Right on my Doorstep I am lucky to have some Shropshire hills close by just over the Border from Powys, Landscape which inspired author
Mary Webb to write her books and if I can quote from Mary Webb "it was cold in the callow, a spinney of silver birches and larches that topped the hill" from the novel Gone to earth Chapter one.
Now I have set the scene of were we are heading too today which is Bromlow Callow, so what is Bromlow Callow?
Bromlow Callow is a hill topped with a circle of trees which this landmark is very distinctive and for one good reason, is that it was once a navigation add for drovers about 300 years ago heading to the markets the west midlands and of which of course Mary Webb quoted it in her book.
todays walk we started near the small border village of Priest Weston, and the nearby Corndon hill and passing Mitchells fold which is Bronze Age stone circle, which there is a high concentration of Bronze Age Cairns, burial mounds and standing stones and of course stone circles, I have always found this area quite mystical and from here we are three miles from Bromlow Callow and with a small diversion we head onto Stapeley Hills summit Cairn with a elevation of 403m overlooking a specular landscape.
From here the walk is wonderfully waymarked (thank you Shropshire council) all the way to Bromlow Callow on this elevated walk until reaching a minor road we head up the final stretch to the top of Bromlow Callow and enjoy the wonderful views of the flat Plains of Shropshire below, we head over and walk the lane below and around the hill and head back across to Mitchells Fold.
please feel free to add a comment or ask for any details of todays walk
and we head back into some dramatic weather. heading back I mentioned I thought heard thunder, I then dismissed then the following day reports in parts of the country namely north wales it was reported that there was sightings of metors entering the atmosphere maybe that's what heard and I am convinced that's what I heard
An crisp autumn day with no rain or wind, blue sky wrapped up warm was the basis of a walk high above Pontfadoc to seek fine views which our objective was totally successful today.
Starting at the infamous Pontfadog station as seen in the image below which is part of the Glyn Ceriog tramway as now nicknamed out of affection "Pontfadoc town hall", which if you wish to see this fine old station it lies 4 miles from Chirk on the B5400 adhering to the village 30mhp speed limit, it sits neatly on the side of the road opposite a private car park in the village.
Spot the stone bridge and thats were we start our walk today following a quiet lane, turning into a wooded track through Coed Pen-Craig with plenty of Photography of trees in the mixed woodland elevating gently through the trees up the hill to find outstanding views of the Berwyn mountains and surrounding hills in the valley below we spot the former mining town of Glyn Ceriog tucked between the wood and hills.
Now the elevation levels out and we head towards one of the finest examples of Offas Dyke Dyke I have ever seen, which followed the true line of the English / Welsh border which I checked on my GPS to find correct however it once created a border between the Mercia and Wales,however some readings state its true function is debatable , if you stubble across the offas Dyke and you yourself are in the ditch of the earth works then thats the welsh side of the dyke and retrospectively the raised mound being the English side.
Enjoying the now changed views over the north shropshire and Cheshire Plain with Pickfordton hills and beyond the Derbyshire peak district appears as a fine line on the horizon.
Following King Offas finely constructed ditched border down hill to a path where we are greeted while a fine view of Chirk Castle across the valley and looking right down onto the former Battle site of the "1165 battle of Crogen" where King Henry II army was defeated by Owain Glyndwr , I have done quite a lot of reading on our last true Prince of wales I have found Owain Glyndwrs history interesting yet this history is sometimes forgotten.
Now we leave Offas Dyke behind following an ancient old stone bridleway were we find a old stone well and we descend along ancient rights of ways and finally onto a Lane and we finish back at "Ponfadog town hall"
So the snowdoina adventure began on friday morning 10th of November (the day after my birthday) at Zip World Fforest nestled in the Conwy valley just outside Betws-y-coed, this involved zipping through the woods on a alpine roller-coaster which is great fun and worth having a go at and then a bit of Photography below the bridge in Betws-y-coed and a wonder about.
next we are off to Beddgelert for two nights normally we would have stayed in Betws-y-coed but we went for somewhere in the heart mountains this time.
November 11th 2017.
Sat eating breakfast and a check of the weather on my phone for a weather check on Snowdon weather report says clear on the summit and good visibility for three hours "oh good" now we do not like Snowdon in the summer due to the crowds and rubbish left behind on the summit and at how commercialized it is with the cafe, train and the pushing and shoving, after September the mountain regains as itself as mountaineers mountain status, hence we have gone in November.
