Since England has been blessed with one more sunny spell before autumn sets in, we decided to make the most of our weekend with a walk through the Shropshire Hills, enjoying a wander along the beautiful Long Mynd and its surrounding valleys. Here’s how to walk this breath-taking route with a few of the different paths on offer.
Our journey began in Church Stretton, known in some parts as ‘Little Switzerland’ and nestled in the Shropshire Hills. The best place to park was the National Trust visitor centre in Carding Mill Valley, where (helpfully) there is a tea room and a quick toilet stop before you start your walk.
Also in the car park is a giant map with a choice of three routes to walk. Varying in difficulty the routes were mapped out with helpful flyers to take away with easy, medium and difficult walks depending on what you fancy. An easy route takes a leisurely stroll up the stream valley before ascending the steps to an Edwardian reservoir whilst the medium route (the Lightspout Waterfall route) passes by its namesake as it climbs the hill and takes a varying amount of scrambling over rocks.
We however, decided upon the Burway Route along Long Mynd promising views galore and we were not disappointed. Climbing the first hill towards the top threw us right in to the climbing mood, at the top, we discovered what can only be described as a sea of purple with the abundant heather of Long Mynd before us. Once at the top, the path levels out whilst on your right are spectacular views of the Welsh hills emerging in the distance. However, this was not to be our stopping point, carrying on along the path we passed a road and continued our ascent.
Making it to the top we came across the marker for the highest point with a wheel of lines pointing to different parts of the country (we even spotted the Potteries!). The perfect place to stop for our picnic although a visit from an insistent fly changed our plans somewhat. We had reached the top but the real views were yet to come. Lying stretched before us were rolling gulleys of Jurassic proportions.
Plunging into the valley we spotted some strange sights in the sky and stumbled across a gathering of giant model plane enthusiasts with a number jetting about in the sky and after stopping to watch for a short while we continued on our way. Climbing down through Townbrook Hollow, our journey was almost at its end and we took a quick break next to a stream when I perched on the edge to dunk my feet in, Ryan choosing to abstain.
The final walk down took us on a high route overlooking the car park (and the sheep trying to steal food there) as we passed some genius kids using cardboard to sledge down the hillside. After some incredible views, and a walk that stretched the Long Mynd, we were back to the car again, ready to make our way back home.
Looking for more? Check back here soon for more tales of my adventures and the tips I have picked up along the way.