Sunday, 5th November 2017Well, Plan A (to do a quick dash up via the tourist route en route to pick a family member up from Shrewsbury) didn't materialise due to last minute changes. So Plan B was borne. Seeing as I'd "allocated" the day to travelling to Shrewsbury anyway I thought I'd still travel down there and give this hill a more substantial wandering along than Plan A.
Plan B didn't exactly go to plan either Yep, I got there. Yep I got parked in a layby near the start of the main route up. I had a little meander to the Ercall unconformity as the geology fascinated me then retraced my steps to start my walk "proper". Up that human motorway of a path I headed... stopping frequently to admire the views of course . Then I decided it would be a really good idea to take a smaller path which skirts the South Eastern flank. A lovely, undulating walk through mixed woodland which is sporting full autumn plumage. I took a well maintained permissive path off to the right near the southern end with a cunning plan to go up to the top from that end instead.
I got to the junction where the permissive path joins the Shropshire Way and, I'm sure, in summer, after about a month of no rain, that route up would be okay. IT IS STEEP. And muddy. After travelling about 20 metres almost vertically and having to stop twice to get my breath I decided that way up wasn't such an inspirational idea after all. So, I returned to the permissive path and continued my "wander around the Wrekin" (as I certainly didn't get to the point). Plan C was formed en-route and I decided to walk up to the top via the main route after all. Only, I reached the firing range sign which heralded a path up to join the main route and noticed the time and worked out that, at my speed (or lack of), by the time I made it to the top it would be getting dark. I toyed with the idea of watching fireworks from the top (bonfire night and all that) but decided I was too chicken to then walk back down to my car via the main, very clear, very impossible to get lost on path I should have just walked up in the first place
Although I'm admitting that Plans A, B and C were a total failure, Plan D resulted in what was a lovely 5.1 mile walk in beautiful old woodland in autumn, trees dripping with the rain of earlier on and the damp, misty air reflecting sparkles in the now sunlight. The wonderful, earthy smell. The mossy old tree stumps and rocks. The squirrels. The birdsong. The snatched glimpses of the Shropshire(?) plain and Welsh hills beyond. And, I have to say, walking that end of the Wrekin, you don't hear a squeak out of the traffic roaring along the M54.
Some very Autumnal pictures:
|Info Board at the entrance to Ercall Woods|
|An unnamed pond|
|An Ercall riddle|
|Info board with the real Ercall Unconformity in the background|
|Larger view of the Ercall Unconformity - where volcanic rocks meet a river bed|
|Pano view of the quarry area from the Info board|
|Carved tree stump indicating a fossil trail|
|Heading up the main "tourist" path to the top of The Wrekin|
|More of the same|
|The path I decided to branch off at|
|I followed a green line, then an orange line then a green line!|
|Rubbish picture of the Shropshire plain and Welsh hills beyond|
|Lovely woodland paths|
|Arty-farty tree leaf pic!|
I will be back
Thanks for looking 😊