Tuesday 22 September 2015

On the Long Mynd

Hello, thank you for dropping in.  We are adjusting to the changing routines that a new academic year brings, although things won't really settle until The Mathematician goes back to university on Saturday. 
I must admit that I am in a bit of a slump.  When my head feels full of cotton wool and my heart is sagging, the Best Beloved knows that I need to go to a high place, literally and geographically, and on Sunday afternoon that's just what we did.  We drove to Church Stretton and took The Burway, an ancient route which leads up the Long Mynd.  Mynydd is the Welsh word for "mountain" and so this is Shropshire's Long Mountain, a rocky plateau about ten miles long in the Shropshire Hills - of course, if you were one of Malcolm Saville's Lone Piners you will know it well.  It's heathland and moorland, grazed by sheep and ponies, and we just missed the heather, we must go a little earlier next year to catch its purple glory. 
We stopped to look back down at Church Stretton, so far below us that it looks like Toytown 
Eventually we reached the far end of the plateau and got out of the car.  This is the Starboard Way, a route for walkers and riders.  It was chilly up there and windy, it's always windy -
Now the wind is put to good purpose up here: there has been a gliding club here since the 1930s and we spent a while watching them take off and swoop around the sky.  The sheep didn't seem to be particularly bothered, they must be used to it!
And how did we know that we had reached the far end of the plateau?  This is how -
Once, in our folly, we drove down this road in a car laden with children and camping gear.  Never again!  We go the long way round now to the valley below, but we didn't do that this time.  No, we stood on the Mynd and drank in this view of the valley - I have made it extra large for you in the hope of conveying some of its glory -
I am so sorry that it's not bathed in golden sunshine but do you see what I mean?  Glorious.  I find these kind of views very stirring, perhaps because it evokes a non-existent romantic, rural idyll, perhaps because it appears to be untainted by the man-made ugliness of the industrial revolution (although goodness knows I am eternally gratefully for that revolution), perhaps because I consider a patchwork of fields and hedgerows like this to be very English, and I am English, apart from the eighth that's Irish.  I can hear Ralph Vaughan Williams playing in my head when I look at this!
We stayed up there for a couple of hours and I came down with the cotton wool blown away and my heart lifted. 
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x


  1. I can only imagine how you were feeling seeing such a wonderful sight, simply stunning!

  2. Do you do the same as us, when we're watching the gliders come in there and duck your head when one comes into land? I do it every time even though they are yards above us! I do the same if a plane comes over the road by Welshpool airport, mind they do come in low over the road there. We do that descent down from the Long Mynd too but I must admit that I hold my breath all the way down! Its a quicker route through to Church Stoke and Montgomery where we like to mooch round. Beautiful photos, beautiful place thank you xxx

  3. Wonderful! Such a great view of a great place. x

  4. Absolutely breath-taking! Thank you for sharing the beauty! x Karen

  5. It is an incredibly beautiful view!!! I hope that it cleared your mind and blew the cobwebs away! xx

  6. What a beautiful view, what a nature! Love it! Thank´s for sharing this with us...

  7. What a great place -- so beautiful! I'm glad that your visit there has lifted your mood. I don't think anyone can still feel gloomy after seeing that gorgeous view. X

  8. What a beautiful vista!! Lovely that your husband sensed your cotton wool head and took you to such an amazing place :) I could spend a long time admiring that view. I remember flying to England once and we arrived very early in the morning. As the plane descended I was struck by all the patchwork fields covering the land (and I was only 10). Love that look. Enjoy your weekend, and keep that cotton wool at bay!

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