Wild Eadric and Offa

So im currently sat on a bench outside the now closed Crown Inn, Clunton. My plan was pretty simple, run/walk the Wild Edric way from its start in Church Stretton to its end in Ludlow. The route takes in the Long Mynd, Stiperstone, offa’s Dyke and parts of the Shropshire way making a grand total of 47miles with a cheeky overnight bivvy.

I woke early and hit Church Stretton at around 7am, the first task was to climb Carding Mill and up Mott’s road to the top of the Long Mynd.

Looking back at Hazer Hill

There wasnt a sole around and I was surprised by the appearance of a man coming down the route. I snapped shots as I went and quickly made my way to the top.

Amazing cloud cover

I couldn’t quite decide where I was going at this point, searching my map I headed towards Robin Hoods shooting butt and then connected with a bridel path taking me down towards Betchcott Hill where iI was to joining the Shropshire way.

Wild Ponies
Far reaching

This was a slight detour to avoid boggier ground but it was worth the extra distance, I was soon joining the Shropshire way, winding its way down through a mini valley, Darnford Brook keeping me company

Signs of the times

I enjoyed this little area, having it all to myself made it even better, I skirted Ratlighope, the original route used the main road and im glad I added my diversion, passing a campsite, its occupants still slumbering, I arrived at Bridges, a couple donned boots and looked at me oddly as I passed by taking the Shropshire way up to Stedment farm.

View back towards Long Mynd.

The climb was steady and I deployed my poles which helped a lot.

Cars passed as did cyclist and I soon entered the Stiperston car park. Here I was to take the Lower path heading towards the far end and linking up with the Shropshire way again, instead I headed up onto the top, avoiding a lower path which was nothing more than a stream.

Manstone rock

The path on the top was difficult going, boulders jutted out at every angle making it difficult to run, feet slipped and bent as I picked my way along towards Manstone rock, the trig point perched bizarrely high on a large rock requiring a scramble up. I met a couple here and we talked a little and off I headed again. This time towards Cranberry rock and down to upper Knolls farm.

Black Rhadley Hill.

I traversed the field before heading into a newly felled wood, the area looking almost apocalyptic. I passed Nipstone rock and the Rock, Black Rhadley hill keeping my right side company. Gunfire rang out from its direction so i kept my head down and joined Linley Hill

Another hill, break stop, Norbury in the distance

I took a breather atop,snickers devoured and drink had, I trotted off passing a chap taking pictures of the vast views. I was glad to start going down hill now

Another of Wentnor

I was now in the lowlands and forced onto an uninspiring road section, passing Linley Hall, I trotted down the road mindful of cars before a small path opened in a hedge and across a field I went

Crunchy sounds

I enjoyed the crackle sound as I ran between the wheat, crossing more fields until I came to Glebe farm

Erm wheres the path

Although signed well sometimes they vanish, across the no-mans land I went to be directed by the farmer to the corner of the field, the next one held cows who were torn between investigating me and eating, luckily the latter won and I was left alone. Lydham came and went before I skirted more fields

Welcome to the jungle
Oh another hill how nice

I climbed yet another steep slope and soon passed through a campsite and into Bishops Castle. Here I stopped for lunch, it was just after 13pm now, Happy baps provided a lovely tuna roll, washed down with tea, coke and cake. Hunger satisfied I left Bishops Castle and again a long, long climb met me as I left the little village. After around 3miles I had reached my turn off.

Wales to the right, uk to the left
Offa’s Dyke

I turned onto offa’s Dyke, its bank high above me keeping a watchful eye all along its boundary.

Hill, its getting silly now

At only 89miles it’s not terribly long but it has nasty ascent and decent, the ups and downs definitely taking it out of me now and I was walking more than running. I passed walkers completing its full route and bade them well. Offa was hard master and its continuous rise and fall sapped my legs and seemed to go on forever. I rejoined the Shropshire way and spotted one of only two Edric signs

The first sign

After Three Gates farm, the route again climb up more fields towards Clun, I was pretty much done with this by now and opted for the road. The signs here mocked me with each claiming Clun was three miles away. Id run out of water now and upon reaching clun I was glad to find a Spa. Drinks had, I realised that nowhere had room, my plan was to bivvy but after 27mile (watch died at this point) I really fancied a shower. With no room at the Inn. I set off towards Bury Fort Ditches my planed bivvy, but was dismayed to find not one bit of flat ground. What had seemed flat slopped steeply to either side, what was flat was too dense to get in. I stopped at the car park after covering another 3miles and called in the transport home. Id contemplated sleeping on a picnic bench but when a car (completely out of character for the area arrived) pulled up, dogging site ran through my mind and I left to wait in Clunton.

Journeys end

I took up a seat outside a shut down pub and waited for my ride home. I was miffed about the camp, not even a campsite had room and I was left with no choice but to abandon. My beloved kerry came to collect me and im eternaly grateful, I didn’t realise till I got home that I had covered   in total, id ran/walked an ultra. I felt good and not fatigued so there were some positives.  4239ft of total ascent was gained.

Wild Eadrics way is a great route, it covers varied terrain and landscape, although I wanst abl e to complet im happy that Id completed the miles I did, im pretty confident that I would have been able to finish it.

https://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_name=Wild+Edric%27s+Way

 

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2008/apr/16/uk.walkingholidays

Published by bimblingmike

a hiker, a runner and bearded man

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