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July 2000

16 July

A super walk with the Ramblers. We started near Trevor which is across the Dee from Llangollen. The parking place is high above the river and we took a path which contours eastwards and then northwards above Ruabon and Wrexham, with excellent views across the Cheshire plain towards the sandstone ridge.

There was then a long pull uphill on to the Ruabon mountain. This is rough moorland with just the one path. Very quiet. We had lunch at the top where there are wonderful views on to the Clwydian hills and also across into Snowdonia. There was just a glimpse of a pointed top, which could even have been Tryfan.

A deep descent into World's End past the rock climbers. We then pick up the Offa's Dyke path and walked southwards on it virtually back into Llangollen. The start is a wonderful traverse path below rocky outcrops which eventually become the Eglwysseg Rocks back in the Dee Valley. At this stage we were up a quiet back valley off the Horseshoe Pass. It was really lovely.

Unfortunately I wasn't getting the best out of the walk by then. I've been having trouble with one ear which is gummed up with wax and this has been effecting my balance (as well as making me sick on occasions). This was why I hadn't walked the previous two weekends. Fairly early in the walk I went dizzy and fell over; unfortunately the path was walled on one side so I fell off 3-4 ft into a clump of nettles (which was at least better than falling into the slurry next to it!!). Result: nettle rash down one arm, bruised right leg and damaged left ankle as well as the continuing problem with the ear.

I thought I'd walk it off and seemed to for a while. However the ankle stiffened up over lunch and it was difficult on the descent to World's End. I seemed to be walking OK but I was getting more and more tired and eventually I dropped out of the walk near Dinas Bran. I had a good rest there before limping down into the outskirts of Llangollen where I was picked up by car.

By the next day I could hardly walk the ankle was so bad but at least I got my ears cleaned out.

30 July

I missed walking last weekend which was a shame because it was a ramblers special; 17 miles led by Gerald. I thought about going on the morning walk but didn't want to aggravate the ankle injury (which was getting better but still wasn't right) for fear of missing today's walk, the coach ramble.

We were walking from Mortimer's Cross north-eastwards into Ludlow. This is the final section of the Mortimer Trail (which I'd not heard of before). I know that the Mortimers were the medieval Marcher lords of this area; one of them was the lover of Queen Isabel (wife of Edward II).

The Trail mainly follows a ridge. The day was sunny (as coach ramble days always seem to be) and the views super. I'm not too clued up on what we were seeing to the south and west (Hergest Ridge?) but I did recognise the Clees and Abberley Hill to the east.

The high point of the ridge is High Vinnalls, a new Marilyn, so that was another tick on the old list. It's got a watch tower on top, although it's locked so that you can't get into it.

It's a lovely walk; to the purist, it's possibly too much on tracks and roads but, given the dicky state of my ankle (and I was feeling it by the end), that was no bad thing. Ludlow is of course a gem at the end. We came in my a road I've not been on before. It sneaks over a bridge at the back of the castle.


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