Ramblings in South West Shropshire
Fortunately preceding Storm Doris by some 13 days, the weekend nevertheless presented interesting challenges in the form of snow and mud!
Seventeen of the 28 participants gathered on the Friday evening at the Castle Hotel for a welcome meal before waking to a covering of snow the following morning. Undaunted (but with 2 late cancellations for illness and 2 late arrivals for car problems) 17 of us set out in light snow for a 9 mile walk in the hills and rolling farmland to the southwest of Bishops Castle, with hazy views across to both the Long Mynd and Offa's Dyke and a good introduction to the landscape that the Lone Piners would have recognised. Tracks, footpaths, quiet lanes, woods, green and sunken lanes and a section of the Shropshire Way, with a succession of climbs and descents, made for a varied route and, on our return, several of us enjoyed afternoon tea at Yarborough House book/record shop and coffee shop, others opting for beer and rugby instead. Later, the larger group gathered at The Three Tuns for a convivial evening meal.
By Sunday the snow had been replaced by drizzle and 17 stalwarts met up in Clun for a 6.5 mile ramble up beyond Guilden Down, to the north east of the small town, with more views across to Offa's Dyke and lots of good humour, required for numerous stiles and copious amounts of mud underfoot! We returned by following a stretch of the Shropshire Way along a ridge, then the River Unk, encouraged by frequent glimpses of HQ3, aka Clun Castle. A late Sunday lunch in the White Horse Inn completed another memorable Society event.