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This AA book of walks can take a hike

The guide by Nick Reynolds has not been updated in four years and landscapes have changed.

Rambling
"Are you sure this is The Stiperstones?"

I might have mentioned to you before that I’ve taken up walking.

I’ve found it much the best thing to do with a pair of legs, which spend most of their time stuck under a desk. (I must get a table with more room.)

I’m reluctant, as you can see, to call this “rambling”. The term has too many connotations of ironed shorts, stout boots and the Hitler Youth.

We just wander about a bit. At about five miles, the legs yearn to be under a desk again, while the top half of the body is thinking about tea and cake.

Unfortunately for all the limbs concerned, we’re lost by about five miles out, and still some distance from re-fuelling.

The blame for this I place squarely on the plate of Nick Reynolds.

Mr Reynolds wrote and compiled the AA book of walks – there’s an online version, too – for Worcestershire, and I think for Shropshire too.

I have bitten our copy in frustration.

Courtesy of Mr Reynolds, over the past fortnight we have been lost on the Long Mynd, and lost in a field somewhere near Tenbury Wells.

Take the Tenbury fiasco, as an example.

“Leave the car park,” says Nick. Which one? Tenbury has a short-stay and a long-stay.

It took a ten-minute consultation with a local to get over that hurdle.

“Cross a ditch over planks and rubble behind fallen trees…”

This has not been updated since 2009; the fallen trees have gone, and so have the planks and the ditch.

“Take the footpath through a small, tussocky pasture…”

Now what’s one of those when it’s at home?

Every field I’ve ever seen has looked both tussocky, and not so tussocky, at the same time.

I have some directions of my own for Mr Reynolds but I’d rather not share them in a family newspaper.

  • Dr Chris Upton is Reader in Public History at Newman University Birmingham
 

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