Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Wrekin, Wellington, Shropshire.

The summit GJC_014535
The Wrekin summit
The Wrekin is a hill (1335 ft / 407m) that overlooks Shropshire Plains and is probably a welcoming sight for the local people of Wellington and Shrewsbury arriving back by road to their home county from all parts of the east.

Tree and a view  GJC_014519
Tree and a view, The Wrekin.
(( I had no idea what kind of photographical material that I would collect on this walk (part 2 of 3 Shropshire) and even though it's not a strong set, I think it's passable as a cloud fest !
I hope you don't mind me taking the liberty of matching that with a shorter post where I don't have to think too much either for once in a while :-) ... I'm due a lazy post !!
I thought I'd experiment with something else a little bit different ... wonder if anyone will notice ! ))

It makes a nice change to go with the flow to see what happens as some of my solo trips can be ordered, complex but fun nonetheless. About ten days before this trip, I got an e-mail from the national organisation that I booked with to say that the hotel we were meant to be staying at (Buckatree Hall Hotel, Wellington) had been double booked. Fortunately though, alternative short notice accommodation was found at The Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury (Flickr image from previous post).
The Lion Hotel was probably a better option than the country hotel as we could use the facilities of the town at various stages of the weekend. However, there is always a downside as the planned figure of eight walk starting from the original Hotel door had to be modified and shortened significantly.
The task of transporting thirty people by cars to the main Wellington car park seemed routine enough but not practical on a busy saturday morning. Eventually the group somehow managed to congregate outside Wellington Leisure centre but not before numerous visits to the toilet inside !!

Nearly there !  GJC_014514
Footpath, The Wrekin.
We set off to conquer the hill having lost a lot of time, passing the infamous hotel on the way. I got a bit lost from the surroundings with some interesting and unusual conversations talking to people I hadn't met before. It seemed a shame that some people from London can count on half of a hand how many times they had travelled more than 100 miles north of their City ... a wedding being one of the excuses, I mean reasons !!
On nearing the summit, it was time to take a talking break from all of that and let the camera do the talking instead ...

Are we there yet? ... we are !  GJC_014523
The Gathering !  The Wrekin.

Due to the modified extension at the beginning of the walk and some of the party not being used to walking up hills, we reached the summit at the same time that lunch had been arranged at a Pub in town !!

Summit clouds  GJC_014518
The Wrekin summit
Geologically, The Shropshire hills are mainly found in the south west of the county with the volcanic style rock structure of The Wrekin being the exception to the rule. A narrow band of hillside extends north eastwards into the Shropshire plains with The Wrekin at the head.

However if you find that information quite dull, you can always believe the other story :-)  ......

There was a giant called Gwendol Wrekin and he didn't like Shrewsbury to the point that he wanted to flood it and destroy the residents with a giant sized spade full of earth. On the way there, he met a cobbler going in the opposite direction with a huge sack of old repairable shoes. As there were no maps at the time, the giant wanted the cobbler to give him directions for Shrewsbury. The cobbler, fearing for his trade, informed him that it was a very long way and he had worn out all these shoes getting to this point. On hearing this, the giant gave up on the idea and dumped the earth on the ground and it was called The Wrekin. A smaller mound called Ercall Hill was formed as he scraped the mud off his boots.

The Beacon  GJC_014527
Radio Mast, The Wrekin
The Iron Age Hill fort became the location for a World War II beacon to deter planes away from its elevated intrusion on the nearby Shropshire Plains.

Transmission lines   GJC_014515
Transmission lines, The Wrekin
The beacon remained operational until 1960 and was replaced by a telecommunications media mast that started broadcasting TV and radio in 1975 with a replacement upgraded structure in 2000.

Digital Memories   GJC_014526
Digital Memories, The Wrekin
It seemed appropriate that many people wanted to join in with the digital experience and broadcast the events of their day to all their friends :-)

Family photo  GJC_014541
Family photo, The Wrekin
Having read the Mountain Rescue reports in years gone by from more severe terrain, I was reminded that people may be affected by the altitude and have the possibility of not having clarity of mind to think normally :-)

The Wrekin    GJC_014560
The walk back, The Wrekin
All too soon, it was time to descend a different way for a very late lunch. Had I had my own space and transport, it would have been nice to drive somewhere for a profile of the hill. This is the best I could do given the circumstances.

It's been some time since I ended a post this way so that just leaves me with the image you've all guessed was coming ....

Dog Trig  GJC_014542 - Version 2
New Dog, Old Trigs ! The Wrekin


  1. Poor dog. I hope he bit her. That first photo is spectacular. And such gorgeous skies you had! My other favorite is the next to last. Definitely coffee table book-worthy! Looks like a great day out (unless you were the dog).

    1. Thanks Cranberry Morning, the skies made an otherwise potentially ordinary set of photos special.

  2. The silhouettes are dramatic. You were heading for a B&W finish with those. Another good post to go with my first coffee of the day.

    1. Thanks Adrian, I was quite fortunate with the clouds otherwise there wouldn't have been enough material to warrant a post on it's own.

  3. It's like a walk in the clouds, actually, beatiful views!

    1. Thanks Ola, it was an ordinary walk but worth it when we got to the top for the views. The clouds were a bonus that made this worth publishing.

  4. You have captured some great shots of the Wrekin, it is a long time since I have been up there.

    I feel sorry for the poor dog although it does make a great photo :-)

    1. Thanks CherryPie, I tried to do the Wrekin justice. It was unfortunate that either nothing stood out or I was conversationally distracted between Wellington and the base of the hill. As a photographer I had to take the dog photo, as a lover of dogs I had a conscience about displaying. I don't have a dog and unfortunately for other dog lovers photography is higher up my list of interests.

  5. One more thing...That silhouette photo reminds me of Stonehenge for some reason. I wonder if anyone's ever done that, replicate Stonehenge with people - and taking a silhouette photo like that. Wouldn't that be fun!

    1. I've just done a search for People Stonehenge silhouettes but nothing seemed apparent. There were some inspiration shots to whet the appetite for going.
      By the way I've never seen Stonehenge, I did ask when I was down in Bristol but it was too far and awkward to get to for the driver. I was also informed that I may not be able to get near it and there was a problem with roadworks near it at the time.

  6. Love the silhouettes - even the one with the dog. That's a nice post, easy on the ear and eye with a bit of fun and good information. My last one was a bit too long, but - hey! You've covered a part of the country I don't know well and I need to rectify that. One final point: it's good to find a hill with altitude.

    1. Thanks Mike, It's nice to do a walking post for variety, it keeps my interest in doing this and breaks the monotony up :-)
      I have a few more up my sleeve.

  7. Lovely parade of the clouds, J! :) ...and great sceneries. I especially like the second capture with the bare branches of the tree. I wonder, was the dog shaking with fear or enjoying the experience? Both seems possible, judging from the dogs I know, but in this case I'd bet on the fear.
    Nice story about the giant. Having your wits about you is always useful. :)

    1. Thanks Petra, I couldn't believe she stood back from the dog, I had to be quick because it wasn't for long and although the dog didn't complain, the body language was rather unsettling. I'm not sure who the owners of bad judgement were going to show their photo too, but I'm sure that the viewers won't be impressed.

      With hindsight, I would have liked to have taken the second photo again. I was too focused on where I placed the tree in the view that I didn't even see the clouds. There are a few pictures here that I wasn't entirely happy with on editing the set but I'll learn from it.


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