A walk with not much to look at…

“It’s foggy up here”. Perceptive, that’s me.

Admittedly, it had been perfectly clear when we left home – about 4 miles away as the crow flies and about 600 feet lower – but the change in conditions really didn’t need to be pointed out. “Nothing gets past you, does it?” I thought the sarcasm was uncalled for.

dsc_0003I actually don’t mind the occasional walk in foggy conditions, and admittedly it’s easier to be philosophical when the journey from home has only taken about 10 minutes and you’ve seen the views from these particular hills literally dozens of times before. Perhaps not quite so easy if you’ve driven a long distance to explore somewhere previously unvisited. And I suppose we half expected it to clear as the morning progressed and a little bit of sun and wind worked their magic.

So off we set on a familiar circuit, able to see very little beyond a couple of dozen yards in any direction, listening out for signs of the birds who seem to be gearing up for what should be – migrations aside – their most active period of the year.

dsc_0009Occasionally the shadowy but recognisable shape of a blackbird could be seen rummaging away in the leaf litter; and a few robins, confident and optimistic, shadowed our progress along the track. Meanwhile, the only variation in the visibility seemed to be in those places where it became noticeably worse.

There are two, three or four tops in the Clent Hills cluster, depending on your interpretation. Three of them are over 1,000 feet in height, although only one – Walton Hill – is designated as a Marilyn. Calcot Hill is sometimes dismissed as just another undulation on the ridge of Walton Hill; Wychbury is often disregarded, simply as a consequence of being separated from the others by the busy A456; Clent Hill is the most visited, the one with the café and other facilities, and the second highest. The whole area does seem somewhat susceptible to hill fogs and this was neither the first, nor the worst we have encountered. As we left and began to drop down the steep lane leading away from the car park, we were very quickly back into clear conditions.

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2 thoughts on “A walk with not much to look at…

  1. My ascent of Walton Hill last April gave me better views, but if you look at my recent post “Clougha Pike” you will see that I had a similar purblind experience last Sunday.

    Tuesday 5th April, 2016. FINAL DAY

    Having cleaned up all Ms in this area without encroaching any more on my intended visit to Hereford later this month I decided to do this lone summit out in the suburbs of Birmingham for my last day here. As it happens it was just less than an hour’s drive.

    The ascent was from a large National Trust car park taking less than fifteen minutes. A large flat topped summit gave extensive views in all directions, and surprisingly, judging from the number of cars parked below, I only saw two other people up there.

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    • Hi Conrad,

      There’s a couple of spots on the hills where people congregate, particularly during summer weekends when the weather’s good. Away from those places they’re generally pretty quiet and I suppose that’s typical of a lot of hills. Walton is generally much the quieter of the two main tops and also better for birds and other wildlife. It’s a regular spot for serious bird photographers in the spring/summer months.

      With a bit of improvisation it’s possible to put together about a half-day’s walk without repeating yourself and as long as you don’t mind a bit of mud.

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