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]

Monday 16 November 2009

Long Mynd

On checking various weather websites yesterday evening it looked like today’s weather would be better than the next few days, so we earmarked the day for a trip from Church Stretton up Cardingmill Valley to Pole Bank.

Whilst making mountains of sandwiches to see us through the trip the weather changed from rain to fine and an hour or so later, as we set out past the Visitor Centre, it was looking like it would be a dry trip:

Long Mynd1 Just before Light Spout, which was full of water today (“drippy moss” was how Vic described its appearance last time she saw it) we paused for snackettes and Mick snapped a rather good group photo (albeit, for obvious reasons, he was missing from it):

Long Mynd2

A short while later I braved a wet right foot (my one Salomon Elios Mid has sprung a leak) to cross the torrent to get a good snap of the waterfall:


I’m using mobile internet this week so, for fear of falling asleep before blogs have posted, I’m limiting the number of photos. Therefore I won’t share with you the two pictures of various members of the party accidentally captured in ridiculous poses around this point of the walk.

We made it up to the top of Pole Bank where the views were spectacular but the wind rather keen, so we opted to drop down a bit before stopping to make a dent in the sandwich mountain. The substantially-pregnant member of the congregation claimed to be okay to complete the 8-mile circuit, but knowing that she has another walk tomorrow we didn’t want to wipe her out, so an executive decision was made to take the shorter route back.

A good decision!

Lunch was had not far down the hillside and about two minutes after we hauled ourselves to our feet, the rain that we had seen coming from the top hit us.

Oh my! That was twenty minutes of exciting weather! It was an uncommon combination of heavy rain powered by mightily strong wind and it positively stung when it hit bare flesh.

It was only when we dropped down into a steep valley that we got out of the worst of the wind, and a while later the rain eased off a bit too. Finally being able to look up without fear of suffering a stinging face I couldn’t help but notice what a spectacular valley we were in:

Long Mynd4 In complete contrast to the rain-lashing at the top, by the time we reached the bottom the skies were so stunningly blue and devoid of cloud it was difficult to believe that any other weather condition could have prevailed in the recent past:

Long Mynd5 Getting back to Cardingmill Valley it seemed rude not to take the short detour to the tea room to refresh ourselves with plentiful pots of tea and large slabs of cake. There, B found that her waterproof jacket could no longer claim to be waterproof. After wringing out her t-shirt she was glad to have a spare fleece in her bag. But, as she said, better to have found out on a short walk with a bit of violent rain than on a long wet day. She’s now in the market for a new jacket (any recommendations/gifts gratefully received, she says).

It was a very enjoyable outing, with 6 miles covered with 1500 feet of upness.


  1. Are you managing this with the Blackberry, Gayle? If so, well done, I've never succeeded in moving around multiple pictures.
    Nice walk (past my aunt and uncle's old house, so I know it well.
    Have a great holiday.

  2. I seldom manage to post the right photo with the Blackberry, never mind finding a way to place them at the right places in the text!

    No, as we arrived by car and we're staying in a house, it's the laptop and a mobile internet dongle this week. My PAYG t-mobile dongle leaves a lot to be desired (what with refusing to connect to Blogger and being obscenely slow), but fortunately Mick's is a bit Vodafone one is more compliant - so that's how the blog posts are appearing.

  3. Hmm, that didn't entirely make sense did it? Did I mention that there's a small quantity of wine featuring in this holiday, and thus the fingers don't always do what the mind says (or maybe it's the mind at fault?)?