Betchcott Hill and the Long Mynd - April 2011
Bridges and The Portway Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
The small car park at Bridges is well placed - it will be even better when the Horseshoe Inn is reopened - for walks such as this, on the western side of Shropshire’s Long Mynd After following the road eastwards for a quiet quarter-mile, the path then runs beside the west bank of Darnford Brook, at first through open woodland, then opening into grassy hill country. At Darnford, a short spur - “Golden Valley” - is the natural continuation of the route to the Betchcott Hill ridge. The Portway is an ancient route running the length of the Long
Mynd - the track eastwards along Betchcott Hill is a branch of that route, joining the main Portway at the surfaced road from High park to Darnford. It’s a great route for walking - the miles slip past very easily... ...just as well, perhaps, on this warm and sunny afternoon in the Easter school holiday period. I’d met only half-a-dozen others so far; the stretch along the Mynd was (I exaggerate) like Blackpool beach, throwing the quietness of the earlier stage of the walk into sharp relief... ...and it was with some sense of relief that I arrived at Shooting Box and took the track westwards, gently downhill towards Coates, and the short stretch down the very quiet road back to Bridges. I didn’t meet another soul until, at Coates, a couple approached from the Bridges direction. They’d passed me as I ate my lunch on Betchcott Hill. It would appear they were following a similar route, anti-clockwise, and seemed pleased to see me - confirming for them that they were on the right path. Not that it’s easy to get lost in these hills - not on a day like today anyway.

View Bridges - Portway in a larger map first through open woodland Darnford Brook ...opening into grassy hill country Cirrus Approaching Darnford View to Golden Valley Enjoying the sunshine On Betchcott Hill North to the plains Long Mynd - leaving the road ...gently downhill towards Coates Bilbatch Two of a kind Above Bilbatch Near Coates - view to the south Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff