Sunday, 14 August 2011

More pictures, more stories

We have seen some breath-taking scenery this summer. And I guess I have to admit that the pastoral landscapes of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire can't match the Scottish Highlands and Islands for awe-inspiring and scary beauty. But it was when we took a couple of days off this week to go walking in the easy countryside around Leominster and Ludlow that I was especially moved by the views.

Here's the view of farm land which greet us as we emerged from the woodland on Dinmore Hill:

Later, walking along the River Teme at Ludlow we came to this scene of wheatfields harvested earlier in the day:

Half a century ago, as a young teenager discovering the freedom of cycling, I planned a youth-hosteling holiday in this area. I would ride down through Cheshire, calling at Cholmondeley, Church Stretton, Ludlow on the way. I would ride down through Leominster to Hereford. But that holiday never happened because my Granddad died and it had to wait for another time.

In the years since then I have grown to know and love that area so that the region from just south of Altrincham to just north of Hereford is where I really belong. It's the stories of those towns and villages and farms which I love. And there are the novels, of course, of Mary Webb and Beatrice Tunstall.

You have to read those books. All of them, but if you can only manage a couple, read Mary Webb's Precious Bane and Beatrice Tunstall's Shiny Night. 


Baggy said...

My parents have friends at Leominster - I've never visited but it always sounds lovely.

Celia said...

Couple of years ago I drove up to Bunbury in Cheshire via Hereford-Ludlow and up the Marches, it was a glorious trip. Trouble was it took forever cos I kept stopping off to see Nat Trust places and Ludlow itself and ... and ... and ... better do it again next time I've got time travelling North!

Rob Crompton said...

Thanks for dropping by, Baggy and Celia. That's a regular drive for us, so over the years we have got to know the area pretty well.
Bunbury, by the way, is the location of the "image house" which features in Beatrice Tunstall's super novel, The Shiny Night.

Patsy said...

Sorry to say this isn't an area I've visited - yet.