Let’s make this clear. We are not golfers and we do not play golf. This ‘Golf Ball’ is not really a golf ball and is somewhat larger than a golf ball.
Let’s start at the beginning. It was going to be a lovely day and, as we are in Wales, we should not travel more than about 3 miles under lockdown rules. However in England there are now no such travel restrictions so we drove a half mile to our station which is in England and were then free to travel as far as we like.
So we drove for about 45 minutes to Titterstone Clee Hill near Ludlow.
That is an impressive hill wouldn’t you say? We intend going to the very top but we are, of course, going to cheat.
Titterstone Clee Hill used to be quarried, although the quarries closed in the early twentieth century, and that means that there is an access road almost to the top. The view below is from the level of the car park looking back along the road the way that we came.
This is the car parking area looking towards one of the old quarry faces which is slowly being taken over by nature and doesn’t look anything like as raw as when it was a working quarry.
Time to start up to the top. We climb a moderately steep path and soon come across this view of another quarry face, again softened by nature, with two very strange devices looking rather like giant golf balls showing over the quarry edge.
These devices are radar domes. The largest is part of the National Air Traffic Services radar network and covers one of 30 overlapping regions of UK airspace. This one on Titterstone Clee monitors all aircraft within a 100-mile radius and the smaller of the two is a Meteorological Office weather radar which is part of a network of 16 radars across the country used to detect rain. I usually just put my hand out of the window.
As we climbed higher we passed these tiny flowers which turned out to be Thyme so it was nice to know that we had plenty of Thyme.
Continuing upward we reached a point where we could see one of the old quarries below us. This is the opposite view from the one I took from the car park looking into this old quarry. That fairly obvious light area on the left is the car park, with our car showing on the left, and just to right of centre those little dark blocks are the remains of some of the old quarry buildings.
The path that we are following is actually part of the Shropshire Way and the post in the picture below is a waymarker post for that path.
The shropshire Way long distance footpath covers some 200 miles crossing, as well as Titterstone Clee Hill, the Stiperstones and many other Shropshire towns and villages going as far north as Whitchurch.
We finally reached our furthest point which was the trigonometry point and Amanda tried to hide behind it without much success.
The hill in the distance, to the left of the trigonometry point, is Brown Clee Hill which is the highest hill in Shropshire and is a little higher than Titterstone Clee. The second picture is a closer view of Brown Clee.
This next picture shows the relationship of the trigonometry point and the radar domes.
The views from this height, about 1700 feet, are stupendous and not only that but they were accompanied by the sounds of Skylarks above us.
We started back down and passed these foxgloves on the way.
Have reached the car park we decided to have a look around the old derelict buidings. There was one on the left with two large cavities underneath and one, with legs, just above Amanda’s head. The building with the cavities underneath was used for loading railway trucks with quarried stone.
In one of the buildings there was some ‘Street Art’ (Graffiti). It certainly shows some artistic talent but I do wonder if any of the people that do this put it to good use. I have no idea what the symbolism means.
Finally we found something we had hoped to find – the Titterstone Incline. This was part of the narrow gauge (3 ft) railway used for transporting quarried stone which carried the stone from up here in the quarry downhill to the nearest road or railway.
All in all a very interesting trip. We had been here once before in 2005 when we stayed in Ludlow but we missed a lot of the interesting bits on Titterstone Clee Hill then. We have now rectified that.