For those who like more
serious walking, there is Offas Dyke path
and innumerable other footpaths and bridleways
over the top or along the valleys. Within an easy
drive you have the Long Mynd to the north east
and half the hills of Wales to the
west. Restless visitors can even jump into their
cars and drive to the sea-side for the day. For
gentler strolls there are country lanes and
Forestry Commission roads.
Bury Ditches hillfort, near Lydbury North in Shropshire, dates
from the 1st millennium B.C. and is considered to be one of the
finest hillforts in Britain. The hillfort is on Forestry
Commission land so it is freely accessible to members of the
public, with a car park close by. This walk takes you round the
fort, enabling you to see some of its archaeological features.
In the 1970's the hillfort was really revealed for the first
time, following a number of winter storms that removed many of
the trees from the top of the hill. On reaching the top there is a fibre-glass relief map and sign
giving an outlined history of this scheduled Iron Age Hill Fort
monument. On the highest point of a lane that
connects Brocton just
off the B4385 with Clunton on the B4368 there is a car park
and a picnic area.
The Long Mynd
lies off the B4370 through the
Church Stretton Valley and is in the heart of the Shropshire hills.
It is half way between Ludlow and Shrewsbury and half way
between Brown Clee and the Welsh Border. The Mynd offers walks
to suit most ages and conditions. There are over
5000 acres of uncultivated moorland safely protected by
the national trust and hopefully it will remain as such. At
Minton batch you will be in the vicinity of the Gliding Station
and it is important to obey any instructions from
those operating the launching gear. There are very many
starting points for the walker to access the Long Mynd to
enjoy the spectacular scenery
as far as the eye can see.
There is a picnic and car-parking site at the
Bog that was once a small lead mining community. Stiperstones
itself is an area of extensive moorland. Although the climbs are
not very steep the paths are strewn with boulders making it
rough terrain for the walker. Because of the wildness of the
surroundings it is
easy to conjure up visions of the Devil in his chair and about
Wild Edric and his army waiting for their call to help in
Englands time of need.
In the last quarter of the eighth century, Offa, the
powerful king of Mercia and overlord of the greater part of
England, constructed a great dyke to mark out the western
boundary of his kingdom and to control incursions from Wales.
Twelve hundred years later this great linier earthwork, the
longest in Britain, became the inspiration for a long distance
footpath traversing the border country of England and Wales
for 170 miles from Sedbury Cliffs on the river Severn to
Prestatyn near the estuary of the Dee.
The Offa's Dyke Path, a National Trail funded by the
Countryside Commission generously signed and waymarked
throughout, was opened in July 1971.
The nearby market town of Knighton (town on the dyke) has a
centre dedicated to Offa's Dyke. The walk northwards boasts
some of the highest and steepest terrain along its whole
length with breathtaking views all around.
This is Shropshires own long distance footpath. It meanders
and winds its way around the county for 172 miles taking in
all the finest walking country, but also providing a linking
route between the more popular spots. It is well marked
throughout by its distinctive flying-buzzard badges fixed to
the majority of the signposts. It crosses and merges with
several other well known local footpaths such as Offa's Dyke,
Kerry Ridgeway and the Jack Mytton Way. Throughout its
length it takes in well known land marks such as the Long Mynd,
Stiperstones, Clun, Bury Ditches, Hopesay Hill, Stokesay
Castle, Ludlow and the CleeHills. It also incorporates the ridge of the Wenlock
Edge to the Ironbridge Gorge then onto the Wrekin.
West of Bishop's Castle, the hills become higher and more
numerous. This is sheep country. The Kerry
Ridgeway; the ancient route to Montgomery and beyond,
overlooks Churchstoke and the Camlad valley. The route of the
drovers' road is marked by frequent plantings of groups of