Todays route taken today is via the Rangers path to the summit never walked it before and I love it, straight in and steep then levels out and straight up again with plenty of zig-zags, then meets up with the Lanberis path and pyg track, quite a few walkers up but there walkers and no pushing and shoving like it is in the summer, visibility zero on the summit which we do not really mind, the fun is the journey up and down.
I have brought the hot drink facility's which is my camping stove and cups, so were sat on the station summit platform drinking hot coffee in zero visibility yes the weather report was wrong, now its getting really cold sat in one spot so pack the stove away and follow the railway track down back onto the Ranger path for fast decent to get warmed up again.
In the car back for the short Journey back the Hotel we are staying in back at Beddgelert , ahh bliss sat down by a open fire with a glass of wine and a Cider total bliss.
November 12th 2017
Check out of the hotel day and a big cooked breakfast, off to the Slate mining town Blaenau Ffestiniog for a walk up to Stwlan Dam up what I can only explain as an Alpine style road twisting its way up to the Dam, the reservoir is part of a huge 360 megawatt pumped storage hydro power-station, the decommissioned Magnox nuclear power-station visible from Stwlan Dam stands out like some sort of giant castle sat out in the middle of the snowdonia National park if the truth be known it is a highly contaminated site with decontamination an ongoing process that will take 92 years until after its closure or another way of looking at it 124 years after in construction started....give me hydro power any day.....
we will most certainly be back in the spring to explore the slate mines of Blaenau Ffestiniog in the spring.
Well I am please to say I made it into the final of trail magazine mountain of the year photography competition and I have narrowed down to the last 22, now just wait in anticipation for the final voting and judging.
whats the is photo of? its Grib Goch in Snowdonia, taken perched on rock with over 1500 feet ether side of me below and Pen y Pass road looking like a piece of string call it extreme photography if you like, look carefully you can see walkers carefully making there way across the "knife edge"arete, look a little beyond and that is snowdon., I used a 35mm lens as I am a minimalist photographer as i like to keep things simple to which turned out to good effect.
When was asked by trail magazine of should I say been told I made the final there editor asked for the original, which I had lost the memory stick it was on, lucky I found it and only just made the deadline.....so finger crossed
Very wet underfoot of any hill walking today which gave us a instinctive to have go at a some bird hide photography at the brilliant RSPB bird hide Coed y Capel at Lake Vyrnwy.
This hide has a abundance of wild birds due to the well maintained bird feeders and the hide itself is warm cosy and some seating, I can just sit there with the camera set if its raining its no problem, being situated by the cafe you can pop in for hot tea and good parking nearby and the RSPB shop nearby to as well as a walk around the wood sculpture park I managed to get some Photography of the Lake Vyrnwy Dan.
However I look at it Lake Vyrnwy has and always has provide me with some best Photography everything from wildlife, the landscape of the surrounding hills and mountains, the weather to can be interesting to Photography as well, and of course the elegant Gothic style straining tower were water starts is long journey to Liverpool.
Lots of interesting history surrounds the Lake including sacrifice the of the drowned village with people losing there homes and way of life engulfed under water to feed a distant city unaware of were the water comes from.
I have walked around the 12 miles lake shore line, ran around it, cycled it, driven round it, canoed in the lake, found hidden capel which avoided being drowned as its sits 6 feet from the shore line, in winter water laps into the doorway.
above-here is one of the feeders you can see its really busy and you can see the birds sit on the nearby branches which was were a captured most of the photography
BELOW-Some different perspectives of the Dam
Up early today for a walk in by own back yard with a my Camera, starting at the Canal museum in Welshpool for walk along the Montgomery Canal to Berriew in excellent weather with blue skys, I did however experience a freak downpour which last about 10 minutes thankfully did not ruin the walk,
more of a photography walk than just a walk as it was good light and I love my vitamin D too, I wanted to catch the last of the leaves while they are that wonderful golden rust and brown before we get a frost just to spoil the fun of Autumn and my photography , no luck spotting one of the kingfishers that zip by me some times just my routine friendly encounter with the swans.
Plenty of photography along the way in glorious weather except that horrible freak downpour, stopped at the tea shop for tea cakes and pot of tea, then a adventurous return following rights of ways which involved walking the lower ramparts of a iron age fort, then walking the peaceful lanes through Powis estate and of course passing the famous powis Castle itself with provided some trees to photograph with Deers keeping there distance today a the castle had a lot of visitors, with just under 20km walked I finised with a well deserved pint of cider in the Royal Oak back in Welshpool by the open fire...bliss