THE GEOPARK WAY. Great Witley to Alfrick.

View back to Abberley church.

View back to Abberley church.

Frid. 12th July.

The limestone ridge was soon gained before the sun really got going. There were views back to Abberley with the church tower prominent. The ridge was mainly tree covered and I was glad of the shade. Buzzards seem very common in this part of the country and I spent some time trying to get a photo of their beautiful soaring flight. However the calm and stillness experienced on the ridge that morning watching them wheel around is difficult to describe. Nobody else about as usual.

I’ve had the same frustration with my photographic attempts of the numerous butterflies in the fields, and I must brush up my identification skills. Flowers were easier prey for me as shown by this magnificent wild rose…

‘Bull in field’ became a reality further on requiring a detour on the other side of the hedge.

I skirted Woodbury Limestone Quarry and could hear Peregrines. The vertical strata of the rock showed well and there was a large deep pool in the quarry floor. There have been several drownings this week in the area with youths cooling off in these dangerous waters.

Another shady ridge brought me down to the River Teme which was sluggish this morning at the site of an old mill. Pleasant change to be near water again although the Horse Flies were a pest.

Arrived in the village of Martley to find the Crown Inn closed but luckily the little Mace convenience store sold all I needed for dehydration and a picnic lunch in the shade. The local church of St. Paul dates from the12th century and was built from the local sandstones. Apparently the tower has a set of 6 bells from 1673 – the oldest complete peal in the country. Inside has lovely timber work and some faded medieval plaster wall paintings, some depicting animals familiar to the country folk. All this was explained by an electronic ‘listening post’ – excellent.

A rather pointless climb back up onto the ridge brought me to Ankerdine Hill, from here there were no views because of tree growth despite being shown on the OS as an all round viewpoint. Felt a bit frustrated with all the climbing to no avail in this heat. Soon down to Knightwick where my B&B was situated, The Talbot Inn. Arrived early and as tomorrow would be a long day decided to do a few more miles today. The kindly bar lady at the inn gave me a lift to the next village of Alfrick and I walked back through orchards and hop fields by the river Teme, to arrive in time to buy her a drink before she went off duty. Cheers Sue.

Hop plants.

Hop plants.

There are some expensive looking houses in the area, some even being converted hop kilns. Quintessentially old English.

A lovely evening was passed outside over a light supper and the beers [THIS, THAT and T’OTHER] produced at the Talbot Inn from the local hops.

The Talbot Inn.

The Talbot Inn.

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