One of the great things about hiking is discovering how many beautiful places there are in England. A couple of weeks ago I went up to Shropshire for a weekend of hiking near the Long Mynd. Sadly my plans were interrupted by a migraine. I couldn’t start the main walk, and arranged to join my friends half way.
I set out to meet them at Pole Bank, and took the wrong direction. The rendezvous was ontop a ridge, with various valleys etched on the edges. I picked the wrong valley, striking north-east rather than north.I should probably have taken a map, as the combination of a photographed section of OS and smartphone was not enough.
Climbing the hill I was weak too, barely able to breathe. I was an hour from the rendezvous, lost on a golf course and realised I was going to have to turn back. This was the first time I’ve had to give up on a walk, and I was disappointed. I’m used to planning over-ambitious walks then managing them. Giving up half way was not easy but it was the right thing to do. At least mobile phones meant I could let everyone know what was happening.
I did manage a couple of smaller walks, the first an afternoon stroll up Carding Mill Valley. And the following day, early in the morning, we drove a short way along Watling Street North to climb Caer Caradoc. We had thirty minutes to ascend before turning back for home – we still needed to check out of the airbnb.
I managed the climb and was rewarded with some amazing views of the local area. It made up for my failure on the earlier walk. The hill was meant to be the site of Caractacus’ last stand against the Roman invasion. There was supposed to be a cave near the summit, but we couldn’t find it. According to legend, the cave can only be found at dawn, so maybe we’d arrived too late for that.
We also tried out the local curry house, and Church Stretton’s Jaipur Lounge was excellent.