Summer Wildlife of the Shropshire Hills
Code: CSWWSPrint page
Hills & moorland
Explore some of Shropshire’s wildlife hotspots including the Long Mynd, Stiperstones, Bury Ditches and Wenlock Edge. We'll enjoy a cornucopia of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and fungi whilst walking up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day. Suitable for any level of experience, with no prior knowledge required.
- Leisurely walks with regular stops to watch wildlife
- Share enthusiasm and improve your wildlife ID skills
- Flexible itineraries will take into account prevailing weather conditions and any reported sightings
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Guidance from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All essential transport on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach or other mode of transport, e.g. boat
- Entrance fees to venues included as part of your holiday’s itinerary
Longmynd House is set in a wonderful elevated location above the town of Church Stretton. With excellent walks on the doorstep, and extensive public rooms, it's an excellent base for our walking and leisure activity holidays.
Longmynd House has 50 bedrooms, all in the main building. There are also 8 brick-built lodges in the grounds - a popular alternative for families or couples, with all the facilities you would expect from HF Holidays.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times.
- Fire evacuation notices are displayed in the bedrooms and throughout the hotel. Each room has its own smoke sensor and fire alarm. In the event of a fire a very loud continuous alarm sounds and emergency lighting comes on. We have portable Deaf guard fire alarm system for those who are hard of hearing. This consists of a vibrating pad to go under the pillow and a bright strobe light. The Deaf guard is triggered when main alarm is activated.
- In the case of evacuation there are fire exits in every function room, bar and restaurant as well as the main front entrance. On the first, second and third floors there are fire exits at either end of the corridors which open to an emergency fire escape stairwell.
- Please advise reception on check in if you think you would require assistance in the event of an emergency. Door hangers are available in the rooms which can be used to indicate a need for assistance. Fire extinguishers are found throughout the building, as are fire call points. If you discover a fire please call 9-999 from your room phone, raise the alarm and alert a member of staff.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
On our Natural World holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day, stopping to enjoy the wildlife as we go.
The Stiperstones NNR is noted for its gaunt quartzite rock formations reminiscent of the Devon tors. The contaminated soils of this former mining area do not revegetate readily and this favours the grayling butterfly for which the Bog car park, where we shall start our walk, is the best site in the area. The poor soils of the hill have a limited but interesting flora. We take an easy route through the heather to the tors where red grouse, wheatear, red kite and merlin top the bird list. On a fine day the views are dramatic and we finish our walk with some unusual mining bees. A splendid start to our holiday.
After a hearty breakfast, we head out to Wenlock Edge - a fine limestone escarpment facing north-west across Shropshire. The ridge is mainly wooded but for most of our walk from Much Wenlock to Presthope we shall be on the sunny edge of the wood and concentrating on limestone plants, such as spurge laurel, and butterflies – the rare wall brown is the star of these. Woodland birds are quiet in August but a small hide in the wood allows close views of such as marsh tit and nuthatch. The walk up to the wood from the car park provides an opportunity to see limestone grassland flowers like the dramatic woolly thistle.
Rectory Wood and The Long Mynd
Armed with our tasty picnic lunches, we first walk through the Rectory Wood overlooking Church Stretton. Many fungi appear around the wonderful ancient trees of this historic wood, and last year we had excellent views of dragonflies around the old town reservoir. We then follow the path up the Townbrook Valley through the resplendent heather moorland to the top of the Long Mynd. On the way we’ll find a variety of acid-loving plants, butterflies and dragonflies plus birds such as raven, red kite (now frequent in the area), green woodpecker, stonechat and linnet, all while enjoying yet more spectacular views of the Shropshire countryside.
Ludlow – River Teme and Mortimer Forest
The River Teme is one of Britain’s cleanest and a fine place to look for both dipper and kingfisher from the vantage point of Ludford Bridge – at least six kingfishers here in 2017! Before we leave the river we see the grove of hornbeam trees famed among birdwatchers for its hawfinches in winter. We then follow the Mortimer Trail up to Mortimer Forest where in addition to the woodland birds we shall see a wide variety of fungi, some interesting plants and with a little luck silver-washed fritillary butterflies. A large bank of buddleia bushes is a great help!
Clunton Coppice and Bury Ditches
Clunton Coppice is a hillside oakwood reserve above the River Clun, an important survivor of the charcoal industry. Woodland birds include marsh tit and stock dove, and the fungi can be dramatic. We then enter an area of open modern forest which proved excellent for butterflies in 2017 – and red kites! In the afternoon we cross the Clun Valley to Bury Ditches, a hill fort surrounded by one of the best butterfly sites in Shropshire; here we were successful in finding the rare wood white in 2017 along with a breath-taking display of other butterflies including wall brown. This is a wonderful way to round off our holiday!
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
- Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
- Binoculars (essential) and a close-focus monocular if you have one
- Thermos flask (optional)
- Field guides (optional) – a full range of guides will be available for reference in the evenings
During your stay at Longmynd House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Shropshire:
The attractive small town of Church Stretton is around 10 minutes' walk away. After the arrival of the railway, the town grew in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and became known as 'Little Switzerland' due to the dramatic hills on both sides of the valley. Today the town retains its bygone charm and has a range of facilities including a variety of small shops, banks, cafés, pubs and a supermarket.
