Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Primrose Way.

A canal trail leaflet for a walk around the Queens Head area, 3.4 miles it said, nice easy walking it seemed so fully booted and spurred we set off, looking forward to seeing swathes of primroses brightening the countryside. Being a belt and braces man I also took along an Ordnance Survey map so there was no chance of getting lost. Up the towpath and there were the two geese getting ready for another attack, but in Jill they had met their nemesis, they took one look at her brandishing her Nordic Walking Poles and deciding that discretion is the better part of valour they took to the water and made off in high dudgeon.

Carefully following the map we made our way along a quiet lane and past a delightful cruck framed cottage.

It was here that the error crept in, somehow I failed to notice another lane going off to the left and we went on our merry way up through a farmyard and along the track. Across the fields we could see the railway, the leaflet clearly showed we had to cross it and sure enough there was a crossing about half a mile away along the track. We arrived at the railway and dutifully looked both ways and listened carefully before crossing.

Please note carefully the clump of trees on the right, they reenter the story later. Having crossed we realised that we were in a field of crops with never a path or primrose in sight.

A careful perusal of the map appeared to show that the crossing should have been in the trees, not in a field and from where we were there was no way into the trees. There was no alternative, we had to backtrack, for a cartophile like me this was highly embarrassing. Luckily we espied a local who, after much head scratching and pondering, told us we should have turned off the lane by the cruck cottage. So back we went much to the amusement of some local residents

who followed us back up the field, I swear they were jeering at us.
Back at the aforementioned cottage we took the correct track and after passing Wooton Castle, I know it

is only a house but it is called Wootton Castle and is grade 2 listed, we found

some primroses and eventually we arrived at

the correct crossing in the clump of trees, distance between the crossings, two hundred yards, walking round the way we went, at least a mile, but you wouldn't want to walk up a railway line would you? After more stiles and fields we arrived back at the canal and headed back towards Queens Head, once again passing Rednal Basin and the little warehouse at Heath Houses.

Lovely curves on the crossover bridge.
Nearly back at Queens Head and, poking through the soil we found the first butterbur flowers of the year.

Another plant that sends up its flowers before its leaves. The plant gets its name from its huge leaves which, in past times, were used to wrap butter.
Arriving back we were pleased to see

the eponymous pub and as our two hour walk had ended, including detours, closer to four hours there was only one thing to do, lunch was,as usual, superb.
Incidentally those were the only primroses we saw, a case for the Trade Descriptions Act?
Tomorrow Oswestry.

Watch this space................

No comments: