Walk Five – Croxden Abbey to Church Leigh, 7.25 miles
Weather – as dull as very dull dishwater…again
More dull weather for a dull day of walking. Once we have left the Peak District it becomes a matter of plotting a route over endless unremarkable pasture, muddy green lanes and not much else. The highlight of the day was spotting the Wrekin on the horizon, which is still a distance away, as we have to tailor our route to avoid the suburbs of Telford. It’s nice to be out and about stretching the legs and exercising the knee joints, but that was the pleasure of the day. No tea shops on route, plenty of claggy Staffordshire clay, that clings tenaciously to boots and clothing. No wonder the Staffordshire Hoard wasn’t discovered for so long, the earth holding a well kept secret. Croxden Abbey ruins were good to walk past once more, but one rolling pasture is pretty much the same as the next, so that was it – A to B, an unremarkable day…the photos say it all…
Kerrys view -
We’d reached the flatlands, except they weren’t. We were also in the county of poor footpath way markers. I’ve said this many times but Staffordshire CC need to get their act together and sort out their way markers. Most are in poor condition, many are simply absent.
Back to Croxden Abbey, this time leaving Pete’s car with celestial security, mine having been left with Saints Security beside the lovely church at Church Leigh, seven miles away. From the Abbey ruins we found a path directing us across lush meadows and up to the Raddle Inn at Hollington. A path to its right curled behind and up through woodlands clustered with snowdrops. It wasn’t long before we reached a lane with a choice of paths to follow and took one down a track with a bank of discarded broken bottles. I started ferreting around in the hope of finding a complete specimen but Pete was in need of a jungle stop. At the bottom of the track we skipped down a field, drudged uphill, back down and back up. On one of the ups I screamed ‘I can see the Wrekin’…it doesn’t take much to get me excited! There it was a faint brush stroke of blue on the horizon. Our first sight of Shropshire.
At the lonely and scruffy Broadgate Hall we stopped for chocolate. A pick me up for the dreariness of past fields. The last large field before Checkley saw us part ways as Pete followed satmap and me map. He was heading directly towards a pub.
I shouted across 50 yards of smelly manure strewn pasture, ‘are you heading for the pub?’
‘ARE YOU HEADING FOR THE PUB?’
I muttered to myself ‘hearing aids, batteries’, and carried on, following the correct course to Checkley, emerging onto the main road beside the village hall. Pete eventually followed.
‘You need to get that Satmap looked at’.
We wandered into the village heart, not much of note, except for church and pub, so ambled on through meadows beside the River Tean. Passing under the busy A50, a stretch of tarmac plodding and then tumbling gradually downhill along a very wet muddy green lane. This stumbled out at Upper Leigh and a neat hedge lined lane led us to Lower Leigh. Next and final village was Church Leigh, walking through the beautifully kept churchyard to my car.
NOTE – CLICK ON PICTURE TO BE TAKEN TO FLICKR AND THE ALBUM OF THE WALK.