Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Redstone Caves

The Bratii visited on Sunday. Plan A was to take them down the Riverside; a quick recon trip revealed it was packed-out so time for Plan B a trek over the Snipes and down to the Redstone Caves. I'd picked up a copy of the Stourport Guide complete with map and intended to have Minor navigate us there.
"We haven't done that yet in Scouts" he told me.
"Well you'll be ahead of everyone else then won't you" I replied.

I showed him where we were, where we wanted to go and a rough idea of the route; mapping it out in stages. At every major point on the road I got him to work out where we were and which way we should head until we reached Marlborough Drive.
"We're looking for a public footpath so they'll be some sort of sign" I said looking at the wooden post plus arrow just the other side of the road. He buried his head in the map to try and find it while Major looked up at the sign and laughed.
"Um" said Minor
"It might help if you looked around"
"Oh there it is"
We headed through and I gave them the talk about respecting the land around you as it may not be publicly accessible etc.
"Because the fields might have crops in them" Minor replied to me
We kept going but ran into a small problem with the map. Helpfully the area we were walking along was covered on the map by a giant yellow rectangle with the copyright information displayed. As such when we reached a fork we turned despite my original plan to continue straight. But hey Minor was reading the map and worked out that we were heading 'that' way so it was correct. Another fork and we headed towards the tyre place. Saw some people in the distance walking dogs but it was quite quiet.

At the tyres we turned towards the river; headed up, headed down and came out opposite the Marina. Both played at the water's edge a little before we headed back up at a different angle to intersect the small cave.
"Is that it?" said Minor with some disgust
"Hey it's a cave isn't it"
They dropped in rooted around and then we headed back upwards.

Carrying along we were stopped by the fencing and met a couple who were looking at it with some puzzlement. Selfishly trying to keep things to ourselves I urged the Bratii onwards along the wooded edge keeping my eye out for the path I knew was coming up.

A sharp turn and down the steps; backed up on ourselves and reached the cordoned off caves - it's not just barbed wire it's ultra barbed wire; sigh! A couple of the shallow ones were open so they looked around those. Most disappointed that the others were off limits a verdict shared by the two young couples who'd joined us. We left them as they tried to grab a branch and bring down some of the barbed wire so they could scrabble over. I don't condone such, but I can certainly sympathise.

Back along the river; past the caravan park and up to the bridge where we could see how packed the place was. Then finally back to where we started. Only about three miles, but it took us out of the house for about two hours.

As an aside neither The Snipes nor the Redstone Caves appear at either the Wyre Forest site nor the Worcestershire site as far as I can tell. I mean it would be disappointing to attract people to a cordoned off area, but it would be nice if they were at least listed.