17.09.16 Burway Hill (SO 440 942, previously Trimbled))
|Burway Hill (SO 440 942)|
Sometimes it’s amazing what can be fitted in to a day, especially so when not really planned, just follow the old adage and go with the flow and see where it takes you. Saying that, we did have a rough plan as a browse around Church Stretton followed by a visit to the Green Dragon in Little Stretton for a lunchtime meal had been planned, after that and if the weather was favourable a small wander to the top of Burway Hill and down the other side of the Long Mynd had been discussed, but again; it’s amazing what can be done in a day.
I picked Huw and Debs up in Welshpool and continued to Oswestry to pick Lou up and it was then onwards to Church Stretton, a quaint market town in Shropshire that nestles below the Long Mynd. The day was beautifully warm with late summer blue skies and vivid colours.
After our browse around a few shops we headed to the pub where Lou had booked a table, the day out was a part of Lou’s birthday weekend and unbeknownst to her a celebratory cake and bubbly were sneaked in to the pub’s kitchen to be delivered to our table after our meal; the surprise seemed to go down well.
|Cake and bubbly|
Burway Hill is a convenient view point as the minor road known to cyclists as The Burway climbs to within a few metres of the hill’s col where two or three cars can be parked. It is only a short detour from the col to the summit and well worth the visit as the views are expansive.
I’d visited this hill twice before, once with Charlie Leventon when it was Trimbled, and a few weeks ago with Lou, it seemed to have left an impression as she wanted to visit again.
Once appropriate foot wear had been donned I led the budding mountaineers over the col to a sheep track that skirted the hill’s south-western slopes, these are steep and plunge down in brackened fashion to the Townbrook Valley below.
One of the budding mountaineers was not happy at all with the thought of imminent death caused by the steep terrain and refused to go any farther, Huw offered to head back and take the standard route to the summit with the panicking mountaineer in tow.
|That's steep and it's full of snakes and I'm not going any farther|
This left me and Debs to investigate the sheep track, I thought this would skirt the steep upper southerly slopes and wind its way around the picturesque crags that cling to the upper part of the hill, it didn’t, it just stopped where the crags shot upward, I looked back at Debs and asked if she was OK with going up the rock, she was all for it, and therefore up we went. It felt good to get hands on rock with warm sunshine cascading down on the land.
|Debs proving to be an enthusiastic scrambler|
Within a few minutes we’d popped out on the summit ridge and made it to the top just before Lou and Huw joined us. After the customary summit photos we headed down the eastern ridge toward the minor road and back to the car.
|Lou and Huw nearing the summit|
|With Lou at the summit of Burway Hill|
|Huw, Debs and Lou at the summit of Burway Hill|
It was lovely to be out on a hill in such fine weather, we didn’t really have much of a plan for the rest of the day but quite fancied visiting the Midland Gliding Club which is situated high on the southern flank of Pole Bank; the high point of the Long Mynd.
We spent about 45 minutes at the gliding club watching gliders being shot in to the air and gently using the thermals on the west facing ridge of the Long Mynd. The club was officially set up in 1934, with the first recorded flights as early as 1930. Today the members were very welcoming and within a few minutes Huw was seated in one of the gliders and being shown the instruments, I soon followed. The last time Lou and I had visited the gliding club a darkening sky heralded heavy rain pushing in from the west which overcame up as we drove over the Striperstones road, today the sky was settled with blue radiating above and stunning views west to the Stiperstones, which looked invitingly becalmed with their nobbled rock outcrops following the skyline.
|Huw in one of the gliders at the Midland Gliding Club high on the Long Mynd|
|The view of the Stiperstones from the gliding club|
Leaving the gliding club we retraced our route back on the minor road and descended north-west toward Ratlinghope and the Bridges, here we stopped as the Horseshoe Inn looked too tempting to drive past.
|The Horseshoe Inn at the Bridges|
The late summer’s sun was now low in the sky casting long shadows and giving succulent colour. There was still warmth and we sat with drinks and an assortment of crisps and peanuts whilst an eclectic mix of customers drank and played outside.
|Late summer in a wine glass|
|Lou, Debs and Huw at the Horseshoe Inn at the Bridges|
I pottered about for a few minutes beside the River East Onny, which gently flows beside the minor road next to the pub, children played in the water whilst parents soaked in the sun and drank beer, whiling away an hour in good company with good conversation is sometimes the best thing in the world to do.
|The River East Onny|
It wasn’t that far to continue to Bishop’s Castle which is a haunt for many a person living around this part of border country. As we drove in to the town cars were parked on every spar bit of tarmac, we were fortunate to find parking close to the centre of town and could hear the music blasting out as we opened the car doors; we’d arrived during the celebrations for the town’s Michaelmass Fair.
There was a great atmosphere in the town with a band playing beside the Town Hall, and a multitude of people on the street dancing, smiling and drinking. Rarely does Bishop’s Castle disappoint and tonight it was in full swing.
|People on the street at the Michaelmass Fair in Bishop's Castle|
As the light slowly ebbed from the sky we listened to the band before heading for a drink in the Three Tuns. Leaving the others with their drinks I ventured out to indulge myself in the atmosphere as traction engines chugged up the street and the lantern procession made its way through the town.
All that remained were visits to The Dragon in Montgomery followed by more drinks in The Oak in Welshpool. A great day and thanks to Lou, Huw and Debs for the company.
The result of the Trimble survey of Burway Hill from February 2014 appears below:
Summit Height: 402.8m
Summit Grid Reference: SO 44061 94220
Col Height: 373.1m
Col Grid Reference: SO 43986 94261
Drop: 29.7m (Sub-Four status confirmed)