean is that I walked as fast as my little legs could carry me. Today, seeing a farm vehicle approaching along the road and wanting to be out of sight of the gateway before it passed, I ran. Uphill. And did I mention earlier my lack of fitness? Goodness me, my poor little heart!
With that excitement over (the vehicle passed before I got out of sight but it didn’t pay me any heed) it was simply a fast walk (and the negotiation of one fence) up to the flat area in the middle of a field. Then I went back down again, declaring that it may not be the dullest Marilyn I’ve visited to date, but that it’s right up there in the top two.
Looking uncommonly pleased to be standing in the middle of a field!
Brace yourself for the stats: 0.8 of a mile, with 150’ of ascent.