Thursday, 19 May 2011

Hazler Hill, The Gaer Stone and Hope Bowdler Hill, Shropshire 9.5.11.

A circular walk 7.5 miles.

This is a walk that I have done a few times before. I was back in my neck of the woods and this one I was looking forward to doing again.
 The walk is a relatively short one taking in some of the lovely rolling hills of this particular part of Shropshire. The weather was set to be good, with a chance of some rain later in the day. And on arrival at the station it was warm.

 We took the road leading out of the station, crossed the busy A49 road and headed up through the houses before entering out into this field...
You can see Hazler Hill from Church Stretton station, with its distinctive transmitter mast on its summit. Here it is from the pathway...
Salopian Beasts...
Looking towards the popular Carding Mill Valley...
 Continuing up the path towards Ragleth Wood...
Just inside the wood, you come to a gate and a chance to go left or straight on. To get to Hazler Hill top you need to go straight on. Heather at the gate...
The pathway winds its way up through the wood, and climbs steeply. You eventually come to a lane which runs over the top of the hill, turn left, but be careful here as the lane is unbelievably 60 mph! You'll pass Windy Bank farm and you can see the transmitter from the other side now. Windy Bank lived up to it's name here too!...
After 300 yards or so you will see a service track running up towards the transmitter on your left. Head up it to bag the Trig Point on the summit of Hazler Hill at a modest 347 metres...
Looking over towards high looking Caer Caradoc (left), behind the tree covered Helmeth Hill, and Hope Bowdler Hill (right)...
Ragleth Hill...
Continue back down the service road towards the lane. Opposite the service road Heather noticed this Ordnance Survey Fundamental Benchmark in the grass verge... 
Hope Bowdler Hill in the sunshine...

At the bottom of the hill the lane comes to the busy B4371 road. You should see opposite a farm track which leads to Gaer Stone Farm... To get to Hope Bowdler Hill you need to walk up this track...
The Gaer Stone...
 From here the path splits, follow it straight up. The path splits again at the lower slopes of Hope Bowdler Hill, a sign for Hope Bowdler points right, but that's for Hope Bowdler Village. So turn left here towards the impressive Gaer Stone. Here looking back towards Hazler Hill...
After getting to the foot of this impressive rock, I wondered whether to climb the thing or not?
Why not!?...
Heavy cloud above a distant Pole Bank, the highest point in the Long Mynd - above Church Stretton...
Me enjoying the views from the top of the Gaer Stone...
Now to get to the top of Hope Bowdler Hill...
Random Cairn...
Skies getting darker as we near the top....
Hope Bowdler Hill summit, 426 metres...
Incoming storm...
After a rather quick descent from Hope Bowdler Hill in a full blown thunderstorm, we made it to a wide track that runs at the base of the hill back towards Church Stretton...
The path on top of Hope Bowdler Hill runs along towards Willstone Hill eventually, so I was disappointed that I didn't get to bag that one too, and scale Caer Caradoc aswell. But the storm did get quite severe on the top and with not having waterproof bottoms, we were pretty wet at this stage! Here looking back at Hope Bowdler Hill from the track...
And the wooded Helmeth Hill with Bluebells in the clearings...
Heavy rain again...
Overall a good walk cut early by a storm. I will be back again soon to enjoy one of my favourite places to walk in the U.K, can't wait. Thank you for reading.
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