Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Breidden Hill Circular 1.1.15

A circular walk, 3.9 miles, 2 hours.

A great little walk on the Shropshire-Welsh border that takes in the fine Breidden Hill and the landmark that is Rodney's Pillar.

It was New Year's Day and that means a walk, preferably one that involves a hill. I was staying in Trewern, near Welshpool with friends. Near by are the hills of Moel y Golfa, Cefn y Castellm (Middletown Hill), Kemsters Hill, Bausley Hill and Breidden Hill - 5 hills that collectively are called the Breidden Hills, or as I simply call them 'The Breiddens'. From my old house in Shrewsbury I used to be able to see these hills on the horizon, with Long Mountain not far to their south, Breidden Hill standing out in particular as it seemed to come to an abrupt end almost like a sea cliff, however just before where the hill falls away towards the lower countryside a small column stands perched on the end, this is called Rodney's Pillar and makes a visible landmark for miles around due to the location of the hill. So, long story short, it was time to visit this hill, ironic in some respects now that I don't live in the area, but, bag it I felt I must, especially after finding my old friend Dan had now moved so near to it, and had climbed it on a few occasions with his dog. So, with my friend as a guide, we set off for the car park at the base of Briedden Hill.

Here after arriving into the car park with the dog leading the way, the hill is indicated as simply Rodney's Pillar...
breidden hill 003
Turning left out of the car park, the track starts to head upwards...
breidden hill 004
breidden hill 005
After a few hundred yards our route cuts right here to head steeply uphill...
breidden hill 007
breidden hill 010
At the top of this incline a path intersects it. Here we turned left to head further upwards...
breidden hill 013
breidden hill 015
You soon start to head out of the trees at around the 250 metre mark, the route then starts to open out...
breidden hill 016
breidden hill 017
breidden hill 018
Rodney's Pillar makes its first appearence...
breidden hill 020
This stile marks the beggining of the final ascent towards the top of Briedden Hill...
breidden hill 021
breidden hill 022
And to the top of Breidden Hill with a summit Trig Point too at 365 metres...
breidden hill 029
breidden hill 026
Thanks to Dan for this photograph, a tough shot considering the dog pulling and the windy conditions!..
breidden hill 024
The views from the summit of this hill are excellent with a 360 degree panorama, including The Wrekin to the east, The Stiperstones and the Long Mynd to the south east, the Aran range and the Berwyn Range to the north west, this is worth the hike just to get your bearing as to what you are going to climb next whilst in the area!
The route now heads south west away from Rodney's Pillar following a well trodden footpath, here looking back towards the pillar from a nicely made Topograph...
breidden hill 034
Middletown Hill looking inviting...
breidden hill 036
Moel y Golfa, the highest point of the Breidden Hills, with Long Mountain beyond...
breidden hill 037
The route now starts to head back downhill...
breidden hill 038
The route intersects with this substantial track that runs along the edge of Breidden Forest, and indeed continues to run through parts of it...
breidden hill 039
Looking back at Breidden Hill top...
breidden hill 040
breidden hill 041
breidden hill 042
breidden hill 045
The neb of high ground that is the top of Breidden Hill ahead here as the path snakes its way back towards the car park, it is also this abrupt end to the hill that gives it the 'sea cliff' look from a distance...
breidden hill 046
And finally back to the car park completing this excellent walk around a spot of new territory for me...
breidden hill 047
I can't recommend this walk enough if you find yourself in the area at some point. The view from the summit of the hill is superb. Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve, that looks like a good outing; I've noticed more and more people are praising the Shropshire hills on their blogs of late. Nice to see them getting the recognition they deserve - as long as they don't become too popular!

Unfortunately, we haven't been across to Shropshire since the autumn. Life for the last couple of months seems to have been broken up into bite-sized chunks (you'll know all about that with a young family) and although Church Stretton isn't too long a drive, we like to have enough time to make a decent day of it when we do get there. Hopefully not too long before the next visit.

Fell_Finder said...

Hi Dave,
yes well worth a visit this one. Glad to say I've finally managed to get to climb it.

I've always been quietly surprised that the Shropshire Hills don't get the numbers of visitors that the national parks receive, considering their central location and size. Obviously in summer the Carding Mill Valley is swarming with folk, but that's where it seems to end in terms of mass visitors to those hills, but maybe times are changing for them.

Well hope you manage to find the time to get over to those hills soon Dave, looking forward to reading your next post.

Simon said...

Fantastic, I like this hill and the Brieddens in general. There is something slightly hidden and otherworldly about them, at least compared to the flat lands all around them. All the same, they feel like midland hills, like Malvern or the Wrekin, unlike the nearby Long Mountain, which feels much more Welsh.

Moel-y-Golfa is a great hill, with an interesting steep wooded and heathy bit (gnarled oak trees growing out of rock) near the top, plus a gypsy monument at the summit.

Fell_Finder said...

Hi Simon,

Thanks for the comment.

I could just about make out the gypsy monument from where I was staying, an interesting feature of a hill to say the least. I'm looking forward to returning to the Breiddens to take a stroll up Moel y Golfa, and take a look at the features of the hill you have mentioned. I was surprised how striking the hill looks from Welshpool compared with looking upon it from the top of Breidden hill!
Again, Long Mountain will have to be done too, it looks like an interesting place.

Thanks again-