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
from £979pp £979pp

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.

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.


Option 1 - Slopes of Caer Caradoc

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 1,200 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 (14.5km)   

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 - Around Caer Caradoc & Over the Lawley

Distance: 10.25 miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 2,304 feet (620m)

In Summary: We follow a track up along the Lawley ridge before reaching the summit of the Lawley where we will get great views over North Shropshire and the Cheshire Plains.

Highlight: Enjoy panoramic views to the North towards The Wrekin, east to Wenlock Edge, and West over the nearby Long Mynd Valley.


Option 1 - Townbrook and Cardingmill Valley

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,350 feet (400m)

In Summary: From Townbrook Valley, on our doorstep, a steady ascent leads to the heather moorland of the Long Mynd and its summit, Pole Bank. We descend down the highly scenic Carding Mill Valley. 

Highlight: Relax at the National Trust café in the Carding Mill Valley and enjoy the views of this local beauty spot.

Option 2 - All Stretton and Long Mynd

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: Walking north along the base of The Longmynd, we pass the source of the famous Stretton Mineral Water to ascend steadily to Plush Hill and onto the ancient drover road known as The Portway. Walking along the heather moorland on the ridge of The Longmynd itself and then descending into Carding Mill valley before heading home to Longmynd House.

Highlight: Descending into Cardingmill Valley, the most famous valley in South Shropshire.

Option 3 - Callow Hill & Pole Bank

Distance: 10.4 miles (16.8km)

Ascent: 2,175 feet (665m)

Summary: This walk explores Plush Hill and the ancient drover road known as The Portway whilst going through the most famous valley in South Shropshire.

Highlight: Look out for the Timuli/round barrows on The Portway – they may be either burial mounds or even route markers used by Neolithic traders. On the summit of Pole Bank, the highest point of the Long Mynd valley, you will be rewarded with magnificent views.


Option 1 - Hope Bowdler & Helmeth Wood

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

Summary: Starting from the house we ascend gently up to the ridge of Hope Bowdler Hill before heading into the valley between this hill and Caer Caradoc, finally heading back to The House via the lovely woodland that covers Helmeth Hill and the chance for a stroll around the lovely town of Church Stretton itself.

Highlight: Stunning views in all directions from the summit of Hope Bowdler Hill.

Option 2 - Ragleth Hill & Chelmick

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Ascent:  1,150 feet (360m)

Summary: Start the day with a walk to the interesting village of Little Stretton then a sharp ascent to the summit of Ragleth and a lovely walk along the grassy ridge. Head down into the valley and on to the village of Hope Bowdler before skirting around the lower slopes of the hill of the same name and onto Church Stretton with a chance to explore this ancient market town.

Highlight: The views south and across to The Longmynd from the summit of Ragleth.

Option 3 - Acton Scott

Distance: 10.1 miles (16.3km)

Ascent: 1,423 feet (434m)

In Summary: We will wander through farmland before heading to pass the Acton Scott Farming Museum and then returning to the house via the southernmost reaches of Ragleth and the village of Little Stretton.

Highlight: Views of the Long Mynd valley, Flounders Folly, Ragleth Hill and a house named “Clemcroft” which has a hedge with topiary pigs owned by Mr and Mrs Bacon.


Discover more about Longmynd House and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 


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 - Townbrook, Pole Bank and Minton

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In summary: Head to the top of the Long Mynd via Townbrook Valley. We then head south along the ridge to Minton Hill, before returning to our country house via the village of Little Stretton.

Highlight: The great ridge of the Long Mynd rises behind our country house, offering miles of outstanding walking. Soak up the panoramic views over the Gliding Station and Welsh Borderlands and 360 degree views from Pole Bank. 


Option 1 - Ragdon & Marshbrook

Distance: 6.8 miles (10.9km)

Ascent: 1,120 feet (340m)

Summary: This walk will take you through the Shropshire countryside to the hamlet of Ragdon and to the area of Marshbrook before heading back through the village of Little Stretton

Highlight: Typical Shropshire countryside in all its glory.

Option 2 - Around Ragleth

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

Summary: This walk takes us through the hamlet of Ragdon under the imposing southern slope of Ragleth and on towards the area of Marshbook. We head home through the fascinating village of Little Stretton with time to view some of the many listed buildings there.

Highlight: Typical Shropshire countryside in all its glory.

Option 3 - Willstone Hill & The Wilderness

Distance: 9 miles (14km) 

Ascent:  1,600 feet (500m)

Summary: Today's walk takes us around the base of Hazler Hill in lovely woodland alongside a bubbling stream and on to ascend Wilstone Hill and a visit to The Battlestone. We then descend in a northerly direction to walk along the aptly name Wilderness. We return along the well made track known as Cwms Lane between the impressive slopes of Caer Caradoc and Hope Bowdler hills, descending gently into Church Stretton before returning to the House.

Highlight: The Battlestone - said to be the location of the last stand of King Caracticus (AKA Caradoc) against the Roman invaders.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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


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 - Townbrook, Pole Bank and Minton

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In summary: Head to the top of the Long Mynd via Townbrook Valley. We then head south along the ridge to Minton Hill, before returning to our country house via the village of Little Stretton.

