Warning signs all down the motorway: Severe weather, take care. And, when we get to the start of the walk, leaves are swirling round our feet and coats are flapping about as we try to zip them up.
We park in the sandstone trail car park at the back of the Sandstone pub on the A534. The pub has decent toilets!
This walk was mainly through woods, a strenuous 5.25 miles with plenty of aerobic ascent and knee threatening descent. We cross fields and walk through a copse of tall conifers towards Rawhead Ridge. Past Bickerton, on perhaps our third or fourth major ascent, I struggle slowly and heavily with the gradient and smile through gritted teeth as husband glides past saying ‘this is one of these rises where you just don’t even notice how high you are climbing’.
‘Yeah’ I mutter to his disappearing back speeding out of sight by at least a yard for each of my plodding steps.
At Maiden Castle, a Roman fort, the wind is so strong that it undoes the Velcro fastening to blow my hood off my head!
It is a beautiful walk and I would like to do it again in summer. Or spring: the last stretch, just off the Sandstone trail, is lined by thick dark Primrose leaves.