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 November 2007

The Wrekin

With both of us remembering our shoes today, our delayed plan came to fruition. We walked up the Wrekin - a hill that stands alone in a sea of flatness, not far from Telford. I’ve driven past hundreds upon hundreds of times but within my memory I have never been up it (according to my Mother I have, but I was very young at the time). So now, not only have we been Right Round the Wrekin (metaphorically, at least), but we’ve also been up it.

This hill turned out not to be entirely what I believed it to be. When I was in Junior School, whilst doing a project on volcanoes, I recall being told that the Wrekin was an extinct volcano. It’s not something that I’ve thought about greatly since, but I did believe it to be true.

Today, we’d not even left the car park when I came across an information board that started with the words ‘One of the most enduring myths about the Wrekin is that it is an extinct volcano’.

I didn’t get to read any more at that point as Husband was already striding away across the road, so I was soon trotting behind him to catch up.

A minute later things took a bit of a surreal turn when we encountered two fairies on horseback, with the horses themselves wearing pink boas and silver tinsel.
Fairies on Horseback

Fairies on Horseback

It transpired that their attire was all in aid of Children in Need. Quite how they came up with the idea of riding up to the top of the Wrekin dressed as fairies as a charitable stunt is a question that I should have asked.

We took the broad, easy and uninspiring track up to the top, meeting lots and lots of people on our way.

Despite the day not being tremendously clear, the views from the top were excellent.

A Fine View

The formation of the clouds coming out of the nearby cloud factory confirmed to us that it was a reasonably still day:
Cloud Factories

And a multi-coloured woodland caught my eye, although the Shropshire hills beyond aren’t too clear in the photo.
Good Views with Colourful Woodland

After the obligatory summit photo (which I’ve not reproduced here by virtue of it being an awful photo of me), we continued off the summit to drop down the south west side.

‘Twas a bit steep, but the pretty woodland and it being a path rather than a vehicle track made it a much nicer route than the track we had taken up. Despite it being by far the more pleasing side of the hill, we were suddenly all alone. Having seen so many people on the main track, during the whole of our return route (down the south west flank, then skirting around the north side) we saw only one man and his dog.

The woodland of our return yielded a good display of toadstools. Husband humoured my fixation with such things and patiently waited whilst I got the camera out.


The whole outing was less than 2 hours, but it turned out to be a lovely day for it – nice and sunny albeit a bit nippy when not exerting too much energy - and a pleasant little walk.

Full set of photos (except for the very dodgy summit one) is here.

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