I don’t Mynd if you don’t Mynd….

Well…this is the big one…a monster walk covering all of the other side of the Church Stretton valley – a loop of hills facing The Long Mynd scheduled to be over 18 miles long, have a total height gain of 1100 metres and take a total time of 8 and a half hours…

The hamlet of Enchmarsh….
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This week, Mrs Hill had successfully printed off all 18 pages of our monster walk. This route was so big that the map covered 3 of the pages and there were 80 points waymarked together with accompanying photos..

As we left Sheila behind in a small lay by my son sent me a Fathers Day greeting…he also told me that he’d put the RAF search and rescue on standby…oh how we laughed when at that moment a helicopter flew over us …
It would be a very long time before we saw Sheila again…..

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A gentle start…..

The first part of our walk was a fairly gentle route which led to The Lawleys.
This is a dinosaur ridge of a hill that we did on it’s own a few weeks ago to test my broken toe. This time though, it was just the first of many Hill’s that we’d visit ….
Written walking routes always have a personality ( e.g. Roy Woodcock’s routes always go wrong after half way because he’s visited the pub for lunch !) and today’s route was written by a bit of a joker…part of the route was taking us through a farmyard that he described as “looking like an angry farmer might appear with a shotgun saying that the path had been closed for years “…..
Our walking writer didn’t meet the farmer, but guess what ..we did !
He didn’t have a shotgun but he did have a Shogun and he did politely but very firmly inform us that there was no right of way over his land…
I was the height of diplomatic charm throughout our confrontation and managed to negotiate safe passage through the farmer’s land to continue our adventure.
Mrs Hill made a mental note to email the joker to update him…..

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The double ridge of The Lawleys….

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At the top with the bird….Caer Caradoc in the distance…

Coming down the hill we could see the Caradocs in front of us.
At the bottom of the hill, where a few weeks ago we’d looped back to the right, this time we carried on straight ahead.

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Fields of wild flowers….

Everywhere we’ve walked this summer the field’s have been full of wild flowers and it’s been wonderful to see…

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Caer Caradoc..a mere 560 million years old…

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Pink marble found on the way up the hill…

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This is an amazing place which was used as an Iron Age fort and it’s easy to see why…
The locals would have had a fantastic view of the surrounding area and at troubled times would’ve brought all their livestock and belongings to the fortress on top of the hill…

On a normal walking day doing The Lawleys and The Caradocs would have been a good day…..but not today…..
Today was set to be a real endurance test…getting the miles in our legs ready for the C2C…so on we went..
Next was the wooded dome of Helmeth Hill with it’s mast on top and then on to the open expanse of Ragleth Hill ..
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It was just after this point that my phone decided that enough was enough so no more photos…

From the far end of Ragleth we looped East then North East heading for home….it wasn’t the end of the Hill’s though….
After a walk through the hamlets of Ragdon and Chelmick we came to Hope Bowdler and turned North to climb the mighty Hope Bowdler Hill ( 426m )…and then our final hill, Willstone….

At this point our GPS decided to call it a day, and in the fading light it was down to my map reading skills and a compass…
It was approaching 9 p.m. as we wearily walked up the very steep lane back to Enchmarsh and the welcoming comfort of Sheila…almost 10 hours since we’d last seen her..

” Oh ” said Mrs Hill ..”I’ve lost my sunglasses, they were perched on my hat, they must have dropped off when I took my hat off a few minutes ago “….
“I’ll just pop back down the lane and get them” said I with a smile…..

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