I’ve been promising myself that I’ll get down to South Shropshire for sometime and over the weekend after a busy working trip, I decided that I needed fresh air and hills. And why not? Sunday was a perfect Autumn day albeit started a little grey, the clouds cleared to reveal fresh blue open skies and a warm sun.
I was in awe of the scenery around me, the valley of Carding Mill dipped into a V and rocky streams cascaded down from the surrounding hills. It was just typical that I was in between walking boots, so my canvas trainers had to put up with the rough and bumpy terrain. My feet by the end weren’t happy with me one bit.
On we go…
We made our way through the flat but rocky part of the valley first, admiring the heather clad hills around us until we came to a sign post which pointed us to the water fall walk and the shooting box. The shooting box looked higher so we took that one and ascended up the grassy and rocky hill. I always have this little conversation with myself when I first start out on a steep bit and it goes from annoyance, lots of panting (although that’s becoming less and less these days) to enjoyment because I can start to see the top. I wander if I’ll ever start to really love the steep parts, I certainly love the views it brings. Does any hiker like the effort behind the ascent?
There are so many little paths to take around the valley which brings you out at different heights across Long Mynd but the sign posted ones since we’d never been before, seemed like a good idea. Once we got to the top of the hill, we looked back to see the vast valley beneath us. Although these parts are rather busy with the likes of school groups and avid walkers, it’s something that you have to expect for a National Trust owned place. After all, I can’t complain about the crowds because I pay my fee to help look after it and be there. Still once you reach the top, it quietens out, It’s flattish with nothing but moorlands covered in decaying heather which is burnt every year to help increase the wildlife that nests in it. And the walks go on for miles with different grades from easy, medium to hard which are colour coded.
Go Wild but be Cautious
We said hello to passing walkers and bikers, which reminds me, it’s excellent terrain for mountain bikers but be warned you share the path with walkers and there’s some very dodgy corners that could catch you out should you want to go like stink! We did a fair few hours of walking, it was a slow and low incline and stopped at the point where there is a… (I don’t know what it’s called) but the picture below will show you. On top of it, is a metal plate with names of nearby hills and places with the distance etched in, I suppose it kind of looks like a compass.
Up here, there was a guy speaking in co-ordinates over a radio to other people giving him their positions. He looked like some kind of warden and I really wanted to be nosy and find out what he was doing but I refrained as I didn’t want to appear nosy because of course I am. We decided to turn back as the sun was going to set and we’d worked up an appetite so we popped into the visitors centre for a hot chocolate and a snack.
It really is one of the treasures of Shropshire and I’ve vowed that I’m going to explore more of it over the next year as considering I live in the beautiful county, I adventure more in Wales these days. Carding Mill Valley and Long Mynd are lovely locations for an easy Sunday adventure. You can go far enough to get lost and far enough to still be close should you only want a short adventure.
I feel really happy that I support the National Trust in helping to look after such beauty. Although it’s a shame the car park is closed at 7 pm and you’re not allowed to camp but I suppose it’s how the trust has kept it a flourishing and safe place for the wildlife that’s home there.
Have you been anywhere new lately?