After a hearty breakfast at The White Horse Clun ( see our dog friendly B&B directory and our pubs and places to eat that welcome dogs page) Murphy and one of the directors set out on The Shropshire Way to walk 12 miles or so to Bishops Castle with a view to have a pint with another dog friendly advertiser. The weather was poor – and set to a get worse – but we strode out leaving Clun adjacent to the castle (we visited it yesterday and met other dogs there). As predicted the weather steadily deteriorated; we soon walked up through the missle into low cloud. The first part of the walk had been through fields and along the river bank – but there had been a couple of fenced green lanes where Murphy had opportunity to run off.
We chose this route as long distance routes, like The Shropshire Way, are normally well signed and supplied with good gates or stiles. DogPeople have often found that the better routes have dog paddles or flaps when stiles are the best option but, sadly, this was not true of this section of The Shropshire Way. Murphy did brilliantly at scrambling under stiles or through gaps in the fence. When this wasn’t possible he made no fuss about being lifted over – even when that meant being dropped over. He even managed to jump one or two of the lower fences. By the time we encountered the first field of bovines we were both soaked through. Luckily Murphy was able to stay on the ‘safe’ side of the fence whilst the director made a recce of the way ahead. He discovered a mixed herd of cows and calves and at least one likely bull (it was lying down and the director didn’t feel like getting up close for a definite recognition!). A work around was found to avoid the field so progress was made over another series of ‘unfriendly’ stiles. The next field of bovines, huddled around the exit stile, was enough – we worked our way onto the lanes. Later we rejoined the route but soon found a gap in the signage (but a threatening sign from a farmer). That was enough – we walked back to Clun in the pouring rain guided only by our Satmap Active 10 (it would have been too wet to get a map out even if we had it with us!).
Back at The White Horse the detective work started trying to find the owner of a camera we had ‘sniffed out’ just before we abandoned the route. Lessons learned: The Shropshire Way is one of the least dog friendly long distance paths we have walked; Murphy was an absolute star in some trying conditions; a Canon IXUS camera still works after being dropped in long wet grass in the pouring rain and; staff at The White Horse recognised the B&B in Bishops Castle where the camera’s likely owners stayed last night. Let’s hope we can reunite the camera with its owners, especially if they happen to be staying in Clun this evening! Let’s also hope the wet weather gear dries before tomorrow and the worst of the weather has passed. A big T bone beckons this evening …
PS A right result. – owner of the camera staying at The White Horse too … Reunited!!