A Walk Along Ashes Hollow from Long Mynd
The weather forecast looked very good today so I decided to head for The Long Mynd and try out my Garmin Etrex Vista HCX
I had already plotted a route on the Ordnance Survey ‘getamap’ site and had downloaded it to the Etrex Vista the night before.
‘Pole Cottage car park’
Its only a 30 minute drive for me from home so I approached via The Burway out of Church Stretton and headed for the small car park at Pole Cottage on The Portway at grid reference SO412937. A group of happy ramblers were departing from the car park as I arrived but there was only one other car there so no problems at all.
The route starts from here and heads east across the Mynd and skirts north of Round Hill (named after me perhaps?).
The path is well trodden but it was all about trying out my Garmin GPS so I headed off to the first waypoint following the compass red arrow which counted me down to waypoint 2. It gave a warning bleep as I approached the waypoint which was useful and then automatically loads the next waypoint.
As you can see looking back from waypoint 2 the path is a clear one.
I continued south-east towards Barristers Plain and Little Stretton with fantastic view towards Ragleth Hill, and The Clee Hills on the horizon. There was some sort of temperature inversion and the cloud hung in the valleys ahead.
The path skirted around a few hills and headed downwards towards Little Stretton and past a cute little camping site by a stream.
But before this I paused to take some pictures of the valley with the A49 and also Ragleth Hill and Caer Caradoc sprouting from the valley floor.
There are some eerily brooding and wonderfully barren Hawthorn trees dotted about and so I continued to descend towards Little Stretton. Eventually I passed the cottage with the campsite and headed over the stile through the campsite and up towards Ashes Hollow. There are dozens of valleys on the Long Mynd, many of which are named Hollows and Batches. The highest concentration of valleys is on the eastern edge of the Long Mynd, near Church Stretton town. The geography of the valleys has many of the larger ones adjacent to each other, running north-west to south-east. Though smaller valleys flow into these, the smaller valleys are hence namedbatches, dales, and brooks to distinguish them from the larger features.
I knew that this was now going to be all uphill from here so I planned a lunch stop somewhere soon to energize me for the long drag back up to Pole Bank.
There is a small cottage and another footbridge to cross before the path emerges into Ashes Hollow for real. I passed the cottage and then found a good spot for some lunch by the stream.
A couple of walkers passed by heading up onto the Mynd but I lingered and enjoyed some cheese and brown sauce sandwiches; made by my own fair hand of course.
The path became narrower and eventually I came to a fork in the stream. The GPS sent me up along the left hand stream and I got a little wet crossing the now raging torrent. It became narrower and rocky as I had to cross and recross several times before the way opened out to a nice wide track.
The GPS had kept me on route just fine although I should have double checked it with the landranger map but all was fine in the end.
Not a soul in sight, apart from nervous sheep, as I continued up with lots of false summits until I saw a car crossing in front of me and eventually I realised I was back on The Portway.
I headed up onto Pole Bank and the trig point. The highest point on the Long Mynd is Pole Bank at a height of 516 m (1,693 ft). Pole Bank and nearby Caer Caradoc, at 459 m (1,506 ft), are both Marilyns.
Pole Bank is the third highest point in Shropshire as can be seen from the list below.
- Brown Clee Hill 546 m (1,791 ft) The Highest Point in Shropshire
- Stiperstones 536 m (1,759 ft)
- Pole Bank 516 m (1,693 ft)
Corndon Hill can be seen here on the horizon past the trig point and the viewpoint pillar on Pole Bank.
I wandered back down to the road and the car at Pole Cottage. Here is the GPS readout showing the summary of todays route! (includes 30 minutes for lunch).