Easily reached by train, or around 20 minutes' drive away, Ludlow is a particularly attractive market town. The historic centre retains many of its medieval buldings, and is towered over by its well-preserved castle. In recent years the town has developed as something of a gastronomic centre, being home to celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants and many acclaimed local food producers. www.ludlowcastle.com
A little further afield, about 45 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, are the many excellent museums of Ironbridge Gorge. Known as the 'birthplace of the Industrial Revolution' it was here that Abraham Darby perfected the manufacture of cast iron which was later used to build the area's iconic iron bridge across the River Severn. Today there are 10 museums in the gorge including the Museum of Iron, the Coleport China Museum and the excellent Blists Hill Victorian town. www.ironbridge.org.uk/
Severn Valley Railway
The Severn Valley Railway is one of Britain's premier steam railways. This lovingly recreated Great Western Railway branch line is now run largely by volunteers and is home to an impressive collection of locomotives. As its name suggests the line follows the rural valley of the River Severn from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. The nearest station at Bridgnorth is about 40 minutes' drive from Church Stretton. www.svr.co.uk
Acton Scott Working Farm
Situated just 10 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, the Acton Scott Working Farm Museum is a living museum based around a restored Victorian farm. In recent years this has featured in the BBC2 series Victorian Farm and Escape in Time. www.actonscott.com
Also easily reached by train, or a 30 minute drive, Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire. The town centre is particularly attractive featuring many black and white timber houses dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The small town of Much Wenlock, about 30 minutes' drive from Church Stretton, is particularly attractive with many black and white timbered houses. Despite its small size the town can claim to be the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games.
The cathedral city of Hereford, is just under an hour's drive away, and can also be reached by direct train from Church Stretton. Hereford Cathedral houses a chained library and the famous Mappa Mundi, a 13th century map of the world. www.herefordcathedral.org
A grand 18th century house surrounded by an extensive deer park, located outside Shrewsbury, around 25 minutes' drive away. Now managed by the National Trust you can visit the ornate rooms and explore the walled garden and grounds. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park
This former medieval fortress has been remodelled over more than 400 years – each generation adding to the magnificent collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries. Theworld-famous garden is overhung with clipped yews, and shelters rare and tender plants. The castle is located near Welshpool, about 45 minutes' drive from Church Stretton. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle
Just under an hour's drive north of Church Stretton, Chirk Castle is a fine medieval fortress completed in 1310. As well as military displays, the castle was also a domestic home for many centuries, and is surrounded by excellent gardens. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle
Powis Castle image ©National Trust/Andrew Butler, Chirk Castle image ©National Trust ImagesMatthew Antrobus
Travel to Church Stretton
Our address is: Longmynd House, Cunnery Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6 6AG
The nearest train station is Church Stretton, which is less than a mile from Longmynd House. However the house is at the top of a steep hill (it has great views!) so a taxi is recommended, particularly if you have heavy luggage.
For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
NOTE: Unfortunately taxis are not available at the station and there is no taxi service in Church Stretton. If you call for a taxi on arrival at the station one will come from Craven Arms (another village approximately 10 miles away). The charge for this service to Longmynd House is £18. We therefore recommend booking a HF station transfer in advance for just £7 (details below).
HF station transfer - great value!
Our station transfer operates every Friday and Monday between Church Stretton station and Longmynd House. The pickup is at 3.15pm from Church Stretton station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to the station for 9.15am, 9.45am or 10:25. This transfer costs just £7 return, however a place must be reserved 7 days in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.
If you can’t meet our station transfer it is possible to book a taxi. Taxis can be limited so please pre-book. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking.
Follow the A49 to Church Stretton. At the traffic lights turn off the A49 into the town. At the first T junction turn left into the High Street. Go straight over the mini-roundabout, and then take the next right into Cunnery Road. Follow the road up a steep hill and around a hairpin bend. Longmynd House is at the top of the hill on the left hand side. Look out for our sign. A car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
Travelling from overseas
Manchester Airport has the quickest onward connections to Church Stretton. Trains from the airport take 2 hours, with one change at Crewe. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Church Stretton by train. There are a variety of routes, but the most convenient is to change at London Paddington and Newport as this avoid crossing London. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Russell is an experienced nature tour guide and has a great passion for all sorts of wildlife. After studying Animal Conservation at University, he was keen to offer relaxed and informative outdoor experiences that would bring people closer to the natural world. Following work as an Education Officer and Head of Education at a local animal centre and Blackpool Zoo, he now works in and around the North West running nature tours in a wide range of habitats, each with a unique cast of characters to enjoy.
Russell is an excellent leader. He is very knowledgeable on all aspects of the natural world. He knew the island and the exact areas where we were likely to find certain species. Russell was very professional, well organised and good company.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|16 Aug 2019||CSWWS - Summer Wildlife of Shropshire - Church Stretton||6||£849.00||£779.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person
We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.