Sunday, 21st June, Chelmarsh to Buttonoak, 14.5 miles
Up at dawn as usual on the longest day of the year.
Tommy has managed to stay in his stable overnight and we head off along a section of the Jack Mytton Way that runs along the top of the reservoir. The Jack Mytton Way, part of the Sabrina Way, is named after a famously eccentric Regency character, ‘Mad Jack’ Mytton. (The Bridleway was opened in 1993 and covers 100 miles of spectacular Shropshire countryside.)
Just before we reach the Country Park at Highly, we rather bizarrely have to go through a fenced and gated duck pond in the middle of the field. In an attempt to miss out a 2.5 mile section of the fast B road, I head down a long track to see if we can cut across onto the Bridleway, only to be thwarted at the last moment by the landowner who tells me we are trespassing on his land and the entrance to the bridle path is fenced off anyway. I ask, what’s the point of having a bridle path that nobody can use? He says exactly! He tells me it’s all overgrown and boggy anyway. So I have to turn back and do the road stretch which is fast and narrow, adding another 2 miles to our journey for going down the track, needlessly.
At Kinlet, we head down another bridle track and this time have to navigate a way through fields with no visible signs of any path way, across another very rickety bridge. It’s a relief to get back on the road surface and what’s really frustrating is the fact that our destination is just a couple of fields away but I can’t see a way through so have to make a circular route through the Wyre Forest, (thankfully on a cycle route running alongside the main road, thanks to a dog walker in the forest who told me about it), adding another 4 miles to our journey to reach our destination, Tommy in a stable at Bank Farm, nestled in the valley beside the River Severn,
and me at the Tudor Barn B&B about a mile away. Trish has been entertaining (it’s Fathers Day) so I am the lucky recipient of a plate of salad, left over from the festivities and early to bed, exhausted by the today’s trials.
We drop in on our way through the following morning so that Trish’s grandson can stroke Tommy.