Tuesday, 24 July 2012

AEW&DFPS walk from Church Stretton

I'm Secretary of the Alderley Edge, Wilmslow & District Footpath Preservation Society (http://www.footpaths.org.uk/ ) and today Ivan, our former Chairman, organised a walk from Church Stretton in Shropshire. We caught the 9:43 train from Wilmslow this morning. It was a glorious day of hot sunshine and we began with a visit to Berry's tea shop on the High Street, where I enjoyed a refreshing glass of home made lemonade.

Poor quality pictures from my ancient phone, I'm afraid.. Forgot to take the Canon G12!

Marion and Ivan relax in Berrys tea shop garden

We decided to split into two groups, Ivan leading some up to the Long Mynd, myself and Hilary leading another group up over Ragleth Hill. Our walk started with a stiff climb up out of Church Stretton to the south east, past houses at first, until we came to a stile into woodland at the lower part of the hill. The path steepened considerably and the gradient didn't let up until we emerged on the shoulder of the hill above the woods. Then it got even steeper over the open ground to the top, where we stopped for a picnic lunch. It was not only intensly hot, but clear as well allowing wide and stunning views all around; the Long Mynd to the west, Clee hill to the south, The Wrekin and Peckforton Hills to the north, and Wenlock Edge to the east.

The long ridge-top of Ragleth Hill pointed our way forward to the south west, and we followed the path with its delightfully springy short grass across the three summits of the ridge.

Looking back from Ragleth's southernmost summit to its middle summit, with the summits of Caer Carodoc and Hope Bowlder either side of it

Church Stretton from Ragleth's southernmost summit

 Little Stretton from the same viewpoint

Off the southern end of Ragleth was very steep descent and I was glad I'd brought my walking poles with me. I found this descent harder than the ascent, but at last we emerged past some cottages onto the main A49 road, which we crossed to arrive at the pub in Little Stretton just in time for a pint before it closed!
One or two members of the group were suffering in the heat so we decided to take the local bus back to Church Stretton (good job I had my bus pass with me). There, we met the other group who had enjoyed a tough walk up to The Mynd and back.

The combined group enjoy and end of walk drink in Church Stretton before catching the train home to Wilmslow.

Thank you Ivan for organising a great day out. You must tell me where you order your weather from!

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