A short hike on the Long Mynd
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On a bright autumnal day, what can be more uplifting than reaching the summit of a hill and taking in the 360 degree views of the surrounding sun-bathed countryside? Spectacular views over many counties plus a waterfall await you on this walk in the stunning Shropshire Hills.
We start the walk in the charming old market town of Church Stretton. Nicknamed "Little Switzerland", it grew at the beginning of the 20th century to become a successful spa town with mineral water still bottled there today. From the meeting point we will walk to Carding Mill Valley, continuing upstream through this popular site to the Lightspout waterfall - hopefully by this time of year an impressive torrent.
Beyond the waterfall, the tourists disappear and tranquility descends as the route climbs to the top of Pole Bank at 516m. After admiring the view from the top we will find a sheltered spot for lunch before starting to wander back down a different way, skirting the edge of the steep valleys below.
Upon our return to Church Stretton we'll enjoy a warming drink in one of the pubs before heading home.
Getting there and parking
Church Stretton is on the train line between Shrewsbury and Hereford and so can also be easily reached via Birmingham. This weekend however there are engineering works with buses replacing trains; Check your journey as it will take longer than usual.
The Coop sits conveniently in ample council-owned car parking costing £3.60 for the full day.
What to bring
At the top of the hills it's pretty exposed so bring layers to keep warm and waterproofs to stay dry. We will be walking on rocky paths which will be slippery if wet so boots with good grip are a must!
Water: bring at least two litres
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
You will need to have a packed lunch for this walk and plenty to drink. We are meeting at a supermarket so it'll be easy to pick up any last minute bits and bobs.
At the end of the walk we'll pop into one of the pubs as is the tradition.