Church Stretton and the Shropshire Hills - DAY 1 (Finale)

 After leaving Stokesay Castle, there were two quick stopovers in Craven Arms - the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre (for local info) and Harry Tuffins' supermarket (for supplies) - before continuing up the A49 to Church Stretton. We were a little early for the booked accommodation so opted for a short walk in spite of the damp air and chill wind. We parked in the Rectory Wood car park with the intention of walking around Rectory Wood & Fields.

Figure 1: Rectory Wood, Church Stretton

As the weather suddenly took on a more inclement outlook, we made a last minute decision to 'do' the nearby Sculpture Trail in the grounds of the Long Mynd Hotel - a shorter and more sheltered walk. The work of a local woodcarver, Dave Bytheway, carried out some years earlier (going by the state of some of the carvings) we wandered around somewhat aimlessly as there was no map or guide to show where the sculptured pieces were.

Goodness knows how many sculptures there are but these are the ones we saw ...

Photo 1: At the Start of the Trail

Photo 2: The Three Bears

Two pictures of this eagle (?): my preference (Photo 3) and Mary's (Photo 4).

Photo 3: Here's Looking at You

Photo 4: Here's Looking the Other Way

You had to keep your eyes peeled otherwise you could easily miss some of the well-hidden wood carvings.

Photo 5: Owl (obviously)

Photo 6: Eagle in Flight

Photo 7: Otters

Photo 8: Gnome Alone

Photo 9: A Second Gnome in the Country

Photo 10: Menacing Owl

Photo 11: Gone Fishing

Photo 12: Green Woodpecker

And finally, something not carved out of wood ...

Photo 13: Stag Doing What Stag's Do

It was now half past four and time to escape the wind and rain and head for our accommodation for the next two nights ...

... with the promise of better weather for the next couple of days

PS I have no idea how many sculpture pieces there are on the Sculpture Trail. Did we miss the odd one or most of them? If anyone has, or knows of, a map/list of the sculptures on the Sculpture Trail, please point me in that direction.


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