7-Night Shropshire Hills Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday

Dramatic Sunset Clouds Over Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire Hills UK
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 1 & 2

Shropshire is beautiful all year round but there are some even more spectacular sights around winter. Spend the festive season in the Shropshire Hills, socialising and walking in this beautiful place. There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk.

Holiday Highlights

  • Plenty of exercise to walk off the festive excesses
  • Admire panoramic sloping countryside, river views and stunning villages where ever you walk
  • A choice of guided walks in spectacular winter scenery
  • Let a local leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
  • Enjoy magnificent scenery
  • Visit charming Shropshire towns and villages
  • Look out for wildlife, find secret corners and learn about the rich history in this region
  • A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air in one of England’s most beautiful walking areas
  • Discover what makes the Shropshire so special from the old, picturesque towns to the quiet, peaceful hilltops
  • Evenings in our country house where you share a drink, celebrate and re-live the day’s adventures

What’s included

  • Wonderful meals – full selection at breakfast, your choice of picnic lunch, an excellent evening meal and plenty of festive treats
  • A programme of organised walks and activities
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays’ guides
  • A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
  • Any transport to and from the walks

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Hopesay to Craven Arms

Distance: 4½ miles (7½km) 

Total ascent: 500 feet (160m) 

In SummaryWalk from the historic village of Hopesay. We'll enjoy views of Hopesay Common as we follow a section of the Shropshire Way before finishing our walk in the market town of Craven Arms. 

Highlight: Hopesay Church, built in the early 13th Century showcases a mixture of Norman and Early English architecture.

Option 2 - Aston on Clun & Stokesay

Distance: 7½ miles (12km) 

Total ascent: 900 feet (260m) 

In SummaryWalk from the village of Aston on Clun to Craven Arms. On the way we'll discover the historic 13th Century church at Hopesay, soak up the views from Hopesay Hill, and visit Stokesay Castle. 

Highlight: Stokesay Castle is a real gem; a 13th Century fortifed manor house that was beseiged during the English Civil War.

Option 3 - Clunton & Hopesay Hill

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (460m) 

In Summary: From Clunton walk over Merry Hill to join the Shropshire Way. We continue past the pretty village of Hopesay to Stokesay Castle then beside the River Teme to Craven Arms. 

Highlight: Explore the tranquil landscape of the Clun Valley. In the words of AE Housman, "Clunton and Clunbury, Clungunford and Clun, are the quietest places under the sun." 


Option 1 - Slopes of Caer Caradoc

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

In Summary: A lovely route around Church Stretton. Head across the valley and along a scenic path which runs along the slopes of Caer Caradoc hill.

Highlight: Enjoy views over Church Stretton and the Long Mynd as we follow the balcony path around Caer Caradoc.

Option 2 - Hope Bowdler & Caer Caradoc

Distance: 9 miles (14km)   

Ascent: 1,950 feet (600m)

In Summary: We cross the valley to ascend the long ridge of Hope Bowdler Hill. Our second summit is the shapely Caer Caradoc Hill.

Highlight: Look out for the Iron Age hillfort on the summit of Caer Caradoc; said to be the site of King Caractacus's final stand against the Roman invasion.

Option 3 - Caer Caradoc, the Lawley and Gogbatch

Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Ascent: 2,750 feet (840m)

Summary: A walk over the Caer Caradoc with it's Iron Age fort and onto The Lawley before heading back to Longmynd House via Gogbatch at the far north end of The Longmynd

Highlight: The extensive iron age fort earthworks on Caer Caradoc.


Option 1 - The Carding Mill Water Cycle

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2km)

Ascent: 984 feet (300m)

Summary: Easy walk to the upper reservoir above Cardingmill Valley, which is one of the two damming streams flowing off the Long Mynd that provides water for Church Stretton.

Highlight: Great views of Caer Caradoc as you leave make your way up the valley. Once at the top reservoir, it is a lovely place to rest and if you like, choose from 3 different ways to go around the reservoir.

Option 2 - Batch Valley & New Pool Hollow

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 1,350 feet (480m)

Summary: Walk around the base of Novers Hill before heading higher up onto the Longmynd itself and visiting the extraordinary golf course found as high as any in England. We enter Cardingmill valley via a gentle path down the northern slope to visit New Pool Hollow with its picturesque reservoir before heading back to the house, passing through the peaceful Rectory Woods.

Highlight: Visit some of the oldest fossils ever discovered in New Pool Hollow.

Option 3 - Long Mynd & Marshbrook

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

Summary: We walk straight from the house to the beautiful Townbrook Hollow to take a stunning but gentle ascent to The Longmynd plateau, following the ancient drovers road of The Portway to the summit of the Longmynd at Pole Bank. Heading down into the hamlet of Minton via the hill of the same name and onto Marshbrook before we head back home via Little Stretton and the lower slopes of The Longmynd.

