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]

Saturday 5 December 2015

Heath Mynd, Corndon Hill and Caeliber Isaf

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.


Rain approaching

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.


  1. Marilyns are versatile - some of them are so undistinguished that one looses little by "summiting" them on a poor day with no views. I see a couple of these would have been within striking distance on my last walk, but would I have detoured? Sitting here in the comfort of my den it is easy to think I would, but it all depends on circumstances, and logistics at the time. Whenever I next get the chance I plan to site the caravan in that area and mop up the English ones - Corndon Hill appears to be enclosed in a strange loop on the Welsh side of the border.

    1. I first looked at these hills at the beginning of the year and had planned a single route taking in Stiperstones, Heath Mynd and Corndon Hill, but being 16.5 miles long decided it was a bit much for this time of year (or maybe I mean 'for my current level of laziness'!). I don't think there's any chance that I would have made such a diversion during a long distance walk.

      I was surprised to find that Corndon Hill was in Wales - something I only noticed when I couldn't find it in the England section in my Hill Lists App.