Walking the hills

So as promised a second post for last week.

After having completed a 35 mile run my legs were a little sore the Sunday so I rested that day, Monday bank holiday rumbled around and with the weather promising nice things we decided to take the kids on a little bike ride along the Walsall canal to Walsal Arboretum. They have a splash park there and it’s a place we enjoy going in good weather. The family opted for bikes and I opted to run, the surface flat and even made easy-going, the family helping me to keep a good pace.

We stayed at the Arboretum for a few hours relaxing in the sun before heading back along the canal, the weather was now hotter and the going tougher as I felt like I was melting along the path.

Not wanting to push too much this week due to up coming ultra, I talked the family into a little trek up to Caer Caradoc, nestled just to the east of Church Stretton and at just 459m high it’s not the tallest but it commands spectacular views of the surrounding area.

We pulled up to Church Stretton and parked just off Sandford Avenue, it was a short climb along the road and a left turn onto a footpath and towards The Leasowes, the weather was glorious for a walk and as we tramped across the field the view that met us was brilliant looking away from Helmeth Hill

Towards The Long Mynd

The plan was to follow the footpath on the map,but as we neared the split I noted that we could access the lower woodland of Helmeth Hill and so off we headed, skirting its lower levels, the cool and mossy woodland was quiet and mysterious, we stopped briefly on a bench and looked towards New House Farm, we soon took off following the meandering path

Follow the leader

before popping out at the base of Three Fingers Rock, there were some big sighs as the kids stared up the hill and even with my “it’s only a little one” encouragement they followed on.

Yep it is that steep

With the promise of Jelly baby stops at regular intervals, the kids pushed on and even managed some brief running, kerry followed on powering the hill brilliantly whilst I sat and watched from upon high

Getting there

Once sumited, we sat, ate some babies and admired the view.

I can see Wales from here

I pointed out where I had run only the week before much to the huffs of the kids who thought I was showing off. Anyway, after my tails of greatness somewhat quashed, we pushed on stopping for a photo-op at Three Fingers rocks

Looking towards Helmeth and Cwms farm

These structures always hold a fascination for me, the raw power of wind and water carving stones into ornate architectural structures is amazing, get a few of these together and it creates an imense natural art gallery. The kids scrambled a little before we set off towards Caer Caradoc proper.

One more climb

We headed up and hit the first of two defensive ditches, I gave a little talk on how it may have looked in its day and how it might of felt to attack it, before we. Moved up and passed the myriad of sheep. We propped our behinds on a nice rocky outcrop and ate our crisps.

Once refueled we headed off to find the cave, I had missed this the last time I was up here and the kids talked of finding diamonds and treasure inside, it was only later that I found out more about this cave, the Hills fort it’s self is the site of Caractacus  reputed hiding place after his last battle with the pesky Romans, the history of this area is fascinating and has strong links to Wild Eadric from a few weekends ago. Ive included the links to reas more about this particular characture

We had to kick out the sheep

We explored a little and tried to hide from Kerry

Outstanding view

We headed off, but I couldn’t help but think this would make a brilliant bivvy for an awesome sunrise in the future, I took the family down an alternate route and entertained a fast decent and some trail running. we ll  enjoyed the quick downward run, arms outstretched likes planes.

The family followed me taking it more carefully than I, we hit the base and followed the farm footpath down towards Church Stretton and where we explored a little before eating a wonderful lunch and icecream. all in it was around 6miles and a nice introduction to the kids walking up hills.

Published by bimblingmike

a hiker, a runner and bearded man

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