ARS to explore the Wrekin

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Peter Kay is organising the ARS (Audlem Ramblers Society) walk this coming Saturday, 12th December.

There should be something for everyone on this Christmas walk as the
Wrekin area offers numerous alternatives.

The main options are as follows:

1. A 3.5 mile total climb of the Wrekin, which at 407m. (1335 ft.) gives outstanding views in all direction. The ascent is reasonably gradual on good paths. The return follows the ascent route for much of the way. This would make a leisurely morning walk.

2. A 4.0 mile circular route climbing the Wrekin and then descending very steeply and contouring around the base back to the start. The return route can be very muddy in places.

3. An 8.5 mile route climbing the Wrekin and the Ercall. There are two steep descents. For those who want to avoid the second hill an easier alternative is available.

Parking for all walks is at the Forest Glen Car Park. SJ 637 092. This is on the minor road from junction 7 of the M54 to Little Wenlock.

Start time from Audlem Public Hall car park is 9.00am. Non-members of ARS interested in joining the walk should contact Andy Davidson at"> to check on boots, equipment etc.

Finally, it's the ARS Christmas dinner in the evening at the Bridge Inn.

The WrekinThe Wrekin is perhaps Shropshire's best known landmark, a curious legendary hill that, from this way it looks like a mountain, and that way, it crouches low. From the top you can see fifteen counties.

It was also the inspiration for Tolkien's Middle Earth in the acclaimed series of books — The Lord of The Rings. Tolkien used to live nearby and drew inspiration from the magnificent Shropshire landscape.

It dominates the view of Telford and Ironbridge being 1335 ft tall and who would have guessed that Shropshire folk-lore tells us it was built by a giant who took a dislike to Shrewsbury.

The Giant in question was a Welshman who dug a spadeful of soil and planned to dump it into the river severn, flooding the town. However, whilst slogging across the Shropshire hills, this giant lost his bearings and having only got as far as Wellington stopped for a rest.

Sitting on the roadside he called out to a passing cobbler trying to find the direction to Shrewsbury. He told the cobbler he was going to flood the town.

The cobbler, a quick thinking business man, thought for a moment and realized if the giant flooded Shrewsbury, he'd lose all his customers. The cobbler quickly emptied his sack of worn out shoes onto the roadside and told the giant that he'd worn these shoes out himself coming from Shrewsbury.

The giant, thinking better of his plan then decided to forget about Shrewsbury and go home instead. The Giant dumped his spadeful of soil on the roadside, and then scraped his boots clean with his spade.

The mound of earth became the Wrekin and the smaller hill where he scraped his boots became the Ercall.