Over the school half term Noah has been desperate to get out his new tent and go camping. I’m Not yet feeling brave enough to full on camp with hurricane William aka toddler mastermind so we compromised with picnicking in the pop up. After a dash to the co-op for supplies including my new discovery, Chardonnay crisps (how have I lived..) and having a legging emergency in the car park swapping from ones with holes in the arse to holes in the knee was which was slightly better. We were off!
We picked the wild long mynd in church stretton as is not far from us plus it’s simply beautiful. Once in church stretton make the steep ascend to the top long mynd it’s completely worth it. No other place offers the most gorgeous views of Shropshire hills and beyond, Brimming with sheep, wild life and my favourite, the wild ponies. I adore seeing them, it gives life to the 10yr old horse obsessed me actually watching feral ponies (apart from my own!) and at this time of year you might be lucky enough to see a foal or two. They have been on the long mynd for years, giving an educated equestrian guess Id say they are Welsh ponies maybe even from the times when the mines were in full use of pit ponies?
The small herd of gorgeous ponies can be very hard to spot so always keep a look out. Normally we’ve found them by the gliding station or on the moorland next to it. both spots provide stunning views so this was to be our picnic destination not before we drove all The way across the ridge and down again and back up again at 20% incline for lack of decision making and a decent turnaround spot. god bless the dmax and a hill start hero.
The long mynd itself is the middle part of the shropshire hills between the stiperstones and wenlock edge. Right next to carding mill valley its features include heathlands that’s become a purple haze with heather, valleys and views that are awe inspiring. It can be tough walking and cycling if you are up to the challenge Although more inviting routes are well marked with plenty of maps available for the shropshire way with the national trust. The most ambitious sporting attraction would be the gliding club with paragliders hang gliders and gliders all looking spectacular today form our picnic camp near Corndon hill.
I know I can’t take proper credit for un popping a pop up tent but I was pretty quick at getting this show on the road with tent pegs and distributing snacks. This landmark is incredible rain or shine as the weather was very unpredictable one moment we had glorious sunshine to wizard of oz wind and rain we were extremely grateful for the cosy little den that was gradually becoming surrounded by cute cautious woolly jumpers. Unlike our sheep at home who definitely wouldn’t knock before coming crashing in to raid your crisps these guys are wild and wonderful. Polite enough to leave your lunch alone but don’t appreciate sheep dogs in the form of William.
After co-op lunching with stunning scenary we took our time on a Toddler lead amble down some tracks looking for ponies, discouraging William from eating raisins disguised as sheep poo and watching the over head gliders take off and land. Noah spend a grand total of 7minutes in his tent before the call of the wild took him off amongst the ferns playing and collecting stones reappearing out the undergrowth every so often for a jammie dodger.
When the last big shower came in we decided to make a move. Two things that never go back in the covers the same are sleeping bags and pop up tents. If in doubt chuck it in the back of the truck. The important thing is that the kids are back in the car warm and dry. Nope. Both still oblivious to the incoming weather running around in the rain like normal. Once caught and all strapped in off we went towards the immense trip down. Before we got around the corner we were finally greeting by the gorgeous herd of long mynd ponies. Two mares already had foals at foot Excellent to see the next generation of wild ponies being born here looking healthy as ever. Trip now completed!
I highly recommend visiting church stretton, For more information on maps, events and activities for the area take a look at the link below.