Eastnor Adventure

It’s been a while since I’ve posted because it’s been a while since I did a training walk – Flower Festivals and other such things have intervened.  I have, however, acquire a brand new pair of Mendel boots which I’ve slowly been breaking in and last Sunday was their first big walk.  In fact it was my longest training walk yet, coming in at 11.8 miles.  I left home with a rucksack packed as it would be on day one of the walk – waterproof, camelback, camera, notebook and food.  Waterproof was deployed within the first half hour as the clouds gathered and it was as I scaled Ragged Stone that the storm broke;

Happily it didn’t last long and it stayed dry though cloudy for the rest of the walk.  I headed up and over Chase End and down into Bromsberrow, and then taking a new path heading for Clencher’s Mill via the outskirts of a very impressive field of wheat;

Resisted the temptation to do a Theresa and run through it.  Crossed the ford, and walked along the road into Eastnor.  Through the village, across the road to the Deer Park, up to the Obelisk and then home via the Gullet Quarry.  Got very tired as I started up to the Obelisk so had  a brief stop to refuel and think I should do that more regularly on the real thing.

So, on the plus side I’ve now walked nearly as far as I’ll have to walk on any one day and survived, and my new boots are well and truly broken in and were very comfy.  On the minus side, if doing this distance took this much out of me, am I going to be able to cope with walking this sort of distance every day for 5 days at a time?  Only time will tell – watch this space….



Ragged Stone Ramble

This spectacular view comes part way up Ragged Stone Hill looking back to Midsummer and Swinyard Hills.  The climb up Ragged Stone wasn’t quite as bad this time.  I’ve adopted a new tactic of not looking up and so far it seems to be working.  Climb down the other side still slippy and tricky, but the scent of those bluebells was still in my nostrils and got me through.  Had been congratulating myself on there not being many people around until I hit Chase End where there were suddenly lots of people, dogs and grazing cows.  Moved on to Bromsberrow and further than ever before, down to junction just before war memorial before turning back up to go past Toney’s Farm entrance, then back to White Leaved Oak via Howler’s Heath and High Hill.  This lived up to its name as the descent down the slope was steep – really must learn to read contour lines on the map.  Home via White Leaved Oak and the lower route round Ragged Stone.  By now it was getting late, so phoned home to alert support team who was wonderfully getting tea ready for my return home at 9pm.  Had done 9.5 miles and, though tired, felt that my world had been re-set by my time in the beauty of Spring – bluebells, cow parsley, hawthorn and wild garlic – amazing. 


To the Beacon and Beyond

This weeks training walk didn’t get off to a great start, as I didn’t head off until gone 3pm.  This time I decided to head off in the opposite direction to Hollybush, so went uphill, across the Common and up to Shadybank Common.  From there I headed up the steep wooded path to Hangman’s Hill.  I do love this path, even though I get out of puff rather quickly.  Just keep going, just keep going is my mantra, even while my glasses are steaming up with the effort.  The day was nicely cool and overcast, but I expected the Hills to be busy as this was a Bank Holiday weekend.  However, whether it was because I was late out or because the weather wasn’t that great, but there really weren’t that many folk about.  Took the lower route towards the British Camp, where most of the benches looking out over the reservoir were occupied.  Then doubled back up the Beacon, huffing and puffing up the steps.  Have definitely decided that going up the grassed areas is preferable to the steps.  Did get complimented on my fleece by a gentlemen descending as I was ascending, but pretty sure his comment was ironic!!!

Headed down from the summit, via Clutter’s cave which had flowers left in the entrance – a tribute to someone?  Then on along to Swinyard Hill all along the top of the ridge, and came down through bluebells into the woods along the roadway which the Landrover Experience often use.  Walked down to the crossway where you go left down to the Gullet and right up to the Obelisk, but kept going on up towards Midsummer.  The bluebells on the slopes leading up to Midsummer were truly epic, so I just had to stop to take a photo or two.

Midsummer bluebells
Bluebells at the back of Midsummer Hill

The photo doesn’t do the blueness justice – or give you that amazing evocative scent – heavenly.  Trogged on along the pathway down into Hollybush, then home via the Millpond and the Common.  7.5 miles done in 3 hours 25 minutes at an average speed of 2.2 mile per hour – getting there!