I can’t believe I’ve not blogged on the awesomeness that is Rodney’s Pillar. It’s one of the first places that I visited when I first moved up to the country side. I’ve only been a few times which coming to think of it, since it’s only on my door step, I can’t think why I’ve not been here more. A few nights ago, we decided to take a walk up and watch the sunset and admire the stary sky on our walk back home.
Rodney’s Pillar, in Wales is built on top of Breidden Hill, with panoramic views of Shropshire and Wales. It’s rather popular with walkers so although not crowded, you’re bound to spot a few people here and there, as we did. We briefly stopped to speak to a southerner who had conquered Rodney’s pillar and told us about his encounter with the herds of sheep following him, which later we discovered ourselves (sheep are a bit scary in packs!).
There’s quite a few locations that you can start the Rodney’s Pillar walk from but we always take the Forestry Commission car park in Criggion. I’m awful with directions simply because I don’t drive and I’m only just learning how to navigate myself around properly. I tend to go off gut feeling which has done me wanders so far (Maps etc baffle me but I do intend to learn…) Anyway, I’ll give you something more credible to refer to for Rodney’s directions.
From the car park, there’s a gate which gives you access to an unnamed road, it hadn’t occurred to me that cars drive up here (so watch out) until I saw one that night, although few and far between. If you keep on this road, it slopes up and up until you come to left turning which leads you to picnic tables and a pond. There’s a lot of pheasants around these parts too (which I love) because sadly they’re kept for the shooting season 😦 so they do close the woods when this happens. Eventually you’ll come to another gate, which leads up to the start of Rodney’s Pillar. Giant rolling, grassy hills with a stunning backdrop of the pillar itself.
The area is a curious one because I’m always tempted to walk straight to the pillar but there are little paths that lead you deeper into the woods or back out to the likes of Middle Town. It’s great for a picnic or camera practice if you don’t want to walk right to the top but the views are worth it, especially if you get it on a sunny day or evening.
I love standing next to Rodney, admiring the land beneath me (that’s not me below-I’ve much bigger hips). The winds are rather cold up here as you can imagine so do bring a warm and waterproof coat / boots to embark on this walk. It’s a bit rocky on the last parts as you ascent up. Apparently this walk is 5.28 miles and is classed as medium, reaching 1200ft but it personally feels rather easy although it’s a calf burner to start with!
The walk back down is nice but if you do it in the dark, bring a torch because it’s pitch black. The woodlands are rather quiet and I was hoping to hear owls and what not but with the forestry commission recently ‘pruning’ the trees back, I suspect it’s spooked a bit of the wildlife. Still, on a clear night, the stars are just beautiful and I could stay there (with hot chocolate all night). Sadly you’re not allowed to camp, bike or have fires as the excess amount of signs kept reminding us and there are rangers to check everyone is behaving themselves.
As walks go, it’s a nice walk up but nothing spectacular until you get to the top and are treated to a 360 degree view of greenery and for the history lovers it’s full of it.