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Walking Around Church Stretton

Church Stretton, in the heart of Shropshire's finest walking country, has an idylic location. Set in a narrow valley, with the Long Mynd ridge to the west and the Stretton Hills and Caer Caradoc to the east, it's attractive red roofed houses fit snugly into the environment. It has a long history as a country market town, being granted a market charter by King John in 1214, and Thursday markets are still held here.

From the northern outskirts of the town the walk along the Beautiful Cardingmill Valley and up onto the open Long Mynd ridge makes a very enjoyable excursion. There is an ancient trackway, The Port Way, along the 16km length of the ridgeway offering spectacular views in all directions. Over 4,500 acres of heath and moorland on the Long Mynd are safe in the protection of the National Trust.

From the town there are also paths to the east up to Caer Caradoc, at 500m the highest point on the Stretton Hills. There is a well known cave about halfway up this hillside where according to local legend the British Chieftain Caractacus made his last stand against the Romans in AD50.

If you only have time for a taster walk in Church Stretton then plan a route to sample both the Stretton Hills and the Long Mynd. Head east to Helmeth Wood, a Woodland Trust nature reserve, and then make for the east side of Caer Caradoc via the lower slopes of Hope Bowdler. Go around the north slopes of Caer Caradoc and then head west, crossing the main road and railway, to All Stretton. Ascend the Long Mynd, follow the ridgeway for a short distance and finally decend back to the start.

OS Maps: Explorer™ 217

A Walk from Church Stretton [SO 453036]
This is awalk onto the Long Mynd along mostly moorland tracks and paths. Leave Church Stretton by Old Rectory Wood, picking up the path that follows Town Brook and climbs to eventually meet a road which you cross to ascend to Pole Bank where the route meets the Jack Mytton Way. Follow the Way south and you will soon join the road again. Follow the road and then turn left along a path signed for Little Stretton. On reaching Little Stretton follow a path heading north, parallel but west of the B5477 road back to Church Stretton.
Best Pub for this walk
Royal Oak, Cardington Tel: 01694 771266 (Good Pub Guide)
Excellent bar food and restaurant
This walk is fully described in the guidebook '50 Walks in Shropshire' by Julie Royle



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