FOR our September walk we are venturing into the same neck of the woods as some august company.

In tackling part of the course of the Elan Valley Aqueduct, which supplies water to Birmingham from the Welsh mountains, artist Kate Green, Andy Holman and Tim Hipkiss of the “Laura Ashley Pate Spreaders” were joined last week by Clare Balding of Radio 4’s “Ramblings”.

Tim’s team are seasoned long distance footpath walkers who owe their name to an oversight on their first ever group walk; in getting together, it was decided that each would be responsible for an element of the picnic lunch – bread, pate, beer and so on – but they all forgot to bring a knife with which to spread the pate.

And yes, you’ve guessed it – a Laura Ashley store card was appropriated for the task (although a longer version of this story is available on request).

There may not be much gravity behind the Pate Spreaders name, but that’s just how the Elan Valley Aqueduct works.

Taking some inspiration from our Hereford Times visit to walk the pipe at Ledwyche Brook, Ludlow, the long distance walkers were further moved to follow a route which tracks the full 73 and a half miles of the Victorian pipe.

Kate Green, who produces a monthly chronicle called Walking The Pipe has been exploring, gathering and sharing stories and inviting village and town dwellers along the way to coffee mornings, workshops, exhibitions and performance events.

To give you a picture of the course of the Pipe, Kate has walked – in our area – via Bleddfa, Frydd Dingle at Knighton, through Leintwardine and crossed the Teme three times in Mortimer Forest; then she has gone on to Ludlow, Clee Hill and Cleobury Mortimer before continuing by Wyre Forest, Wolverley and Clent Hills to Frankley, Birmingham.

The route chosen for “Ramblings” was a much shorter one. Starting at Whitcliffe Common, overlooking Ludlow, they surveyed the fine vista of the Pipe heading towards and over the horizon at Clee Hill (we also saw a sighting tower on the lower reaches of Clee Hill on one of our earlier walks).

From there, the radio gang headed west to the Wheelers Valletts and Deep Wood Crossings, two well houses in the Forest and looked down across the Teme to Downton Castle.

For our new outing, starting at Leintwardine village green, we have devised a 4½ mile route which passes that area on the opposite side of the River Teme.

We skirt the river to see the Pipe crossing via Graham’s Cottage Bridge before it vanishes under Tatteridge Hill.

As we loop around the hill we can see its course marked by a chamber on the hillside.

The pipe is about 100 metres underground at this point and I believe that two schoolboys lost their lives there in a calamitous exploration.

Just before Downton on the Rock and a pretty return to Leintwardine down Church Hill overlooking the sinuous Teme, we walk above Downton Bridge where the Pipe has descended about three metres from Graham’s Cottage.

If you want to get to know more about the Pipe there is a walk to see pipe architecture at Bleddfa, starting at 4.30pm on September 28.

For the less adventurous, there is a talk at Hall Barn at 6pm given by Andy Holman, followed by supper and entertainment.

Contact or Bleddfa, Knighton LD7 1PA, or 01547 550377.

Information can also been gleaned at the website

Leintwardine and Downton on the Rock

Village, riverside, pasture, country lane and great views. “The Pipe.”

4½ mile moderate ramble. Two stiles. Good terrain.

Map: OS Explorer 203, Ludlow.

The Route

1. Leintwardine. Roadside parking by village green. With the river bridge behind your left shoulder, facing Rivendell, TR along Rosemary Lane, passing the iconic Sun parlour Inn.

2. Immediately beyond the industrial unit on R, and 30 mph signs, TR through walkers’ gate into field. Follow L edge for about 250m to find a galvanized walkers’ gate on left. Go through and follow a course just in from the right fence and the hidden river Teme. Kink left and right at an old iron barrier. Head a little left towards houses up to left. Angle right, keeping quite well left of trees by river edge. Now keep going straight ahead, not close to river, but near to the bottom of the field bank. Go left of a muddle of trees to pass through gate at elbow. Follow the bottom of bank, with fence R, cross unmarked stile and follow right edge fence until you see a massive oak tree. Pass up to its R, through gate on to road.

3. TR along country lane. Just after (what is) Graham’s Cottage, you will come to The Pipe! View from road and then continue along lane to road junction at Nacklestone Farm. TL as if for Burrington and Ludlow. At an unsigned fork in road, opposite farm gate, TL, up slightly, with Tatteridge Hill up to your left. (Soon, at a double gate, can you see a pipe inspection chamber up on the hill?) Continue ahead and after a right bend, views open out in front to Bringewood (where the Pipe goes.) TL at junction to reach areas, marked private, where The Pipe takes a line down to Downton Bridge (below R). Continue up to Downton on the Rock parish notice board, next to post box.

4. Downton Lodge. Go ahead, by quaint stile, up drive. With Glebe Cottage R, TL up the drive, stone wall R, and curve right between two small buildings up grassy R edge. Soon, cross stile on R, to TL in same direction. Keep ahead, just R of sycamore trees. At field division, kink a little R, under trees to maintain same general line, 30m in from fence to reach wide cross path via gate.

5. Wide track. Go forward a few paces and TL, with arable field R. Follow track with Leintwardine Church below. It’s a beautiful , tranquil stretch visited by ravens. (Radnor Forest ahead and winding Teme in the valley.) Leave farm track where it goes R, trough galvanized walkers’ gate ahead, to put fence on your L, and go down through gap. Go beneath trees, over old workings, very steeply down bank, steering L at waymarked fence elbow, down Church Hill, through gate, and so back to start along Rosemary Lane.