Highlight: The great ridge of the Long Mynd rises behind our country house, offering miles of outstanding walking. Soak up the panoramic views over the Gliding Station and Welsh Borderlands and 360 degree views from Pole Bank. 


Option 1 - Ragdon & Marshbrook

Distance: 6.8 miles (10.9km)

Ascent: 1,120 feet (340m)

Summary: This walk will take you through the Shropshire countryside to the hamlet of Ragdon and to the area of Marshbrook before heading back through the village of Little Stretton

Highlight: Typical Shropshire countryside in all its glory.

Option 2 - Around Ragleth

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

Summary: This walk takes us through the hamlet of Ragdon under the imposing southern slope of Ragleth and on towards the area of Marshbook. We head home through the fascinating village of Little Stretton with time to view some of the many listed buildings there.

Highlight: Typical Shropshire countryside in all its glory.

Option 3 - Willstone Hill & The Wilderness

Distance: 9 miles (14km) 

Ascent:  1,600 feet (500m)

Summary: Today's walk takes us around the base of Hazler Hill in lovely woodland alongside a bubbling stream and on to ascend Wilstone Hill and a visit to The Battlestone. We then descend in a northerly direction to walk along the aptly name Wilderness. We return along the well made track known as Cwms Lane between the impressive slopes of Caer Caradoc and Hope Bowdler hills, descending gently into Church Stretton before returning to the House.

Highlight: The Battlestone - said to be the location of the last stand of King Caracticus (AKA Caradoc) against the Roman invaders.


Discover more about Longmynd House and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 


Option 1 - Slopes of Caer Caradoc

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 1,200 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 (14.5km)   

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 - Around Caer Caradoc & Over the Lawley

Distance: 10.25 miles (16.5km)

Ascent: 2,304 feet (620m)

In Summary: We follow a track up along the Lawley ridge before reaching the summit of the Lawley where we will get great views over North Shropshire and the Cheshire Plains.

Highlight: Enjoy panoramic views to the North towards The Wrekin, east to Wenlock Edge, and West over the nearby Long Mynd Valley.


Option 1 - Townbrook and Cardingmill Valley

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,350 feet (400m)

In Summary: From Townbrook Valley, on our doorstep, a steady ascent leads to the heather moorland of the Long Mynd and its summit, Pole Bank. We descend down the highly scenic Carding Mill Valley. 

Highlight: Relax at the National Trust café in the Carding Mill Valley and enjoy the views of this local beauty spot.

Option 2 - All Stretton and Long Mynd

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: Walking north along the base of The Longmynd, we pass the source of the famous Stretton Mineral Water to ascend steadily to Plush Hill and onto the ancient drover road known as The Portway. Walking along the heather moorland on the ridge of The Longmynd itself and then descending into Carding Mill valley before heading home to Longmynd House.

Highlight: Descending into Cardingmill Valley, the most famous valley in South Shropshire.

Option 3 - Callow Hill & Pole Bank

Distance: 10.4 miles (16.8km)

Ascent: 2,175 feet (665m)

Summary: This walk explores Plush Hill and the ancient drover road known as The Portway whilst going through the most famous valley in South Shropshire.

Highlight: Look out for the Timuli/round barrows on The Portway – they may be either burial mounds or even route markers used by Neolithic traders. On the summit of Pole Bank, the highest point of the Long Mynd valley, you will be rewarded with magnificent views.


Option 1 - Hope Bowdler & Helmeth Wood

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

Summary: Starting from the house we ascend gently up to the ridge of Hope Bowdler Hill before heading into the valley between this hill and Caer Caradoc, finally heading back to The House via the lovely woodland that covers Helmeth Hill and the chance for a stroll around the lovely town of Church Stretton itself.

Highlight: Stunning views in all directions from the summit of Hope Bowdler Hill.

Option 2 - Ragleth Hill & Chelmick

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Ascent:  1,150 feet (360m)

Summary: Start the day with a walk to the interesting village of Little Stretton then a sharp ascent to the summit of Ragleth and a lovely walk along the grassy ridge. Head down into the valley and on to the village of Hope Bowdler before skirting around the lower slopes of the hill of the same name and onto Church Stretton with a chance to explore this ancient market town.

Highlight: The views south and across to The Longmynd from the summit of Ragleth.

Option 3 - Acton Scott

Distance: 10.1 miles (16.3km)

Ascent: 1,423 feet (434m)

In Summary: We will wander through farmland before heading to pass the Acton Scott Farming Museum and then returning to the house via the southernmost reaches of Ragleth and the village of Little Stretton.

Highlight: Views of the Long Mynd valley, Flounders Folly, Ragleth Hill and a house named “Clemcroft” which has a hedge with topiary pigs owned by Mr and Mrs Bacon.


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

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

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 have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. 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.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

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 Good and Better 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 ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ 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. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Longmynd House is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the bright dining room with its wrap around windows hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10694_0059 - Longmynd House - Exterior

Getting to Longmynd House

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

More Information

What to Bring

“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

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
23 Dec - 30 Dec
7 Christmas £1,029 Available Trip Notes Book Now
27 Dec - 03 Jan
7 New Year £979 Available Trip Notes Book Now
2021
23 Dec - 30 Dec
7 Christmas £1,099 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
1

7 nights from £979pp £979pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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