The Shropshire Hills
The Shropshire Hills - Introduction
Shropshire is the largest landlocked county in England and shares a long western border with mid-Wales. The Shropshire Hills is the name given to the diverse upland areas in the south of the county. In 1958 a total of 310 square miles of the Shropshire Hills, including the town of Church Stretton were designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Shropshire Hills Gallery: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
The Shropshire Hills contain a number of distinct areas ranging from the tor covered Stiperstones in the north of the AONB to the heavily mined Clee Hills in the south of the region. Between the Stiperstones and the Clee Hills can be found, from north to south, the large moorland plateau of the Long Mynd, the Stretton Hills and the long limestone ridge of Wenlock Edge. To the east The Wrekin stands proudly on its own while to the west, in an area bordered on three sides by Wales are the quiet hills of Clun Forest which includes a stretch of Offa's Dyke.
Walks in the Shropshire Hills
|28/08/14 - Brown Clee Hill||27/08/14 - The Stiperstones||26/08/14 - Caer Caradoc|
My first visit to the Shropshire Hills was a very brief one in 2006 during a trip with my uncle to the small village of Bentlawnt while we conducted a bit of family research. Situated in the Hope Valley, in the shadow of the Stiperstones we made a quick visit to the latter while we were there. From the car park at Knolls we only got as far as Manstone Rock, I didn't have my walk gear with me and the snow meant an attempt to scramble up to the trig point was unadvisable. However, the views of Corndon Hill, just over the border into Wales and of the Long Mynd stuck in my mind.
A few years later I made the decision to try and complete all the Deweys (hills over 500m) in England. This gave me a nice excuse to one day revisit the Shropshire Hills as the AONB contains five such tops; Brown Clee Hill (the highest of the Shropshire hills), Clee Burf, Titterstone Clee Hill, Pole Bank (the highest point of the Long Mynd) and the Stiperstones themselves. So it was that in 2014 I booked a cottage for a week's family holiday in the small town of Church Stretton.
Church Stretton proved to be a superb base and had I not had designs on the Clee Hills and the Stiperstones I could have spent a hugely enjoyable week exploring the Stretton Hills and the multitude of routes on to the Long Mynd without having to use the car once. As it happened I managed to bag the five tops I'd targeted. As an extra bonus I also managed walks on to Ragleth Hill and Caer Caradoc.
The Shropshire Hills made a big impression on me and I'd definitely like to spend more time exploring them. In particular I'd like to explore more of the routes on to the Long Mynd as well as visit the stand alone hill The Wrekin, near Telford. Also high on my list to do if I ever get back down there again is a walk or two on Wenlock Edge as well as a visit to the quiet hills of Clun Forest and a walk along Offa's Dyke.