Church Stretton is a pretty little village just outside Telford nestled in a range of hills called the Long Mynd. It was an area I already knew pretty well, having camped there 7 years earlier and I was looking forward to doing some landscape photography there if the family and weather gave me the opportunity.
The long mynd is one of these places overlooked as people transit from one area to another. In this case it is only an hour from the West Midland conurbation and well served by a motorway, but generally either people head North to the peaks or the lakes, or pass it by on their way to Wales and Snowdonia.
Which is a pity, because although perhaps not have the grandeur of Snowdonia or the majesty of the Lakes, it is more accessible than either of those and has its own charms.
The Long Mynd itself is a ridge of hills going North to South and dominates the otherwise flat landscape. In fact to me it looks akin to a large sleeping dragon with Church Stretton nestled in its paws.
There is a road that goes up and over the Long Mynd and my hope was on a clear night go to the top and try some astro photography.However after doing the single track road on the day, the dearth of passing places and lack of barriers on one side totally put me off that idea. Doing it in daytime was scary enough, doing it at night was unthinkable.
So I contented myself with just taking pictures where and where I could.
It was only on the last day that I found the Stiper Stones. Again it is a ridge that runs parallel to the Long Mynd. To get there you either have to go around the Mynd or over it (which i would not recommend), so although close as the crow flies, it takes a good while to get there.
The stones themselves are a set of grit stome outcrops. However unlike the Mynd they are quite walkable.
Also the weather, which up to this point had been 'changeable' was fantastic. Of course this was the last day of the holiday.
One of my big regrets was I did not get a decent sunset or sunrise shot. In truth the height of the Mynd and Church Stretton's proximity means the sun is hidden until quite high. However the Stiper Stones would make a perfect sunset location.
In fact this was proved because as we went back home on the last day, all I could see in my rear view mirror was one of the best sunsets I have ever seen.
Ah well, the photographic gods have to have their little laughs