Gay Outdoor Club
The activity club for gay men and women and their friends

Heart of Wales train to Church Stretton with two nights stay

12 Apr 2017 | West Wales, Women Groups

This event was arranged mainly to take advantage of free travel on the train for people with concessionary bus passes.

In the event, lots of people joined in travelling by many other means and in fact the three of us who were on the train had to finish our journey by coach, when the train stopped at Llandrindod Wells, and we were told it was returning to Swansea, as there was another train broken down further up the line.

We had to wait almost two hours for the said coach to arrive but the rest of the journey to Church Stretton was quite spectacular giving us some very different views of the spectacular Shropshire hills and mountains, than we would have had from the train.

So, later than planned that afternoon, we met up with some others at The Bucks Head in Church Stretton and went for a wander through the lovely Rectory Wood and up the Carding Mill Valley to a beautiful reservoir.

On returning, we detoured through the grounds of the famous Long Mynd Hotel where they had a sculpture park with wooden sculptures of animals in their extensive grounds.

We went back to our hotels, hostels, b and b's and campervans to freshen up and later assembled back at The Bucks Head for our evening meal.

This turned into a very nice venue, with friendly helpful staff, and we arranged to eat there the following night too.

After a good nights sleep, the Tuesday dawned with the forecast of "snow on the hills!!!"

As we peeped out, the sky went very black and indeed it started to snow!!!

Luckily for us it soon passed and a lovely blue sky appeared just in time for us to set off.

I always take it as a great compliment when people join us from other groups and that was the case here,  with a really good crowd gathered, well into double figures,  for the walk onto The Long Mynd.

It started with a long pull up a steepish track but the views when we stopped to take a breath were absolutely spectacular.The range of hills seemed to spread out, far into the distance.

After a few short stops we were on the top and on an easy track on the ridge of The Long Mynd.At one point we had another snow shower but like the first one earlier, it was gladly soon over and very quickly the sun was shining bright once more.

We continued with more great views and then started our descent down to Little Stretton.

Suddenly there was an anguished shout and poor Ellie had slipped, and was lying flat out on the ground, telling us almost straight away that she had broken her ankle!! There followed a call to the emergency services for assistance.

Mark the walk leader and everyone in the group came to the fore and played their part in this unfortunate incident.Ellie was kept warm and "comfortable" whilst the emergency services decided how they were going to get her off the mountain.

They eventually sent an air ambulance that whisked Ellie off to hospital where a broken leg was confirmed.

Many thanks go to everyone who was there and helped in their own special way.

Some had made their way back to Church Stretton and then the rest of us walked back too, where coffee and cake was our just reward. 

That night we enjoyed another fine meal and looked forward to the walk the following day onto Caer Caradog.

Sue a local woman, who had joined us at our Shrewsbury event last year, had kindly agreed to join us and show us the way up and down from the high top of Caer Caradog.We were so lucky again with the weather and started from Church Stretton across the railway line and some green fields where we had a great view of the highest point of our walk and across to The Long Mynd where we had been the day before, and where we could see some snow patches.

We went through a little wood and then started the steep climb up the side of the hill.It seemed to go up and up but the stops were filled with some great views of the surrounding hills from a totally different viewpoint to the day before.

At last we were standing on the magnificent craggy top.

The only way now, was down, down, down!!

We walked along the long back that was the ridge and then climbed quite steeply down, back to the wood area and retraced our steps back to Church Stretton.

We all found ourselves back at the local tea shop for a leisurely lunch, which was a great way for this lovely few days to come to an end.

People then started to say their farewells and start to make their ways home.

We really had packed a lot into this few days away with some quite spectacular walking in a quite spectacular area.

We all wish Ellie a speedy recovery.We know she will be back to join us really soon.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to all that these few days threw at us and I look forward to planning a Shropshire adventure in a similar area for next year.

 

 

 

 

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