This week the 3 Stooges packed up the comedy van of fun. We tootled an hour south of the base location to sample the glorious Shropshire hills, the land of my birth. We were located approximately 15 miles south west of Shrewsbury in a village called Pennerley. Staying on a small holding called Lilac House that allowed easy access to the range of crags called the Stiperstones and the stunning views from “The Devils Chair” a well known shropshire landmark.
The Lilac House Campsite(CL)
The site is level and firm, basic facilities only, but it does include EHU and free wifi. As a bonus the site owners, Debs and Andy breed their own pigs and have a small shop on-site, selling their own pork produce. I gave the two sows the once-over but kept thinking back to that loveable character “Bricktop” in the film Snatch ” And when you got your six pieces(of human body), you gotta get rid of them, because it’s no good leaving it in the deep freeze for your mum to discover, now is it? Then I hear the best thing to do is feed them to pigs.” ……Scary stuff, i’m sure that they were looking at me as their potential next meal, needless to say I gave them a quick pat on the head, a silent pause for thought, then quickly moved on!
Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a lead, although within a few mins walk, the tracks leading to Stiperstones are available for safe off-lead walking.
The weekend weather was perfect and my sleeping bag is actually starting to keep me warm on our travels, which is always a bonus. On Saturday morning, I was up and about like a gunshot! and we were soon off and onto the Stiperstones. Its a beautiful area for walking, not as rugged as Snowdonia, but for views its not to be beaten:
View from The Devils Chair. The Other Half and Mutt spectating from the rocks.
We were up on the highest point within an hour and then traversed the 4 main peaks, each topped with a crag, the most exhilarating being The Devils Chair, a place steeped in Shropshire folklore. Its believed that when the chair is shrouded in mist, the devil is in attendance and sitting in the chair!
‘For miles around, in the plains, the valleys, the mountain dwellings it was feared. It drew the thunder, people said. Storms broke round it suddenly out of a clear sky; it seemed almost as if it created storm…. It had the look of a chair from which the occupant has just risen, to which he will shortly return.’ (The Golden Arrow by Mary Webb)
Obviously in my mind i’m still 14yrs old, and therefore every crag must be climbed with the ferocity of a final assent of Everest. At these moments the other half and the mutt, parked themselves in amongst the rocks and watched with mild amusement as “Not so bendy MHD” shuffled and shimmied his way over the rocks. It wasn’t an attractive sight, i’ll grant you that, but I like to think my technique is effective and safe, in the style of Joe Brown(the mountaineer, not the singer..or maybe….?). Three points of contact with the rock at all times, even if this sometimes included my backside as one of the three!
My epic ascent of The Devils Chair:
Anyway, after several hours of this we started the descent back to the campsite and were back in the van at 3pm enjoying tea and medals. All in all a great days easy walking, in fantastic weather, with stunning views and I got to show the other two that the old boy hasn’t lost it. I think!
Another very enjoyable trip. Off the tourist track, unspoilt and during these austere times cheap at £10 a night, what more can I ask for?