Explore the tranquil borderland of England and Wales; stunning countryside, hill forts, heather moors and mediaeval history…
A self-guided walking tour
2017 dates: May to mid-October.
Duration: 7 or 9 nights
Grade: Moderate, one or two strenuous days. Routefinding can be more difficult than on our coastal tours or on the Offa’s Dyke Path, but we supply detailed maps and directions.
Tour prices: See “Tour prices” below.
Tour code: S7 (7 nights) or S9 (9 nights).
S7: Nights 1 & 2 Church Stretton, 3 Wentnor, 4 & 5 Stiperstones, 6 Priest Weston, 7 Montgomery;
S9: Nights 1 to 7 as S7, then nights 8 & 9 Ludlow.
Accommodation: Good quality B&Bs, village inns on some nights. Some en-suite/private bathroom facilities available, but not every night.
Meals included: Breakfast each morning. Other meals are obtainable locally without pre-booking.
Extra nights: can be included at time of booking. Montgomery is a popular choice for an extra night.
Train station. Start of S7 and S9 tours Church Stretton (walk or short taxi ride to first accommodation); end of S7 tour Shrewsbury or Welshpool (in either case bus – or on Sundays taxi – from Montgomery); end of S9 tour Ludlow (walk or short taxi ride from final accommodation to the rail station). Buses and taxis are not included in the tour price.
Airports. The airports with international flights best placed for the Shropshire Hills are Birmingham (BHX), Manchester (MAN), London Heathrow (LHR) and London Gatwick (LGW). For more details of rail links between airports and the starting and end points of the various tours see our ‘Detailed factsheet’.
Tour code S7:
7 nights tour £545. SRS*: £100. STS**: £120.
Tour code S9:
9 nights tour £695. SRS*: £140. STS**: £165.
- Supplement for en-suite/private facilities every night. ES/private bathroom cannot be guaranteed on all nights of this tour (although available most nights).
- Extra night at Montgomery or Ludlow £65 per person per night (always with ES/private bathroom).
- Extra nights elsewhere on this tour: £45 per person per night.
- SRS* = single room supplement (applicable when 3 or 5 persons book together).
- STS** = solo traveller supplement (applicable when booking is for one person only).
Prices quoted are per person on basis of two people in double or twin-bedded rooms. Included in the price are bed and breakfast each night, with baggage transfers, maps and route directions. ‘ES’ (en suite) facilities means that there is a private bathroom with shower or tub and toilet within the main door of your room. ‘Private facilities’ means that the private bathroom may be outside the main door of your room. When the booking is made for a party of 3 or 5 customers, a single room supplement is payable. When the booking is made for a single traveller, a solo traveller supplement is payable. Normally a maximum of one single room per booking.
A Shropshire Lad
In valleys of springs of rivers,
By Ony and Teme and Clun,
The country for easy livers,
The quietest under the sun…
In 1996, 100 years after those lines were published, Housman was finally awarded a place in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey, while the south Shropshire Hills – now officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – remain as inspiring now as they were to Housman.
The tour starts with 2 nights in Church Stretton, a favourite centre for walkers and hikers in the heart of the Shropshire Hills. The first full hiking day can be spent climbing to the Romano-British hill fort of Caer Caradoc and exploring the steep-sided valleys cut into the heather moorland of the Long Mynd. You then head westwards over the Long Mynd plateau into the remote headwaters of the East Ony river, and follow the celebrated 18th century ‘beech avenue’ over Linley Hill. The splintered rocky pinnacles of the Stiperstones were the setting for Mary Webb’s novel The Golden Arrow.
After a full day to explore further in and around the Stiperstones range, you continue westwards to spend a night close to the 4000-year-old stone circle of Mitchell’s Fold. You then quit ‘those blue remembered hills’ (A Shropshire Lad, XL) of Shropshire to spend a night just beyond Offa’s Dyke and the Welsh border at the beautiful little mediaeval and Georgian town of Montgomery. Make a point of walking up the footpath to the castle (badly damaged in the civil war, but still an evocative ruin with a panoramic outlook) and, if you like the atmosphere of a real old-fashioned hardware store, don’t miss Bonner’s.
The 7 night tour ends in Montgomery, but those who have booked the 2-night Ludlow extension are transferred in the late morning through the almost indescribably beautiful countryside of south Shropshire direct to your lodgings in the ancient border town. Ludlow’s massive mediaeval castle (the setting of Milton’s Comus) overlooks a loop of the River Teme. You have time for a leisurely lunch before exploring the historic streets and lanes or strolling along the riverbank. With 2 nights here you have time on the second day for an excursion by local bus to Stokesay Castle, claimed to be the finest mediaeval manor house in England, or for longer walks in the countryside round Ludlow. Ludlow has in recent years become something of a centre for gourmets and several restaurants in the town have recently aspired to Michelin stars.
More images of this tour…How to Book
Other Discerning Traveller hiking tours
Discerning Traveller offers other coastal walking tours in Cornwall and Dorset:
Our less strenuous Pembrokeshire walking tour is designed for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Easy route-finding, pretty fishing villages and prehistoric archaeology along the way make for a fascinating hiking tour!
Cornwall’s long and dramatic coastline is a wonderland for hikers and walkers. We offer a choice of three different week-long self-guided tours along the cliff-top footpath taking in tiny fishing villages and remote sandy beaches.
The coastal scenery of Devon and Dorset is amongst the finest in Europe. Our Jurassic Coast and Purbeck tours together cover the whole of the South West Coast Path National Trail between Exmouth and Swanage.
My husband and I absolutely LOVED our hiking trip you designed.L. Folino
[We particularly liked] the attractive scenery – well chosen routes – descriptions outstanding and clear. [The best accommodation … Stiperstones: very tastefully furnished house, extremely good cooked evening meal, pleasant hosts. Thank you very much for a beautiful holiday. W.J.Terpstra and G.J.Terpstra-Voors
The beauty and variety of the countryside…the very attractive villages and small towns…excellent maps and overall documentation…reliability and helpfulness of the Discerning Traveller staff.J. and R. Stroeker
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