Highlight: 360 degree views from Pole Bank.


The day has been left free for you to relax or explore the local area.


Option 1 - Bromfield to Ludlow

Distance: 3½ miles (5.5km) 

Total ascent: 320 feet (100m) 

In Summary: From Bromfield we cross the Earl of Plymouth's estate to join field and woodland paths to reach Ludlow Castle. A riverside walk along the 'bread walk' takes us into town. 

Highlight: The Ludlow town trail which takes in some of the best sites of this historic town.

Option 2 - Mortimer Forest & Ludlow

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km) 

Total ascent: 900 feet (280m) 

In summary: From Bromfield we make our way up into Mortimer Forest then down through the delightful Mary Knoll Valley before bridleways lead us into the splendid town of Ludlow. 

Highlight: We include a short town trail around Ludlow, described by John Betjeman as "probably the loveliest town in England".

Option 3 - Mortimer Forest, Overton & Ludlow

Distance: 9 miles (14km) 

Total ascent: 1,100 feet (340m) 

In Summary: A longer exploration from Bromfield up and over the wooded slopes of Mortimer Forest and into the village of Overton, where we follow the old coach road to Ludlow.

Highlight: Ludlow is one of England's finest market towns with its array of black and white timbered buildings, overlooked by an impressive castle.


Option 1 - Wyke to Blists Hill

Distance: 4½ miles (7½km) 

Total ascent: 440 feet (140m)

In Summary: From the hamlet of Wyke we follow the Shropshire Way through to the United Nations World Heritage Site of Ironbridge. 

Highlight: The Ironbridge, which is the first single span road bridge in the world constructed of iron.

Option 2 - Much Wenlock to Ironbridge

Distance: 6½ miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 540 feet (160m) 

In SummaryWalk from Much Wenlock onto Benthall Edge and down into the Severn Gorge to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge. 

Highlight: There's time to explore the quaint riverside town of Ironbridge.

Option 3 - Wenlock Edge to Ironbridge

Distance: 10 miles (16km) 

Total ascent: 960 feet (300m) 

In Summary: Walk along the famous Wenlock Edge into the market town of Much Wenlock. We then follow the Jack Mytton Way to view Benthall Hall and onwards to Ironbridge. 

Highlight: The views to the South Shropshire Hills and beyond.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Longmynd House

Hidden in plain sight, there’s a well-kept countryside secret in the heart of England that might just surprise you with its wonderful upland walking, trails, history and heritage. Discover the heart of Shropshire from striking Longmynd House, stood on a wooded hillside above Church Stretton, on the border of England and Wales. Wake early to watch the sunrise from your balcony; take a dip in the heated outdoor pool and gear up for a great day in the hills on walks full of rich variety. Stride out on the Long Mynd itself, a dramatic, isolated whaleback hill with an expanse of heather wilderness and deeply cut valleys, explore the Stiperstones and climb to the Iron Age fort on top of Caer Caradoc, or surround yourself with historic castles, market towns and trails of all kinds.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

We are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas. You must wear a face covering by law in public areas in hotels in Scotland. This is mandatory in public spaces; however, face coverings will not be required whilst eating and drinking in the restaurant and bar areas or whilst you are outside our houses. In Wales face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors, with the exception of hospitality premises.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings for the HF Big Pub Quiz. There will be one other evening of entertainment at the start of the week, which will vary depending on the country house that you are staying at. Our Walk Leaders will also be on hand in the bar or lounge for individual or small group walks talks briefings, which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options and ask any questions. Swimming pools will be operated in line with maximum capacities.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house or in one of 8 brick-built lodges in the grounds. With 54 rooms, Longmynd House has plenty of space and there’s a range of Classic and Premium Rooms to choose from. Chose Room 16 for the four poster bed and separate sitting area, with green leafy views or Room 44 with its compact balcony and outdoor eating area overlooking the heather-clad rise on the far side of the valley. The lodges away from the house offer a little more privacy and their own terrace looking out over the gardens.

All ‘Classic’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, lounge, bar, ballroom, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring the Shropshire Hills, return to the house. Stroll through the extensive grounds and discover the woodland sculpture trail that threads through the trees, looking out for ‘deer’ and ‘bears’. Dip into the heated outdoor pool to swim below the trees. Head to the long lounge with its wall of glass giving on to the view outside, or for a more intimate space, sit at the smart bar with its crouching lions and attractive jug lamps or surrender to the leather sofas around the fireplace and enjoy a local pint of Shropshire Lad or Lass with a lively conversation among your fellow guests.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Food at Longmynd House is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Longmynd House

10694_0059 - Longmynd House - Exterior

Getting to Longmynd House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner
  • Sun hat and sunscreen (we may just get lucky and have some festive sunshine!)

Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
1

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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