This weekend promised to be good one. Ruth and Bill had lived in the area so qualified for providing good walking routes, Ralph was celebrating his birthday and with the fine reputation of the HF hotel all we needed was good weather. We were not disappointed.
On Friday most of the 18 participants arrived at the hotel in time to eat their packed lunch and go on a five mile walk around Church Stretton. On both Saturday and Sunday everyone started off walking together for a few miles before splitting into two groups; one walking a longer loop than the other. On Saturday our walk took us up Carding Mill Valley, along the Longmynd walking over heathland with bleating sheep and wild ponies, to Pole Bank from which we could pick out sights such as Cader Idris and the Wrekin, then returning along the beautiful Ashes Hollow valley with babbling brook. On Sunday after a delayed start for the rain to clear, we went over or round Caer Caradoc Hill, with superb panoramic views, returning through Cardington and Hope Bowdler. The weather was perfect for walking on both days and the scenery magnificent.
HF put on their usual evening entertainment, a brainteaser quiz on Friday and on Saturday a most enthusiastic National Trust assistant ranger gave us a fascinating and informative talk about the Longmynd and Wenlock Edge. On Sunday we had our own pre-dinner party for Ralph and a birthday cake afterwards. Some of us then took part in the HF quiz, coming first with each of us receiving an HF Winner Quiz mug.
Before coming home on Monday we went to Ludlow where Bill and Ruth took us on a walk round the historic town and across the River Teme.
Our thanks must go to Hilary, Bill and Ruth, and to Dave, Bob and anyone else who helped with making this such a successful trip.