Shropshire Way - Western Hills Guided Trail
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Hills & moorland
Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Enjoy this scenic section of the Shropshire Way en route to historic Ludlow, the most southerly point of the trail. This rewarding week of walking through the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty explores unspoilt, tranquil countryside, hills with views across the Marches and quaint medieval towns and villages.
- Journey through many of Shropshire’s high points
- Finish in medieval Ludlow with its imposing castle
- Wonderful views from The Stiperstones ridge
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.
Day 1: Arrival Day
Day 2: Church Stretton to Bridges
We begin by walking above Church Stretton, down into the heathland of historic Carding Mill Valley then up onto the hog’s back of Long Mynd, via Motts Road, to join the ancient Portway and walk amongst the heather. Ascending Betchcott Hill, we then head down Golden Valley to Ratlinghope and on to Bridges, an old staging post with its Inn. 7 miles (11km), with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
Day 3: Bridges to Bishop’s Castle
From Bridges, we head northwest to join the Stiperstones ridge and ascend to the Devil’s Chair. These ancient geological formations are steeped in folklore and are the reputed resting place of Wild Edric, a Saxon noble who fought against the Normans. There have been settlements in the area from at least as far back as the Bronze Age, right up to those for local mining which ended here in the 1950s. We head over Linley Hill, walk by the small hamlets of More and Lydham (with their Motte and Bailey castles) into the charming village of Bishop’s Castle, if time allows, we can explore and sample its cafes and brewery inns. 12 miles (19km), with 1,775 feet (532m) of ascent.
Day 4: Rest Day
A day without any walks programmed, giving you the opportunity to explore the local area independently
Day 5: Bishop’s Castle to Clun
Starting at Bishop’s Castle, we head west along ancient drovers’ ways, to join a section of the Offa’s Dyke Path at Churchtown. We are now in wild Marches country and head on around Hergan Hill to walk down Cefns (Welsh for ‘ridge’), with great, unspoilt views all around. We end the day in Clun, which is Shropshire’s smallest town. If there is time we may have a chance to view the ruins of Clun Castle. 11½ miles (18½km), with 1,575 feet (472m) of ascent.
Day 6: Clun to Craven Arms
Heading northeast out of Clun, we ascend Sunnyhill, walking over the ancient fortifications of the Bury Ditches Iron Age hillfort. We continue east, through Kempton and the timeless village of Hopesay. Ascending Hopesay Hill, we then head down into the Victorian railway town of Craven Arms, ending the day at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre. 11½ miles (18½km), with 1,575 feet (472m) of ascent.
Day 7: Craven Arms to Ludlow
Heading south from Craven Arms we pass Stokesay Castle, a beautiful and incredibly well preserved 13th century fortified manor house. We head up the old carriageway of Aldon Gutter, before eventually descending down to where the River Onney joins the River Teme, at Bromfield. From here, we continue through Oakly Park with the best views of Ludlow Castle, our final and fitting destination. The bustling black and white market town of Ludlow just begs to be explored – described by Betjeman as – “The most perfect town in England”. 10½ miles (17km), with 800 feet (240m) of ascent in a day.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors.
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.
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Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|17 May 2019||CSLSH - Shropshire Way - Western Hills - Church Stretton||7||£899.00||£824.00||Book Now|
|26 Jul 2019||CSLSH - Shropshire Way - Western Hills - Church Stretton||7||£899.00||£824.00||Book Now|
|13 Sep 2019||CSLSH - Shropshire Way - Western Hills - Church Stretton||7||£899.00||£824.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person
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Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.