I was recently in Chester for a spot of dog sitting and wallpaper removal. The weather was not wonderful but dogs have to be walked and various paths and parks around Hoole were explored to include a stroll in the rain around the “Walls”.

Monday’s weather was the best of the bunch and in the morning Holly and I walked along the canal to Christleton and back. We then picked up Andy and headed off to Chirk for an interesting walk along mostly lanes but some muddy paths in the afternoon.



Posh gates near Chirk Castle


Chirk castle area

The snowdrops were making an appearance.


I managed to get home before Rhodri and Gianna and wash off Holly in the bath!

The day finished with a visit to the new library/cinema complex now known as the Story House in Chester where Rhodri and I watched a film of very talented skiers and snowboarders.

Carding Mill, Long Mynd, Ashes Hollow

Rain. It started during the early hours of Sunday and was still pouring down at 0730 when I dismantled my tent. I sat in the car and read a book until 0930 when I thought it was time Andy should leave his sleeping bag. His excuse was he thought I was still in the land of nod and didn’t want to disturb me!

By the time we left the site the weather had eased and our plan was to again park in Carding Mill Valley and head up to the Long Mynd and descend above Ashes Hollow and back to the car.


We walked up the Valley passing the national Trust cafe which may have our custom later and turned left at Lightspout Hollow, passing a small waterfall. from here we climbed onto the moorland made our way to Pole Bank on the Long Mynd.



One of a number of times we took off the rainwear



The path is wide and made up of compressed gravel, an improvement since Andy’s last walk here. We saw a party of mountain bikers and possibly one of a few groups of D of E youngsters.

From the trig at Pole bank we walked along the Long Mynd to just past Pole Cottage  and took a path south east which followed the lip of Ashes Hollow as far as Barristers Plain.


Places to see from Pole Bank – apparently!


Pole bank trig point

It was now raining heavily once again but with tummies rumbling we stopped for lunch before continuing down the path to Little Hollow. The views on this walk were obscured a lot of the time but when there was a break the views down into the valleys reminded me of the Lake District.




Once in Little Stretton we walked on the Ludlow Road and then up into the woods shown as Cunnery Road passing the small reservoir and down a nice path back to the car park but not before celebrating our weekend with coffee and cake in the National Trust car park.


A just reward

There is plenty more to explore in this area and I’m sure we’ll be back before too long.





Caer Caradog

My brother-in-law, Andy and I were able to escape for the weekend and our destination was to be the Shropshire Hills. I had never been there before or even driven in the area. The “Navigator” had confirmed we should enjoy the walking and I had also been in touch with Andy Howell of the blog “Must be this Way” for ideas.

We had considered a backpacking weekend but the weather, especially for Sunday was not looking good and so we decided to book a base camp and have two separate walks. Our first choice for a camp site was a small one in Little Stretton but was fully booked. The second choice which turned out to be a winner was Brook House Farm a few miles east of Church Stretton on the B4371.

Saturday’s walk was pinched from Walking Britain route 3048 and would take in The Lawley and Caer Caradog.


We parked in Carding Mill Valley and then walked through the town of Church Stretton crossing the A49 to find a path which skirted Caer Caradog which led up onto The Wilderness.




We kept on the ridge and then onto Enchmarsh where we took a by way up to and along Hoars Edge which led to a minor road and the north side of The Lawley. We stopped for lunch here before climbing steadily to the top of the hill which gave extensive views of the Shropshire countryside.



Looking toward the summit of The Lawley


Views north and west


Looking west


Caer Caradog the next hill


Summit sculpture on the The Lawley


Our next objective was Caer Caradog which meant a descent of the The Lawley and then a climb up to the summit of Caer Caradog. Again good views of the countryside. Following a coffee break we made our last descent and walked back to the car in Carding Mill.


The start of Caer Caradog


Outcrops on Caer Caradog


Three Fingers Rock (?)

We found the camp site which was nice and flat and with just a few tents and camping vans in situ.



With our tents soon pitched we ate a hearty meal before retiring to the local pub for a few glasses of very tasty beer.

During the night the forecast rain poured down. We had already decided that we would walk on Sunday no matter what the weather.

Sunday’s walk follows.